Best Vietnamese - 2007
Out the Door
If you'd ask us one of our San Francisco restaurant dreams, we'd have told you we longed for a Slanted Door that was just a touch more consumer-friendly: easier to get into, less noisy, and, while we're at it, why not cheaper? The Chans must have read our mind, because they've opened a large outpost called Out the Door, which occupies its own modern space, just off the Westfield Centre lower-level food court. An anteroom offers take-out from a counter and shelves filled with Asian ingredients and housewares, available for purchase. We were cheered to find such famed Slanted Door specialties as the chicken claypot in caramel sauce and cellophane noodles with crab just as delicious as the versions served at the Mother Ship (now ensconced, after several moves, at the Ferry Building), and less expensive. Don't miss the luscious desserts: Thai basil panna cotta with mango sauce, ginger tapioca, and flourless chocolate cake served with a scoop of Vietnamese coffee mousse. Not just handy for a shopping break, a destination in itself.