Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Door is Open

When we had our condo on SF's Embarcadero, we would walk to Giants baseball games, only 15 minutes away. Each trek would take us by the "temporary" location of the Mission District's famous Slanted Door restaurant (4/5), which had relocated from the Mission so the original could be remodelled.

Not only was the baseball great, but we would pick up to-go eats from one of the City's best and most creative restaurants--Shaking Beef, Ground Pork with Summer Corn (my favorite), Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce and the wonderful rare Ahi. Beats the heck out of stadium food (1/5). Three seasons after its "temporary" debut , we were still eating and running or running and eating are way through Vietnamese fusion fare, in Section 125 Row 15 of PacBell (now SBC) Park.

Anyway, we sold the condo and Slanted Door never moved back to the Mission, but instead ventured a few blocks North to the remade Ferry Building, San Francisco's 21st Century culinary capital. The Ferry Plazza is great, the Slanted Door is not missing a beat, but for its first year of operation--no take out business and a difficult reservation to eat in. Instead we went through spring-roll withdrawel while being relegated to Orlando's Cha Cha Bowls in Left Field (2/5) and an occasional Polish Dog (when you are in the mood for a dog, the SBC polish is a definite 3/5).

But new this season, Chef Phan has opened, behind the Slanted door (inside the main Ferry Building's lobby) his new "Out the Door" serving a special take out menu that includes his famous Spring Rolls (same old peanut sauce, thank God), noodles, steamed buns, pork sandwhices soups and more. It is not quite the same, because you don't have access to the Slanted Door's entire menu, but the food is still excellent and you can grab it, head for the dock and watch the ferries steam in and out, and if you need to work it off, it is only a 25-minute walk to the best baseball venue in the Major Leagues.


No rating--don't bother, better choices around every corner for the same or less money.
1/5 I will eat here, but something is always left wanting, food or service or something.
2/5 Good food. Not always consistent. Decent value eating.
3/5 Solid. Consistent. You look for reasons to eat here.
4/5 Excellent. You will not be disappointed even if it costs more.
5/5 Beyond a meal. An experience, like going to the opera at la Scala or watching your team win the World Series.


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