Best Fried Fish San Francisco 2004 - Kokkari Estiatorio
There are many pleasures to be had in this rather formal room, which could be in a Spanish grandee's castle rather than a Greek taverna, and is close enough to the Embarcadero to catch a sea breeze. But there's one dish that demands to be ordered. For $6.50, you get an impressive heap of fried smelts (marithes tiganites) stacked up like kindling -- plump, golden, impossibly crisp, and compulsively edible, like the piscine equivalent of french fries or potato chips. (Ask for extra lemon.) It's enough for a shared starter or a light main course; we like to order tzatziki (untold amounts of garlic suspended in a creamy dip) with it, for textural contrast and sharp flavor.