Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Meal of the Month: June

This was a big month. I had many great meals and enjoyed checking out some new places too! Contigo, Flour + Water and Wexler’s were added to the San Francisco dining scene.

There was good catch up time over seven courses of meat at a Vietnamese restaurant in the Tenderloin, at NOPA over some yummy cocktails, a fried chicken meal at Maverick, Thai food in my hood, and finally the chance to check out Velvet Cantina (what a totally random place!) There were birthday celebrations for my good friend Michelle, over a delicious Korean meal in Japantown (and Bi-Rite ice cream and champagne afterwards!), as well as a fancy meal at EPIC Roasthouse (kicked off with a champagne reception at sunset!)

Seven Courses of Beef and Korean food!

There was my ‘meal’ made of nibbles from five different chefs at the Cochon555 event. The meal was originally recaped here, but highlights included the pork skin roll, trotter cake, chicharrone taco, blood brioche sandwich, pork shoulder with polenta, porky bacon rice crispy treats and a apricot crumble with lard and bacon!

And then the amazing Sunday night dinner with some of my favorite people in the city at Incanto. We went for the Cucina Poverna menu, and in the end? Of course we couldn’t go there and not eat a bunch of other delicious stuff…highlights were the pastramied goose breast and well, the spaghettini (like you didn’t see that one coming!)

Pig's head at the butchering demo at Cochon555 and pastramied goose breast from Incanto

And some of the best meals of the month? Delicious home cooked meals at friend’s houses, including the best quinoa salad and steak at Sarah and Evan’s, a meal with the kids at Wendy and Mark’s, and a Greek feast at Tatiana’s house (which included some sword fighting with Easton!)

But no. Those weren’t the winning Meal of the Month. For the first time ever, I think there might be a tie. What two amazing meals could I be talking about? The first? My last meal at Postrio. I spend a lot of time talking about my last Postrio dinner in two different earlier blog posts, the first posted the week the restaurant closed, the second, more recently. Click on those links for a recap of this incredible experience.

So what was the second meal? An amazing multi course dinner at Jai Yun. A little hole in the wall Chinese restaurant, the place has no menu, and you only get to choose if you want a $55, $65, or $75 dinner (per person.) From there, everything is in the chefs hands. Some people call it the “Chinese French Laundry”. Me? Just one of the best dining experiences of my life.

First, there was 12 plates of delicious appetizers. Ranging from dried shrimp (that had a hint of sweetness), tofu skins, tripe ‘salad’, bamboo shoots, jelly fish, five spice pork, pork tongue, a ginger/radish salad, cucumber with sesame seed oil, lotus root...and more. Then we moved onto the most perfect abalone with egg white dish, a wheat gluten dish, shrimp, spicy eggplant dish, fish fillet, mung bean noodles with Chinese bacon, kung pao chicken, tofu with soy beans, squid, winter melon, fried mushrooms, pork shank, orange beef, roasted duck, fried eggplant and a whole fish. Umm, yes. It was incredible. You can see all the photos here, but below are pictures of some of my favorite dishes:

The 12 plates around the table, and the last bite of the abalone with egg whites

Mung bean noodles and squid!

Whole duck and whole fish
It was an unforgettable night surrounded by new and old friends, and a group of people that really had a deep appreciation for the food that is being cooked here. Not only a worthy Meal of the Month (tied!), but truly one of the best meals of my life.

1 comment:

  1. ooo... i am an eggplant super fan! sigh. i want the spicy eggplant sooooo badly right now. with rice.

    Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.