Humphry Slocombe’s recent arrival at the Ferry Building may be the best and worst thing that’s happened to me since I began working at San Francisco in early February. The best because I now have almost unfettered access to their ice cream, and the worst for exactly the same reason. But I prefer to focus on the positive, like the double scoop of cinnamon brittle and chocolate smoked sea salt ice cream I got earlier this week, crammed into a sugar cone like a fat man in Lycra bike shorts. The thing began to melt almost immediately, which provided a great excuse to eat it as fast and gluttonously as possible. The fact that I did this on the pier, within full view of an outdoor boot camp class, only heightened my enjoyment. Needless to say, I will be back, which means it probably won’t be long until I need to enroll in one of those classes myself. —R.F.M.
Since opening its doors in its original sliver of a space, Ichi Sushi in Bernal Heights (well really, Bernal Lows) has developed a cultish fan base of people willing to wait for an hour to get a seat at the tiny bar. And by that I mean, wait outside in the cold with no where to sit. Things have changed. With their new, much bigger digs across the street, Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar has plenty of space for all. For those who reveled in the former Ichi's dollhouse size, the bright space might come as a bit of a shock. It's bustling and big with people everywhere. For those that just want a seat and some good food, the sushi is still great (especially anything with yuzukosho dabbed on it), but it's the non-sushi items from the Ni menu that you're going to want to add to your order. In particular the miso asari clams (ground pork, pork broth, clams, kuro oil). I feel like this is the third dish of clams in pork broth I've seen lately. Clams and pork. So hot. So delicious. —S.D.
For lunch yesterday I was treated to a bowl of Hawker Fare’s superb gang dang tofu. If everyone treated tofu the way James Syhabout does, it would not be regarded as a bad four-letter word. Here, it appears as big, soft cubes that float alongside chunks of pumpkin, halved Thai eggplants, and strips of bamboo in a coconut red curry that’s got both heat and incredible depth of flavor. Topped with thin slivers of purple onion, a thicket of fresh basil and cilantro, and a fried egg, it’s a perfect one-bowl meal. The curry was so good I nearly drank it, but reason prevailed in the nick of time and I used a spoon instead.—R.F.M.
I hate to admit how many years I've been patronizing Yo-Yo's, a tiny Japanese to-go lunch spot, now located next door to the fancy, private Battery club. The same couple still run it and the food is exactly the same as it was 15 years ago. My order? Cold soba, a little cold broth, seaweed, fresh tofu. I normally take it to Jackson Park and sit in the sun, eating the lot of it. Except for the other day when I brought it back to my desk, and forgot to mix in the generous (we're talking like 2 tablespoons) dollop of wasabi that I always get on top. Stealthily wrapped in some seaweed, the wasabi made its way into my mouth before I could do nothing more than swallow it. Tears running down my face, my throat feeling like it had suffered some kind of chemical warfare. I'm surprised I didn't hallucinate. —S.D.
I’d been wanting to try PizzaHacker since it opened, and a few days ago I finally did. And man, was it worth the wait. Both pies we ordered—the Top Shelf Margherita and the Rocket Man—were mighty fine; actually, they were easily the best I’ve had since moving here. Both had a thin, pliant, pleasantly salty crust riddled with chubby blisters and carpeted with milky, chewy mozzarella. The sauce on the Margherita was both sweet and savory, and what the Rocket Man lacked in sauce (it’s a white pie) it amply compensated for in its inclusion of an egg with a big, fat yolk the color of a marigold. Swirled together the other toppings – arugula, garlic, and a hint of lemon juice – it was rich, peppery, and bright, possibly the world’s best way to eat what is effectively a salad. But the best part? The little bowl of chili paste that came with the pizza. Sweet Jesus. You could spread it on Tyvek siding and it would still be a masterpiece. —R.F.M.
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