After canvassing this board for ideas for our three-day whirlwind in SF, we went over to Piperade on Saturday afternoon for lunch after visiting the farmer's market at the Ferry Building. (The wait at Slanted Door was just silly.) They didn't answer the phone before we went, raising doubts, but not until we arrived and found the gates down and a huge "for rent" sign posted next to the place did we understand why there wasn't even an answering machine. We could conceivably have misunderstood the "for rent" sign--it appears equidistant between Piperade and establishment next door, but I gotta tell you we were mightily, mightily disappointed to find it closed, whatever the story.
I will post in much more detail, but for now: Aziza was absolutely wonderful. I'd be a very happy camper, indeed, if they decided to open a Chicago outpost. We had an excellent dinner there, as we did Saturday night at Perbacco. Very different places, very different feels, very different...everythings except for great food, great service, great ambiance. Scoma's on Thursday....I guess it's one of those places ya just have to go to once in a while. I felt like I'd entered a time machine. However, that said, we had crab and snapper and both were fresh, fresh, fresh. An excellent meal, very good service...just felt like a time warp.
We were both exceedingly--albeit pleasantly--surprised at the reasonable (dare I say 'cheap') prices at both Aziza and Perbacco (notice I didn't include Scoma's). And even more welcome than that, the servers we had at both places restored my faith in the profession. Absolutely top-notch, attentive, highly informed service at both places.
The only problem was we simply didn't have long enough to hit even 1% of the places on our list. Other spots we hit were Greens (at Fort Mason), Mama's at Washington Square, Yank Sing (on Spear), and I think I'm blanking on one meal. A full report is promised in short order, but I did want to post to note the major question about Piperade.
Thanks again to all who helped us with our planning!
And now, having left SF in the 60s to come back home to Chicago, where the high today was 0, I think I'll go crawl under the covers....