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trip report-San Francisco

m
mousse Apr 29, 2009 09:42 AM

Just back from a northern Calif trip and ate well-some places better than others.

First night at Plouf was fantastic. Casual place whose highlight is 7 varieties of mussels. We chose the versions with coconut milk and the one I think was named Poulette which was a white wine, bacon, cream sauce. Both were huge portions that we kept passing back and forth. Amazing. Outside areas with heaters too. Fantastic meal with great service. Can't wait to go back.

Cafe Claude is a French bistro. The service was off to start with, but then fine the rest of the evening. My appetizer salad had the perfect amount of dressing and was tasty. Unfortunately the green peppercorn sauce on my steak was too heavy, the dauphinois potatoes too dry. A band started around 8 that made an already loud place intolerably loud. Would give this place a pass.

Zuni Cafe was a little disappointing from a food standpoint. My pork chop was good and not overcooked, but uninspired. The clam starter was fine. I think we made a mistake by not ordering the signature roasted chicken. We had a great table facing the kitchen and I kept watching them chop up the chickens and they looked soooooo good. But the table was great, the service was very good and the wine delicious. I would go back to try the signature caesar salad and chicken next time.

Slanted Door was good but a disappointment. After making the reservations I saw the Saveur magazine had listed them as one of the 12 essential restaurants in the U.S. Where did that come from? The food was good---imperial rolls(very good), pork belly (sauce too heavy) shaken beef (sauce good, meat overcooked), scallops (delicious), bok choy (fine),
--but it was just good, not essential to my well-being. The waiter was great, steering us away from the duck, which he said was not one of their best dishes. He made a great wine recommendation, Resonance Pinot Noir, which we loved. Anyway, we went there, it was good, we wont' go back.

We hit Yank Sing for lunch on Saturday and I wish I had stayed at the farmers market to eat. The food was good, but rather than just passing by with the carts, they kept stopping, interrupting us, so many times in the first 5 minutes that it really spoiled the meal. We must have had 15 offers for food within that time period. And many of the offers were dumplings. The more interesting offerings didn't start coming out until about a half hour after we sat down, and by that time I'd had enough and was annoyed. We were polite the whole time and didn't make eye contact as they came around, but they continued to literally bombard us with offers. Some might find this great--all these food possibilities at once, but not us.

  1. rworange Apr 29, 2009 09:12 PM

    I was wondering what it was about your group to rate all that attention at Yank Sing. Not only there but too many dim sum places, the problem is getting the cart to stop at the table.

    Nice reports. Next time you are in town and looking for recs, you should link to them because it gives a real feel for what you like and dont. It seems Slanted Door is a place people like or don't with little in between. I like the place, but my advice is always don't order the standard Vietnamese dishes like shaking beef but go for the seasonal California dishes with Vietnamese influence.

    -----
    Slanted Door
    Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    Yank Sing Banquet & Catering
    101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105

    Cafe Claude
    7 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

    Plouf
    40 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

    1. Robert Lauriston Apr 29, 2009 10:12 AM

      You can just wave off the carts when you're not interested.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        m
        mousse Apr 29, 2009 10:20 AM

        Yes, but constantly waving off the carts that often when we really had just sat down was annoying. We were always polite and waved off or declined, but we probably didn't get to finish one sentence between us during the lunch.

        1. re: mousse
          Melanie Wong Apr 29, 2009 12:02 PM

          Stopping and offering you food is considered good service. You might want to avoid dim sum places with cart service in the future or you'll continued to be annoyed by interruptions and wide variety of dumplings.

      2. c
        Cary Apr 29, 2009 10:08 AM

        "We hit Yank Sing for lunch on Saturday and I wish I had stayed at the farmers market to eat. The food was good, but rather than just passing by with the carts, they kept stopping, interrupting us, so many times in the first 5 minutes that it really spoiled the meal. We must have had 15 offers for food within that time period. And many of the offers were dumplings. The more interesting offerings didn't start coming out until about a half hour after we sat down, and by that time I'd had enough and was annoyed. We were polite the whole time and didn't make eye contact as they came around, but they continued to literally bombard us with offers. Some might find this great--all these food possibilities at once, but not us."

        This is typical of dimsum service with carts. For which dimsum offerings were you looking?

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