On November 5th Sam became a U.S. citizen. We attended the Oath Ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Masonic Center. 1454 new American citizens later, we were looking for a place to have a celebratory lunch. The destination: The Slanted Door in the Ferry Building Plaza. This hip, popular modern Vietnamese restaurant was bustling with the lunch time crowd — mostly business people but occasional guests simply there to enjoy the city.
Big, bright and open with a view of the Bay (we could see the Bay Bridge from our seats), the atmosphere was refreshing and energizing. The wait staff were attentive, even with an attendant in the restroom handing guests paper towels.
Since it had been an early morning and we were hungry (and we were celebrating!), we ordered two appetizers. The first was daikon rice cakes with shiitake mushrooms and shallots. A so-so appetizer, it served more as a hunger-quencher than as a dish to be savored. The second appetizer, which was a salad of halibut served on lettuce greens, was by far our favorite of the two. The fish was crispy, yet still tasted fresh, and the lightly dressed lettuce was a delicate accompaniment to the flavorful fish.
For my entree I ordered the grilled tiger prawns over rice noodles with vegetarian imperial roll, cucumber and mint. The flavors were clean and refreshing. I especially liked the abundance of lettuce, which balanced well the carbs from the noodles. The imperial roll was altogether tasty: crispy, hot and a little bit greasy, which I didn’t mind, though, since the rest of the meal was so healthy. I was very pleased with my choice and would recommend it.
Sam ordered the lemongrass chicken with red onions, jalapeños, roasted chili paste and peanuts with brown rice. The chicken was tender and flavorful, and the lemongrass added an interesting dimension to the flavor palate. The sauce was not overpowering, but provided the dish with substantial body and depth. With The Slanted Door’s house specialty lychee infused iced tea, it made a satisfying lunch. Though Sam enjoyed the lemongrass chicken, next time he’ll order something else. The iced tea, though, is definitely worth a second try.
Having heard raves of The Slanted Door, we were excited to try it out. Did it live up to the hype? We think so. Its fantastic location, inviting ambience and creative menu were enough to make us the ones raving about it to others.