So maybe I'm easy to please, but I loved almost all the food we ate in San Francisco. Our favorite restaurant was The Slanted Door, a Vietnamese restaurant in the Ferry Building. We went twice and had the Niman ranch spareribs with honey-hoisan sauce both times. We also had shaking beef, oysters, chicken stir fry, lamb rack, lamb sausage, caramalized tiger prawns, oven-roasted duck breast, black cod. (There were four off us!) Amazing and the drinks were spectacular, especially the ginger limeade and the Phantasm: lemongrass vodka, lime and falernum.
I had the best Mexican food of my life at Colibri on Geary near Union Square. Fabulous fresh quacamole, mole poblano, carnitas with guajillo and arbol chiles salsa, nopales asados (cactus leaves), and torta de elote, a savory corn bread with bacon and a poblano pepper cream sauce--to die for. Y Margaritas divinos!
Sticking to best ever--at the Zuni Cafeon Market, I had the best gnocchis I've ever eaten! Garlic and ricotta, and based, we learned, on an Elizabeth David recipe. Also had a wonderful bowl of polenta with pamesan and rabbit with braised garlic and mustard mashed potatoes. And a couple of wonderful Bloody Marys.
A-16 on Chestnut in the Marina is worth the wait. Spinach gnocchis not quite as good as Zuni, but delicate and tasty. Cindy and I split a salsiccia pizza whih was great and some squid ink cavatelli with octopus which was the hit of the night. Beer and wine only.
We ate our only breaksfast at Dottie's True Blue Cafe. Six of us waited in line forty-five minutes--people customarily wait for two hours here--and managed to get seated together in this tiny cafe on Jones St. I had eggs and bacon with grilled corn bread and jalapeno jelly. Others were more adventurous and ordered off the specials menu on the wall. Pastries all freshly baked, imaginative frittatas. Cindy had whiskey-fennel sausage and scrambled eggs. Great place.
The only disappointment of the week was at Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Yountville, which we were really looking forward to. The steak frites was far and away the best thing on the menu our waiter said. So three of us got the steak--it was ordinary, undercooked and expensive. And the fries nothing special. Glad we didn't send even more money at Keller's French Laundry.
I also had a drink at Vesuvio's on Jack Kerouac's birthday with my friends Leonard from across the street and Sue from Sacramento, and Sue's friend Jennifer. Went to the oldest San Francisco independent bookstore, Stacy's, where I've read, only to find it empty except for the shelves they were selling--gone out of business! And in Berkeley, Cody's was closed.