Monday, June 18, 2007

Les Amis on Sacremento and Montgomery

No pictures. I remembered halfway through the meal, oh...perhaps I should take a picture. But it was dark, the pictures grainy, and we were having fun eating and talking. So, ya know...fuck pictures of food this time.

The tasting menu was delicious, which four of us got. However, after tasting the amuse bouche, S. commented that it was reminiscent of lox schmear. And it was! As delighted as we all were to get something for free (hey, every artist remembers days of Campbell's Chunky soup) lox schmear was pretty much all we could taste after that. It's sort of like when my mom once mentioned that an ice skater I was watching had a big ass, and after that, that was all I could see, a gigantic spandex covered ass, skating to Tchaikovsky.

Anyway, one of my ways of judging a restaurant is by whether or not I'd go back, and what I actually still remember eating, a week later.

Yes I would go back. Great service, nice ambiance, good wine. I take the latter on the advice of the others, as I really am not the best judge of wine.

What I remember eating is:

1) the toasted gnocchi with this insanely tasty, mushroomy sauce. Perhaps there were truffles? I don't remember. Who would have thought toasted gnocchi? However, what a brilliant idea! Slightly crispy, a bit caramelized, at first taste, and then the more familiar gnocchi chewiness. The tasting menu portion was tiny, but I believe it's actually part of their regular menu, where one hopes the portion will be merely small.

2) the fois gras ravioli that came with the bf's meal (the filet mignon), but since he doesn't like fois gras (I know!!! WHAT?!?) the rest of us subdivided the two raviolis amongst ourselves, and then our eyes rolled into the back of our heads, we passed out, and died.

This is the third time I've been to Les Amis for a birthday. Apparently it's that kind of place.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tsar Nicoulai in the Ferry Market Plaza

I recognize that choosing the moniker of M. Truffles makes me sound like a small, fluffy (likely sociopathic) dog belonging to the kind of woman who gets manicures on a regular basis and chooses her pets based on whether they fit in a Coach handbag. However, on a day when one has consumed both truffles and caviar, and actually finds herself saying "You know, I prefer truffles to caviar" well...what other kind of pompous, self-indulgent, frivolous name would I deserve?

So there you go. Onto the food.

There are so many places that serve great food in SF that unfortunately, you get terribly spoiled. You start looking for "great" or as M. Caviar might say "sublime" as opposed to just "good". So while everything I tried at Tsar Nicoulai was delicious, the soft scrambled egg is the only thing that falls into the catagory of "If I were ever dragged to prison and were reminiscing about food, this may be one of the things worth reminiscing about."

I have no pictures of the truffled popcorn served at the Westin St. Francis during cocktail hour, but trust me...that would be the second thing worth reminiscing about in prison (apart from "Gee it was nice when I had more than a 10x10 cell to live in and didn't worry every time I stepped in the shower).

-M. Truffles

Soft scrambled egg infused with white truffle, topped with crème fraîche
and California Estate Osetra

Goat cheese croquette with caviar

smoked salmon and smoked whitefish with caviar and creme fraiche