The Slanted Door–San Francisco
The Slanted Door is not a trendy new restaurant on the Bay. Though it moved to its current and hip location in the Ferry building several years ago, Charles Phan opened the original back in 1995, and it has thrived ever since.
It’s easy to understand the enduring quality of the Slanted Door and its Cal-Vietnamese cuisine. Each dish we sampled burst with fresh, modern flavors, made using locally sourced ingredients.
The most fun way to sample the menu, and to experience its range, is to order something from each of the deceptively simple categories (Raw, Rolls, Apps, Salads, Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Vegetables, Rice) and pass them around the table.
Favorites of the evening included scallops with mango, lemongrass and spicy fish sauce, manila clams with pork belly, spareribs with honey-hoisin sauce, shaking beef with watercress, red onions and lime sauce (the restaurant’s signature dish), lemongrass chicken with chiles and fresh ginger, caramelized prawns with garlic and chili sauce, spicy squid with pineapple, sweet peppers, jalapeno and thai basil, swiss chard with caramelized shallots and garlic, and tofu with shitake mushrooms and roasted chili.
And there wasn’t a stinker in the bunch. Of course there were some dishes that we raved about and others we wouldn’t order again. But, with the server’s assistance, we were able to enjoy the breadth and excitement that the menu offers and has kept diners happy for more than a decade.
Though we washed the spicy food down with a variety of artisan beers, the wine list is also known for its extensive selection of Reisling, which is commonly recommended with Asian cuisine.
There are certainly newer restaurants to try in San Francisco, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one with a more fun and lively vibe, nor one leaving you satisfied on so many levels.