(8) Cellophane Noodles with Crab @ The Slanted Door

Cellophane Noodle with Crab @ The Slated Door. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
Cellophane noodles, green onion, dungenes crab, sesame. Sorta scare on the crab front, but nonetheless reaaal tasty, especially the gossamery noodles and diced green onions. If you want to kick it up a notch, add some Srihacha. Would love to come here with a big group and order many dishes and nibble on all of them. Who's in? I mean, c'mon, just look at all these delicious dishes...

Photo credit: The Slanted Door

Photo credit: The Slanted Door
Photo credit: The Slanted Door.  
Photo credit: The Slanted Door.  
Photo credit: The Slanted Door 
Photo credit: The Slanted Door. 
In other news, Charles Phan just published his book, Vietnamese Home Cooking. What a modest man. Such talent!
Cellophane Noodle with Crab @ The Slated Door. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
Cellophane Noodles with Crab @ The Slanted Door ($20)
San Francisco, CA 94111
Lunch: Monday-Saturday 11-2:30pm, Sunday 11:30-3pm
Afternoon Tea: Every day 2:30-4:30pm
Dinner: Every day 5:30-10pm

(7) Morning Bun @ Tartine Bakery

Fact: Tartine can do no wrong. Everyone knows this. The line constantly wraps around the block, it's worth the wait. It totally lives up to the hype. Their mornings buns are legendary. Flaky and citrusy. Sticky and sugary. Buttery and sweet. Delicate and floral. Absolutely D E L I C I O U S. To die for. 
Morning Bun @ Tartine Bakery. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
Morning Buns @ Tartine Bakery. Photo credit: Sarah Dvorak.

The recipe for croissant dough can be found in the Tartine cookbook.
Yields: approximately 12 buns

2 pounds croissant dough 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 medium oranges
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 
pinch salt
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
extra white sugar for coating muffin cups and for rolling finished buns

1. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and salt. Mixture will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or in the freezer for a month.

2. Prepare a 12-muffin capacity muffin tin by generously brushing bottom and sides of each cup with melted butter. Put a teaspoon of sugar in each muffin cup and swirl around to evenly coat. Tap out excess sugar.

3. Roll out croissant dough into a 1/4-inch thick, 6-inch-by-18-inch rectangle, with the long side in front of you. Brush dough with melted butter, and sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over the whole rectangle—the sugar layer should be about 1/8-inch thick. You may have some of the mixture left over.

4. Starting with the long side of the dough, roll rectangle into a cylinder. Cut cylinder into 1 1/2-inch discs. Fit each disc into the buttered and sugared muffin tins so that the swirl pattern is visible on top. You may have some extra rolled bun dough left over or just choose to bake fewer buns (if you do, cut them all and freeze individually on a pan). Once frozen, place in a resealable plastic bag and store in freezer. 

To bake buns that are frozen: Prepare pan as above, let buns defrost in the prepared cups (this will depend on how warm your kitchen is, about 45 minutes), then continue with step 5.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Let rolls rise in a warm but not hot place for approximately 45 minutes. The rising time will vary depending on how cold your dough was to start and how warm a place they are put to rise. They should rise approximately to 1 1/2 times their original size. Place the muffin tin on a cookie sheet covered with parchment or foil to catch any drips while baking.

6. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour or longer, depending on your oven. When done, the tops should be well browned and the sugar melted. Remove pan from oven and immediately turn buns out onto a clean baking sheet or work surface. Place pan in sink and cover with hot water (it will be easier to clean later). Let the buns set for 5 to 10 minutes, then toss in a bowl with some sugar to coat. These buns are best eaten the day they are made. If eating the next day, heat them up first in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes before serving.

Morning Buns @ Tartine Bakery ($3.85)
600 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Monday 8am - 7pm
Tuesday, Wednesday 7:30am - 7pm
Thursday, Friday 7:30am - 8pm
Saturday 8am - 8pm
Sunday 9pm - 8pm 

(6) Custard French Toast @ Nopa

Custard French Toast @ Nopa.  Photo credit: Nopa.
!!!!!!!!!!! Want to eat this again, for every breakfast. No - for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. MMMMM. Nopa nails it. Every time. Any meal of the day. They are rock stars in the San Francisco food industry. Above and below is the custard French toast with maple butter and caramalized apples. I had it with maple butter and lavender honey glazed strawberries. Daaaaammmn, it was SO GOOD. Lightly griddled, so rich, so sweet, so moist, so fluffy, like a pillow in my mouth. Don't be a weenie, upgrade to a double order.

