I had a bad restaurant experience today so I thought I’d write about all the food I miss in San Francisco. I’m a creature of habit with food — it’s so easy to get bad food and it breaks my heart to eat awful food so I tend to eat from “safe” places I know I love.
- Pho from Thanh Tam II at Valencia and 17th (577 Valencia St, 94110). The other food I’ve had here has been mediocre, but they have the best pho. I sometimes have it delivered to my house, but it’s better to have it at the restaurant because it arrives hot and fresh to your table. They have the most delicious broth and their meatballs are so flavorful. I usually get the special combination beef noodle soup (pho) with the flank steak, rare steak, tripe, and meatballs and I wish I could have it here in Irvine (it’s been so cold lately!).
- Chicken liver crostini from Beretta at Valencia and 23rd. I also like their argula and fennel salad. I find most of their food to be just ok, but I love these 2 dishes with a glass of red wine especially after a hard, early afternoon workout on a weekend day before the crowds start forming for dinner and the place is mostly quiet and I’m mad for a protein fix.
- Carpaccio from Kuleto’s on Powell in Union Square. I have tried carpaccio in a lot of places in southern California and I can’t find anything that comes remotely close to the one at Kuleto’s. It comes with a lovely little Cannellini bean salad, citrus vinaigrette, and two perfectly spiced shrimp. For $13.50 you cannot find carpaccio this good anywhere else. I’ve paid much more for much crappier carpaccio in a lot of different restaurants.
- Chilled tripe at Pizzeria Delfina at 18th and Guerrero. I usually have this with one of their salads (usually the tricolore insalata) but it’s really the tripe I’m there for.
- Kiji shooters from Kiji on Guerrero at 22nd. The oyster shooters with uni and quail egg….mmmm. I love everything at this place. I don’t have a Japanese place in socal yet that I love as much as I love Kiji. Their fish is wonderful, their service is great, the atmosphere is lovely, and Eddie (the owner) is awesome. I miss you, Kiji!
- The white chocolate raspberry bread pudding from Nordstrom Cafe & Bistro on Powell. I’m picky about bread pudding and don’t like most of them, but this one is rich and heavenly, and much too decadent to finish, but luckily makes good leftovers :). I also miss that Nordie’s cafe because they have a full bar and most of them don’t.