Who hasn’t reviewed the Slanted Door? Sure, it’s a tourist favorite and it’s been open for years, but Charles Phan is a solid chef with a solid cadre of restaurants, and the Slanted Door is where it all started.
Nishan (you may also know him as Mr. Canada) took me here for a birthday lunch a few months ago, and we started with the crispy imperial rolls. These may be ubiquitous on every Vietnamese menu but these by far the best I’ve ever had. Filled with taro, cabbage and glass noodles, they were refreshing and flavorful alongside lettuce leaves and a vinegary dipping sauce.
We also shared a plate of seared Angus steak alongside velvety king oyster mushrooms. A garlicy, syrupy sauce complimented the steak but the mushrooms were the real star here.
We finished with the caramelized catfish claypot; a promising dish, but my least favorite. The sauce was sweeter than I expected and well, not full of fish flavor as I’d hoped it would be. Still, the catfish was fall-off-the-bone succulent and satisfying.
Don’t miss the drinks at the Slanted Door either. Oh, and the view. Where else can you get such a stunning view of the Bay Bridge? Charles Phan may be expanding his restaurant empire beyond the Embarcadero, but the Slanted Door will always have a place in my heart. (And stomach.)