Custard French Toast @ Nopa. Photo credit: Nopa

Brunch time @ Nopa. Photo credit: Nopa
Custard French Toast @ Nopa ($7/single, $14/double)
560 Divisadero Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
7 days a week, 6 p.m. -1 a.m.
Monday-Friday bar opens at 5 p.m. serving bar snacks
Brunch is Saturdays & Sundays 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., bar opens at 10:30 a.m. - 1 a.m.

(5) Chashu Ramen @ Katana-ya Restaurant

Whoa, 7x7. You dropped the ball on this one. I am thoroughly confused why this made the list. Not only is this not list-worthy, it was gross. Like, one of the worst meals I've ever had. I was actually annoyed I had to pay. Yikes. I'm scratching my head over here...The chasu was thick slabs of tough, dry, "meat". The ramen lacked that chewy/slurpiness character . The broth was watery and lacking flavor. The seaweed and bean sprouts tasted spoiled. Not impressed, would not recommend it. Didn't take a photo, but you can view one here.

Chashu Ramen @ Katana-Ya Restaurant ($9)
430 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Monday-Sunday 11:30 a.m. - 1 a.m.

(4) Carnitas Taco @ La Taqueria

Carnitas tacos @ La Taqueria. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
Standards for Mexican food are high in my book because I grew up in Leucadia (we can throw a rock @ Mexico/U.S. border, well, kind of) and because my family owns Tony's Jacal in Solana Beach. When I first moved to San Francisco I held up my Southern California pride claiming that there could not possibly be better Mexican food in this City. I quickly realized how wrong I was. There are so many great food trucks and hole-in-the-wall taquerias here. Including La Taqueria in the Mission, although it's quite large and well known. They do their tacos right here - beans, heaps of fresh pico de gallo, and juicy/crispy carnitas. Delicioso. A Mission district must-have.
La Taqueria. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.

Carnitas taco @ La Taqueria ($3.50)
2889 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Monday-Saturday 11-9
Sunday 11-8

(3) Dry-fried Chicken Wings @ San Tung Chinese

Dry-fried chicken wings @ San Tung Chinese. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson. 

If I could have one wish, it would be to douse myself in this sweet sticky sauce. From head to toe, just head dive into a big vat of this glaze. (!) You only get one measly paper napkin, but, if you are like me and know about efficient finger licking, I guarantee you won't even touch your napkin. Alternatively, if you order something spicy - like the man that sitting next to me, who would switch off using his one hand to swipe his smartphone screen to view anime and then in quick intervals pat down his sweating bullets - you may require additional napkins. But let's get back to the matter at hand: dry-friend chicken wings. The sauce was sweet, savory, sticky, gingery, and brown sugary. Mmmmmm. The chicken skin was crispy and topped off with scallions and dried red peppers. The lady next to me had ordered the same thing, but with shrimp, and had about 14 mouthgasms. She even closed her eyes a few times, no shame, she was feeling it. It was brilliant to watch. FYI: you get 6 pieces for $7 - SUPER SAN FRANCISCO STEAL! Go get it, now.

Anime/Sweating Man @ San Tung Chinese. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
Old/wise Chinese man nommmmmming @ San Tung Chinese. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.

So many great things to say about this place. You know you've found a legit gem when you are the only Caucasian in an Asian restaurant with 75+ patrons at lunch time. Score. I got seated at a communal table with complete strangers. Something that I dig about the dining scene in San Francisco is the abundance of communal tables. Each table seats ten and has a lazy Susan (best invention ever? Props to you, Susan.) The carpets in this place remind me of a Hilton hotel lobby, you know, the kind of paisley carpet with moss green and maroon/mauve undertones?  The waiters wear starchy white collared shirts, pressed black slacks, floor length white aprons, and mini black bow ties - tres fancy.
San Tung Chinese. Photo credit: Google Maps.
San Tung Chinese. Photo credit: Google Maps.
Dry-fried Chicken Wings @ San Tung Chinese ($7)
1031 Irving Street
San Francisco, CA 94112
Open every day 11:00-9:30 (closed Wednesdays)

