In this solo dining adventure, Gary and JP enjoy a light Vietnamese lunch at The Slanted Door in San Francisco’s Ferry Building.
By this day, our sixth in the Bay Area, JP and I were, if not food weary, then at least nearing the end of our ropes. As good as the food is out there, you get to a point where you get a little tired of eating out all the time. Still, we needed something to eat on our last day out there that wouldn’t be trying (i.e. not heavy) and wouldn’t put too much stress on our thinning wallets (a misnomer really since we’re both heavy credit card users).
With those things in mind, we decided, without ever actually giving voice to that decision, that our last day would be an Asian food extravaganza. Our morning started with dim sum and our afternoon would come to an end with phở. In the middle? That would be bún at contemporarily fancy-looking The Slanted Door at the Ferry Building. As far as the space goes, it actually reminded me of New York’s Saigon Grill, only a lot nicer. It’s sleek, trendy, hip – all words that you’d think of when it comes to a San Francisco modern Asian restaurant.
We actually arrived a little earlier than our intended reservation (okay, almost an hour earlier) but they were able to accommodate us thanks to a few no-shows. Despite it being a large space on a weekday afternoon, it’s a pretty packed house for a restaurant inside a ferry station. I guess they have nearby Financial District employees lunching to thank for that, even if it’s a bit of a walk.
With limited budgets as well as limited stomach space in mind, all we really wanted to eat were the rice noodle dishes. I had the one with tiger prawns while JP had the lemongrass pork. They came with the usual stuff you get with bún – some veggies (cucumber, lettuce, mint, bean sprouts) and some sauce. Also included were imperial rolls, which is your basic fried spring roll. It’s like any bún you’ve ever had before – really, what can one do to really elevate it – but it’s done really well here. My tiger prawns were slightly overcooked (per usual, according to taste here) but JP’s lemongrass pork was perfectly done. Best of all, it’s a nice, clean, refreshing plate of food – just what we needed.
From the very little I had at The Slanted Door, I’d be inclined to come back here the next time I’m in the Bay Area, if only to get a better, fuller impression of the place. What little we did eat were all done well if not life-alteringly amazingly good. If we didn’t do a hit and run, I’d like to think we’d have done some more damage to the menu here – after all, we really do like Asian food.
One last thing I’d like to comment on – how do people eat in the bar area on those benches and low tables? I just can’t imagine trying to eat while hunching over to reach my food. That might just be me though.