occasion: Saturday Dinner.
attending: Four people - 2 native SF, 2 native French
Finally got reservations on a slow weekend at the venerated Slanted Door. Should have tried it before exposing guests.
The new digs are lovely. Well layed out, nice accessories, etc. A nice welcome. Had to wait only 20 minutes for our reservation.
This observation concerns one visit only, cum grano salis, but enough view of inattention to details to have me concerned - unlikely to revisit.
So, along with its upscale move, comes the downward slide.
Food: Menu assembles the vast variety of interesting asian dishes. Nothing innovative. Each dish that we had was a so-so reproduction of it's native dish (ordinary seems the wrong word) available and better prepared 1/2 - 1/3 the price at a local ethnic restaurant
Wine: Almost exclusively Austrian (good wines.) Seems deliberately targeted so that you don't immediately realize that you're overpaying (that is if you're not well versed in Austrian wine.) This is a cheap shot.
Also poorly described. We asked if they had a European style Gewurtz. We were directed to an expensive one listed as dry & crisp. When it came sweet & fat (rather muscat-like) the waitress snapped back - that's the characteristic of a gewurtztraminer. (wrong. only most california ones, besides they described it differently on the menu.)
Service: Our server knew her place in the Pantheon of restaurants, and let us know it. We should just be happy to have been seated! She described that we serve family style. ok. We ordered a dish - she told us it was an appetizer - thought that was a good idea - but our appetizer followed all other dishes by 10 minutes (not like my family) The dishes were also served in a haphazard order, not paying attention to a reasonable interplay between light and fuller bodied. Pompous and uninformed.
Patronage: Well groomed and hip and tourists drawn in by the guide books.
Recommendations: Be less hip, eschew the continent's variety, pick one cuisine, go to one of SF's excellent low priced ethnic restaurants, bring your own wine if you must, and mourn the passing of an innovative restaurant.