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Friday, January 13, 2006

Seismically Unsafe, But Stylish

"Lines, lines, everywhere a line,
Blah, blah, blah, blah and something something something,
Eat this, don't eat that,
Can't you see the li-iinnnes?"

Day 5 on veggie week and I am about to call it quits. Tomorrow and the next day I'll be in the Central Valley, so who knows if I'll make it. But don't look to hear back from me until Monday.

Today I decided to skip on down to the Ferry Building to try Out the Door, the Slanted Door's take-out annex.

I noticed as I walked by the new Pancho Villa that it was booming with business. However, as soon as I stepped inside the Ferry Building, I noticed every place was swamped.

Normally, seeing lines 15-20 people deep makes me throw up my hands in frustration and settle on something quick and cheap and usually pretty gross. But as today is Friday and my boss has been away from the office most of the day, instead of throwing my hands up in frustration, I clapped my hands in the air, and then I waved them like I just don't care.

Patience actually paid off for yours truly, since at least 2 groups of 3 people in line in front of me left before they even got near the front of the line. Gee! Thanks!

For those of you outside of the Bay Area, The Slanted Door is perhaps the hottest, upscale Vietnamese restaurant in the city. Although I haven't been since they moved into the Ferry Building, both Bruce and I went when they were on both Valencia and Brannan, and back then we loved it.

In general, I've never had a bad meal there. And judging from what I had at Out the Door, the annex is just as good as the restaurant. Best part is, you don't need a membership card to get inside, but I'm pretty sure I saw a sign that said "long-haired, freaky people need not apply". Right on! Long live the Cold Neck nation!

There were only a few veggie choices and I ended up having the Lemongrass Tofu with Vegetables and rice ($7.20). I'm not sure I tasted lemongrass, but I did taste a whole other host of flavors, all very well balanced. The veggies (broccoli, enoki mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, green and yellow onions) were tender and gently prepared. The tofu was deep-fried and was mixed in with the vegetables in a moderately spicy chili sauce that was only slightly oily, but then, fat is flavor isn't it?

As I said, I really didn't taste lemongrass, but I did taste something that resembled shrimp paste, so I’m not sure how "vegetarian" this really was. The other flavors I couldn't identify and I would be really interested in knowing what they were because this dish was really good. I also really liked the fried, slightly salty green scallions they dressed up the rice with. Very tasty.

To boot, it comes in a sturdy plastic to-go container that, like Mehfil's, can be reused over and over again. They also put it in a nice brown paper bag that has jute handles so that, seen from a distance, it actually looks like I've been shopping instead of simply having food to-go!

Wow! I feel so stylish! And actually, everything that saunters through that Slanted Door has a bit of style to it, even down to the to-go chopsticks!

I feel good. I'm happy. I've totally forgotten about yesterday.



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