(2) Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad @ Zuni Cafe

Holy lord. If I had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of my life, it would be the Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad @ Zuni Cafe. If I had to choose my last meal on earth, it would be the Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad @ Zuni Cafe. If I had to choose one taste to be permanently injected into my taste buds, it would be the Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad @ Zuni Cafe. Is this a bit of an exaggeration? Am I a woman of hyperbole? Yes and yes. But holy wow, this dish just nails it.
Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad @ Zuni Cafe. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
What makes this chicken extra special is the entire prep process. The chicken is salted/seasoned 1-3 days in advance. According to Smitten Kitchen, they use small chickens because they "flourish at high heat, roasting quickly and evenly, with lots of skin per ounce of meat, are virtually engineered for succulence." (If your mouth isn't watering right now there must be something wrong with you). Then they roast the bird in wood-fired brick oven. Hands down, the best roasted chicken I've ever had in my liiiife. Available on both the lunch & dinner menus - Chicken for two roasted in the wood-fired brick oven; warm bread salad with scallions, garlic, dandelion greens, dried currants, and pine nuts. Two disclaimers: (1) this meal it meant for two (however, I think I could easily wolf the whole thing down solo, just sayin') and (2) It takes an hour, definitely worth every minute of the wait. The hunks of bread are charred and soaked through with tasty juices, the greens are bitter and the dressing acidic, the pine nuts and currents add a little crunch and texture. It's just perfection. Absolute perfection on a plate.
Entrance of Zuni Cafe. Photo credit: Google Maps.
Brass bar @ Zuni Cafe. Photo credit: Google Maps.
Kitchen @ Zuni Cafe. Photo credit: Google Maps. 

Upstairs @ Zuni Cafe. Photo credit: Google Maps.
Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad @ Zuni Cafe ($48)
1658 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Closed Mondays, Tuesday-Thursday 11:30-11:00, Friday and Saturday 11:30-midnight, Sunday 11:00-11:00

(1) Salt Cod Rice @ Mission Chinese

First and foremost, let's talk about how badass Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese is and how badly I want to be his friend. Seriously, check out this episode of Munchies. This dude is epic and inspiring and hilarious. He is a good one.

Salt Cod Rice @ Mission Chinese. Photo Credit: Kendra Aronson.

Salt Cod Rice = Mackerel confit, chinese sausage, egg, and scallion. It's light, yet hearty. Chewy little morsels of mackerel, crispy rice, delicate fish flavor, and salty goodness. The Salt Cod Rice is a good dish, but I think their Ma Po Tofu (featured on 7x7's Big Eat 2011 list) & Pork Belly are even better. Do yourself a favor, go with a group, and order all three dishes, you'll thank me later.

Ma Po Tofu @ Mission Chinese. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
Pork Belly @ Mission Chinese. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.
I love the feel of Mission Chinese. It's so inviting and warm. And total organized chaos. They now have a New York location(!), scope photos of their new space here.
Dragon @ Mission Chinese.  Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.

Ridiculously cool plastic roses & icicle lights @ Mission Chinese. Photo credit: Kendra Aronson.

Mission Chinese. Photo Credit: Bon Appetit.

Two more things, (1) Take a gander at their website, there is a cool little ninja that flys across the screen. Awesome. (2) Hey, all you Mission-ites, did you know they have free delivery? Yewwww!

Salt Cod Rice @ Mission Chinese ($10)
2234 Mission Street 
San Francisco, CA
Open every day 11:30-3:00, 5:00-10:30 (closed Wednesdays)

The Big Eat List

Here it is. The list. Let the gluttony begin.

