The Slanted Door is one of those classic San Francisco restaurants that had been on my to-go-to list for years. The flagship of chef/restaurateur Charles Phan’s restaurant group, The Slanted Door has made a name for itself with its modern take on Vietnamese cuisine.
I finally got to check this off my list, thanks to Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water, who so kindly invited me to finally get a taste of what everyone has been raving about. Everyone…like the James Beard Foundation. That’s right, The Slanted Door is a nominee for this year’s James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Award.
As I settled into my meal, I could see that the nomination was well-deserved. The vibe was comfortable yet classy. The food had all the vibrance and freshness I loved about Vietnamese street food, but executed by a refined hand, with an eye towards high-quality ingredients and adorned with lavish touches like grass-fed Estancia beef and wild California uni.
And a whole lot of it. Eyes widened as this beautiful plate of sea urchin roe came to the table. Delicate pearls of black tobiko topped the uni, which blanketed crisp slivers of cucumber and creamy avocado. Creamy and luxurious, I tried to make this sea-kissed bliss linger as long as possible.
It passed too quickly, as always, but before we had the chance to miss it, new delights appeared.
One of my favorite Vietnamese treats, Crispy Imperial Rolls, are a classic dish of ground shrimp and pork rolled in rice paper and deep fried. You eat these crispy bite-sized rolls by wrapping them up in a lettuce leaf with fresh mint and cool glass noodles sprinkled with roasted peanuts. A quick dunk into a sweet, tangy fish sauce dressing, and these rolls disappear before you know it.
The Yellowtail Sashimi was as pretty as it was delicious. Clean and sweet, topped with crispy shallot chips, a fine chiffonade of Thai basil, and a bright splash of lime juice, salt, and white pepper.
And then we were back to more comfort food that reminded me of home cooking. The pan-fried Daikon Rice Cakes with shiitake mushrooms and shallots were similar to the ones I always get at dim sum, except these came in a bowl with sweet, vinegary, chili soy sauce. I loved this take on a familiar dish.
I’d love to come back to The Slanted Door with a group because the dishes are all so well-suited for family-style sharing. We of course had to get the signature Grass-fed Estancia Shaking Beef. Cubed filet mignon that just melts in your mouth, stir fried with red onion and watercress. The beef was like buttah, but what brought me to Vietnam was the little dipping sauce of lime juice, salt and pepper. My mouth is watering just thinking about this again.
The Cellophane Noodles with Dungeness crab, green onion, and sesame was another dish that hit home. My mom makes a similar dish with dried shrimp. The crab though. Yes. Win. What a classic San Franciscan way to elevate this dish.
Pro Tip: save room for dessert. The Lychee Cotton Candy is a super fun treat. How can you not smile when this giant sweet poof comes to the table? But the dessert I’ll be coming back for is the Snickerdoodle & Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich. Pure delight it is.
And delight can be yours too! We’re giving away a $100 gift card to The Slanted Door.
Enter to win a $100 gift certificate to The Slanted Door in San Francisco! Simply leave a comment on this post telling me what item on their menu you are most looking forward to trying.
For additional entries:
- “Like” Lick My Spoon on Facebook. Leave a comment on this post telling me you did so (if you’re already a fan, that counts too!)
- Share the link to this post with your friends on Facebook. Leave a comment on this post telling me you did so.
- Tweet It. Leave a comment on this post telling me you did so.
All entries must be received by Thursday, May 9th, 11:59 pm PST. Winner will be selected by a random number generator and notified via email.
Congrats to Angel Lau, our Slanted Door Giveaway winner! Get ready for that uni and lamb you’ve been drooling over…
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water.
The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building, #3
San Francisco, CA 94111