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Slanted door tonight - need recs! [San Francisco]

Two vegetarians and two meat eaters. What should we order? From what I can gather, we should definitely get the grapefruit and jicama salad, but anything else? Recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Cellophane noodles with crabmeat was the only truly transcendent dish I had there. Don't miss it.

    1. Slanted Door (i.e. non-vegetarian) spring rolls
      daikon cakes
      catfish claypot
      crispy crab and mushroom rolls (if available)
      shaking beef
      seasonal vegetable (asparagus, bok choy, etc.) w/shitake mushrooms

      Drink Austrian wines and others you won't often find elsewhere (which is most of the list). Ask for suggestions.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        I have to demur on the catfish claypot. I ordered it recently and found it really disappointing. The catfish was overly muddy and the sauce (with the exception of one blazingly hot pepper) was bland -- the caramelization I expected in a dish called "caramelized catfish claypot" was sadly lacking.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Probably too late for the Op, but no. Order anything that isn't a standard Vietnamese menu dish.

        2. I really liked their take on the Vietnamese crepe -- I'm pretty sure they have a vegetarian version on the menu (or will make one one request). I really liked the duck confit salad as well.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Great - thanks for all the recs! I'll let you know how they turn out.

            1. re: hmruthi

              Oops. Looks like the Vietnamese crepe is on the lunch menu, but not the dinner menu.

          2. My husband and I recently ate at Slanted Door for the first time . There were some definite hits/misses, but we look forward to a return visit.

            We ordered two delicious but quite tiny cocktails including a fantastic and refreshing ginger limeade made with lime vodka, a glass of riesling, half an order of imperial rolls (they don't say so on the menu, but our waiter offered to let us order a half order when we couldn't decide between several appetizers), S&P shrimp appetizer, shaking beef, lemongrass tofu, both white & brown rice, beignets with creme fraiche dipping sauce and a latte. Total after tax but before tip was $120.

            Next time, we'll replace the S&P shrimp and shaking beef with a whole order of imperial rolls and the carmelized shrimp entree. (We struggled between ordering the S&P shrimp appetizer and the carmelized shrimp entree.)

            The lemongrass tofu was absolutely delicious (even my husband who isn't a huge tofu lover really enjoyed this dish) and we both really enjoyed the imperial rolls and dessert beignets.

            I know there are many fans of Slanted Door's shaking beef, but we weren't terribly impressed, especially when you consider the $29 price tag. Ditto for the S&P shrimp which wasn't much different than the S&P shrimp sold at the deli at 99 Ranch for a fraction of the cost.

            All in all a very enjoyable evening, especially b/c our table had a great view of the bridge. I'd highly recommend this restaurant subject to a few caveats regarding which dishes to order/avoid.

            1. We were there last September & loved the veg. imperial rolls, green papaya salad & spicy beans. You can ask if they can prepare dishes without fish sauce. At my urging, DH ordered the shaking beef & he was disappointed. Not very flavorful & meat was not tender. Have fun.

              1. I really like the vegetarian versions of both the spring rolls and the imperial rolls. There's a tofu dish that I had there once that was amazing, so order that if it's on the menu (vague description, but there's usually only one tofu vegetarian dish on the menu -- may be the lemongrass tofu dish recommended above). I also love the cellophane noodles with crabmeat.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JasmineG

                  Thanks for all of the suggestions. We ended up having mostly vegetarian dishes last night, which all turned out to be great. We had the vegetarian imperial rolls, the veggie spring rolls (my personal favorite), grapefruit and jicama salad (amazing), the lemongrass tofu (very good), and the organic japanese eggplant (again, very good). For the non-veg dishes, we had the pan-seared scallops (which turned out to be the weakest dish we ordered), and the soup. We also had a bottle of austrian grüner veltliner (it was perfect with the food), and with all of this our bill for 4 people was around $150. My husband and I both would definitely try going again, although we might explore some other dishes...

                  1. re: hmruthi

                    Thanks for reporting back. We almost ordered the eggplant, so glad to hear it's as good as the tofu which we really loved. We're planning to return next month, so I've added the eggplant, spring rolls and grapefruit salad to our list.

                    1. re: hmruthi

                      Ditto ... Thanks for reporting back

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                      Slanted Door
                      Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                  2. There was a seat at the bar the other day so I stopped in for a glass of wine. For a snack I got an order of asparagus. It was very flavorful thin stalks, cut on the diagonal into smallish pieces, stir-fried with a few bits of mushroom and fish sauce. Huge portion for $11, absolutely delicious. I've eaten a lot of asparagus in restaurants in the last month or so and this was the best dish.

                    I love traditional Vietnamese food and this is not that. So what? People run the place down on that basis but you can eat really well at Slanted Door and you're not going to get vegetables of that quality at Bodega Bistro or wherever.