The menu offers kicked-up Vietnamese fare, with a bit of French flair, and the best part, uses local and seasonal ingredients from nearby farmers. The food is incredibly flavorful, so savory that it makes your salivary glands ache. It’s just the right balance of spice, sweetness, sour, and umami.
To start, try a half dozen Kumamoto oysters, the signature spring roll stuffed with shrimp and pork, and the grapefruit jicama salad with candied pecans. The spring rolls were light and delicate, flavored with mint and basil.
For the entrees… what is not good? I’ve really enjoyed the Catfish in a Claypot, stewed catfish in a savory-sweet, deep caramel sauce. The Caramelized Prawns come in a similar sauce, but with hints of smokiness and heat that compliment the sauteed onions and garlic. I suggested that Mr.S order the Shaking Beef dish, a very simple stirfry of traditionally, sirloin tips in a sweet and garlicky sauce. The Slanted Door’s version uses filet mignon cubes from nearby Meyer Ranch beef. It was perfectly cooked, crispy and caramelized on the outside, juicy within, tossed in a soy vinaigrette, with a side of lime and pepper dipping sauce. It’s called shaking beef, by the way, because of the way the wok is shaken and moved during the cooking process. (If you’re interested the recipe for the dish can be found here.) Though I’ve only tried a few dishes from the menu, I trust that everything else is equally fresh and well-seasoned.
Consistency. I believe that is what helps to make the Slanted Door so popular. Consistently good food and spot-on, efficient service staff. Many such restaurants get their limelight, but quickly let their guard down and start to get sloppy, which is a dangerous, perilous slope in the restaurant industry. The Slanted Door is not one of them. It’s a clean, tight package that delivers time and again. This is also one of the few restaurants that I’ve encountered who has made Asian fusion cuisine really work. Very few frills, no over-the-top “deconstructed” plates here, just solid food with robust flavor. And along the way, it’s helped to support local agriculture and economy. What can be so bad about that?
The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building #3
San Francisco, CA 94111