SF Staycation Day One-Nikko, Colibri, Slanted Door
Thanks for all of your earlier suggestions for our bi-annual San Francisco Staycation. Today was Day One. We had breakfast at our hotel, The Nikko, which I always enjoy because I love Japanese breakfast. I had a light but filling buffet with miso soup, grilled salmon, rice, selection of pickles, grated radish and nori wraps. I skipped the natto. Some things you just cannot do at breakfast. Husband had the American buffet, lots of variety, but too heavy for my taste.
We had lunch nearby at Colibri. I see this restaurant had mixed reviews on this board, and am in the thumb's up category. While we waited for our starter we enjoyed the delicious corn tortillas (best we ever had, very corn-tasty) with the selection of three salsas, mango/pineapple, tomatillo, and spicy red. Husband had the watermelon agua fresca, which was delicious. I stuck with iced tea.
We split the chicken tamale appetizer. We both really liked it. The masa had a fresh corn taste, the chicken was good, and the sauce was fabulous, especially with a bit of the mango/pineapple salsa on it.
I had the chicken posole for my main dish. It was fabulous. The broth was smooth and flavorful, with a green chili kick to it. The posole and chicken pieces were both good. It was served with a plate of add-ins that included avocado slices, lettuce, radish, chopped onion, and what I think was some dried espozote. I added it all in. It was served with a handful of delicious corn tortilla chips. Definitely a meal if you aren't starving hungry. I'd definitely order that again.
Husband had the pan seared tilipia with a delicious and light tomato sauce, slices of green olives, and capers. I had a bite and thought it was great. Just enough garlic, but not overwhelming. The sauce was not biting, just tomato-tasting. It was served with rice and perhaps two slices of what may have been roasted potato. We both ended up in the clean plate club, too full for the desserts, which looked very good. There was a chocolate cake, a sponge cake, some ice creams, a panna cotta type of dish.
Then disaster struck at dinner. We truly had one of the worst meals we've had in San Francisco, at the Slanted Door. We'd been there before for lunch and thought it was good. Tonight's dinner was so awful, we are never going back.
We were hungry when we arrived so decided to share three dishes, the yellowtail sashimi, the jicama and grapefruit salad, and the corn, green, onion, and mushroom side dish. I ordered a roll for my main meal. Husband had the shaking (or some other action adjective) beef.
The sashimi was NOT fresh. It looked off color and limp. It was losing it's shape. Yuck. The jicama and grapefruit salad would be more aptly termed red cabbage slaw with perhaps three matchstick pieces of jicama and a grapefruit segment cut into eighths. Just plain silly. The corn dish was horrible. We ordered it because the server recommended it as "corn is at the height of the season." It was heavy with oil, the corn was tough, the mushrooms invisible. Insulting.
My roll was a tasteless, bland collection of white rice, cooked flavorless pork, flaccid shrimp, and basil. The peanut sauce it was served with tasted like watered down Jiff. Revolting.
Husband described the beef dish as a few pieces of over-charred beef cubes with sauteed onions, served with a "lime dipping sauce" that was flavorless and oily.
Also, I'm hoping that by tomorrow I'll be able to hear again. LOUD. PS: The cocktails lacked alcohol, but cost $10 each.
Crossing SD off the list. It's dead to me. Buh-bye.
We also had mediocre food the one time we dined at Slanted Door; and the service was awful. My SO ordered a scotch whisky, and the waitperson brought him a clear-colored drink. When he asked the waitperson about the color, she insisted it was a whisky. He tasted it, and again informed the waitperson that it was the wrong drink. She continued to insist that he was wrong, but then finally gave up, and returned with a proper whisky. Service through the entire dinner was bad, but we stopped complaining because it was so loud, and we grew tired of shouting. I may give Slanted Door another chance at lunch, but am very unlikely to go back for dinner.
Nice to get a report about the breakfast at Anzu in the Nikko. Pep[;e are always looking for weekday breakfast buffets. I haven't eaten breakfast at the SF Nikko, but have in various countries where they seem to always have the option of a local buffet or Japanese breakfast. Never tried the latter.
This is a second negative report on both the yellowtail sashimi and a dish with corn in it at Slanted Door. Not to defend it, but it sounds like an off night. When they first opened at Ferry Plaza the food was sloppy like that. The jicama salad that was my favorite was put together badly. It took me years to try again. I'm finding these days that the kitchen has gotten comfortable with the new location andI don't usually get a flub. Too bad about the shaking beef. It never did much for me but usually the sauces are good and the meat well-prepared. Bummer. Well, at least day two of your staycation went better
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111
222 Mason St., San Francisco, CA 94102
Colibri Mexican Bistro
438 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102