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San Francisco Trip Review (Quince, Dosa, Canteen)

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shanshan Jun 3, 2010 09:34 AM

A quick trip to San Francisco and wanted to share my thoughts:

Quince:
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Vegetarian tasting menu was essentially selection of dishes from the regular menu and could have been assembled a la carte for cheaper than the tasting menu price. Overall was very good, but ended on a flat note:

Artichoke Veloute: very good/great
Zucchini Alla Carbonara: very good/great (feels like just missing something slight)
One other pasta dish (?pasta/asparagus/farm egg): very good (I only got a little to try)
Tortelloni con due ricotta: I found to be bland, especially after prior dishes

Traditional tasting menu (also ending on a flat note)
maine lobster (corn, english pea and lemon verbena essence): superb
pasta alla chitarra (sardine, eggplant and basil): very good (has potential to be great)
tajarin with lamb and zucchini: OK (has potential to be very good, but missed for me)
squab & foie gras (cabbage, chanterelle): inedibly salty

Net net, I thought it was a very good meal, but perhaps not worth the $ for a tasting menu, and going a la carte is a better avenue. Unlikey I would be back unless I was in SF for a longer period of time and could spread out the restaurants. On a side note, decore and service were very good. If I lived locally I would most likely come back at least once.
Somes dishes were great, a few missed, but most were good/slightly different enough to keep it interesting.

Canteen:
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Went for lunch. Had the cream of corn soup and the schnitzel w/ cabbage and egg. Corn soup was very good.. very light and luscious.. could be construed as "milky" but did not bother me.. I would have put in dabble of some other flavor on top (similar to the basil oil you see on tomato soup) but that is personal preference. The schntizel was not what I expected: deep fried schnitzel that looked oily with a poached egg and cabbage slaw on top in a mustard/paprika type sauce -- and I don't really like poached eggs vs. better cooked peers. However, it was delicious comfort food. Crispy, meaty with a egg running around with a nice cut from the sauce/slaw. I would order the schnitzel again for sure.

Dosa
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Yes it is overpriced vs. its peers, however it was very good. Paid $38 for a lunch that my favorite spot in NY would cost $28. I do prefer my favorite spot more, that said Dosa did pretty well. Ordered the pani-poori as appetizer.. thought the mint water was a bit strong and could have been diluted a bit, but still was was good. Ordered a mint chuntney dosa and a mini-uttapam plate. Enjoyed the mini-uttapam variety (what a great idea!) and really enjoyed the dosa. Sambar was rich and flavorful (albeit a hair big on spice, similar to the mint water).. and I thought worked very well with their particular style of tomato and cocunut chutney (helped cut the spice). I had no gripes at all paying more for a quality south indian meal and would be back if I lived in the area (and I imagine a regular depending on the other offerings in the area).

Late night San Francisco Burrito
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Went to El Farrolito at 1AM. As of now, I don't understand the San Francisco burrito hype. Will have go back again sometime and try another place. The burrito I had had tough meet (carne asada) and too much sour cream.. was indeed a fast food burrito and not memorable at all. Terrible way to end a night.

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