SF Uncork’d

San Francisco International Airport Terminal 3 San Francisco, CA 94128sfuncorkd.com

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Only in the San Francisco airport would you have a wine bar serving flights of wine in candelabras. How ridiculous…ly wonderful! I love San Francisco for this.

That said, while the wines were very tasty, the food offerings were meek, and marginally passable. I would’ve given them MUCH higher props if they’d’ve just had real food on the menu. Or at the very least, substantive small plates. As is, the imbalance will get you wine-drunk faster than you can say “I’m late for my plane!”

3 teeth

Le Colonial

20 Cosmo Pl. San Francisco, CA 94109(415) 931-3600lecolonialsf.com

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It’s hard to get excited about Le Colonial, only because this is the third one I’ve been to. Granted, all three were good. Obviously New York, the original. LA, the sequel. And now this one. And it’s been about 15 years since I ate at the first one. So, it’s menu and concept have been copied in droves ever since.

But all that aside, it still holds its own. And while I find the decor in the other two to be a bit more refined, this one was my favorite. The way in which you enter is such a transformative experience it sorta reminded me of Spice Market in NYC. Granted nowhere near that level, but because you go from a sketchy alley in the Loin into a French Vietnamese palace, the shift is quite dramatic.

As for service, we had a very large party and they handled it like pros. So kudos there as well.

And as far as food goes, most of it was a solid good, with a few highlights. Those being the duck spring rolls (ask for Srirachi). The ribs. The beef stew with Scotch eggs- perhaps my favorite thing of the night. And for dessert, both the chocolate cake and the banana spring rolls were money.

So hats off to keeping up the standards for 15 years and two sequels later. But unfortunately there are a lot of other games in town that make it hard to give you more than 3 knives.

3 teeth

Bourbon & Branch

501 Jones St. San Francisco, CA 94102 • (415) 346-1735 • bourbonandbranch.com
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I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been in a cooler bar- er, speakeasy. Sure, it’s a pain in the ass to get in if you don’t know someone. And sure, they have their “rules,” which is a bit authoritarian for a place that serves booze, but wow, is the decor fucking killer! Secret doors and rooms. With a throwback 1930’s vibe.

I’m sure the drinks were just okay, but because of the setting, they somehow tasted even better. That or I’m an alcoholic. Either way, it’s hard not to be impressed by this joint. And I’m not that easy to impress. Or maybe I am, since I’m giving it 5 knives practically based on decor alone. Hmm… Maybe it’s that I’m shallow and not an alcoholic after all…

5 teeth

The Slanted Door

1 Ferry Bldg. Ste 3 San Francisco, CA 94111(415) 861-8032 • slanteddoor.com

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Incredible location with a killer view of The Bay. Cool decor and good service. And for those who say it’s pricey, I can’t agree. At least not by NYC standards. The name sounds a touch on the racist side however, but since no one else seems offended by it I guess I’ll roll.

The food, depending on what you order, can also be impressive, which inherently implies it’s a bit hit and miss. For example:

Vegetarian spring roll: miss
Slanted Door roll: miss
Imperial roll: Oh My Fucking Good!
BBQ Ribs: Solid
Clams app: blah
Squid App: Killiscious!
Spicy vermicelli: Just okay.
Lemongrass Chicken: Eh.
Catfish: Best of all

So, my advice, order wisely. Or order a lot. We obviously did, but to be fair their were six of us, including Biz Stone. Not that he eats a lot. This is jus a gratuitous name drop to boost the views of this post. But it is true. He was there. And hopefully he will retweet the review, assuming he agrees with it.

3 teeth

Foreign Cinema

2534 Mission St. San Francisco, CA 94110(415) 648-7600foreigncinema.com

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While the bar might be “cool” looking and “perfectly stocked” as some suggest, that means very little if you can’t get a drink. It took about 20 minutes to get someone to make me a drink, which I might’ve understood if the place were packed, but the service is just abominable with three bartenders behind the bar and only one actually tending it. One was constantly busy moving bottles around for aesthetics. And the other was busy making drinks for tables and flirting with the wait staff.

Now, to be fair, the service sucked elsewhere too. The hostess who told me I’d have to wait 15 min for a table outside for two- never came to get us after nearly 30 min. Even though I watched from the bar to see at least 4 tables constantly open during this time. Something I might’ve understood if I was a walk-in and they were giving priority to those with reservations, but I was one of those people with a reservation!!!

