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Restaurants & Bars 6

Trip Report (March 31-April 7), Part 2

anewton | May 6, 201205:52 PM

We started Monday morning on a bus ride to the Mission. I had mistakenly neglected to note that Knead Patisserie is closed on Mondays. I had planned to enjoy coffee at Phil's with a pastry from Knead. Well, we did enjoy our coffee at Phil's, anyway. My wife loves pour-over and thus was quite taken with Phil's.

We then meandered over to Tartine, where my wife ordered a delicious croque monsieur and I bought a lemon tart. I shared a few bites of her open faced sandwich (with very crunchy, acidic pickled baby carrot and onion on the side). The bread sure was fine.

We carried our sweets up to 4 Barrel, where I had my favourite Americano of the trip. While I enjoyed my tart, my wife snacked on a brown sugar/walnut cookie from Tartine.

We bused to the Haight where I bought some cool tunes at Amoeba, then bused back downtown and walked to Lers Ros for lunch. I loved our meal here. We shared the duck salad (larb phed yang) which was probably my favourite single dish we ate on our entire trip. Loved the bright lime flavour, the abundance of fresh herbs, the sweet succulent duck, and the heat of the whole chilies. We also ordered the pork belly with crispy rind (pad kia prow moo krub, I think). My wife was not as crazy as I was about the chewy rind on the braised cubes of pork belly, but I liked the contrast of textures. We also had a green vegetarian curry which was just okay (seemed sort of generic) but provided us with some vegetables. Overall I really enjoyed our meal here, and was happy we wandered in at 2:30 on a Monday when the place was nearly empty (no waits at all!)

Dinner was at Perbacco. I liked the food, but did not love the overall experience. I can't really find fault with any aspect of the meal, but left with the feeling that the food was in no way unique or inventive.

I started with a purple and green asparagus salad. The asparagus was very al dente, and the flavour was good. My wife had octopus served with a green apple/fennel slaw. She really enjoyed her starter.

My main was seared sea scallops served with several sauces/purees. The scallops were well executed and I was happy with my choice. My wife had pappardelle with short rib ragu. I had a few bites and it was definitely delicious.

Our dessert was the best part of the meal. We had the milk chocolate mousse cake. It had several layers and thus had varying textures and levels of chocolate intensity. I am a chocoholic so it does not take much to impress me, but this was definitely one of the better chocolate desserts we had on the trip. It was quite dense and rich and therefore perfect for sharing.

After dinner we walked to Bourbon and Branch for a late night cocktail. Frankly I cannot remember the names of the drinks we ordered. Mine had mezcal, which was the dominant flavour, but also had bright citrus (lime and orange) components. In any case, we enjoyed the ambience and the drinks were very fine indeed. The buzzer was broken that evening so getting in was a bit of a hassle (the server eventually opened the door and apologized that the buzzer was not working).

The next morning we got up early and went to the Ferry building for breakfast. We ate at Boulette's Larder. I had the oatmeal with yogurt, which was nice as it came with individual little wooden boxes of walnuts, tiny raisins, and demerara sugar. My wife had poached eggs with a black rice cake, which was actually much tastier than it may sound. We split an order of the Blue Bottle (French press), which was plentiful (and should be for $11). The service was friendly and very accommodating as we had all of our luggage with us (we had checked out of our hotel and were on our way to the rental car agency afterward).

After breakfast we walked around the Tuesday Farmer's market and stocked up on citrus fruit. We also bought a number of Recchiuti chocolate bars for the road, which were delicious. My wife also stocked up on some chocolate covered graham crackers--can't remember the name of the bakery that they came from , but they were great! Before we left, we each got a scoop of the chocolate sea salt ice cream from Humphrey Slocombe's. The texture was great (very creamy) but by the time we finished our cups the salt had become a bit cloying (and we are both salt lovers).

Then off to the Monterey Peninsula for a few days of beach walks, but that discussion is for another board (More Bay area dining reviews to come as well!)

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