The first time I tried Vietnamese food was when I visited San Francisco about 12 years ago. I went to see my friend Kerry while my (now) ex-husband, an extremely unadventurous eater, stayed in Seattle.
Kerry and I did a million fun things, but the ones I remember most are listening to Lovers Rock by Sade over and over again while driving to Sonoma, attending a brunch at one of the wineries hosted by Kerry’s family friend Chef Regina Charboneau, looking at the ruins of the Sutro Baths and having a glass of wine at Cliff House, stopping for lunch at Greens, having a mud bath, massage, and nap at Indian Springs in Calistoga, and trying Vietnamese food at The Slanted Door.
At this time, The Slanted Door was still in it’s original location on Valencia in the Mission District. Now it’s grown up and gotten fancy, hanging out with it’s other awesome friends at the Ferry Building. I love that place. I haven’t been since 2007. It’s probably time for another trip.
Seattle has a great “Vietnamese street food” restaurant that I’ve been to a few times now (but still not as many times as I’ve eaten at The Slanted Door). I first wrote about Ba Bar before I’d tried their food. At that time I just loved their web design, graphic design, and photography, created by Geoffrey Smith at LookatLao Studio. Now I have my own photos to share with you.
Like The Slanted Door, everything I’ve tried at Ba Bar has been delicious. I love the Huế Dumpling (mung bean, caramelized shallot, spicy soy vinaigrette), the vegetarian vermicelli bowl (organic soft tofu, shitake, spinach tofu-paper wrap), and the desserts I’ve sampled have been awesome, especially the lemon goat cheese custard with rhubarb compote and chocolate crisps.
The drinks have been good too. I’ve tried the Vietnamese coffee that I always love and never resist, as well as a couple of their refreshing cocktails.
Is it good for children? Yelp says no, but my adventurous eater enjoyed himself.
I’m pretty lucky that I incubated such an awesome little foodie. :)