This is part of a larger series about our trip to California in December 2022. The posts in this series include Tony's Pizza North Beach, Angler, and Daego Kalbijjim
What kind of food do you recommend to someone who travels between Hong Kong and Europe? As you may know (if you follow my blog/instagram these past several years), I’ve traveled quite a bit between Europe and Hong Kong these past couple years.
This was the issue vexing our local friends in California, who were trying to find places to recommend for us. In the end, their recommendations largely came down to Mexican food and local California cuisine.
Angler embodies that California spirit: fresh seafood, local California produce, a slight Asian influence, and a convenient location right near the Ferry Building. The Michelin star is icing on the cake.
We decided to treat a few of our SF relatives to a meal at Angler in SF.
Dining at Angler San Francisco with Friends
The moment you enter Angler you get a sense of an upscale hunting (or fishing?) lodge with moose heads, fish statues, and more hanging up around the place.
I immediately felt the warmth and friendliness from the entire staff. The server gave us genuine honest advice about what to order. When we asked multiple servers what their favorite dishes were, they each gave us their own honest opinion (not “canned” answers vaguely saying “the most popular dish is . . . ).
Multiple servers recommended the U10 scallops, so that was an obvious “go.” It was delicious, seared perfectly (barely cooked inside) and served with a creamy, flavorful sauce.
"Stabbing" the Radicchio
The radicchio salad was presented in an unusual way, filled with a beet and radicchio dressing that would “bleed” when you cut it with a large steak knife (which they provided).
They even gave us bibs to wear during this course, since the beet red juices would splatter. The salad was refreshing and the dressing had a nice, deep rich flavor.
The raw oysters (we ordered West Coast oysters) were serviceable, but not nearly as good as the really nice fresh ones I’ve had at other places.
The tuna tartare served with tomato jelly (and seaweed rice cracker) was fantastic, and I secretly wished for a larger portion. The tomato water jelly added a lovely, refreshing note to the richer tuna tartare.
The potato is thinly sliced and deep fried as a whole potato. The resultant “potato”, when sliced, reveals seemingly thousands of layers, thus the “Mille-feiulle” potato.
The final “piece de resistance” was their roast chicken, which they said was a signature dish. Coming from Hong Kong, I have pretty high standards when it comes to roast chickens, and Hong Kong makes some of the best roast chicken in the world.
This roast chicken had a beautiful crispy skin (like those in Hong Kong), and was nice and tender. It was served with the whole legs (including feet) on, which is a bit unusual in the US (though perfectly normal in Hong Kong and even other parts of Europe). Bryan, who loves chicken feet, happily ate one of the feet.
Dessert: Ice Cream!
The soft serve ice cream dessert was perfect for the 5 of us to share, with each of us taking a large spoonful. It would be a pretty big dessert for one person (though I am confidant I could finish it, since I have no limits when it comes to ice cream).
General Thoughts - Anger San Francisco
All in all, I thought the food was very good at Angler. My favorite was the tuna tartare with tomato jelly, though I also very much enjoyed the scallop. Everything was executed at a high level, and overall I thought the restaurant was great. The staff were super friendly and totally made us feel like we were at home. We ended up staying pretty late, but never once did they pressure us to leave. it’s a wonderfully warm and cozy restaurant, and I wouldn’t hesitate to come back.
On a side note, I especially enjoyed the music, which was a flashback to the late 80’s, early 90’s music I listen to in middle school and high school.