Thursday, November 12, 2009

Technical difficulties, but I still love San Francisco

Ech. I had a little oopsie this morning - apparently my freezer door popped open a little bit last night and a gigantic block of ice cubes (our ice maker doesn't know when to stop, even when we turn it off) melted...onto the kitchen floor.
Let's just say it's been quite the day and I'm glad it's over. Nothing like blogging while waiting for laundry!

As promised, here's a recap of my last dinner in San Francisco!

So you'd think that after all that wine tasting and snacking we'd skip dinner and call it a night...riiiiight. That's not how we do things in my world ;p We love food and sampling fun new stuff, so there was no way we were going to pass on
Korean 'tacos'!

Before I boarded my plane on Thursday, I picked up an issue of Food & Wine and it conveniently had a ton of San Francisco-related stories in it. Score! One blurb that caught my eye was about the new Thursday Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building, a supplement to the Saturday market. A big hit on Thursdays are these
Korean 'tacos' (on a bed of rice, nori and kim topped with daikon & kimchi salsa, kimchi remoulade, and kalbi demi glace), yes please.

Being huge nerds, Selin and I did some poking around and found out that Namu (the restaurant behind this brilliant creation) wasn't too far and they offered the tacos on their regular menu. Phew...and here I thought we had to dash out to the Ferry Building to catch them right that second!
There were three of us headed to dinner and one of Selin's friends mentioned reading that this place was supposed to have one of the best burgers in the city. Here's what 7x7 Magazine had to say:
In a city of copycat burgers, Namu steps out with Korean pride. A huge Niman Ranch patty is topped with pickled daikon, soy-glazed onions and daikon sprouts - not to mention the usual dijon and aioli...
Between that and what I read/heard about the tacos, I was beyond excited for dinner!

We got to Namu around 8:30 and were pretty hungry. Note: we drove past the restaurant the first time since it doesn't really stand out at night. We thought we knew exactly what we were getting when we walked in the door but that all changed as soon as we saw the menu. So many tempting options. There were small plates (conveniently the tacos were considered small...hello appetizer!), comfort food, grilled dishes, sides...overwhelming!

We finally settled on some Hog Island oysters and 3 tacos to start. Before our appetizers came out, a pretty trio of banchan made its way to our table
From front to back:
home made kimchi, chrysanthemum and marinated mushrooms

Then the glorious oysters came out:
They were phenomenal. I've only had oysters on the half shell a few times and these were definitely my favorite. They were served with
yuzu ponzu, wasabi and chojang korean chili sauce. A little dab of each and it was the perfect blend of salty, oniony, briny and spicy. Yuuuuum!

And then what I've been waiting for since Thursday...dumdumduuuumm...
The tacos were fantastic - it sort of reminded me of a spicy tuna roll, but with beef instead of tuna. It was a little messy, especially trying to bite the seaweed/nori, but worth the effort! They were so good, I'm going to give you another view hehe
I could eat like 3 of these for dinner alone!

However, we didn't stop there. Selin and I both got the Stonepot Rice (rice, pasture raised egg, daily vegetables, tofu in a sizzling stonepot), essentially bibimbap, and I added the kobe steak to mine.
How perfect is that egg?? I wish I thought to take a picture of it all mixed up...maybe a close up of the crunchy rice bits...but I was too distracted :)

A quick word on stone pots - I will pretty much trust anything cooked in a stone pot. Double points if it's rice and served still sizzling! My stone pot was perfect! The egg, beef, crispy rice bits...omg great way to end a trip!

Selin's friend went with the
burger, adding kimchi relish and a side of handcut fries - oops no fry picture!
The verdict? Burger did not disappoint, side salad had great dressing and the handcut fries? Perfectly crisp! Needless to say, the food surpassed my expectations.

We had the opportunity to chat with one of the owners (Namu is owned by a three brothers, originally from Boston - yay east coasters!) while we were taking a break from our yummy and filling meal and he gave us a little background on their concept and how the restaurant came to be. It was really nice hearing how passionate they are about food and their business.

I forget how we got on the topic of pickles, but we did and he asked if we had tried their house made pickles...we had not. Next thing you know we're sampling three of their pickles - (white?) string beans, shallots and brussels sprouts. I liked the beans the most, followed by the shallots. The thought of chomping on a half a shallot was a little intimidating, but it was pretty mild when I tried it!

I'm definitely going back next time I'm in San Francisco!


Jamie said...

we will have to check that restaurant out the next time i make it to san fran. that all sounds delicious

Susan L. T. said...

hah you're not going back there without taking meeeeee!! you can pack me in my large duffle bag which i also happen to fit inside of (just ask karena - she's seen me in it). :-P