madbean

Calamari Safari

01 Jul 2005

As amateur foodies, one of our goals during our trip to JavaOne this year was to sample the fine cuisine San Francisco had to offer.

Our initial strategy was acknowledged as stupid: leave the hotel without advice and without our travel-guide book, and try to find some good food by wandering around. This returned some mediocre results the first two nights, but we hit the jackpot on the third night: Ponzu (104 Taylor St). Its logo of "Eat, Drink, Lounge" is the perfect description: a choice blend of sofas, bevies (Aussie slang for beverages: great beers and some killer sake cocktails), and amazing food. The calamari was heavenly, with lashings of salt and pepper with a beaut' sauce, as was every other dish we ordered from their Asian tapas-style menu.

However, without a doubt, the highlight of the culinary experience was Tuesday night, when jag took us to the Thang Long "Crab House" restaurant. The entrée included calamari (of course) which was just exquisite, but the crab-and-cheese filled deep-fried pastry "things" were unreal. Then there was the crab. Oh the crab. When we arrived (after 8 hours at the Cenqua booth, with no lunch or breakfast), we informed James that we were, well, starving. So James ordered the food for us. First the waiters brought out some noodles, and enough crabs for one-between-four. After our first taste, we thought "Great, this is awesome!". Then they bought out some more crabs, enough for half-each. Awesome! But the crabs kept on coming: I'm sure I had more than 1.5 portions of beautiful, garlicy, salt-and-peppery crabby goodness. YUM!

But the foodie expedition didn't end there. After the last general session on Thursday (today), we went out to lunch with Pamela to a pretty swish (or "shi shi") mexican restaurant on Geary St (a special thanks to Pamela: you are a champ!). But then our resident tour-guide Terrence Parr took over the reins (Terrence had previously taken us out to dinner at the First Crush (very nice) and to brunch). First stop was the Zeitgeist on Valencia St; the pub that combines pot-smoking beatniks and Netscape millionaires. Much beer was had. Then it was to the Limón peruvian restaurant. Some quality calamari was had there too. I had some paella-style thing which was good, but the pork chop that Brendan and Terrence had was about 3cm thick and looked delicious.

Its been a pretty good run, but we fly back tomorrow night; we will see if we can do any better.

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