Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ABC Dining, Letter Z: Zero Zero

Zero Zero

We've finally made it from A to Z, folks! We have come full circle and land at Zero Zero for letter Z of Alphabet Dining. Michelle and I ventured here before a spooky night of Halloween fun in Soma, where we were greeted by goblins and ghouls in SF's Old Mint.

Arugula Salad

To start, we ordered the Arugula Salad, which consisted of Arugula, Asian Pears, Shaved Fennel, DuChilly Hazelnuts, Goat Cheese Vinaigrette, and Korean Chili. I know what you're thinking, and no it was not spicy. The salad was very refreshing, from the green arugula to the sweet Asian pears. The hazelnuts were a great addition, as was the shaved fennel. 

I loved the presentation of the salad; A mountain of arugula, topped with a snow powdering of fennel and a light dusting of Korean Chili. 

Pork + Veal Meatballs

For our antipasti, we ordered the Pork and Veal Meatballs, which came smuggled in Spicy Tomato Sauce and Fonduta Cheese, with a side of Garlic Bread. This dish was hearty and absolutely delicious. The meatballs were full of flavor but didn't make you feel too weighed down. The sauce and fonduta were great to dip the bread in. I could probably eat this every day. 

The Castro Pizza

Zero Zero is renowned for it's pizzas, so naturally we had to order one and try it out. We opted for The Castro (bonus points for the pies named for SF streets), which came with Sopressata, House Made Sausage, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, and Basil.

While I generally prefer thicker, deep dish pizzas, I was grateful that Zero Zero operates under a thin crust regime. At this point we were both getting pretty full and struggling to finish off the carnivorous pizza endeavor. Good thing it was so tasty!

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

Just as we were getting ready to call it quits and walk-off our meal before the haunted house, the waiter handed us the dessert menu. We saw Bananas Foster Bread Pudding, and the rest was history. Bananas Foster is a dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with a sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur. Combining this with the semi soft and scrumptious bread pudding was genius. To make it even better, when you get to the center it spills out like a warm lava flow of sugary delight. 

Overall Experience

Zero Zero has a unique, sophisticated menu and darling decor- perfect for a metropolitan Soma restaurant. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone in the area, be it for pizza, a salad, or even a legendary bread pudding.

Side Note

I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been following Alphabet Dining, San Francisco! I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. Be sure to stay tuned for my next ABC city, coming soon :)

Zero Zero on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 17, 2013

ABC Dining, Letter Y: Yuubi Sushi

As we approach the completion of San Francisco Alphabet Dining 2013, we arrive at letter Y just in time for Jackie to visit SF! We met up for some delicious Japanese food at Yuubi Sushi in the Inner Richmond.

Pickled Veggies

We started with some pickled veggies. I couldn't get enough of these! They had a slightly spicy kick.

Caterpillar Roll

I ordered the classic Caterpillar Roll, which was comprised of rice, seaweed, cucumber, unagi (eel), and topped with avocado. I love Caterpillar Rolls because you get the sweet unagi flavor and the smooth, buttery avocado topping. It's a great combination.

Mochi Ice Cream

On a freezing cold San Francisco night (after being in Boston I can no longer refer to SF weather as "freezing"), we decided to split a dish of Mochi Ice Cream. For the poor souls who don't know, mochi ice cream is amazing. Mochi is a sweet, gelatinous rice paste. You can find it as a topping in most frozen yogurt establishments. Mochi ice cream is essentially a sphere of ice cream, encompassed by a gooey delicious layer of mochi. Here you can see the spheres have been carved in fourths for presentation and effect. 

The great thing about mochi ice cream is the interesting textures you encounter. As I mentioned, the mochi itself has a rather gelatinous consistency, which nicely complements the creamy ice cream. We ordered a green tea and mango serving. I favored the mango with its citrus flavor, but they were both tasty. 

Overall Experience

I fully enjoyed the food itself and the decor in Yuubi Sushi. Decor included a raised sushi bar and color-changing lights which lined the walls. The only negative I noticed that night was the staffing. The waiters were great, but there just weren't enough of them. They were clearly overwhelmed and we had to flag them down constantly. Perhaps it was just an off night. Nonetheless, our experience at Yuubi was a positive one, and I wouldn't hesitate to return.

Yuubi on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 7, 2013

ABC Dining, Letter X: Xiao Long Bao Restaurant

The letter X is a tough one in ABC Dining. I chose to visit Xiao Long Bao Restaurant in the Inner Richmond. They specialize in Chinese food, and have my favorite dim sum, Cha Siu Bao.

