So I think Janet and R2 are in Toledo, Spain right now (I deduced this from R2′s facebook status: “Holy Toledo”). While she has been nomming away on delicious ham and canned seafood, I have been enjoying my summer vacation since I finished my first year of law school two weeks ago! Last time I had a vacation was spring break in March, during which I went up to SF to visit Janet for a few days. Best spring break evar!! R2 kept taking us out to dinner and drinks and awesome times and we got a tour of Lucasfilm and we went to the Exploratorium and what can beat all that?!?!1! Maybe I should have been studying. Oh well.
Anyway… during that trip we went to Sauce(!) before seeing The Little Mermaid at the SF Ballet. I was hyped up for this meal since Janet kept talking it up and I looked it up on my handy Yelp! iPhone app and it got good reviews (currently 3.5 stars). And let me tell you, it did not disappoint! I guess the food genre is re-imagined American classics–oh so clever–but it really was quite delicious. When we sat down, R2 promptly said “I like girly drinks, any suggestions?” to the waiter, who half-giggled and suggested the pink lemonade: muddled lemon, cranberry, and Ketel citroen. I had the Elderflower Kiss: St. Germain, Belvedere, and Prosecco! Yum!! We promptly got drunk from these delightful libations, which might explain how much we ate.
We started off with a few of their “social plates:” scallops wrapped in bacon on a bed of Brussels sprouts with balsamic bacon tomato sauce (pictured top); portobello mushroom fries with fat boy ranch dipping sauce; and the daily slider, which that day was a ham and cheese slider.
I swear I’m not a pile of turds!
Oh.Em.Gee. The portobello fries. Holy craptastic happiness in my mouth. If you look at the picture, they don’t look like anything special–in fact, they kind of look like someone who ate corn just took a dump. But they were so much more than a good poo. They had this crispy, herbacious breading that somehow managed to be airy and substantial at the same time. Portobellos are meaty by nature, but these were juicy and toothsome and the perfect contrast to the crispy coating. However, the scene-stealer was the RANCH! I know, right?? I am a believer in Hidden Valley Ranch. Only two house-made ranches have ever beaten its flavor for me: Hole in the Wall in Santa Monica because they put dill in their ranch and I adore dill; and THIS ONE!! Oh man. It was so good that when they took the empty plate after we devoured the fries I think I squeaked out “Wait!!” and grabbed the ranch to put it on the sliders. And everything else.
Oh yeah, sliders and scallops. Forgot about those. The scallops were awesome, duh. They had bacon around them. And the sliders were also good, with thick-sliced ham, melty cheddar, and mustard on the rolls they gave us at the beginning. Oh wait! I forgot to mention the breadnom too! Cute little round-topped rolls that were so promising, but sadly were cold and thus no fun on their own. Good as a slider though.
On to the entrees! Janet had the baked mac & cheese: David’s old world ham and ham hock, Tillamook cheddar and four cheese cream sauce, served with green beans and bacon. Bacon seems to have been a theme to this dinner. No wonder everything was so tasty. I only had a few bites as I tend to have adverse reactions to creamy mac n’ cheese (sad times for me, since cheese is like my favorite food ever) and I didn’t want to be in the bathroom during the ballet. But the bites I did have were quite delightful, though nothing super memorable.
I only had one bite of R2′s meal: cornmeal crusted Hawaiian butterfish with cauliflower and whipped potato puree, brussels sprouts leaves, and caramelized red onion salad. My bite was of the cauliflower puree, and it was gooood. I love anything mixed with potatoes. I didn’t try the butterfish, both because Janet ate most of it and I play favorites– Roy’s misoyaki butterfish will always have a special place in my heart.
My entree was the braised boneless beef short rib “pot roast” with roasted rainbow carrots, yukon gold potatoes, shallot & garlic, finished with fresh herbs, peeled baby roma tomatoes, and pan demi gloss gravy. Pretty fancy description for what was basically a large hunk of short rib on a pile of veggies. Nonetheless, it was pretty awesome, though I prefer my short ribs melty and not quite as stringy.
Besides the mushroom fries, though, the highlight of the meal was dessert. I am a dessert fiend, so of course I went ahead and ordered the Sauce sampler: PB&J cake, cinnamon sugar donuts, strawberries, and cream, and ice cream smash. I never realized how delicious PB&J can be when it’s sandwiched between vanilla pound cake and ice cream. Also, the donuts! Light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth, with the most amazing vanilla bourbon dipping sauce. Even after 3 appetizers, 3 entrees, and Janet’s aversion to dessert, we still decimated the plate. High fives all around. Good job, Sauce, you were awesome.
So then we walked 4 blocks (I think) in the bitter-freezing-icy-cold wind to the Opera House, just in time for the Little Mermaid: CREEPIEST BALLET EVER. It was originally commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet to be performed for the Queen in celebration of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. If I were the queen, I would be like “What the fuck Hans Christian Andersen? Why did you write such fucked-up stories?” In the real fairy tale, the Little Mermaid doesn’t get the guy–instead, he marries someone else, and at the end she turns into “airy mist” and will eventually get to heaven. So, she learns that unrequited love sucks, and she’s basically stuck in purgatory watching her prince be happy with someone else. Awesome story, dude.
I’m sure you can imagine how horribly tragic that would be if performed in pretty tutus like a classic ballet, but then throw in a modern composer and choreographer and you get this:
Scary Asian ballerina who does freaky arm movements and flaps around in her large pillowcases/pants/”fins.” The music was also creeptastic–very eerie and clashy, with only a few major chords to ease the tension. I mean, yeah, I enjoyed the dancing because it was artistic and cool, but this probably wasn’t the best ballet to pop my profesh ballet cherry. There were only a few moments of pretty pointe shoes, and the rest was angry jumping and spasming. Sighs. Next time, we’re seeing something classic like Swan Lake.
131 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tickets available at sfballet.org