Trip report (long)
Fri evening, midnight-ish
We find Katana-ya right down the street from where we are staying. Ramen sure did hit the spot. Totally packed but we managed to walk right in. Spicy veggie ramen (I chose the meat broth!) for me and the Katana-ya house ramen for B. I wish my broth was a bit more rich and a slurp of B’s broth was more what I was looking for (could it have been the slabs of pork and chicken katsu in his??). Pitcher of Sapporo draft which we couldn’t finish. Tab was about $40.
Sat late morning
We end up at Ferry Building. Hog Island is a zoo so we settle on Ferry Plaza seafood right next door. Mussels with Thai spices and herbs were ok but the broth needed more fat/coconut milk and it was too thin for our taste. The mussels themselves were plump and fresh. Salmon tacos were nothing special and my friend kept picking bones out of her smoked trout sandwich. $110 for food plus three glasses of wine and two beers. Oh well, B and I were happy to be sitting outside for lunch in Feb! Latte and cappuccino from Blue Bottle – I enjoy BB but honestly, I think the coffee from our local place, Barismo, is generally more nuanced and complex.
Anchor and Hope. I refer you to my post on a different thread. Otherwise, this post would be pages long! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/834355
We walk around the city after checking out the Academy of Sciences and decide to head in the direction of HRD. It’s about 11:15 am when we walk right by and it is not busy at all. Why not? Tofu kimchee burrito for me and the roast pork one for B. The “nice guy behind the counter” really lives up to his reputation. Attentive and seemed genuinely interested in delivering great customer service. Space is really neat – it must get crazy in there at the height of lunchtime. This was the first time we’ve ever tried Korean tacos and I was excited. However, maybe because I grew up eating bibimbap, I wasn’t bowled over by my burrito. B liked his crispy roast pork, but he’s an honorary Korean, so he also felt the same as I did. Don’t get me wrong – we loved the place and want to go back on our next trip to SF but I think I would try something else. The guy sitting next to me wolfed down his fried cod sandwich. He used to work down the street from HRD and that was his go-to order. THAT’S what I’ll get next time! B wants to try the Mongolian cheessteak. Less than $20 and we rolled ourselves outta there.
We decide on Lers Ros. B and I think it’s the best Thai we’ve had in the States since eating at Pok Pok in Portland, OR a few years ago. We went with all the hits! Green papaya with grilled shrimp was almost too spicy for B and my friend so I ended up eating most of it. I haven’t had papaya salad this spicy (and delicious) since Thailand. The shrimp was limp and forgettable and definitely not grilled so I would skip that add-on next time. Duck larb was tangy and whetted the appetite for more of the wonderful Thai flavors that we love (I stole a bite of the onion and herbs). Whole fried trout lived up to all the reports here. Friend’s red curry was nothing special.. Same for the pad see-ew I haven’t seen the brown rice mentioned here at all and I must say, it’s some of the best brown rice I’ve ever had. I can’t explain it – chewy, nutty, cooked perfectly. A mix of two different varieties. I could’ve eaten just the rice alone. One of the best meals we’ve had in a long time here in the States.
Mon late morning
Latte, cappuccino, scone and muffin at Sightglass coffee. I can’t believe we’ve never been here. The space is so cool! We sat up on the second floor and enjoyed looking down at the baristas and the beautiful people moseying in for late morning coffees. We were planning on an early dinner with another friend (~6 pm) so we didn’t eat much the rest of the day, except for some curry fries at some Irish pub near the hotel.
Don’t laugh, but we decide against Flour and Water and Gracias Madre and return to Lers Ros! The pork shoulder was a little too fatty for B and our friends, but it was still declared delicious by them. The fried tofu triangles tasted even better in the tum yum koong that my friend ordered. I found the soup to be boring, but throwing the tofu in there helped boost it a bit. Pad kee mow was nothing to write home about. And, of course, we had to get the whole fried trout again. And it was still delicious.
Tues lunch at SFO. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to have one last meal in the city. We settled on Burger Joynt near our gate. And it was pretty good! My veggie burger with grilled bun (we love that!) was topped with fresh tomato and lettuce. The thick-cut fries were quite tasty. The guy manning the grill really took time and care to put our burgers together – we’re definitely not used to that here in Boston!