the slanted door

2:39 PM Sian Mei Yeoh 0 Comments

i was thrilled when i was given a choice of choosing a restaurant in san francisco for my birthday. but i didn't want to go somewhere too expensive but i wanted to cross off a restaurant from my sf wishlist. the two places i narrowed down were between sotto mare and the slanted door but you've figured out who won that battle.

located within the ferry building (also one of the reasons why i chose this place), i figured this restaurant would be a great choice for a light lunch so we could do other snacking since there are other little food places within the marketplace. also, it houses one of 7x7 magazine's the big eats: 100 things to try before you die in sf - cellophane noodles with dungeness crab. well, at least i know what i am gonna order at the restaurant.

it took us a while to find where the slanted door was. the restaurant itself has both indoor and outdoor seating. fully clad in floor to ceiling glass windows, the decor itself was modern contemporary with an asian flair and the beautiful backdrop of the pier. it also allowed the warm sunny rays to stream through and brighten up the whole room. similarly, the decor reflected the style of food they offer which is their modern interpretation of vietnamese cuisines.

we managed to get seats at a booth that has the view of the bridge and the pier which was really lovely.

salad :: green papaya | pickled carrot . tofu . rau ram . roasted peanuts ($11)

this was one of the few things i wanted to try besides the cellophane noodle. i love, love this salad - it was so delicious and i thought it was probably my favorite dish of the day. it was awesome - it was refreshing from the crisp unripened papaya that absorbed the sweet, tangy and savory notes (think partially from fish sauce) of the vinaigrette. then you get the surprise of the nuttiness from the peanuts for another textural crunch and the soft tofu which was also coated by the vinaigrette. on top of that, there was the fresh crunch of the celery, carrot and the cucumber.  

seafood :: cellophane noodles | green onion . fresh dungeness crab meat . ($19)

i was so eager to try the cellophane noodles that i've been talking about trying it since i chose the slanted door. how did it fare? my vote is... not bad. while the dish was good and seasoned well, it wasn't as outstanding as i was expecting it to be. there was a decent amount of crab meat where some of it retained their natural sweetness but others were borderline salty which somewhat masked the freshness of the crab. the flavors gradually became monotone and i was left hoping for some kind of textural difference. perhaps if there were more crab meat, the sweetness of it might have elevated the flavors of the dish. as i said, good but did not have a wow factor i was hoping for.

noodles :: grilled organic chicken | over rice noodles . imperial roll . cucumber . mint . ($14)

i had a few small bites of this noodle dish just to try the flavors. surprisingly, it reminded me of a deconstructed vietnamese spring roll except with chicken. the accompanying sauce was sweet and tangy with a dash of fish sauce which is a must with the dish because it would be bland without it.  the sauce really does bring all the flavors and ingredients together. oh and the chicken itself was moist and tender. overall, a pretty tasty dish.

the slanted door displayed their modern and delicious takes on vietnamese classic dishes. i really liked the ambiance of the restaurant and i enjoyed the food :) however, it was a bit pricey for the serving size but the view of the bay was fantastic and the use of fresh ingredients was a plus. is this enough to earn a return visit? i'm still on the fence about that but i am tempted to have a second visit just for the green papaya salad.

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others
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