Probably the single most famous Asian restaurant in a city filled with eateries of all types is The Slanted Door (1 Ferry Plaza, #3, 415/861-8032, www.slanteddoor.com, lunch daily 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., tea daily 2:30–5:30 p.m., dinner Sun.–Thurs. 5:30–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5:30–10:30 p.m.). If all you know of Vietnamese cuisine is rubbery summer rolls and tripe-and-tendon pho, you are in for some seriously tasty re-education.
Owner Charles Phan, along with more than 20 family members and the rest of his staff, pride themselves on welcoming service and top-quality food. Organic, local ingredients get used in both traditional and innovative Vietnamese cuisine, creating a unique dining experience.
Even experienced local foodies often remark that they’ve never had green papaya salad, glass noodles, or shaking beef like this before. The light afternoon tea menu can be the perfect pick-me-up for weary travelers who need some sustenance to get them through the long afternoon until dinner. (Vietnamese coffee: the ultimate Southeast Asian caffeine experience!)
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition