Ok, I’ve been hearing about this place forever. I finally went recently. It was awesome, just like people (and the huge wait list) suggest.

They have two locations, Mission and Fillmore. I met Melanie way too late one night at the Fillmore location. We intended to go to SPQR, but were snubbed without a reservation*. So we got to Dosa around 9pm and I didn’t get home until midnight, so full that I thought I might explode. It was epic.

Dosa was full at 9pm on a Saturday night. And unlike SPQR, they were kind enough to put my name on a wait list**. We sat at the bar to wait our 30-45 minutes and then were kindly seated at a table for our 10pm dinner. Perfect!

Chutney appetizer. Four flavors! Good, but way too spicy for me. I could only eat one of them without crying.

Honestly, this was many weeks ago and I don’t remember it all that well. What I do remember:

  • Wait staff – nice. Recommended wine and food to us.
  • The chutneys were super exciting (4 flavors!) but were waaaaay to spicy for me to eat.
  • Actually, most of the food was very spicy. Thank goodness Melanie had a packet of kleenex. I destroyed it.
  • The dosa recommended by the waitress was not on my radar but was SO GOOD. It doesn’t look like much, but it was completely amazing. Cause for overeating for sure.
  • The curry dish was similarly really good. Not as good as the dosa, but good.
  • We were way too full for dessert but got the little sweet cheesy thing anyway (you know what I mean, right?). Delish.

I think it was called a Paper Dosa? Indian potatoes under the dosa (porous flatbread that was crispy and sooooo good) and dipping sauce.

Oh man, I think it was Prawn Masala? Good, whatever it was…

Overall – very good. Food was great (despite the excessive spice for me — I’m very sensitive). Atmosphere: swanky, dim, modern. Wait staff: efficient, helpful, smiley but not annoyingly so. Price: not cheap. Dude, it’s a nice, good restaurant in the City, what do you want? Not super expensive or anything though. Just compared to hole-in-the-wall Indian, which is also good but in a different way. My vote: thumbs up.

Rasmalai for dessert…mmm…

*I mean seriously, how DARE we approach their restaurant without a reservation?!? When I asked the hostess if I could put my name on the wait list (which I had to ask her, she did not ask me after I said I didn’t have a reservation), she said they seat people “first come, first served”. It was my understanding that this was how a wait list worked, but apparently she disagreed. So… I was supposed to stand there and hope that I was in the right location when a table opened up? I still want to go back (because I hear their food is good and I want to give them another chance not to be rude), but in the meantime I may suggest they change their name to SPAZ…

**Response on behalf of SPQR: “Ugh, how common of them.” See video below.

[hulu id=hGEHOPLoEZR1L2rK05UFUQ/i55 width=480 height=270]

Dosa on Urbanspoon

Eat it, 30.

Hi, I’m 30. I don’t even think I’m going to go by my name anymore, just refer to me as 30. Since it seems to be important. You turn 29 and people are like, “eh”; you turn 30 and people say the following:

My boss: “How old are you?”  Me: “30”  Boss: “Wow, I thought you were older.”  (Yes, this actually happened.)

Dad: “OMG, you’re 30?!! That must mean that I’m like… 40…”

Sister: “Jesus.”

Birthday Card: “Wow, you’re OLD!”

You get the idea. “What are you doing for your THIRTIETH birthday?! I did a trapeze lesson for mine!” “How do you feel now that you’re 30?” “Dirty thirty!” “Thirty is the new twenty!”

I don’t know how I feel about landmark birthdays.  I guess I don’t much care. I was 29 and 364/365 last week, the only change is a tiny fraction. Hardly worth mentioning, really. Regardless, I took this opportunity to eat good food for about four days. It was my birthday, I do what I want. These were my historic, amazingly memorable, landmark 30th birthday foods of choice:

Day-of Birthday Foods, July 5: Sens for lunch (thanks Jason!), The House for dinner (thanks Lita and Smalls!)

Lunch: Seared tombo tuna from Sens Restaurant

Lunch: Butternut squash manti from Sens (we shared)

Before dinner drinks at Comstock

Dinner: Calamari appetizer at The House

Dinner: Fish, noodles, green beans at The House (shared with Mala)

Dessert: Chocolate cake from The House

Dessert: Coconut creme brulee from The House

Weekend Birthday Foods, July 7: Dinner at Little Star Pizza (thanks friends!)

I didn’t take a picture. This is a picture of Little Star deep dish pizza courtesy of their website, We had two deep dish pizzas and one pesto thin crust. It was wonderful.

Weekend Birthday Foods, July 8: Brunch at Park Tavern (thanks Quinn!), Dinner at Wayfare Tavern (thanks Mom and Dad!)

Brunch: Crispy polenta cakes, poached eggs, wild mushrooms from Park Tavern

Dinner: (appetizer) Deviled eggs with fried shrimp from Wayfare Tavern

Dinner: Mac ‘n cheese from Wayfare Tavern

Dessert: Chocolate cream pie from Wayfare Tavern!

Note that a birthday meal is defined as one that someone else purchases for you as a celebratory gift for your birthday. And for that reason, I suppose birthday meals can really take place any time of year, though they are known to occur on/about the week of one’s actual day of birth. Maybe I should make a wikipedia entry regarding this matter.

Bottle Cap

Yeay, North Beach! I’ll stop pretending like there’s some lack of good restaurants here. But still, the majority are Italian. And while I LOVE Italian food, it gets a bit tedious. And, if I had to pick a favorite type of food, oddly, it would be American. Stars and stripes, baby, I love me some sandwiches and burgers and mac and cheese.

