Sherman's Food Adventures: November 2010

Eight 1/2 Restaurant Lounge

Oh great. Viv went on a shopping trip with her co-workers down to the States and both kiddies end up being sick. What horrible timing! I guess I deserve it though. She puts up with my exploits. Call it payback. Yet, an opportunity was born out of a potentially truly ugly situation. You see, my parents decided to give me a hand and feed the kiddies dinner. Hey, a 2-hour window to go out and grab a bite! I wasn't too enthused about doing it alone though, so I decided to check with good 'ol JS/TS from Eating Club Vancouver. They were game with one caveat. We had to go to Eight 1/2 Restaurant Lounge. You see, TS bought a Groupon not too far back and really wanted to redeem it. No problem with that. We were having a heck of a time figuring out where to go anyways. You see, TS doesn't like to travel very far for food. There is like this imaginary wall around Knight Street and beyond. I'm surprised she even made it out to Surrey once for dinner! That's like another country for her!

Situated in a multi-level heritage house, Eight 1/2 is a quaint little restaurant tucked away on 8th Ave, a block West of Main Street. If the outside looks traditional and conservative, it doesn't prepare you for the nice renovations within. Looking very much like your typical modern bar/restaurant, it's a welcoming dining space. Better yet, the Canucks game was on! I could go eat and still watch the game. Unfortunately for us, there was no more pizza dough. So no pizza. What we did end up ordering were 2 appies to start with the first being the Mini Ukrainian Perogies. It seems that the trend towards making mini versions of popular foods is moving along without end. It's just something about little pieces of food. They're so darn cute! Anyways, cute doesn't necessarily mean good tasting. In this case, it did taste fine with the usual potato and cheese filling with caramelized onions. The exterior dough was not too thick and fried up until crisp. A good amount chrizo with sour cream and ancho chipotle drizzled on top rounded out the dish. The only issue I had was the temperature. Everything on the plate was lukewarm. Our second appie was the Halibut, Tuna & Shrimp Ceviche. This was not one of my favourites. There was too much acidity in the mix; thus overwhelming every single component. Furthermore, it appears they blanched the seafood rather than having it "cook" in the lemon juice. Not a huge issue; but I found that some of the seafood taste was lost as a result.

For my main, I went for meat in the form of the 10 oz Grass Fed Steak. I asked for mine to be cooked medium rare (closer to the rare side) and it was beautifully executed. Moreover, the meat was very tender and required very little effort to chew. The simplicity of its preparation allowed for the natural meat flavour to shine. Fluffy, creamy and garlicky, the roasted garlic mashed potatoes were also very good. The same can be said about the fresh, barely cooked carrots. TS went for something usually reserved for salmon. We see cedar plank salmon all the time; but not Cedar Plank Halibut. She thought the halibut was cooked perfectly. The dipping sauce was a citrus-soy sauce concoction that worked although there was not much lemongrass flavor as per the description on the menu. The fish and sauce components of the dish were good. The "risotto" that accompanied the fish was not. It wasn't a risotto by any stretch of the imagination and it was seriously bland. Also, she wasn't sure this risotto-type dish, even if it were successful, complemented the citrus-soy direction towards which the fish was heading.

JS had a hard time deciding and settled on the Pacific Bacon Mini-Burgers. As described on the menu, they are 3 local BC beef patties, Pacific pepper cheddar, alder smoked bacon, Dijon aioli and fresh corn salsa. Overall, the burgers were pretty good except slightly oversauced. Furthermore, the artistic sauce underneath made it messy to pick up. Mind you, sometimes the messier the burger is, the tastier it is. In general, the food with this visit to Eight 1/2 was not bad, except for a few things. With that being said, all of the proteins were cooked perfectly and were quite good. It's really too bad we couldn't try their pizzas because they ran out of dough (and really the reason why TS wanted to try the place out in the first place). However, with the items we did try, it showed that Eight 1/2 is a decent enough place to grab a drink, feed oneself and even catch the game on TV.

The Good:
- Well-executed proteins
- Relaxed and comfortable atmosphere

The Bad:
- A few misses with the food
- Not expensive; but not inexpensive either

eight 1/2 Restaurant Lounge on Urbanspoon

Incanto

The celebrity chef. You know, the one you see on Food Network. Generally, they either have a show or guest star on one of many other shows. They are usually critically acclaimed and have won awards such as the James Beard. With so much fame and publicity, it is no wonder that their establishments are usually destination restaurants. Such is the case here. Myself, Mijune, Kim, TS/JS and Grayelf were all going to be in San Francisco, which would mean some planned eating (Gastrognome joined us as well!). Where to go for dinner? How about Chris Consentino's Incanto in Noe Valley? Sure, he's probably too busy with Aaron Sanchez running around in Chefs vs. City to be at the restaurant; but no matter, we had a hankering for offal. Well, at least most of us did. You see, Chef Consentino loves offal and rightly so, I do too! Thus, the menu is a reflection of that belief.

