Upon entering The Slanted Door, wonderful smells saturate the air. While the chef and owner, Charles Phan, is originally of Chinese descent, his time growing up in Vietnam most heavily influences his menu. Nicknamed for being “the inventor of modern Vietnamese cuisine”, his dishes are inspired by Vietnamese street food with heavy Bay Area influences. His menu is much more selective than that which you would typically find at a Vietnamese restaurant. Additionally, the wine list and dessert options are emphasized here. The most memorable part of my meal was actually the peanut butter crumble ice cream. House-made peanut butter is the base of this freshly made ice cream, which gives it a contrastingly sticky and creamy consistency.
Thanks to my co-worker and fellow foodie friend, Nicole, I came to dine with a mission and a very specific list of what to order (i.e. lemongrass tofu, but ask for no pressed tofu!). Since everything on the menu is tasty, it helped to have a narrowed down list. We started with lightly fried daikon rice cakes. These reminded me of my first time trying daikon cakes in Singapore- a truly wonderful dining memory. Next we had to try the cellophane noodles with dungeness crab, seeing as 7×7 magazine rates it as one of the top 10 dishes in SF. This dish can be summed up as delicate, delicious and “dungen-y”. The brussel sprouts would have converted any hater of this vegetable into a lover as it was paired with pioppini mushrooms in an amber-colored sauce. Needless to say I enjoyed my meal very much. While I think the dishes could have used a little more heat, as is typically found in Vietnamese street food, overall this is a restaurant that must be tried by any local or passerby.