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Slanted Door vs. Ana Mandara?

Any thoughts on which is a better meal for a special, romantic dinner for two, if we're looking at San Francisco Vietnamese restaurants?

Any better ideas?

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  1. If you want romantic and quiet, go to Ana Mandara. Bong Su might be another option. Slanted Door is pretty loud and cramped.

    1. Slanted Door is one of the last places I'd visit if I was going for "romantic".

      1 Reply
      1. re: swag

        Strong second on that. I like the food and love the wine list, but to me the atmosphere is 1960s airport departure lounge.

        Of SF's Vietnamese restaurants, Ana Mandara is probably closest to what I'd want for a special romantic dinner.

      2. If you are going for the food, hands down, the Slanted Door. the food is so much better than Ana Mandara. It can be romantic if you get a table along the windows that face out to the Bay. Make sure that you request that when you make the reservation and then get there a little early to be sure that you get your table.

        1. Definitely Ana Mandara - lovely ambience, dark romantic corners.

          Slanted Door reminds me of Pike Place fish market in Seattle - the din & the crowds are almost unbearable. But I like the food better at Slanted Door.

          1. The atmosphere at Ana Mandara is nice indeed, but I'll take The Slanted Door, hands down. The food is so much better, fresher, made with care.

            1. I would say definitely Ana Mandara. It is romantic. It would be a real stretch to call Slanted Door romantic even though it's somewhat upscale. I think the food in the two restaurants is comparable -- Slanted Door might be slightly better, but it depends on what you get and both places have good food. Although if I were just going for the food I'd go to PPQ Dungeness Island instead.

              1. Le Colonial and Bong Su are both better in terms of food and atmosphere. Slanted Door is more of a party atmosphere and Ana Mandara is more touristy.

                1. Am I the only one that thinks that Slanted Door doesn't live up to the hype? The food is good, but not great, and it's an absolute zoo. It was fun back in the 90's when it was on Valencia, but even then it seemed like we were paying more for fancy china than better food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mr_morcilla

                    You are not the only one. Completely agree. I liked it a lot on Valencia, but in retrospect maybe you are right.

                  2. I much prefer the food at Slanted Door, but the atmosphere is certainly not romantic. There are a lot of hard surfaces and the restaurant is very noisy. Ana Mandara is a pretty room - dark (but no view), but I didn't think much of the food. So if food is the priority, go to Slanted Door. If the romantic setting is the priority, Ana Mandara.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dinnerout

                      Slanted Door is downright ANTI romantic, imho. Unless you are a very serious foodie, the food at Ana Mandara is good. despite it's proximity to touristy fisherman's wharf, for romance it also has the advantage of giving you an opportunity to stroll along the Bay, *away* from he tourists, toward aquatic park.

                      Le Colonial would be my second choice for romance - it's quite lovely - and if you made a special request i am sure they could find a quiet corner for you, which Slanted Door certainly could not do.

                      Slanted Door is a great place to break up with someone - the food would be comforting, and your partner might not hear everything you're saying...