(1) Salt Cod Rice @ Mission Chinese
(2) Roasted Chicken and Bread Salad @ Zuni Cafe
(3) Dry-fried Chicken Wings @ San Tung Chinese
(4) Carnitas Taco @ La Taqueria
(5) Chasu Ramen @ Katana-ya Restaurant
(6) Custard French Toast @ Nopa
(7) Morning Bun @ Tartine Bakery
(8) Cellophane Noodles with Crab @ The Slanted Door
(9) Eggs in Jail @ Outerlands
(10) Kelvin-made Ice Cream @ Smitten Ice Cream
(11) Pork Sugo @ Delfina Restaurant
(12) Porchetta Sandwich @ RoliRoti
(13) Soup Dumplins @ Kingdom of Dumpling
(14) Warm Egg Salad Sandwich @ Il Cane Rosso
(15) Any seasonal flavor @ Scream Sorbet
(16) Katsu Curry @ Muracci's Japanese Curry & Grill
(17) Pizza Margherita @ Pizzeria Delfina
(18) $24 Prix Fixe @ Cotogna
(19) Benwaffles (monthly) @ Bar Jules
(20) Salumi Misti Plate @ Perbacco
(21) Tonkotsu Ramen @ Izakaya Sozai
(22) Vietnamese Roasted Pork Sandwich @ Saigon Sandwiches
(23) Duck and Sausage Jambalaya (Thursdays) @ Boxing Room
(24) Loaf of bread straight out of the oven @ Tartine Bakery
(25) Pistachio Meatballs @ Zare at Fly Trap
(26) Spicy Baby Octopus Stew @ La Ciccia Restaurant
(27) Tuna Tartare @ Bix
(28) Clam Chowder @ Anchor Oyster Bar
(29) Amatriciana Pizza @ Ragazza
(30) Pupusas @ Balompie Cafe
(31) Prime Rib @ House of Prime Rib
(32) Pork Belly Bun @ Chairman Bao Bun Truck
(33) The Little Star @ Little Star Pizza
(34) Argentine Beef Empanada @ Venga Empanada
(35) Salted Caramel Ice Cream @ Bi-Rite Creamery
(36) Soft Garlic Pretzels @ Absinthe Brasserie & Bar
(37) Whole Wheat Pasta with Hen and Liver @ Flour + Water
(38) Burger and Fries @ Spruce's Bar
(39) Egg Custard Tart @ Golden Gate Bakery
(40) Pierna Enchilada Torta @ La Torta Gorda
(41) Langos @ Bar Tartine
(42) Maccaronara with Ricotta Salata @ A16
(43) Nojo Sundae @ Nojo Restaurant
(44) Beer Sausage @ Rosamunde Sausage Grill
(45) Duck Larb @ Lers Ros Thai
(46) Secret Breakfast @ Humphry Slocombe
(47) Chips & Salsa @ Papalote Mexican Grill
(48) Seafood Chowder @ Bar Crudo
(49) Ginger Snaps @ Miette
(50) Chicken Soup with Dumplings @ Leopold's
(51) Pho Ga @ Turtle Tower Restaurant
(52) Carnitas @ Nopalito
(53) Masala Burrito @ Curry Up Now
(54) Kouign Amann @ Fourbarrel Coffee
(55) A Dozen Sweetwater Oysters @ Hog Island Oyster
(56) Chicken Porridge @ Out the Door
(57) Sandwich No. 1 @ Lucca Delicatessen
(58) Pork Shoulder Fried Rice @ Sai Jai Thai Restaurant
(59) Hamburger @ 4505 Meats
(60) Huarache with Cactus Salad @ El Huarache Loco
(61) Spaghetti with Tuna Heat @ Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
(62) Dim Sum @ Ton Kiang Restaurant
(63) Friday's Pozole (Fridays) @ San Jalisco Restaurant
(64) Sand Dabs @ Tadich Grill
(65) Cookies-and-cream Cookie @ Anthony's Cookies
(66) Paper Masala Dosa @ Dosa
(67) Meatloaf Sandwich @ The Fatted Calf
(68) Focaccia @ Liguria Bakery
(69) Omakase Menu @ Kiss
(70) Calamari with Chorizo and Black Rice @ Contigo
(71) Fried Green Beans @ Coco500
(72) Peanut Brittle @ Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
(73) Munsoned @ Deli Board
(74) Faux Shark Fin's Soup @ Benu
(75) Super Carne Asada Burrito @ El Farolito Taqueria
(76) Steak Frites @ L'Ardoise
(77) Fried Chicken @ Foreign Cinema
(78) Bone Marrow @ Alembic
(79) Crawfish Beignets @ Brenda's French Soul Food
(80) Potato Latke with Pickled Beets @ Baker & Banker
(81) Pickled Egg @ Comstock Saloon
(82) Breakfast Eggs @ Boulette's Larder
(83) Rice Burger @ Sandbox Bakery
(84) Cheese Slice @ Arinell Pizza
(85) Sesame Balls @ Yank Sing
(86) Fried Chicken Sandwich @ Marlowe
(87) Coconut Buns @ King's Bakery Cafe
(88) Malaysian Curry Laksa Soup @ Betelnut
(89) Korean Tacos @ Namu's Farmer's Market Stand
(90) Albondigas Soup @ Mijita
(91) Bacon-wrapped Hot Dog @ a cart in the Mission
(92) Chicken Liver Mousse on Toast @ Frances
(93) Seven Flavors of Beef @ Pagolac
(94) Hawaiian Hangover Cake @ Bluestem Brasserie
(95) Deviled Eggs @ Park Tavern
(96) Ube Ice Cream @ Mitchell's Ice Cream
(97) Green Goddess Salad @ Prospect
(98) Chicken Curry Lunch Special @ Punjab Kabab
(99) Fried Chicken and Waffles @ Little Skillet
(100) Cracked Dungeness Crab @ Swan Oyster Depot

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