Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Scary Fish & Chips

Waterbar, a swanky new resto-bar in SF, has a lot of things going for it. It's got a killer location, right along the water by the Bay Bridge, a cool interior design that includes columns made of real fish aquariums, and it offers a decent raw bar.

That said, one thing on the menu I wouldn't recommend to anyone, save thrill seekers and wierd food lovers, is the fish and chips. You'd think the dish were benign and simple enough - just fry some white fish and make french fries. But somehow, in its attempt to dress up a perfectly perfect classic, the Waterbar kitchen went horribly awry. I think the photo below says it all.

It's simply the ugliest dish I think I've ever seen.

399 The Embarcadero South
San Francisco

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Good Pint

With the election at hand and a likely Obama victory, I'm glad to be back in the US. But from time to time, there are moments of my life in England that I miss and grow nostalgic about. Especially the pubs.

There just isn't anything quite like them in the US. Sure, we have our biker bars and sports bars and dive bars. But there are no cute country manor houses with beer crusted tables and hefty pint glasses. No corner pubs where families gather to start drinking at 10am. No menus sporting curry and rice, bangers and mash, or ploughman's lunch - bar food that sticks to your ribs and arteries.

So imagine my surprise when on a drive out of Muir Woods, as we came round a particularly curvy bend in the road, my friend Siddhi insisted that we stop at Pelican Inn. The quaint joint was tucked away where the North Bay hills meet Muir Beach. And on that stop we found ourselves in a little piece of England, transplanted. The house was rustic and white with brown beams, flowers and gardens outside - and inside the narrow corridors and criss-crossing staircases made it feel ancient.

Hidden below was a perfect pub, replete with ancient wooden sidings, random hunt-related decor and a draft bar manned by friendly bartenders with local ales on tap. And the bar food was perfect - hefty cut chips (ie french fries), bangers and mash, beet and goast cheese salad.

The only reminder that I was in Northern California? Most of the produce was supplied from Green Gulch Farm & Zen Center, which happens to be just up the road.

Pelican Inn
10 Pacific Way
Muir Beach 94965