This is a top-quality, innovative restaurant that is primarily grounded in Vietnamese cuisine, but takes a more liberal and innovative approach to the food. The food is excellent, bright, fresh, well-prepared, prices are reasonable for the city, esp. considering the demand for the place and its great location. It also has great, very well-made cocktails - lean, bright, and not loaded down with junk - that complement the food nicely.
The place itself is very nice in a chic modern style.
If one is lucky, once can also get a nice seat next to a window looking across the bay at the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island.
Be careful, though, about reserving a table well in advance. Sometimes, it is booked up several weeks in advance.
Favorite Dish: Everything we've had is great.
I really like this restaurant. While some feel it is overrated and overpriced (probably end up paying about $25 - 30 per person), it is worth checking out at least once. Since you'll be in the Ferry Building, if you decide not to eat here, there's plenty of other options, including Delica (Japanese-inspired cuisine to go) and the SF Fish Company (the fish and chips made with basa fish is pretty tasty).
Note that if you do want a more authentic Vietnamese cuisine experience (for much cheaper), check out Le Soleil in the Richmond or PPQ in the Sunset.
Favorite Dish: The Shaking Beef
Slanted door was recommended to me by a friend who lived in SF; and I'm glad I took her advise to go:
Food - very good
I was alone so I didn't get to sample too many dishes. I had the cellophane noodle with crab meat that was very good. It wasn't spicy (as I think they need to appeal to the Western customers) but you can always ask for the hot sauce.
I was also delighted to find that they carry Belgian and German beers that are not easy to find in normal restaurants or supermarkets.
Ambiance/Decoration - very good
Located at the end of the ferry building means that you get a pristine view of the Bay and the Bay Bridge. The restaurant has a hip/modern feel to it; with stainless steel and black leather colors dominating the bar/lounge area. The crowd is made up by tourists and locals ... not too touristy but still lively.
Service - good
I sat at the bar as the dining room was full; and I was on my own anyways. Bartender/Server was attentive, nothing to complain about.
Overall - very good
I will definitely come back here to try the other dishes.
Bill Clinton was a regular at this San Francisco institution. The Slanted Door serves delicious Vietnamese fare.
It's next to impossible to dine at a reasonable hour without reservations, so make that call.
Favorite Dish: Shaking beef
A great experience! This place is usually packed with people, and for a good reason. There is a great selection of dishes each and every one unique to this place. This is not the place for burger and chips... One can see how good the place is just watching the bartenders. Only fresh and natural ingredients are used.
What can I say about The Slanted Door? That it is an amazing experience. That the food was way beyond excellent. That the staff was extremely friendly and welcoming. I guess all of this and more.
VT member Rixie set up a VT meeting when I came to San Francisco in July 2005. She chose The Slanted Door located in The Ferry Building on The Embarcadero because it was would be easy for someone not familiar with the city to locate and also because it was a place that everyone in the group had wanted to try. It was an excellent choice on her part and everyone at the VT meeting agreed she could not have done better. The staff welcomed our group of seven. They explained the menu to us. The meals are served family style so everyone gets to share the dishes. Each person at the table chose two dishes. So we had fourteen different things to sample. And each item just seemed to get better as they arrived.
MAKE SURE TO HAVE A RESERVATION IN ADVANCE. The Slanted Door is very popular and its almost impossible to get in without a reservation.
Favorite Dish: Its difficult to pick a favorite dish. All of the food is ecologically farmed meat, game and produce from small farms around the San Francisco area. The food is all Vietnamese style using local ingredients. I do not think we had one item on our table that everyone did not enjoy.
The "new" Slanted Door is located in the "northern" end of the newly renovated SF Ferry Building. A great addition to an otherwise "boutique" effect.
The location is just a couple hundred feet from the ferry boat dock so it is well positioned for drinks before departing, lunch or dinner upon arrival, or just plain "hanging out."
Not having been to Viet Nam, I can only guess that the food is a bit of SF/French/Chez Chick/Avant Guard and reinvented for today's SF audience.
That said, every dish (and we had about 10) was well prepared, tasty and has caused me to add this to a must return restaurant.
