Best Sand Dabs - 2008
The dainty sand dab is the sweetest and tenderest of Pacific flatfish, and Sam's knows just how to showcase its delicate flavor. As one of San Francisco's premier purveyors of fresh seafood — it's been around since 1867 — this brass-and-mahogany time capsule has plenty of experiential know-how. A half-dozen perfectly boned and filleted dabs are griddled until perfectly ivory-hued and succulent, drizzled with hot butter and chopped parsley, and conveyed, burbling and fragrant, to your table. Served with nothing more distracting than a few wedges of lemon and a single boiled potato, they're ambrosial. Just be sure to call ahead and confirm that this San Francisco treat is on the menu du jour — unlike a few fish houses we could mention, Sam's wouldn't dream of serving a frozen filet. This is also the place to come for Hangtown fry, celery Victor, chicken Elizabeth, martinis on the stem, and other classics out of the vintage S.F. playbook.