The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

California Hedonizing – San Francisco Day 1

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.

 

zushi-1

zushi-2 zushi-3

 

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.

img_3240

 

 

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.

satori

Satori – Hiramasa yellowtail, cucumber, pickled red onion, sweet corn, ginger guac, red tobiko, wasabi mayo

sf-sumo

Sumo Crunch – shrimp tempura, surimi ctab, shaved cabbage, cucumber, ginger guac, red tempura flakes, sriracha aioli

mayan

Mayan Dragon – Crispy chicken katsu, Okinawan sweet potatoes, julienne carrots, pickled red cabbage, ginger guac, shaved jalapeño, curry mole

sf-porkivore

Porkivore – Ume-adobo style pork belly, chicharron, shaved cabbage, red radish, ginger guac, cilantro, and Peruvian pepper sauce

 

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.

 

sf-gate

 

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.

 

sf-bao

 

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.

 

 

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

3 comments on “California Hedonizing – San Francisco Day 1

  1. Liza M.
    March 3, 2017

    San Francisco overwhelms me when it comes to food. I get that good food anxiety panic /worry that I’m not taking full advantage of all that it offers. I was there during the holidays as well, for just an afternoon. We got a burrito in the Mission at a pretty well-yelped place whose name escapes me now. Although I definitely felt like I was in Mexico, the burrito wasn’t anything better than we have in Ann Arbor, However, the salsa bar and variety of agua frescas certainly blew my mind. On my last trip, we snagged a reservation at Zuni Cafe and had the much-regarded roast chicken on bread and string fries. Amazing. I wish we had gone to the baby seal place, but agree that I would never stoop to eating at the Bubba Gumps!

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      March 3, 2017

      A2 has good taquerias but their burritos are so-so. Best ones I’ve had are still in Chicago because of the huge Mexican immigrant community there. Like how the best Chinese places are the ones with the most Chinese-only speaking people. Wondering if SF real estate prices have driven out a lot of the Mexican immigrant population?

  2. anotherfoodieblogger
    March 3, 2017

    It all sounds like good eating to me!

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This entry was posted on March 3, 2017 by in Burritos, Dining, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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