Hold on to your socks. It's here. The long awaited unique approach to exploring the amazing city of San Francisco and the delicious, tasty treats it holds...has arrived. Welcome to "Where-To-Wednesday" where each month we get our group of girls together to explore and dine at a restaurant we haven’t tried before, in a *hopefully* NEW area we haven’t been to before! So yes everyone...please be open to trying areas and foods out of your comfort zone - you might just be surprised at what you like! And if you're like me, you have your go-to-favorites that you...well...end up going to all the time..(guilty)! This will give us all a chance to venture outside our typical go-to places and find some new favorites.

Here's how it works: each month, one person chooses the place, the date, gather RSVPs the week before and sets up the reservation. Given the number of girls, coordinating schedules isn’t the easiest so if you can make it that month, fantastic....if not, no biggie - we'll see you the next month. No cancellations because it could jeopardize the whole reservation, especially with a large group. And lastly, the person appointed each month is selected at the previous month’s outing, so if you’d like to make a pick for the group…get chowing the month before!

If you know a great girl that would love to find some hidden gems within the city by the bay, invite her to join! We have already explored several new areas and not only found fantastic restaurants and dishes, but a great girls’ night each month to look forward to! Hope to see you all at the next outing - we will slowly eat our way through the amazing city of San Francisco!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Where-To-Wednesday Adventure #4: Zadin

January 12th marked our fourth Where-To-Wednesday adventure, which was chosen by Chelsea and took us to the Castro. Loving the Castro area, we had high hopes as the Castro has tons of delicious restaurants competing for food lovers’ stamps of approval. You’ll need to read on to get the full experience…let’s just say that when Chels herself couldn’t make it that night…she may have known something we didn’t. I kid Chels, I kid…still…myself, Elizabeth, Lindsey, and two of our newcomers this week – Joce and Terra – had high hopes for the contemporary Vietnamese cuisine offered at Zadin. Ok people – 0/10 read on for our full experience.

Ambiance: 6  Low lighting typically leads to comfort – you know what I mean, snuggling up in front of a fire, watching the sun set, you get where I’m going. Unfortunately, Zadin didn’t. This cafĂ©-ish restaurant may have flown for a quick lunch, but dinner it did not. It was not a dining experience that you wanted to stay and relish in, but instead, eat and leap.

Wine: 9.5  We originally ordered a Sangiovese, but our waiter spoke up (and glad he did) to recommend the Malbec. It was pretty spectacular – smooth, velvety and medium-bodied - and extra points for steering us in the right direction.

Food: 7  I feel slightly off about this, because we did substitute various ingredients from the dishes, so I can’t accurately say that our grading is representative of what you would get if you came and ordered the same dishes, but..who am I to hold an opinion back?? Here we go:
-          Fish Rolls: this is a house specialty, as it should be! They were unique and absolutely delicious  with fried basa, rice vermicelli, mint, cilantro and red leaf lettuce wrapped in rice paper.
-          Summer Rolls: we opted for the vegetarian tofu option and it wasn’t as good as  the Fish rolls
-          Pho Ga: This was chicken noodle soup – garnished with onions, scallions cilantro and friend shallots the broth was very good, however, the chicken was extremely chewy. I mean, pull-out-of-your-mouth-you-can’t-eat-this type of chewy.
-          Dau Hu Xau Ca Tim (it sounds so official): this is spicy tofu and eggplant – it was bland and overcooked. I actually forgot there was even eggplant in this dish it was so forgetful.
-          Pho Ap Chao: These were pan fried pho noodles – this dish came with shrimp and chicken, however, we opted for the vegetarian tofu option…which someone translated to no noodles. Fail.
-          Bo Luc Lac: This is shaken beef, otherwise known as “superstar of the night.” These filet mignon cubes are seared medium rare along with red onions, scallions and garlic – served with yam fries! We couldn’t get enough!
Price: 9.5 – Amazing – ended up being 30-something each. Lunch prices for a dinner meal. Although…you know what I’m thinking.

Noise Level: 9 There is an endless chatter in the background as groups gather around you, however, the entire time it was very easy to hear each other.

Service: 8.5 It took a little while to get their attention, but once we did, they were great. Very good recommendations, great service to keep the flow of the meal going – really liked them.

All About The Area: The Castro is definitely a favorite of ours – full of energy, life, and excitement there is always something going on here. Everything is close together and easily accessible, with bars and restaurants a stone’s throw away. We will definitely be back to the Castro soon! Zadin, now…that’s different story.

Overall Grade: 8 (thanks to price and wine…yes, I said it.)

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