Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Slanted Door (Ferry Building Marketplace)- San Francisco, CA

The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA: Doors

During a recent trip to the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco, we stopped by The Slanted Door for lunch, a modern Vietnamese restaurant that came highly recommended per a review by Kevin Hsu of kevinEats.

The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA: Interior
The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA: Interior
The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry 
Building Marketplace), CA: Lunch Menu
The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA: Placesetting

Whereas other places, like the Hog Island Oyster Co., had a substantial wait, we were able to quickly get seats at The Slanted Door, which although had room for us, was brimming with activity throughout its large, simple, modern interior. With wall-to-wall glass windows, we were able to enjoy the action happening in the bay, while being able to be seated in a pleasantly lit interior.

The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA:  Wild Mendocino Uni (set of 3, +1)
The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA:  Wild Mendocino Uni (set of 3, + 1)

We started off lunch with an appetizer of wild mendocino uni (black tobiko, avocado, cucumber) (20 USD for 3, and 6.75USD per additional spoon). Although they come in an order of 3, our waitress was able to add one more spoon of the uni so everyone in our party could have their own spoonful of uni.

The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA: Wild Mendocino Uni

These uni lobes were huge, and very sweet, creamy, smooth, and delicious. The cool, slightly crunchy, thin strips of cucumber, and smoothly pureed avocado added some further freshness and creaminess, while the black tobiko added some snappy savoriness to the uni. Excellent!

We also requested our server to bring over some fresh lemon wedges, whose juices when applied sparingly added some pleasant, light acidity to the otherwise primarily creamy, sweet, and cool dish.

The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA: Grilled Lemongrass Pork Shoulder

Up next was the grilled lemongrass pork shoulder (17 USD) from the noodles section of the menu, which came with rice vermicelli noodle, imperial roll, cucumber, mint and peanut. This was an elevated, premium version of a bun noodle dish, with quality ingredients used all over. The nuoc mam was accented with not just carrot, but also spicy chili; the imperial roll composed of crispy rice paper, pork shoulder, and big pieces of gulf shrimp; the pork shoulder tender, infused with lemongrass (and a tad too charred for our tastes);  the veggies crisp and finely cut, and the noodles bouncy and smooth.

The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA: Cellophane Noodles

One of the highly recommended items were the cellophane noodles-- to be exact, the cellophane noodles with green onion, dungeness crab, and sesame (21 USD). However, I ordered the vegeterian version of the cellophane noodles, which came with Hodo Beanery "yuba noodles," roasted chili, beech mushroom, and fresno pepper (17 USD). Our waitress described the former dish as richer with the dungeness crab, while the latter as brighter, with more punch, and notably, the two types of noodles featured.

It was much to my amusement to find out the "yuba noodles" were simply tofu skins/ bean curd sheets! Smooth and not too soft, these noodles, along with the glassy, bouncy cellophane noodles, soaked up the savory and spicy sauce. Mushrooms provided some depth, while the chilis provided additional spiciness. We liked the dish's ingredients and the creativity with the yuba noodles, but found it a tad spicy for our tastes, and by the end of the meal, we were trying to add other sauces to perk up the otherwise just spicy flavor.

The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA: Organic Chicken Claypot

One of my companions ordered the organic chicken claypot (caramel sauce, thai chili, fresh ginger, 20 USD), simply for the recognition of claypot. When the dish arrived, we were slightly dismayed by the rather small portion size-- the pot was barely half full, and was composed of just chicken with sauce!

Yet the taste of the dish just wowed us. First, all the pieces of chicken were cooked just right, and held no gristle--they were smooth, tender, juicy in a natural manner. The sauce, however, was the most inspiring-- it wasn't simply just sweet, but was accented with ginger and chili, and was quite multidimensional--slightly spicy and heated, deep from the caramel, sweet, and slightly fruity, even.
The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry 
Building Marketplace), CA: Large Rice

The chicken claypot went fabulously with the fragrant, white broken rice (large, 5 USD)--we were constantly mixing sauce and rice together for the duration of the meal.

The Slanted Door- San Francisco (Ferry Building Marketplace), CA: Green Papaya Salad

And last but not least, our green papaya salad (12 USD), which came with picked carrot, rau ram, crispy shallot, and roasted peanut, arrived at the table. This was a strong preparation, with the fried tofu soaking up the fish sauce marinade, and the crisp green slices of papaya, strips of carrot, cucumber, celery, and minty rau ram melding smoothly together in the midst of roasted peanuts and crispy shallot. I especially liked how the shallot imparted plenty of flavor, especially when mixed and integrated with the fish sauce--overall, a very balanced and light salad, with all the components melding together very nicely.

The Slanted Door served up an impressive and tasty lunch. The dishes we tried had quality ingredients, and most if not all of them had great taste and were simply scrumptious (prices were slightly expensive, but in range for caliber and price point), and the environment was bright, modern, and positive-- a pleasant place to be.


The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building #3
San Francisco, CA 94111
Tel: (415) 861-8032

The Slanted Door on Urbanspoon

P.S. Other items that seemed to be popular were the spring rolls, as well as the barbequed willis ranch spare ribs.

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