Picking a restaurant that appeals to my dad is difficult for mostly because of our difference in taste, but also because of his “full bar or this restaurant is dead to me” dining perspective. A lot of San Fran’s latest restaurants only offer beer and wine, which is fine by me, but not by a man who was drinking martinis before it was cool or commonplace to do so. Fortunately, because Locanda’s cocktail menu is boasting with great concoctions, and the restaurant was next on my “to-try” list, it presented itself as the perfect option for a father-daughter dinner with my mom out of town.
delicious crusty bread
Jewish style artichoke – fried and crisp with lemon
flavorful chicken under a brick
Despite the fact that I’d say my dad and I rarely eat similar foods, we both left totally wowed by all aspects of the meal, from the attentive but not so clingy service, to the complimentary olive-oily flat bread, to the crispy fried jewish style artichoke, to the luscious linguine with crab and lettuce, to my awesome chicken under the brick with quinoa. A sign of a good menu is one that makes the ordering decision process a tough one, and honestly, I almost had a panic attack considering the possibility of eating one of five dishes I felt I couldn’t live without. While I may not choose the ricotta bread pudding with orange blossom honey (a little too dry for me) again, I’ll absolutely return to experiment the other solid Italian style food Locanda has to offer. Check out my video for more footage of our meal and my dad’s profession of love for Locanda.
Location: 557 Valencia Street btwn 16th and 17th
FINALLY I made it to Flour + Water, and FINALLY I know what people mean when they say this place produces THE best pasta in the city. For fear of being turned down without a reservation, my sister Justyn and I waited patiently outside the door 15 minutes prior to the the 5:30pm opening time along with the other dedicated pasta-lovers, and were able to snag a prime table near the bar. We followed a tip from one of our friends to request bread, and thank the lord that we did because I shoveled each piece into my mouth like candy – the center was warm and soft, almost sticky-chewy surrounded by a sturdy, crusty edge that made a lovely crackling sound with each bite, indicating its perfection. And despite loading on that, we made our way to carbo-coma, starting with the special: trenette (a long, fettucine-like noodle with a ribbon-ridge on each side) with a slow-roasted veal ragu, and moving onto the funghi pizza with hen of the woods mushrooms and fontina. Not only was our pasta melt-in-your-mouth delicious, but also every stuffed and long-noodle pasta that went by me looked incredible. My food envy was raging – especially over the teleme-stuffed scarpinocc that looked like little white angels on a plate. We also finished every last crumb of the pizza, whose salty charred crust and generous toppings did not go unnoticed, but next time I’d just focus on the pasta – there’s too many good ones to say no to.
Pasta with veal
look at that beautiful stuffed pasta!
To top off the influx of dense flour-full food, we finished with the most dense and chocolatey budino that was covered in fleur de sel (to my liking) and a coffee creme. The portion size was huge, so naturally, I left the restaurant feeling like I had enough food to last me for a week. Based on my meal and the food I saw others enjoying, Flour + Water has become one of my top recommendations for those dining in SF looking for a casual but memorable meal. It’s perfect for a date or a smaller group, especially if you come without a reservation (of which they offer very few).
Location: 2401 Harrison Street @ 20th Street