After settling in and doing some strategic ordering (no duplicates, well at least we tried), we anxiously waited for our food. I was actually quite hungry since I exercised considerable restraint in the afternoon and didn't really eat anything substantial. Hence, I ordered 2 appetizers starting with the Cod Milt. For those who are unfamiliar with it, milt is the male genitalia of fish containing sperm. Yes, insert joke here. However, Mijune had a good amount of the milt and she swallowed it all... Uh... yah... Anyways, I have eaten this lots before... Damn, there is no way to make this sound classy... However, it has always been steamed Chinese-style with ginger. So having it prepared any other way was a bit different. For me, it was very similar to sweetbreads. I liked how they pan-seared it so there was a nice crust. It was a little fishy; but for me, that just gives it some flavour. The runny egg yolk provided moisture to an otherwise gummy product. On the topic of Sweetbreads, that was my other appetizer. Accompanied by fingerling potatoes and dressed in a green walnut salsa, the sweetbreads were texturally pleasing. With an even better crust than the milt, it provided a nice crunch in contrast to the soft sweetbread. The salsa had a nice herb/lemon combination that really accented the natural sweetness.

For my main, I went for something a bit more "normal" in the Pork Belly with Buddha's hand citron, arugula, yuzu marmallata and citron salsa. The pork belly was braised to perfection. With a nice sear which provided a slight smokiness combined with the fatty melt-in-your mouth meat, there was a lot to like. Furthermore the marmallata provided a thick, sweet glaze which resulted in very little savouriness. The arugula and Buddha's hand salad helped counteract the intense sweetness of the dish. However, maybe a bit too much. Very bitter and tart, it was not really all that pleasant to eat - even combined with the sweet components. To further up the tart/bitter ante, there was a citron salsa with capers atop the pork belly.

Being right next to Mijune has it's privileges and no, it's not because she's cute either. Rather, I could sample her dishes easily (did that come out right???). Anyways, she started with the Paccheri al Nero or squid ink pasta with calamari, fennel and garlic. The pasta itself was al dente with a slight bounce, probably due to it being made with egg and being fresh. As with any squid ink pasta, there is not much difference in taste. The accompanying calamari was tender while the garlic/fennel was quite subtle. For her main, she had the California Yellowtail with pumpkin and erbette. As with almost all fully cooked yellowtail, this one was dense and slightly dry since the flesh is lean. Despite this, it was still flaky and exhibited a natural sweetness. Having never had erbette (beet tops) before, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, to me it resembled any other leafy green such as chard. I'm usually not a huge fan of pumpkin; but this one had good flavour with a slight caramelization.

Kim was also in the sharing mood, as always, and selected something I would've ordered if not for the milt - Pig's Blood Pappardelle. Being Chinese, I grew up eating pig's blood, particularly the cubed version. The taste is a bit gamy with a whole lot of iron aftertaste. In this case, it was almost exactly that. The extremely al dente pasta (how I like it) was dressed in a silky sauce with raisins which also had some essence of pig's blood. It was mostly sweet with some saltiness. For his main, Kim also chose a dish that I originally wanted to try - Offal Bollito Misto served with mustard, salsa verde and horseradish. I guess we were both thinking offal... Imagine instead of the Arby's hat, there was like a pig's tongue instead? Would for a highly disturbing commercial though... And about that pig's tongue, that was one of the components of the bollito misto which also included a piece of brisket, sausage and some other mystery meat. The meats were quite tender and I liked how the tongue was still slightly chewy; but that sausage was not very good. Melting away upon puncturing, it was fatty and bland. The accompanying condiments added the necessary flavour to an otherwise mild-tasting stew (which it is supposed to be). Nothing technically wrong with this dish per se, it's just not to my liking.

