Knowing that Charles Phan would be one of my guests on Press:Here this week, I figured I should probably try out his restaurant Slanted Door ahead of time.
That and it was a great excuse to have a really expensive lunch. Kym McNicholas, reporter for Forbes, was kind enough to help us research through eating. She also took the pictures.
When waiter Mike came to take our order, we refused to order. Instead we said "you bring us a bunch of great stuff." He brought us great stuff, some of the dishes for which Slanted Door is best known.
The Wild California Yellow tail with crispy shallots and Thai basil is (eek!) raw fish. If you're a Californian you're used to this.
If you're from the Midwest like me, it's a bit intimidating. But I rolled it up and popped it in my mouth. Actually quite good -- not fishy at all, and the texture differences between fish and greens was interesting.
We had the restaurant's signature spring rolls and completely forgot to take a picture of it.
Vietnamese crêpe with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts and onions.
Certainly the messiest of the dishes, in which you wrap the crepe in lettuce with a bit of mint and dunk it in the sauce. My least favorite, not for any reason than something has to be the least favorite.
Grass-fed Estancia Shaking Beef, cubed filet mignon, sausalito springs' watercress, red onions and lime sauce
This is Slanted Door's signature dish. To see chef and owner Phan in the kitchen preparing this dish, see the Feast.
You can, incidentally, buy this dish as a kit. Apparently this is a very popular thing to buy around Valentine's Day, when your significant other wants a little Shaking Beef (oh grow up) but you can't get reservations.
This tastes about exactly the way you'd think if you were to watch it cook: take high quality beef, cook it for a short time with onions and lime sauce over very high heat. Delicious.
One should note delicious, but not inexpensive. $16 for the raw fish dish, $9 for the spring rolls, $12 for the crepe and $34 for the Shaking Beef left a mark on the expense account.
Then again, we did tell the waiter to bring us anything. You could eat at Slanted Door for less, but I think to do so would miss the point. This is an indulgence, and well worth the expense.
Slanted Door did not pay for the lunch. In fact, we used Open Table to reserve a spot. We're pretty sure the restaurant did not know we were there.