This summer has been something special. I’ve been living with my best friends without the frequently burdensome presence of relatives or school work. Days of commuting with my roommate and best friend on the 30 Stockton, sharing a set of headphones to giggle incessantly at our favorite riffs and high notes. Evenings meeting up with that same roommate on the corner of Market and Third to walk home together, overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of Chinatown, salivating as we pass the string of North Beach Italian restaurants on Columbus, and then spending the rest of the night at the dining table, eating everything in sight, until we move to our beds where we fall asleep mid-conversation.
Weekends are for sleeping in and drinking and making friends with taxi drivers, or being avoided by taxi drivers because one of your friends is yacking on the corner of Broadway and Buchanan. Fridays are spent at Off the Grid food trucks, each of us choosing our truck of choice and then my friends waiting for me patiently to stop by another three or four (because that Mac N Cheese Spring Roll is defrigginlicious!) Sundays are spent at the Farmer’s Market, hailed down by the Hummus Enthusiasts as your vegetarian friend basks in the selection of fruits and cheeses, plus vegetables she doesn’t necessarily like. My vegetarian friend who gets drunkenly pressured into just “stop being a vegetarian for a second” to try this corn dog, this magnificent corn dog, at SF Pride.
I’ve been living in San Francisco for almost three months now, and the overarching theme has been food (at least in my mind). I meet friends over food, stress-eat jars of nutella, get bored and eat cheese and crackers, try to be healthy and eat salads, panic over what to eat for the next meal. This has all been complemented, to say the least, by the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever been in a more pretentious foodie city. But let’s be rull – guilty as charged. I’m so obsessed with food that at breakfast, I plan what I’m having for dinner, and if I hear that my friends are having a meal without me, I want to make sure they go somewhere delicious and order the best things on the menu (that may be more control-freak than foodie).
Which is why I need to share with you the highlights of my summer eating in San Francisco. Below are my top restaurants, top menu selections, and top eating experiences. Enjoy 🙂
The Slanted Door
This one is probably at the top of every San Francisco foodie’s list. BUT I DON’T CARE. It’s up there for a reason. One of the pricier spots for sure and near impossible to get an early reservation unless you call at least a week ahead of time, but the food and drinks (which are quite strong) are absolutely worth it. It’s Vietnamese cuisine, but I would call it more contemporary Asian fusion. It has one of the most beautiful interiors- think mermaids with chic lighting and a cool color palette. It’s really tempting to order everything on the menu, but here are my top hits.
Crispy Imperial Rolls
Mesquite Grilled Becker Lane Pork Belly
Organic Chicken Claypot
Ginger Limeade (cocktail)
I lived a street down from Chestnut and so I made it my goal to go to every good restaurant on that street, and I would say Mamacita is one of my favorite’s on the street. It’s high-end Mexican and ALWAYS super crowded. But the hostesses are really pretty and great, and the waiters and waitresses know exactly what they’re doing. My first experience there was even better than I would have expected. I went with my vegetarian friend and we ordered chips and guacamole, inhaled them, and then ordered our respective meals, which were presented beautifully and were also delicious. The portions were just right and the service was quick. Highly recommending it for a reason.
Guacamole al Don
Pato a la Plancha Taco
One of my favorite friends from school was visiting all the way from New York, so of course I had to take her to one of my favorite restaurants. But here’s a little snippet of how that conversation went.
So I obviously had to take her to one of my favorite Thai places. Based on the hip atmosphere, you would expect the food to be really expensive, but it is perfect for a casual dinner out. We coincidentally got there around happy hour and were half-“forced” to sit in the happy hour section of the restaurant, which we did without objection, and ordered the following of my favorites.
Pad See Ew
Any of the drinks on the menu
Check out theasianwhale.tumblr.com for more food pictures taken by yours truly!!