Thanks to all the SF hounders. I just returned from 6 days in San Fran, and 4 nights in Cambria.
We had a great trip, and some fab food, helped mostly by recomendations from the board. So thanks to all. I cannot remember half of the places we ate, but for the ones I can, here are my thoughts.
- The Great
- Kokkari - This was our best meal. Lovely setting close to the Embarcadero. Great service, and everything we ordered was sublime. We had a long, leisurely and boozy lunch, but ordered from both the lunch and dinner menu. They also had a very interesting wine list.
I loved the prawn starter. They were the most succulent, best cooked I had the whole trip. They were cooked in a fantastic mediteranian spicy sauce with a hint of feta. The portion was large with 6-7 large prawns in a teracotta dish. Still sizzling when it hit the table, but never felt overcooked, one of my usual complaints about prawns. This was the best prawn dish I have tasted in a while. For Entree I had the whole cooked fish, seabass. This was cooked a point, flavoursome, still leaving room for the fish to win.
My companion had the meatballs which he loved. But is still talking about the daily special of Pork chops which had been marinated for 2 days. The meal was outstanding, and if I lived in San Fran, would be a regular visitor.
-A 16 - We had a fantastic lunch here. The pizza is worth the trip alone, and salads are fantastic.
-Sens - This was another outstanding meal. The setting seemed very buisness like, with little atmosphere the evening we dined, as there was a large corporate do on. However, despite initial reservations, we had a great experience. This type of fusion, both in Kokkari and Sens really worked for us. I cannot recall exactly what we ate, but my companion loved the steak, and I loved the mediteranian spreads, flat bread and sea bass again.
-Le Colonial - Decent Thai food in a lovely garden setting. We had a large selection, and found most dishes to be done well. Not the most authentic Thai, but pleasant, well cooked food in a nice setting.
-BetelNut- I loved this. Again a fusion/Thai sort of place in the Marina. The lettuce cups were really good, as was all the seafood. The cauliflower appitizer was one of my favourite things of the trip.
-Cafe Claude - Really decent and well priced bistro french lunch. Good service, crisp/fresh food.
-Zuni - The sunday brunch here was very good. The service less so. Very chilled, nice brunch atmosphere, with a great and no so traditional choice of brunch options. The salads/pizza/pork chop were very decent.
-Epic Roasthouse - We had some bar food here the night we arrived. The sausage sandwich was fantastic, but I felt the burger left a bit to be desired. Some of the skewered options are tasty, as bar food.
- Perrys - Due to jeg lag, and early starts, we breakfasted here most mornings. My companion is a staunch diner breakfast sort of guy and loved it. He said the French toast/tortilla scramble were top notch.
- The downright dissapointing.
- Foreign Cinema - I had made a reservation here ahead of time, and was looking forward to the meal. The setting is fantastic, the service good, but the food was we felt, very dissapointing. The crab brandade starter was sickningly heavy after a couple of bites, very sweet and clawing.
I had one of the fish entrees, I think Halibut, but it came so rare as to be cold and uncooked. Having sent it back twice, I gave up. My companion ordered their 'special' chicken. He couldn't eat it, it was so greasy. This is a guy who loves KFC! All in all a very dissapointing experience, and our worst meal of the trip.
- Slanted Door. - I had read the mixed reviews here, but we decided to try. The food is ok. Nothing earth shattering, nothing terrible. But the room is far too crowded, the tables too close together, and the overall experience was lacking.
Out of Town.
After San Fran, we drove down the coast for 4 nights and stayed in Cambria. I will post seperately there, but felt the Black Cat Bistro was worth a mention here for any of you who travel.
This is a fantastic bistro that we ate in 3 times in our 4 days. Their happy hour bar snacks comprise of braesola wrapped around ripe warmed nectarines in balsamic reduction/tempura avocado, etc.
The menu is small, well thought out, and excellently executed. We tasted most things off the menu, and I would return in a heartbeat. It is small, friendly, and the waiter is the patron who takes great pride in everything they serve. Worth the drive.
Thanks again to all who gave great advice and helped us eat so well on our trip to San Fran.