Friday, February 8, 2008

In the Land of Rice-A-Roni

Just got back from spending some time in San Francisco and I have lots of updates! I got in Saturday night and, acting on a tip from my neighbor on the plane, headed to a place called Mamacita's in the Marina area. The margaritas were tasty, the guacamole was good but not stellar. We ordered an appetizer of seared day scallops served over corn in a red mole sauce. The scallopes were lovely but the sauce had nothing I could relate to mole and the corn tasted kind of chewy and old. WE also got the shrimp tacos with grilled pineapple-tomatillo salsa. That would have been pretty good except that the pineapple was not ripe. All in all, a nice meal.

Sunday morning, while Nicole caught up on her beauty rest, I headed out to a coffee shop on Fillmore, where I had a cappuccino with great froth (so hard to find, sadly) and a nice, nutty biscotto dipped in chocolate. I had to stave off hunger for a few more hours until lunch. We planned on doing dim sum in Chinatown. It's something I've wanted to do for years and finally had a place to go and a partner to go with. So we hopped aboard the #1 bus, got off on Stockton and walked up Broadway to our favored spot. Nicole claimed she had never seen so many people on the street in San Francisco before, we saw grapefruits the size of my head and HUGE prawns for $3.49/lb. We were overwhelmed before we even got to the restaurant.

Speaking of the restaurant, we walked past 1 million dim sum places but we had several recommendations directing us to the premier dim sum destination, Gold Mountain. In retrospect, I think the name Grease Mountain is more appropriate. The dining room was enormous, packed and bustling. We were ushered to our table and we got seated next to a wonderful couple who translated and pointed and recommended for us. WE had shrimp dumplings and fried shrimp and shrimp suspended in an odd, rice gelatin. Every few seconds, someone would walk by, wheeling a cart and hawking their wares in a sing-song voice. The food wasn't all that remarkable, very heavy and greasy, but the experience was so worth it. My favorite part was when a man wheeled past us with some mystery plate, we asked out neighbor what it was and she said "It's a dessert but it's no good!" and the pushcart vendor said "Oh yes, good, good!" "No, no! No good!" she admonished him, waggling her finger wildy. They continued to haggle the merits of the dish until he slunk away. Maybe that doesn't sound so funny in print but it was damn hilarious to witness.

Next we took off on a several mile hike through downtown that included shopping, gelato, crepes and a voodoo lounge. More on that later.



1 comment:

HLP- other half said...

to the contrary, my lovely, it was freaking hilarious in print.. i was laughing aloud and im sitting here by myself... rice-a-roni.. thats a name indicative of the culinary calibre of this place. since our restaurant escapades btw, both my hairdresser and tal (who has been here on business) have informed me that there are just FABULOUS places to dine out here.. well, i guess we just missed those this time around and will just have to keep trying next time! dont mind if i do..