And they have all three at Bottle Cap, but, like, in good form (Humboldt burger and grilled cheese as “smallish plates”; cheesy shells as a side). But, still, the menu is “American”, which basically seems to mean anything that’s not already claimed by some other culture or country. Or, it can also kinda mean a mesh of a bunch of different things. What a great idea! I love meshes.

Bottle Cap Restaurant in North Beach

The menu is blissfully small, but totally diverse. Crab and rock shrimp louie, pork belly, fried chicken thighs, and tuna poke are a few of the appetizers. Pork chop, chicken, halibut, gnocci, and pierogis are mains. Toss in things like chipotle bbq sauce, cumin-laced black beans, smoked paprika fried potatoes, and pearl onion-dill broth, and you’ve got yourself some fancy San Francisco American food. Best.

I’ve only been once (kinda want to go again tomorrow though… twice in one week is reasonable, right?), but everything we had was amazing. Really. Let’s discuss.

Shrimp and scallop over a quinoa pancake with butter lettuce and fennel salad. Yes. Delish. Scallops tender not tough. Great flavors. Love!

Shrimp and scallops over a quinoa pancake!

Pork belly. Ordered and consumed by my omnivorous friend Quinn. I assume it was delicious due to all the “mmmm” and “ahhhh”s coming from him. He said it was amazing, melt-in-your-mouth belly.

Belly of pork

I was perusing the menu at work before heading over for dinner (yes, I was super excited and pre-ordering in my head…) and thought lots sounded good. But one dish caught my eye. It was the number one must for me. Pierogis. Home made pierogis. Description: portabello mushroom & carmody cheese filling, pearl onion-dill broth, red cabbage & garlic cream. It was entirely amazing. I should photoshop these pictures to make them have a halo or something. Or to even look like decent photos… sorry…

Home made perogis

After a long deliberation (and a candid question to the entirely indecisive waiter), dessert was the brownie with caramel sauce and honey ice cream. It wasn’t OMFG amazing or anything, but it was good, and Smalls did love the honey ice cream.

Chocolate brownie and honey ice cream

And the cocktail list was good. And they have a cute 3-piece band that plays music reminiscent of (as Quinn called it) avant-garde 1930’s French cartoons. It was adorable. And not too loud. Oh, and the waiter was nice. And the tables were cute. And it totally filled up at like 7.30. On a Tuesday. Yeay!

Quinn enjoys a cocktail

It’s a five minute walk from my house, it’s delish, and it has pierogis!!! Excited squeal!

P.S. They have brunch. I want, I want, I want, I want…

Bottle Cap on Urbanspoon

Salt House

All lowercase lettering. Sandblasted brick walls. Exposed steel mezzanine. High ceilings. You know this SF restaurant.

Ok, you probably don’t; it sounds like lots of others. For which we can all be thankful: there are lots of chic, modern, schmancy, yummy restaurants in SF, yeay! Love this city. Moving on.

Inside the salt house

Salt House (or salt house — upper case is so 2009) is another restaurant serving classy American fare with their own special spin. A summary of my experience:

  • Get a reservation. This place is full every night. And I’m pretty sure they’re the type of place to scoff at you if you arrive sans reservation. I had a reservation: I felt so special!
  • There is not one menu item that is both non-dairy and meat-free. My lactose intolerant friend and I were forced to not share. No big.
  • Even though we didn’t make a big deal out of the fact that we had to order separately (after asking lots of dairy- and meat-related questions), our waitress kinda seemed like she didn’t like us. Or maybe like she was just kinda better than we were. Or maybe I was reading that totally wrong. But there was definitely something there.
  • They give you Acme bread and butter after you order. It’s like manna from god.
  • We had to wait an inordinate amount of time for our food. The company was good, so it wasn’t a huge problem, but it was noticeable.
  • The food was, not surprisingly, really, really good.

Kyla ordered an appetizer for her dinner: poached organic egg with spring peas, serrano ham, morel mushrooms, and foie gras. It sounds like a super weird combo, but she said it was amazing.

Poached organic egg appetizer from salt house

I ordered the yellow polenta with morel mushrooms, artichoke, fava beans, and grana padano. Which is apparently a cheese, I just looked it up. Who knew?

Yellow polenta from salt house

The polenta (did you know polenta is the same as grits?!!) was very good, but I make cheesy grits at home that are quite honestly just as good. The spring vegetables were FABULOUS. I had no idea what to expect from the description of the dish, but the mixture of veggies was simple and really, really good.

For dessert we chose something wholly cryptic (in my opinion); I did not know that I should expect a home made Whatchamacallit candy bar. That’s essentially what it was — a layer of peanut buttery goodness, a layer of crunchy bready something, a layer of chocolate ganache, and a more solid chocolate layer on top. We got the chocolate gelato on the side (lactose and all that — I enjoyed it alone). The entire dish was unexpectedly delish. I would both recommend it and order it again. and I would re-read the description to see if it actually makes any sense to me now.

Peanut buttery, chocolaty yumminess dessert. Although I don’t think that was the official name on the menu.

Overall, Salt House was a bit schmancy for me, but the food was very good and it’s right downtown (ok, fine, in SOMA — barely). And they have a bar for the fancy FiDi after-workers to enjoy their la-dee-da cocktails. And I do appreciate that they have a “bad press” link on their site that lists bloggers’ and yelpers’ ridiculous reviews of their restaurant. At least someone’s got a sense of humor.

Salt House on Urbanspoon