What turned out to be my favourite dish of all was ordered by Mijune's cousin. She started with the Spaghettini with Sardinian cured tuna heart, egg yolk and parsley. With the "soft" al dente pasta tossed in the punctured egg yolk, it created a luxurious silky glaze that was both garlicky and spicy. The egg yolk helped cut the saltiness of the dish while the tuna heart "shavings" provided a nice textural chew. Initially, I was mocking the Pomegranate-Glazed Poussin with ciopolini and Treviso. C'mon, who wants to eat poultry in a place like Incanto??? Well, serves me right for being a smart-ass. Turns out this was the best dish of them all in my opinion. The poussin was tender and moist, even the white meat. The reduced pomegranate glaze had a complex tartness and sweetness. A good amount of radicchio lay underneath to counteract the sweetness.

While we were munching away madly at the different portions of food we were sharing, 2 more dishes came our way. From the other side of the table, Grayelf sent the Hankerchief Pasta with rustic pork rag├╣. Since this was well into our meal, the pasta had sat in the sauce for quite awhile. Thus, I'm not sure if it was past al dente or was it a result of it sitting around. It was quite obvious that there was basil onion and fresh tomatoes used in the simmered sauce; however, it was not that rich. Nothing particularly wrong with the taste, it just didn't have as much depth as I would've hoped. The second dish was the Golden Chantrelle & Nepitella Risotto. This one was not too bad. Nothing something to write home about; solid nonetheless. The rice had a nice bite while being creamy at the same time. The chantrelles were little nuggets of joy; but as expected didn't add an abundance of flavour. First time trying nepitella and it was quite mild with a hint of mint.

TS/JS had 2 dishes that I didn't get to sample much starting with the Marinated Local Sardines with sunchokes, sunflowers and capers. TS enjoys sardines, so it was not a stretch for her to enjoy the flavourfully briny dish. She thought that the quantity of sardines fillets to be quite generous. With somewhat of a brain cramp, TS admittedly wasn't thinking when she ordered the Rapini, Baccala, Olives & Boiled Meyer Lemon. 2 salted fish dishes... Thus, she wasn't too enthusiastic to say anything about it, other than she liked the sardines more. TS not saying much... That's a first! I did get to try the Best Parts of Chicken Risotto tough. Since this is Chris Cosentino's restaurant, the best parts of chicken don't include the breast. Rather, you have gizzards and crispy skin. Indeed the best parts! Once again, the ristotto was beautifully prepared. The entire dish was quite mild. I didn't find the chicken skin that crispy. Maybe it had been sitting atop the hot risotto too long.

Although we were quite full from the amount of food, some of us saved room for dessert. With some subtle coercion from Mijune (of course it would be her), I got the Seckel Pear Bread Pudding with pear sorbetto. The pudding was quite moist with a nice crispy top. Lots of tender pear strewn throughout the lightly sweetened bread pudding. I really liked that the pear was unpeeled. Gave it nice texture. The pear sorbetto was also very light and not really all that sweet. Rather, it had a nice pear aroma. Not spectacular; but a solid offering. Mijune decided to go with the Celery Root Cake with wet walnuts and vanilla ice cream. Apparently they had her at "wet walnuts". I don't even want to begin speculating what she was thinking... Well, serves her right for having a one-track mind since the dessert sucked. The cake was basically inedible since it was as dry as a loufa sponge. Despite the nicely burnt caramel sauce caressing the walnuts (did I just say that? Guess I did...) and the ice cream, it wasn't enough to save this lifeless cake.
Fortunately, Greyelf's choice of the Douglas Fir Panna Cotta and bush berries was both interesting and good. A definite woodsy taste gave the panna cotta some originality. It had a balanced texture of being completely set while still being velvety smooth. The berries added both colour and some extra fruitiness to the dessert. As for the cookie, I believe it was an orange peel sugar cookie.

Here we go. The full meal deal at Incanto. Home base of celebrity chef Chris Consentino. Whenever there is hoopla, fame and hype, expectations fairly or unfairly are heightened. The question is: did it meet our expectations? On a personal level, I didn't really go in thinking anything about Chris Consentino. I approached this as any other fine dining experience. As such, I felt that the overall meal was decent. Some highlights mixed in with some pretty average parts as well. The one thing that I really appreciated was the reasonable pricing. Service was pretty spot on as was most of the execution. In terms of personal likes and dislikes, it was due to conceptualization; rather than the actual cooking (Celery Root cake withstanding). If you can appreciate the variety of dishes we had, I can confidently say that the food is more than acceptable. Furthermore, you really have to tip your hat for the simple fact that Chris Consentino tries to offer something a little bit different than the run-of-the-mill fine dining establishments.

