SF: Lunch at Slanted Door

Chicken Imperial Rolls

There were a few different reasons why I wanted to try Slanted Door. Sometime in December, I came across an article about handmade marshmallows featuring Chartreuse. These marshmallows were part a hot chocolate cocktail at the Slanted Door.

lamb sausage with kushi oysters

The other reason was I’ve heard some comparison made to LA’s Red Medicine. I’ve not gone to the controversial restaurant yet (I will soon and check back for a post) but knew I should probably check out more high end Vietnamese restaurants so I have a good background. Although, I did attend one of the first Test Kitchen nights featuring the rascally Red Med boys.

wood oven roasted Manila clams with pork belly

And the final reason was one of my friends gave a really enthusiastic thumb’s up on Slanted Door. She went twice in the same weekend while visiting and didn’t care how much it cost because it was so good.

Let’s recap: I wanted to go for booze, controversy and great word-of-mouth.

grass-fed Estancia shaking beef

I made reservations for two but my party mushroomed into five and Slanted Door accommodated my request to up the table one hour before. Knowing how busy they can be, I was appreciative. Our server recommended we get an appetizer and an entree each. We got three starters, two entrees and a side. Slanted Door also sent out shrimp on the house for us.

carmelized wild gulf shrimp

Since I had been cocktailing it all weekend, I decided I actually shouldn’t drink because we had a 6-hour drive ahead of us. Too bad because the hot chocolate with Chartreuse marshmallows was so tempting.  The other cocktails also looked intriguing.

carmelized catfish claypot

We enjoyed our appetizers. I particularly liked the kushi oysters and the lamb sausage was a success with the entire group. We realized later the clams with the crispy pork belly didn’t make sense because it was in a really hot broth (see the steam!) and lost any bit of crispness.

I was more bummed out though about the shaking beef. The filet mignon cubes were way overcooked. And at $34 for 6 pieces, we were a bit shocked. I understand the beef is grass fed but really?! Good thing the shrimp and catfish saved the day. The carmelized catfish wasn’t as good as Starry Kitchen’s but it was still tasty.

garlic spinach

Dungeness Crab Noodles

We rounded out our meal with a side of spinach and Dungeness crab noodles. Next to the appetizers, our favorite dish were the noodles and the spinach. The noodles were flavorful and the spinach was so fresh, it just need a bit of garlic to enhance the dish.

Overall, I am not quite sure what to make of Slanted Door. I feel like I would have had a great time just eating some apps and having a cocktail or two at the bar. Then again, it might be a spot to have a cocktail after eating through the Ferry Building and Farmers Market. I don’t regret the experience though. It was nice to have the cushy booth and take in the great art.

Slanted Door

1 Ferry Building, #3

San Francisco, CA 94111