The Slanted Door

This sounds delicious:
The Flavors of Vietnam, Captured in a Pot, By MARK BITTMAN, NYT 04/07/2004.

“My first idea was to open a shop and make Vietnamese rice-style crepes,” he said. “But then I thought to open a Western-style restaurant, one that looked good and treated people well. And I wanted to keep the menu small. I was inspired by the cafe at Chez Panisse, where they do a few items, but do them really well. I hadn’t seen anyone do that with Asian food before.”

“When we first moved to San Francisco, we started cooking like we did at home,” he said. “That was the food I began with when we opened the restaurant, but basically I just kept taking dishes and cooking them over and over until I got them right.”

His dishes are spectacularly full-flavored. Much has been made of the French influence on Vietnamese cooking, but Vietnamese cooking was terrific before the French colonized the country. For centuries, a huge variety of fresh herbs and greens made its cuisine distinctive. Those light, fragrant flavors are offset by chilies, garlic, shallots, ginger and, of course, fish sauce, nuoc mam (you may know it by its Thai name, nam pla).

Fish sauce, countered by lightly caramelized sugar and fortified by a host of typical spices, is the backbone of clay pot, a classic Vietnamese dish. It’s a childhood favorite of Mr. Phan, one he has on his menu at all times.

Although, after checking with citysearch, it seemed the resturant has doubled its price and halved its service ever since it made the move from “the Mission” to S. Beach. :(It would be a shame if that is the case. 🙁

One thought on “The Slanted Door

  1. Go for Sunday lunch! That’s what we did. It’s extremely easy to get a reservation, and there are nobody else around, so you get great service. 🙂

    Jean’s Reply:
    How is the food? Isn’t it super expensive, too? We have great brunch place within walking distance, so we’d need some motivation to get in the car on a Sunday morning. 🙂

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