The Good:
- Reasonable pricing
- Unique menu
- Spot-on service

The Bad:
- Surprisingly, some dishes were rather boring
- Desserts were okay; but not the strong point here

Incanto on Urbanspoon

Humphry Slocombe

With Greyelf doing her version of a food tour in the Mission, we were sampling many different ethnic cuisines. The last thing that I expected to see was an ice cream store nestled among taquerias and Latin markets. Humphry Slocombe is a collaborative effort between Jake Godby and Chris Cosentino, Food Network star and of Incanto and Boccalone. Now, we are quite familiar with ice cream. You know, the dessert with cream, sugar and flavourings such as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry (a la Mitchell's). Hey, there are more hip flavours such as salted caramel and lavender (a la Bi-Rite)! But honestly, even these are getting boring. Everyone is doing it.

Now Humphry Slocombe goes a bit further with such flavours as Jesus Juice, Secret Breakfast and what I tried today - Prosciutto. I also went for something a bit more "normal" in the Dulce de Leche as my second scoop. Now, I love pork products, especially salted ones from Boccolone and I do like ice cream. Imagine my excitement when I saw the marriage of the 2. It brought a tear to my eye. Well, not really; but I thought that would sound dramatic. In a similar concept as salted caramel, the prosciutto offered up the salty component to amp the flavour quotient of the sweet ice cream. In this case though, there was a "je ne sais quoi" with the addition of meat. As for the Dulce de Leche, it was just plain sweet. Of course it is supposed to be since it is mainly comprised of sugar and milk. The ice cream itself was pretty smooth with a few ice crystals. Not bad at all. Some flavours seemed a bit weird; but give 'em props for trying out new things. As for me, I'll stick to the salted pork and cream.

The Good:
- Innovative flavours (whether they work or not)
- Not too pricey
- Intense flavour

The Bad:
- A bit too sweet
- Some flavours might sound better than they taste

Humphry Slocombe on Urbanspoon

Foreign Cinema

Last year, I had planned to visit the Mission while in San Francisco. Sadly, it didn't come to fruition. A full year later, I made sure of it by gathering up my cousins for brunch at Foreign Cinema. In fact, I made a reservation via Opentable to ensure that nothing would get in the way of it. Normally, the best meal to have at Foreign Cinema would be dinner. You see, as the name implies, foreign movies are shown on the large back wall of the outdoor courtyard for your viewing pleasure as you dine. Already having a reservation for dinner at Incanto later only allowed for a brunch. No matter, I still get to try out the food and that's not such a bad thing! Cable Car Guy and AZee picked me up from the hotel to meet up with Sal. Good thing too because it was absolutely pouring. What is up with that anyways? Every time I visit San Francisco, the rain seems to follow... At the very least, it washes away the plethora of dog poop off the sidewalks. Upon entering Foreign Cinema, we were greeted by a long hallway reminiscent of movie theatres of yesteryear. It lead into an outdoor courtyard with a large clear plastic tarp. So, even though it was raining, we could still sit outside and enjoy the natural light. Good for pictures too!

AZee suggested we order 4 dishes to share. It's like she read my mind! Not only are my friends trained to appease my needs, my relatives too! I decided to add a Baked Calamari to start for good measure. Tender pieces of squid and butter beans were bathed in a Romesco sauce topped with bread crumbs and aoili. As mentioned, the squid was easy to eat while the Romesco sauce had a nice kick to it. The bread crumbs offered up some crunchiness while the aoili helped temper the tang and spice from the Romesco. After this, there was a fairly long wait for our main dishes. It was so long of a delay that they voluntarily offered us a house made Pear Pop Tart. Unlike a store bought one, this was not too sweet and the pastry was flaky and crisp. Nothing amazing; but a nice treat nonetheless. I give them props for noticing that we were getting a little antsy. For my main, I went with the Seafood and Potato Frittata. Beautifully presented with 2 perfectly seared scallops, mesclun greens and crispy pancetta, the frittata was finished with a green goddess dressing. Fully cooked; yet still fluffy, this was a light frittata. The flavours were mild with a taste of freshness due to the greens and herbs.

