Tadich, Swans and oysters
Just returned home to Boston after a great week in your wonderful city. Had fabulous food at Chez Panisse and Yank Sing, both as good as ever. Also enjoyed having breakfast again at Sears and dinner at Greens.
Had a weird experience at Tadich Grill. After a not unexpected long wait for a table, we took seats at the counter and gave our order to the waiter who, in classic Tadich style, acted as if being waited on by him was a great honor. Our food though -- petrale sole and a seafood salad -- was quite good, and the back and forth banter with our rather tedious waiter was actually fun. It was easy to throw him off his surly pose since he was clearly a verbal bully who could dish it out but not take it.
Being an oyster lover, I asked him to bring us a half dozen. I couldn't believe how bad they were, bland with no taste of the sea whatsoever. After telling the waiter that they were the worst oysters I had ever had, he said that I must be from the east coast (true). I asked him what that had to do with anything and told him I'd had great oysters on the west coast many times over the years. After much pedantic babble on his part, the waiter told me that Tadich washes their oysters in tap water before serving them (!!!) and that might affect their taste. No might about it I said. Told him the practice was insane and suggested that Tadich could save some money by simply running the oysters through their dishwasher before serving them.
The next day, at Swans, I had a large order of absolutely fabulous shrimp Louie. Told Eric, the great counter man at Swans, what had happened the night before at Tadich. He was appalled and after a couple of minutes he gave us a plate of absolutely wonderful oysters (at no charge), saying that he didn't want us to go away thinking that real San Fanciscans didn't know how oysters should be handled.
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