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San Francisco: Slanted Door



Another post that wasn’t transferred over…
Originally posted to The Spirit World, June 16th 2006


The Slanted Door is one of those places that has been around for awhile and has appeared on all kinds of "best of" or "must see" lists. On my trip to San Francisco it was one of many places I had tucked away in my travel folder as a place I might check out.
On Saturday, after wandering around at Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero for most of the morning and into early afternoon, I took a little break in my room and then decided to head back to the Ferry Terminal to check out the famous Saturday Market. I blew it though. When I arrived there was nary a market stall to be found! I looked high and low but didn’t see a thing. Apparently, the market only lasts until 2:00 and I arrived about 3:30. I was so disappointed. As I made my way up and down the various nooks and crannies of the Ferry Building, I did a more thorough search of one area that I’d previously skipped over. As I came to the end of the hallway I caught a glimpse of a bar through a glass door. A closer look revealed an interesting place, so I made my way to the front door to enter. It was then I saw the name of the place – The Slanted Door.
Now in a modern setting, the restaurant was originally located in the Mission District in a building where the door didn’t quite meet the jam squarely. Hence the name, The Slanted Door. At this time of day the restaurant was busy but not packed. Lunch service was over but dinner service had not yet started. Food choices were limited to the bar menu, which had a nice selection of food and several specialty cocktails. I noticed that the cocktail menu made good use of the Hangar One vodkas – that was a nice little circumstance, considering my field trip on Friday. I was happy to see the Jasmine was one of the special offerings and so started with it, while perusing the food options.
The bartender made the drink directly in front of me and so I was able to watch the care and craft that went into the drink. And, once served to me, it was evident in the first sip. This was a really beautiful Jasmine! For a little nibble to go along with my cocktail, I ordered the Slanted Door Spring Rolls. While waiting for them to arrive I took a look at what others were eating and noticed the beautiful presentations and how fresh and inviting everything looked.
I was not to be disappointed when my springrolls arrived. Filled with pork, mint, peanut sauce and beautiful whole shrimp, the rolls were fresh and clean, providing sustenance that invigorated. My only disappointment was that I could not finish the entire order and it seemed such a waste to let them go!
I decided to order one final cocktail that had caught my imagination when first looking over the menu. It was called a Phantasm and captured my attention for two reasons. First, it was made with lemongrass infused vodka and second, it was made with Falernum, an ingredient I’ve recently learned of but don’t see in too many cocktails.
I had been talking with the bartender off and on througout my time at the bar but she was fairly busy. About this time a woman sat next to me and we started chatting. Turned out she was waiting for a "blind date" or at least a first date with a man she’d met on She was rather nervous and already planning that it wouldn’t work out. Interesting way to start a date, but I guess it’s probably the way many people approach the situation.
The Phantasm was interesting and even good but the Falernum actually added too much sweetness for my taste. The lemongrass vodka was a very nice element. I like the idea of this cocktail but probably wouldn’t order it again – espcially since The Slanted Door listed many other specialty cocktails that sounded good. About the time I was finishing my Phantasm, the woman’s date arrived. As I paid my check and exited they were engaged in an animated conversation – maybe there was hope after all!
The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building #3 (Northeast corner)
San Francisco

  1. renay permalink
    05-Jun-2008 5:45 pm

    los great and probably taste great.

  2. Culinary permalink
    06-Jun-2008 7:29 am

    Hi renay!  If you ever get to San Fran I would try it out!  Next time I go down, I\’ll be back… ;-)

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