I have to say that I had been trying to check out this place for almost 3 months. No luck. They would have a table for two, when I needed a table for 8. I would ask for a 7pm slot, and they would only have a 5.30pm or 9pm opening. Either the day, or the time never worked. It was a place everyone was talking about.
Four weeks ago, I called in to see if they had a table for two on a special Monday night. The lady was nice on the phone. She told me they had a 6pm and a 9.30pm. Neither one would work. I called back the Friday before, only to find they were completely booked. My heart sank. My husband consoled me, saying that was not the end of the world. But for me, it was not going to be the same.
That Monday, my brother and sister-in law were ready to take in our kids for the evening, but we still had no dinner reservation. I began calling at around 4pm, from Boulevard, to Delfina, to a Japanese place. No openings anywhere! At 5.30pm, totally desperate, I called back this place. The hostess asked me to call in 10 minutes. My husband told me to forget it. But I called again. She asked, ”For Two? Can you take 8.30pm?” I almost fainted.
Some of you might be familiar with arranged marriages. That was how this felt. You have heard good things about him and his family. But you have’nt met him yet. You are anxious, for it all depends on how you feel after the meeting. So I waited, not sure what to expect.
The evening finally arrived. The weather was wet and drizzling. Okay, can handle that. We dropped the kids and went to the restaurant. It was buzzing with people, waiting for their seats. The hostesses were all smiles, and nice. Points for them. We got our drinks at the bar, and waited. The hostess called us in, and took us to our table. A long table sectioned off for two people across, with huge vases. Clever idea. Was’nt too thrilled with the noise level, but okay. We had just begun to look at the menu, when she came back, asked us if we would like a private table. Great, we took it right away.
I am a crazy foodie. I like to absorb everything in a new restaurant, the people, the noise, the décor, everything! We ordered two appetizers, a salad, and two entrees. The first to arrive was daikon rice cakes. It was warm, with a crusty top, and drizzled with a simple sauce. I cleansed my palate with my citrus drink and took the first bite of my rice cake. It was divine. I finished it in a flash.
Next up was a Hue dumpling with mung bean filling. It was soft and a little sticky, but the flavors just exploded in my mouth. The green papaya salad was crisp and citrusy. Delish! My entrée was an eggplant dish with coconut milk. The coconut milk was subtle. The eggplant was cooked to perfection. My husband had a clay pot catfish, and told me that it was fabulous. We were stuffed. I had no room for the desserts. Absolute points for all the dishes!
We thanked the waiter and as we walked out, the bartender Fernando asked us if we would like some dessert wine ’on the house’. We had a sweet apple wine from Normandy. I could feel the 18% alcohol getting straight to my head. We began chatting with the bartender, when Justine the Executive Sous Chef showed up. I thanked her for the most fabulous dinner.
What a perfect way to end my fifteenth wedding anniversary, at The Slanted Door, in the Ferry Building, overlooking the San Francisco bay! So I learnt, that it’s all about being persistent, positive, and enjoying every minute of it!!