Sal, the French-obsessed person that she is, predictably had the Croque Madame. Essentially a Croque Monsieur with a fried egg and bechamel on top, this was quite heavy. I liked the perfectly runny egg yolk, it is both aesthetically and texturally pleasing. However, there was probably too much bechamel sauce. So much so, that is all we could see. Nothing wrong with the sauce itself, although it was on the floury side. Otherwise, the French ham and Gruyere still came through, we just couldn't see it. For kicks, she added a side of slow-cooked, brown sugar smoked Bacon. Wow. This bacon was absolutely delicious. Having a texture much like freshly made soft beef jerky with a sweet gooey brown sugar glaze, I would gladly trade-in my health to eat this everyday if I could. Cable Car Guy had the Poached Eggs and Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with avocado, chickpeas topped off with mojo verde. As you can see, the poached eggs were perfectly cooked and aesthetically pleasing. Trust me, this is not always a given. Just because it is cooked right doesn't excuse it from looking like a disfigured Michelin Man. Hiding underneath were tender nuggets of pork in a balanced braising liquid that had depth. It's too bad that there was so little pork in relation to everything else. So little that it had not much impact in the dish even though it was the "meat".

AZee had the Champagne-Truffle Omelet - another dish featuring egg, which is not usual since it was brunch. The omelet was executed quite well. Maybe slightly on the more cooked side; but it was still fluffy. The Fontina and herbs complimented the truffle with a nice blend of earthiness and slight woodsy taste. The reason we ordered this dish was not really for the omelet; rather for the crispy Yukon potatoes. We spotted the people beside us enjoying the potatoes and wanted to have it. Turns out that they were just okay. They were indeed crispy with a nice soft potatoey inside; however, that was about it. It's too bad we didn't get to watch a movie since it was not dinner time. Although AZee and CCG assured me it's really neat (and the food is good too). For our brunch, it was mostly solid presented in a unique dining space.

The Good:
- Solid execution
- Attentive service
- Nice dining space

The Bad:
- A bit pricey
- Food expediting was slow (they did give us a pop tart though)

Foreign Cinema on Urbanspoon

Dol Ho

Originally, our plan was to hit up Yank Sing in SOMA for our Dim Sum adventure during our stay in San Francisco. However, for some reason or another, we decided to change it up. Rather than relaxing in an upscale dining room with pricey Dim Sum, we ended up heading over to Chinatown instead. In the pouring rain no less! If Yank Sing is the fine-dining equivalent of Dim Sum, then our choice of eats would be the diviest of dives. Dol Ho can be seen as the antithesis of Yank Sing (or Mayflower and Zen Pennisula). Let's just say that white glove service is not available. In fact, there are no white tablecloths either - let alone white anything since everything is a shade of gray or light brown... Service? Looked more like self-serve with the tea and utensils. At one point, we were wondering if they knew we existed. Fortunately, we speak Cantonese and communication was not a problem. However, if one didn't, I can see a whole lot of confusion in their future. That is further exacerbated by the lack of any written menus, in either language! Well, they don't really need'em since most of the clientele are locals. Oh yeah, Kim and I were probably a good 20 years+ younger than the average customer. Definitely brings back memories of my childhood when I had Dim Sum in San Francisco. I remember my grandparents taking me to Chinatown for ol' skool eats (I guess modern back then?). Hmm... in fact, I remember my grandfather getting me treats such as pig intestine and sand worms which I snacked on like they were Cheetohs. Now you can see where I get my love for offal and strange food!

So we ended up ordering some dishes and to my dismay they didn't have tripe! Hey what type of place is this anyways? No tripe? That's offal! Sorry, dumb pun... Whatever, we started with the classics – Haw Gow and Sui Mai. The Haw Gow was pretty decent considering the venue. Sure, the dumpling skin was slightly thick and overcooked; but the shrimp filling was good (natural shrimp flavour and a nice snap). The Sui Mai, in my opinion was fantastic. Large in size and exhibiting a good combination of hand-cleavered pork, shiitake and shrimp, these dumplings were slightly chewy in texture and full of flavour (thanks to the mushroom). Next up were some of the biggest balls I've ever seen. Er... I mean Beef Meatballs. In terms of texture, the meatballs were on the softer side. I would've liked to see more meat texture; but at the very least, there was not a huge amount of baking soda aftertaste. I liked the ample amount of greens and water chestnuts, they were a nice textural addition. Of course, another test of good Dim Sum is the Rice Noodle Roll. We got shrimp and although it looked too thick, the noodle turned out to be quite soft and easy to eat. With that being said, we would've preferred it to be thinner. The shrimp was quite nice having a nice snap texture.
We also got the Phoenix Talons (or chicken feet). Generally, these are fried before they are steamed with an oyster sauce-based glaze. This particular version was lightly fried; thus retaining much of the natural texture of the skin and gelatin underneath. It was more like boiled chicken feet than fried. However, it was good in its own ways, especially since it was so soft. Flavourwise, it was not salty and I could still taste the “chickeness”. Call it the power of suggestion as we got an order of the Steamed Spareribs on the account everyone else seemed to have ordered it. The meat was good with a nice bounce and chewiness. Not too much fat or cartilage present. It was only moderately-seasoned; hence we could still taste pork. On the topic of pork, we got an order of the BBQ Pork Buns. The bun itself was a bit on the crumbly side where it began to fall apart when we split it open. Not a huge problem though. I liked the BBQ pork filling. It was slightly sweet with a good amount of savouriness.

