Thursday, June 21, 2007

Finally, a Good Lobster Roll in San Francisco

Woodhouse Fish Company
2073 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415)437-CRAB
Lunch and dinner daily

Woodhouse Fish Company on Urbanspoon

Tried: June 2007

Perhaps because of my less than stellar recent dining experiments, I was rather skeptical about venturing into the Woodhouse Fish Company. I had been so disappointed after the rubbery, chemical-tasting lobster roll at Old Port Lobster Shack, so contrary to the positive endorsements I had seen, that I started with something safer, like fish and chips. The cod was moist on the inside, well-seasoned, and crispy on the outside. I loved that each table had malt vinegar as a standard condiment, in addition to salt, pepper, and ketchup. (Why do restaurants serve fish & chips and never bring over the malt vinegar?) But the chips were still wrong. Standard thin fries-- not bad, but not chips-- which could not stand up to the vinegar without wilting. Thankfully, the tartar sauce was properly creamy, without being gloppy, and piquant, without too much or too little relish.

The fried seafood platter-- oysters, clams, and calamari-- was acceptable but not remarkable. Although the oysters were briny and fresh underneath the fried coating, the batter was a bit too brown and doughy. Plus, the clams and calamari were both on the rubbery side.

The lobster roll, though, was fantastic. The 3 oz. roll, accompanied by fries and cole slaw, is $16 and the 6 oz. roll is $24. I asked for the roll "naked," with the mayonnaise sauce on the side. Instead of gravelly, chemically celery salt, the tender chunks of lobster (with the chunky whole claw meat clearly visible on top) were decorated with miniature dices of fresh celery. The roll was buttery and soft with a lightly crunchy golden layer on the outside. I was really craving a fabulous Meursault to go with the lobster roll. (The wine selections are not horrible, but it is not the type of place that would have an extensive wine list, unlike Swan Oyster Depot; better to stick with beer-- I quite enjoyed the Shipyard Export Ale, mildly caramelly with body, and not too sweet or watery.)

I may have to go back tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Food Rut

After a few disappointing dining experiences at both new and old places, I find myself seeking out my reliable favorites repeatedly, rather than risk another disappointment with the latest and the supposedly greatest. Better than staring despondently into my kitchen cupboards and/or the list of restaurants on Opentable, hoping to be inspired by either. Looking at the menus from my recent less successful dining experiments, I found it too demoralizing and uninspiring to write about various shortcomings-- who wants to relive those?

Instead, I have stopped by El Norteno taco truck for my favorite taco triple (cabeza, carnitas, carne asada) so many times lately that despite the throngs of people that crowd the truck daily, they now know me by sight.

I have tried every single possible combination and permutation of the omakase at Sushi Sam's to the point where they had to leave for vacation to get rid of me (but they're BACK).

Manresa and Komi I can't get to as often as I would like due to travel and credit card constraints, but the memories of the meals by Kinch and Monis keep haunting me such that I start to wonder whether I am ever going to enjoy any other restaurant as much.

If Canteen weren't so small, I would be able to go there for dinner whenever I fancy a fancy meal without the fancy price.

It is also frustrating to have to drive across the bridge all the way out to Larkspur for that perfect, simple margherita pizza followed by the ideal dessert-- soft serve ice cream with sweet olive oil ladled on top and decorated with sparkling opaque salt crystals.

So I have not exactly been deprived of good eats but not much fodder for blogging...

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