Breathless

Wisdom from our leaders:  Immediately after another massacre is too soon to call for gun controls.

 

I’ve been just breathless with activities since my move back to SF, and many of those activities have involved food.

Several dinners at Hoffman’s Grill, 22nd Street at Guerrero, still very tasty food in a relaxed and cordial atmosphere.

Lunch with Richard at Just For You, on 22nd Street at 3rd Street, where i had the best Ruben i can remember.  Regarding “22nd Street at 3rd Street”, 3rd Street bends.

Lunch with Andrew and Dick at Wasabi Bistro on Castro near 18th.  Andrew and i go back for decades, and he’s a dear friend.  He’s also a picky eater, and i congratulate Dick on finding a place where all three of us can eat happily while Andrew looks with wide-eyed horror at my consuming raw fish.

A superb Lunch with Mark at Basil Canteen on Folsom at 11th.  IMHO, this is the best Thai food in the city.

Dinner at a truly dreadful Thai restaurant called Pad Thai on the east side of Mission between 29th and Virginia.

Four dinners at Sweet Basil on the east side of Mission between 29th and Fair.  I ate here four times because the food is good enough that i kept thinking i’d find a great dish.  Didn’t. Gave up.

Many dinners at Sushi Zone, which i didn’t discover until 2014 and is my favorite sushi place.  I expect to be eating here every week for the rest of my life.  Here’s my extended discussion of it.

After i’d been here a week or so i started jonesing for a gyros (or shawarma) and first tried the one at Good Frickin’ Chicken on Mission @ 29th, where i’d recently had good baba ganoush and falafel.  It was a disappointment, so i went over to Old Jerusalem on Mission near 26th, where i’d eaten with pleasure in years past, and found theirs also inadequate.  I’d read good things years ago about Zaytoon at 1136 Valencia, but no, i was still not satisfied.  Finally, i went to Lazeez on 24th near Sanchez and had a gyros that was good enough that i’ll go back.  But still, anybody who knows of a really good gyros in San Francisco should please contact me.

Lunch with Stephen at Basil, the original location between 8th and 7th, which has a much larger menu than the one at 11th St.  Magnificent.  As an appetizer, Stephen wanted the fish cakes, which i’d never eaten but just loved and will order myself sometime.  He also shamed me into ordering brown rice, and i discovered that while my back was turned i’d developed a taste for it, which my doctor will applaud.

Dinner at The Front Porch, 65a 29th Street.  I’d eaten at this place a few times many years ago and remembered it as rather good food although a bit pricey for what it was.  Well, it’s still pricey, but nothing on my plate this time soared to higher than acceptable and the collards were just plain tough.  Sad, but unless you really need Louisiana cuisine, there are plenty of places within easy range that serve better food for less.

The jewel in the crown was Jean and Jay inviting me to dinner at Jean’s place.  I’d not met Jean yet, but she turned out to be so delightful that afterwards i realized i’d pretty much ignored my old friend Jay while i focused on her.  This was doubly shameful because Jay, who’s an executive chef, cooked a superb dinner.   Provençal spinach & clam gratin on which i could have happily eaten myself to death.  Red snapper grilled with fines herbs and flambeed with Pernod.  Oh my.  And a dessert of figs he’d poached in spiced white wine and honey and nested in skyr.  Hadn’t known i liked figs.

The rest of the food story, though, is for the future because in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle there was an article about the best SF restaurants with tasty meals under $20, and it included seven! between 3299 (a half block north of Virginia Street, which i take to get down to Mission from my apartment) and 3801 Mission Street, five blocks to the south.  In my two months here, i’ve eaten at only one of ’em, Good Frickin’ Chicken, but all the others are in my immediate future.

It’s not just food, though.  My Epiphyllum anguliger clearly likes its new life in the city because it put out a couple of buds for me in September, and one of them matured.  When i saw that it was about to bloom, i took it downstairs and left it in the courtyard overnight so other residents could see one of these exotic plants open in darkness for the moths to pollinate.  This went off so well that a resident posted on the bulletin board a very kind thank-you note about its perfuming the garden.

Epiphyllum anguliger

 

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