So, service is just flat out shitty, no bones about it. Fortunately the food made up for it. The butternut squash soup was amazing. The oysters were incredibly fresh. And the halibut entree was skillfully prepared from the fish itself to the variant accoutrements nestled beside it.

And I also do concede that the decor of the place is very cool. But it is soooo tainted by the service I sincerely doubt if I’d ever go back.

3 teeth

Napa Farms Market

San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 2 780 S Airport Blvd. San Francisco, CA 94128 • (650) 821-9312 • http://www.tastesonthefly.com/airports/sfo

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I have to say, SFO knows how to stock an airport filled with options that feel more like an upscale shopping mall as opposed to a dying strip mall in the backwoods of Alabama.

Case in point, Napa Farms Market. Loaded with organic, all natural options, the place is like a treasure trove of traveling treats. And what I had was good. Just a bagel with lox, cream cheese, capers and cucumbers. Simple, I know, but outside of New York it’s a dish that has gone wrong more times than I can count.

Beyond that there’s a bakery and juices and wine and cheeses. I would happily go to this place even if it wasn’t in an airport. But because it is, and the competition is virtually non-existent, I gotta go four.

4 teethairport

Hog & Rocks

3431 19th St. San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 550-8627hogandrocks.com

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First, let me just say that they had me at the name. And fortunately, they didn’t disappoint thereafter. Almost everything we had was awesome. From the drinks to the charcuterie to the wonderfully creamy chicken liver app. Impeccably fresh kumamoto oysters didn’t hurt either.

But the winner of the night, the pork entrée. So damn good it even bested the beef. Which normally in a head to head, I go beef. But not on this day. Pork reigned supreme. But I guess that’s to be expected form a place with “hog” in its name.

The only miss for me was dessert, and by miss I mean just okay. Most certainly not bad. The brownie. It’s nothing that would “rock” your world. It’s not inventive. But it is moist and chocolaty. So it’s hard to complain- and yet somehow I still manage too.

That said, I will end on a high note. The service was excellent. Our waitress literally added to the experience as if she were a friend at the table.

Shocking that the place was so empty though. But it was a Monday night. Maybe people in SF don’t eat out on Mondays?

4 teeth

 

Dynamo Donuts

2760 24th St. San Francisco, CA94110(415) 920-1978dynamodonut.com

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Having heard such rave reviews of this place, including on “Best Thing Ever: Bacon,” we went VERY out of our way to go. After all, it’s not exactly located in the middle of it all, which is a nice way of saying no place I would ever go again unless I was at gun point. So, considering the effort, I wanted these donuts to at least meet me halfway. Well, regretfully they fall miserably to the bottom of the hype bucket.

I think the best way to describe the depths of disappointment would be to start with the dough itself, which is actually quite dry compared to the rest of doughnut stardom. And last I checked, “dry” is very rarely a good thing when it comes to food. So, it would seem that Dynamo tries to cover this up using “dynamic” flavors. Unusual flavors. Especially in donut land. For example the bacon maple or the lemon pistachio. And while these may sound good in theory, in practice they start to come off as more of a gimmick. More like jelly beans flavored like hamburgers and buttered popcorn.

But, if you like eating parlor tricks, be my guest. I’d rather eat at Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme.

2 teeth

Bread and Cocoa

199 Sutter St. San Francisco, CA 94104 • (415) 956-7200breadandcocoa.com

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After reading the reviews post visiting, I’m a little pissed I didn’t get the chocolate chai, but I suppose that’s what tomorrow is for. That said, the Haight (egg sandwich with white cheddar, shrooms and spinach on focaccia was pretty awesome. And fast. Making for a very nice speed to awesome ratio.

Plus, I dig the vibe. It’s sort of a Panera meets Le Pain kinda vibe with its communal tables mixed in with cafe.

My one nit is with the fresh squeezed OJ. C’mon people, what’s the point unless it has pulp? Take it from a purist who grew up in Florida. Keep the strainer in the drawer.

***Okay, it’s tomorrow. Just had the chocolate chai and let me say I am VERY glad that I live nowhere near this place, otherwise I might turn into a two-seater by drinking these damn things every day!

4 teeth