The best Asian restaurants in San Francisco are The Slanted Door and sister restaurants Out the Door: Union Square at Westfield Center and Ferry Building.
Excellent fresh food with unique tastes is prepared at the Slanted Door. The restaurant integrates fresh California ingredients with Vietnamese
cuisine. After learning to cook from his mother in Vietnam, Phan learned about the combination of French, Chinese, and Vietnamese cuisines.
A very popular restaurant that requires planning both for the poor parking situation (cabs recommended) and the hordes of diners. In a unique
renovated two story comfortable loft, the food is prepared in an airy center island. Plan on sharing the small dishes with friends. The chef-owner, Charles Phan,
was a former architecture student and computer software salesman but has hit the jackpot with the Slanted Door.The space features velvet banquettes, stained wood
chairs, and giant paintings.
This restaurant is the place to be (count the cell phones...). Don't let the grungy location in the trendy Mission or non-descript exterior
fool you. This place is excellent and the service is flawless. So many different spicy foods, many featuring great vegetable accompaniments. Highly, highly
recommended. The plates are from Thailand, the recipes are from mom, and inspiration is from the streets of Thailand. This review is based on two separate visits
during different years -- excellent on both tries... Food highlights include:
Starters - Fresh Spring Rolls stuffed with shitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, and mint $5 and Vietnamese Crepes ($6).
Claypot - Chicken with caramel sauce, chile, and fresh ginger
Fresh Maine crab and cellophane noodles with garlic and green onions
Steamed filet of seabass with lily buds, shiitake mushrooms and fresh ginger
Grilled swordfish with ginger soy sauce
Caramelized shrimp with garlic and Asian pear salad
Thai (whole!) snapper with ginger, garlic, basil and chili sauce. The snapper is filleted at your table
Noodle Soups - Seafood or Chicken for $6
Vermicelli - Various grilled meats and seafood for $7. Ginger beef vermicelli. Grilled chicken or shrimp with imperial rolls.
Salad - Especially recommended for the green papaya ($6) and grapefruit jicama with candied pecans
Rice - Many grilled meats, seafood, and spicy foods for around $7
Teas - Many excellent choices including green oolong, yunnan black, chrysanthemum, and tikuanyin...
Wine - Over 60 international wines with great hints on combinations with dishes...
I highly recommend the Slanted Door with a rating of "A". Don't miss it. Total price is about $30/person.
Ferry Building at Embarcadero and Market . 415-861-8032