Cha Siu Bao Steamer

Cha Siu Bao is a Chinese Pork Bun. There are two types of bun: steamed and baked. Steamed is white, fluffy, and airy. Baked is a bit more on the hearty and greasy side. I think both are really good, it just depends on your mood at the time.

Cha Siu Bao

I was way too excited that my steamed Cha Siu Bao matched my brand new nail polish! It was soft, fresh, and steamed just right. The outside was thick and gooey, while the inside had pork which offered a sweet and flavorful touch. At 75 cents each, you just can't complain about this one!


Monday, November 4, 2013

ABC Dining, Letter W: Wing Wings

Letter W of ABC Dining brings us to Wing Wings in San Francisco's Lower Haight neighborhood! Known for their local flavor and legendary sauce selection, Wing Wings is a must-try for any carnivore. 

Wing Wings

Wings with Wing Wing sauce and Biscuits

I ordered a small plate of 5 wings for $6, covered in sweet Wing Wing sauce and a side of biscuits. The Wing Wing sauce had just a small kick of flavor without it being too spicy- just how I like it. The biscuits were scrumptious! Soft and not too dry. Other sauces at Wing Wings include Honey Mustard, Angry Korean, and Papalote Salsa. It's great finding a place with such a unique and diverse menu. 

Biscuits and Gravy

Brian ordered Biscuits and Gravy, which came swimming in spring onions for a burst of flavor. It was hearty and delicious!

Wing Wings Condiments

Wing Wings also offers special and unique condiments, from Hella Hot Sauce, to Moombah Sauce, to the green Jalapeno Ginger Sauce. The Jalapeno Ginger Sauce isn't as hot or spicy as you may think. Just a new and interesting kick to your meal.

Even the napkin dispensers are cool.

The food at Wing Wings is unique and tasty. The decor is interesting and local, as are the staff who work there. Don't be afraid to ask about the menu, they have a lot of helpful tidbits, such as coming earlier rather than later to catch the biscuits warm out of the oven (they open at 5pm on weekdays and 11am on weekends). YUM. You're welcome. 

Wing Wings on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 3, 2013

ABC Dining, Letter V: The Vestry (at the Chapel)

One of my last days in San Francisco before heading to Boston, my friends and colleagues Ariela and Samantha took me out to The Vestry at the Chapel for ABC Dining, Letter V! The Vestry is located in the heart of the Mission, and offers both indoor and outdoor seating, which is a plus in the sunny Mission district. It is actually a former mortuary-turned-restaurant, which is kind of creepy but works in such a hipster district. Following a work event, we headed over to soak up the sun and dine on some New American cuisine.

Samantha, myself, and Ari! 

 Marinated Olives

To start, we ordered Marinated Olives, which came in a darling white china set. They offered olives of all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. My favorite were the larger light green variety, although the dark green olives were a new interesting flavor - sharper, perhaps? 

 Chicory Salad

Ari ordered the Chicory Salad, which came complete with persimmon, pomegranate, and candied walnuts. I absolutely love when salads come with walnuts. They add a great crunch and earthy quality, not to mention their health value - they are packed with omega-3s! The pomegranates were fresh and delicious, which is tricky to do, so it was a special treat.

 Bacon & Apple Flatbread

I ordered the Bacon & Apple Flatbread, baked with a light layer of laguiole cheese. I was thoroughly impressed by this dish. I had never experienced apples as a pizza topping before, and at the Vestry they were large, entire slices. They offered a sweet flavor, perfectly contrasting the savory bacon. Between the red apples and the whole bacon strips, my flatbread was at once light and meaty. Great for a midday lunch.

Prosciutto & Amber Bronx Grape Flatbread

Samantha got the Prosciutto & Amber Bronx Grape Flatbread. Just like the toppings on my dish, the Amber Bronx Grapes were added as large, entire grapes. Not only did they offer a sweet flavor, but they had a soft, bright texture to juxtapose the crunchy flatbread. 

Overall Experience

My succulent soaking up the sun's rays!

The food at the Vestry was exciting and delectable. The venue was casual yet sophisticated. My only complaint would be the start of the meal, when we waited about 15-20 minutes for someone to approach our table, even for water. This wouldn't have been so bad, if it weren't for the many waitstaff at the venue just standing around talking at the doorway. Samantha had to grab a bottle of water from the table next to us, as it was so hot and sunny outside and we quickly became parched. Luckily, once we hailed down a waiter and informed them that we hadn't been helped yet, they jumped into action. Must have been a miscommunication. The food certainly made up for it. Note: The cute succulent you see on the table was brought by myself!

The Vestry on Urbanspoon
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