leave your inhibitions at the door
The general consensus is that the American foodie havens are New York and San Francisco – everything else is a tier or two below. But now I wonder if that still holds true? With the emergence of Food Network in the past decade and the internet introducing food traditions and trends to everyone quickly, all of a sudden there are great places to eat all across the country.
Except Iowa. I’m sure there’s still shit to eat there.
But seriously, is San Francisco still tops? One thing that hasn’t changed is the availability of great ingredients with a literal ocean full of seafood and the nearby growing regions providing a wide variety of ultra-fresh produce. With a good strong base of fine ingredients, even mediocre recipes are going to be better than anywhere else.
We pulled into town with just enough time to settle into our rental in the Cow Hollow area and grab some dinner. We were all in the mood for some sushi which, because of the minimal preparation and manipulation, is a really good way to enjoy the fresh ingredients of San Francisco.
But where? The Sicilian, my good friend and often contributor here, used to live there and goes back often so I knew she’d be a good food Sherpa. But I forgot to ask her for sushi recommendations. I’m sure most of the sushi places were going to better than what I have here in Ann Arbor, but I still wanted to find a good one. But how do I find one? Duh – I contribute to Eater, an amazing site that helps you find places to eat just about any city.
A quick perusal led us to Zushi Puzzle, a small family-run sushi restaurant near our rental.
We were off to a great start.
The next morning we walked down to Pier 39, where people go and watch the sea lions lounging on floating piers.
It was much funner than it sounds as we were narrating our own nature documentary…. from hell. We were literally sitting there cracking each other up for an hour using all kinds of storylines and accents. But we started getting hungry and refused to eat at the Bubba Gump’s there. Yes, we’re elitists.
We hopped a bus to Union Square, which we realized is the downtown shopping district. In the past couple years, my kids have shopped in Chicago, New York, Paris, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles so were a little underwhelmed with the area. Ok – correction – we’re privileged elitists.
We started looking for food and found heaven two blocks away – Sushirrito. It’s exactly what it sounds like – sushi and burritos mashed up into absolutely amazing handheld treat.
Honestly, I could eat this all day, every day. They would’ve been good even if they were merely huge versions of regular sushi rolls, but the combinations in these were outstanding. Which was my favorite? Yes.
After lunch we explored Chinatown.
Or at least first couple blocks of it which is geared more towards tourists. The bus we took earlier went through the heart of Chinatown and it looked like the usual busy Beijing street scenes you see on tv. All the markets, sidewalks, and (eventually) the bus were crammed with people, none of whom spoke English. The streets and shops we walked through were clean, not crowded, and all the shop owners were bilingual. We didn’t last too long because were were exhausted. So we grabbed a box of the largest baos we’ve ever seen and grabbed an Uber to the rental.
That night, we ordered Thai food, but I was still stuffed from the Sushirrito. But I had enough to tell me that it was good, but not earth-shattering. I could tell by the preparations and ingredients that much effort went into it. Just not that memorable or worth reaching for my phone to take pictures of
Is it because San Francisco isn’t really known for Thai food? Or was that restaurant just not that good or had an off night? Or is food overrated in San Fracisco?
I had more research to do.