Sweetbreads and Fried Cream

Dessert treated us a bit more kindly. My sister-in-law selected the rice pudding ($1.95), which was decent and came sprinkled with cinnamon. My stepfather took the safe route and ordered an apple pie ($2.60), which was good but would have had to have been downright sensational to make up for the traumas he'd suffered. Our table shared a creme caramel custard ($2.90), which was edible. And then there was the house specialty -- fried cream in blue flame ($3.95).

Two cubes of deep-fried custard smothered in brandy and set afire, the fried cream at Westlake Joe's was, if you ask me, a delight. My family wasn't quite so kind, but then again, after what they'd been through, I couldn't blame them one bit. As we headed home, we laughed, sighed, and shed a few quiet tears, relieved that, finally, it was over. But hey, I pointed out, wasn't that ambience something? And what's more, the next time they come to town they'll have a much deeper appreciation of how excellent San Francisco restaurants can be.

Joe's of Westlake
11 Glenwood Ave. (at Lake Merced Boulevard), Daly City, (650) 755-7400. Open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight. Reservations taken. Wheelchair accessible. Parking: plentiful. Muni: I don't think they have Muni in Daly City. Sound level: a few screaming children.

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