(Sorry for a perfunctory start to this thread (I do wish I could do the evening justice ...).
Walking in half an hour late, I bore that pointy finger of blame and was taunted into starting this thread. But oh, oh my, the blizzard of courses, the wines, the charming conversational threads up and down the long table of chowhounds at this cheerful Bernal/Outer Mission joint reknowned for it's crab dishes and warm service .... well, further details will have to await following threads. Beloved Chowhounds Susan C. and Yimster organized the menu and wine pairings. Savvy chowhound, Windy Wonka, obtained a copy of the menu, which should help. Our new Seattle-to-Bernal transplants were warmly welcomed and found to be lovely and genuine company. Look forward to their future posts! Seattle's loss is certainly San Francisco's gain.
A few thoughts:
1: The service was unbelievable. Unobtrusive but supernaturally efficient and ... omnipresent. I had fresh tableware before every course (and there were several!). The presentation of foodstuffs along a long banquet table was a perfectly meted bounty--I wanted for nothing. The cheery offers to refill my wine glass honestly never annoyed me; cold water or steaming rice were always easily within reach. Were we the guests of honor in someone's home kitchen? Did anyone else feel like they had a cheerful personal footman telepathically anticipating their every whim? I loved those cool bowls of lemon water which instantly appeared with fresh napkins for cleansing after the crab course.
2: And what lovely crab. Cleaved in fourths, prepared in a soy-based, aromatic (but light) sauce and liberally covered with tender crab shreds and chunks also in the same sauce. Tender and delicious, the savory crab flavors were delightful in that sauce, excellent when wrapped in the fresh leaves of lettuce it rested upon.
3: Outstanding vegetable preparations. The green beans were especially flavorful, crisp, and well, a delight to munch upon.
Thanks again to Susan C. and Yimster for the organization. The joy of the asian "family style" dinner trully shone brightly tonight.