The wait staff have been trained well to "sell" as although dishes are prepared for sharing, they only "feed" 2-3 light eaters.
The normal "recommendation" is two dishes per person. We did 12 dished for 7 people and found that to be quite enough, but we were light eaters.
Favorite Dish: ALLLLLLL.....the boc choy with mushrooms was inhaled immediately; chichen dishes likewise. Pork was consumed by the non vegetarians in a heartbeat.
All in all, everything was prepared great and tasted great.
The restaurant is very chic and modern. Not sure why, but it's the talk of the town and is booked for months in advance. We didn't have dinner, but had a few cocktails and appetizers at the bar/lounge area. The restrooms stalls are unisex, so you may do a double take when you first enter and see an opposite sex at the sinks/mirrors.
The Slanted Door is a swanky Vietnamese restaurant with a great atmosphere and even better food. Make a reservation in advance- we were lucky to get in in the last time slot for the entire week we were in San Francisco. This is truly a San Francisco hot spot right now. It is the perfect kind of place for a romantic dinner- or a romantic date for drinks at the very trendy bar. I also get the sense that it could double as a great place for a business dinner. The dress is casual but nice.
I have a food travelogue on my SF page, take a look there. La Osteria, Shalimar, Chez Papa, The Slanted Door, Lichee Garden, Le Colonial. In order, the cuisines are, Italian, Indian, fFench, Vietnamese, Chinese and French-Vietnamese.
Tonight I head to Shalimar. Eight years I have been going there and have never tried:-
Favourite lamp chops of Emperor Jahangir, marinated in a blend of wonderful spices and barbecued in the fiery tandoor. Chef’s recommendation."
Well, Jehangir, old boy: tonight's the night.
Side note: Jehangirs's son, Shah Jahan was responsible for the Taj Mahal, a tribute to his young wife, Mumtaz . The etymological clues and versions of its history are very interesting Write to me if you are curious. More about this place on my Bangalore page, which is not about Bangalore but Agra, home of the Taj. When I wrote it, Agra did not exist on VT. Ergo- Hence- (add your favorite Latin word here, no one understands, anyway! )
Favorite Dish: The CTM, the lamb stew and anything from the tandoor.
Ok, Rochelle choose (that’s why incidentally Stace had that great combination ;p), we tried to booked in advance but it was full so we sat at the entrance, maybe better less formal nearly the same feeling as having tapas in Spain..
But the best of course was the company.
Rochelle .... where it will be the next time.... We never know ....
Favorite Dish: Try the rolls are great!
The Slanted Door may have moved to South Beach, but the restaurant's fans have no trouble finding it. Every night, the 130-seat space, which features a killer view of the Bay Bridge along with its spare, wood-intensive decor, is jam-packed. Slanted Door's reservationists may be brusque, but once you're in the restaurant, the service is warm and knowledgeable.
Favorite Dish: Pristine oysters sparkle. Shaking Beef features thick, succulent, rare chunks of filet mignon in an onion-garlic sauce. Another signature dish, caramelized shrimp, is sweet and smoky, with plump shrimp. Vegetarians will take to the wide variety of dishes prepared with seasonal produce--spicy, crisp broccoli paired with chewy five-spice tofu; tasty pea sprouts sautéed with garlic and shallots. Even the rice is special.
The best restaurants are not at Fisherman's Wharf so you should definitely venture beyond that very touristy area. Some of my favorite restaurants:
Mission Area: Slanted Door (Vietnamese; hip young)
North Beach: Rose Pistola (Ital.; slightly upscale); Michelango's (No reservations, casual)
Downtown Financial District: Yank Sing (Dim Sum; upscale)
Fisherman's Wharf Area: Gary Danko's (advance reservations only way to get in)
Richmond District: Ebisu (wonderful but expensive sushi; neighborhood feel)
Mission District and Haight Ashbury: Cha Cha Cha is now in two locations(Tapas; crowded and funky, long wait)
Locations Throughout Town: Hahn's Hibachi (good Korean food in tiny, no frills restaurant)