As promised, here are a few of the places that I ate at last week in SF. Check them out next time you go.
Spices: Authentic Chinese food that will boggle your mind. Everything we ate was out of this world, but the cold pickles and chilled sliced beef tendon with chili oil killed me! The crispy chicken with chilies was superb, hot pots stunningly assembled. Go to the original little 18-seater, which is a chef clubhouse late at night. Also nearby in this Richmond neighborhood is Halu, an awesome new Japanese restaurant that I had a few bites in and I can’t wait to eat more there.
Swan Oyster Depot: Lunch only; I had a crab and oyster pig-out. It was definitely worth the wait.
Benu: French Laundry alum Corey Lee is only eight weeks into his solo career and this restaurant needs to be on everyone’s go-to list. The menu changes all the time, but if you order the tasting menu you can avoid the decision making pressure.
Humphrey Slocumbe: Best scoop shop I have been to in years. Worth a trip for the cantaloupe ice cream alone. Its coffee ice cream is even better than Prince Puckler’s in Eugene, my previous “best ever.”
Aqua: Just re-opened. Michael Mina is better than ever. Stunning seafood palace.
Lersros: Best Thai food I’ve had in years. The minced roasted duck larb is beyond indescribable and should be the benchmark against which all versions of this dish should be measured. Big menu; I went twice and ordered 10 items. No duds. Enough said.
Slanted Door: Say what you want, and, yes, some of the dishes are mellowed and modernized but this restaurant (both locations) is AMAZING. Hamachi with crispy shallot, ribs, noodles, rolls, oysters, spicy caramelizes shrimp, I could go on and on . . . what a great meal. A must.
Incanto: One of my favorite places to eat in the country, not just in SF. Chris and Mark run a tight ship, and even if you don’t like snout to tail eating, this restaurant never fails to thrill. Pine broth with matsutake and shaved abalone was best thing I ate all trip in SF. Ditto his torchon. If you are not following @offalchris on twitter, you should. He posts pics almost every day of his latest creations.
Betelnut: I couldn’t make it over there so a kindhearted concierge brought me Beggars Chicken late one night. Had they been open I would have rushed over there and ate three more plates of it. Wow.
Delfina: My fave regular pit stop for handcrafted simple farm-to-table fare. I adore this place. And by the way . . . on my last visit to SF I crushed my food jones at flour+water (killer pasta and pizza, truly innovative). Don’t miss that place either.