Slanted Door was founded 1995 and is located in San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building. Floor to ceiling windows and excellent views of the Bay in a busy and almost always fully booked environment is what to expect from the city’s best modern Vietnamese.
Head Chef Charles Phan has become a locally well-known chef since he opened the doors of Slanted Door. Today he has more restaurants as well, like the Moss Room and the Heaven’s Dog. All restaurants share a similar approach, with new creations of traditional Vietnamese fare with influences of other Asian and Western flavours.
It all started with Slanted Door and that is still Charles Phan’s masterpiece in his restaurant collection. The modern more upscale, yet laid back, restaurant offers local, organic and sustainable ingredients to its guests who never seem to get tired of this San Francisco classic and we can only agree. Charles Phan’s food tastes great and his focus on the essentially Vietnamese and Californian cuisine works surprisingly well.
It is busy and noisy in the big main dining room with wooden tables and chairs and a white marble floor and the same in the cocktail lounge that works as a bar, and guests can eat there as well. You can always patio dine outside if it is too busy inside and get closer to the Bay Area.
Just as you probably would have done if you were in Vietnam you should start with some great rolls as a perfect prestarter and warmup for your taste buds, but after that it will be more complicated. There is a big menu with plenty to choose so it might be a bit overwhelming and it is easy to order too many dishes, but most of the food is light and it all comes with a good selection of wines.
Slanted Door is the modern way of quality dining. The restaurant will never be a traditional fine dining restaurant, but a great restaurant is about so much more than white tablecloths and a fancy setting. The taste of Charles Phan’s food is great and by the end of the day the taste is more important than anything else.
Images courtesy of Slanted Door
Written by Andy