So with all this food, the total bill came to a little over $17.00 including tax. Sure, the place is a dive which seems to be in a time warp from the 70's; but honestly, the food is decent especially for the price. Yah, service is none-existent with ambiance that would rival a dirty bingo hall. The customers here are probably the average age of bingo players. They just don't play bingo. Possibly Mah Jong? Big 2? Now I'm being stereotypical... Anyways, the overall look of the place would worry some people. But give it a chance. Just try to phonetically remember some of your favourite Dim Sum dishes in Cantonese before you go. Oh, and don't be shy, you will most likely have to share a table.

The Good:
- Cheap
- Food is not bad
- If you want retro-style Dim Sum

The Bad:
- Service? Hahahaha...
- No menus, no English
- If you dislike dives
Dol Ho on Urbanspoon

Slanted Door

Returning from munching on some Banh Mi from Saigon Sandwich, I was both full and content. Hey, I've already had breakfast at Taylor Street Coffee Shop, a burger from Hamburgers in Sausalito, a few bites at the Foodbuzz tasting pavilion and the aforementioned Banh Mi. All I wanted to do was relax in my hotel room. Maybe even take a nap. Hold on a minute, that just seems too perfect... Imagine my reaction when I got a text from Mijune that she was waiting for me at The Slanted Door. OMFG. I forgot. I totally forgot! I had been meaning to give her a call upon returning from Sausalito; but I got caught up in eating. Well, I had no choice. I quickly hauled ass over to the BART and made my way down to the Ferry Building. Give me credit, it took only a little over 15 mins to do so from Union Square. Luckily for me, Mijune is a forgiving person. Hey, she didn't kill me for winning the Maple Leaf contest over her. Or so it seems...

One good thing about meeting up later in the afternoon was the menu. Specifically, it is extremely limited with only 6 choices. Why good? Uh, I wasn't hungry and the Foodbuzz gala dinner was up next! Sure, we didn't get to sample anything substantial; but honestly, this new location of the Slanted Door is more than the food. Modern, trendy and located in a touristy area, the clientele are not only here for the food (an inadvertent jab at Kim?). Hence, we only got a Salad Roll and a Green Papaya Salad to share. Naturally, being roughly around happy hour, we both got drinks. Our bartender did a good job and we were in Margaritaville (well, figuratively). I'm not sure what Mijune had; however, my drink, Agricole Rhum Punch, was selected by the bartender. It consisted of La Favorite rhum agricole ambre, lime, cane syrup, with dashes of Angostura and allspice dram, dusted with nutmeg and served on the rocks. This was a good drink, if not a quite strong.

As you can see, the Salad Roll was a smaller version you'd find at regular Vietnamese restaurants. It was a well-executed typical salad roll. No complaints. I really enjoyed the Green Papaya Salad. It was very fresh and crunchy with a tart dressing. Again, we were happy. Now, this where it gets a bit strange. While I was munching on the salad, I didn't notice Mijune chatting with the people beside us. Then, all of a sudden, we had a Vegetarian Roll sitting in front of us. WTF? Apparently, Mijune had sweet-talked her way to someone elses' food! I did not know what to say. The girl has no shame! I guess being cute and outgoing didn't hurt either. So reluctantly, I tried the veggie roll and it was pretty good. Better than the salad roll in fact. Nice crunch and I liked the abundance of shiitake mushrooms. Okay, I know we only sampled a few appies, so the jury is still out on the Slanted Door. However, the items we did try were good, if not overpriced. Yet, a place like the Slanted Door isn't about being an inexpensive place for authentic Vietnamese food. The concept is strictly about ambiance, location and catering to a specific clientele. I'm probably not in that group; but for those who are, the Slanted Door delivers in that respect.

The Good:
- Nice decor and location
- Trendy and hip
- For the items we tried, food ain't bad

The Bad:
- Expensive
- If you were only looking for value and authentic Vietnamese food, go to Larkin Street

Slanted Door on Urbanspoon