So, I was in San Francisco on a vacation earlier this month and I had meals ranging from the divine to the disappointing.
My favourite meal, not just on this trip, but possibly ever, was at Gary Danko. Oh, my goodness, it was incredible. I had four courses, which actually turned out to be too much food as they are very generous with their portions, particularly for a high end restaurant where I'm used to getting a little spot of this and bite of that. The foie gras was so good. Every bite was perfect. I had seared ahi tuna and it was the best I've ever had. Next I had the lamb with a tian (stack) of vegetables, and it was possibly the best lamb I've ever had. And I ended with a peach souffle with raspberry sorbet and it was the perfect end to the meal.
However, it wasn't the end of the meal. Quite possibly the best thing about Gary Danko is all the little extras. They started us with a tiny dish of butternut squash soup and some delicious bread. They gave us a little plate of petit fours and truffles with our coffee and sent us on our way with amazing little blueberry muffins for breakfast the next morning. Add to that, the service was far and away the BEST I've ever received in a restaurant and the whole atmosphere was quite relaxed for being so upscale, I know that I will go again every time I'm back in the City.
The best inexpensive (less than $10.00) we had was at Pancho Villa Tacqueria. I got a tamale plate and while they weren't perfect tamales, they were still pretty damn good. Add to that, the beans were amazing, as was the chips and salsa and the rice and despite being really hungry and eating until I thought I would burst, there was still a ton of food leftover.
The best breakfast I had was at Sears Fine Foods. I had the corned beef hash which comes with their famous Swedish pancakes and I wasn't disappointed. Both were wonderful. And I like the whole 1960s feel to the place. I didn't like their french toast as much though. It was a little disappointing.
I also had a very nice lunch at the Asian Art Museum. It was unexpectedly delicious. A nice barbecued duck with a lovely salad. It really surprised me.
The most disappointing meal I had was sushi at Hana Zen. The fish itself was fine, but the rice was horrible. Not properly seasoned and not properly cooked. It was old rice that had gotten hard at the edges. And for the price we were paying, that was unacceptable.
We also ate at Max's on the Square and it was a big disappointment, too. Too greasy and too sloppy. Was not at all impressed. In fact, I was mildly surprised that I didn't get sick.
But to end on a bright note, we had cupcakes at Kara's Cupcakes at Ghiardelli Square and fell in love. Those were amazing. The cake was light and fluffy, and the icing was perfect. Not too sweet, not too buttery. Just right. I could go for one of those right now.
All-in-all, it was a great culinary vacation. I look forward to my next visit.
900 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109
800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Sears Fine Food
439 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
3071 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Max's On the Square
398 Geary St, San Francisco, CA
115 Cyril Magnin, San Francisco, CA 94102