The Slanted Door has been one of the city’s worst-kept secrets since its inception as a tiny storefront in the Mission District. We know your friend who used to live in San Francisco insisted you must bask in the glory of this high-end Vietnamese restaurant, but here you are in SF and you forgot to make your reservation three weeks in advance. Are you out of luck? Maybe not.
First, it should be noted that The Slanted Door does keep a certain amount of the tables and the bar open to walk-ins, but you can expect an extremely long wait only to enjoy your crispy imperial rolls with all the other walk-ins looking hungrily over your shoulder the same way you did to the people before you. It is a little easier to get in during lunch time, but we would suggest you make it a late lunch or early dinner to avoid to the work crowd.
They do an afternoon tea between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m., but the menu is limited to a few appetizers, salads, noodle dishes and, well, tea.
We find the food is just as good, if not quite as wide-ranging, and with near complete lack of atmosphere, at Out The Door, The Slanted Door’s outlet on the bottom floor of the Westfield Center at 845 Market St.
If you’re really just had it with the whole scene, head down to Ghirardelli Square where there is an amazing Vietnamese restaurant called Ana Mandara that we feel rivals The Slanted Door in every way. The food is exquisite, the décor is an experience, the service is outstanding and, best of all, it does not book up weeks in advance. Thanks to the hype of its famous competitor, Ana Mandara really is one of the best-kept secrets in San Francisco.
Photo: The Slanted Door by wasabicube