If you're going to San Francisco,

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. Or, just show up with a rash. Honestly. At first I thought it was the sunscreen, the salsa, the car, but no, it's the sun. Yes, that's right, I have an awful, nasty rash on my legs and hands and chest, and it's from the sun. Which is more of a problem than you might think in California. Us pale northerners just don't do so well at making vitamin D. So, I'm splotchy. But not so splotchy that I'm going to risk my life the American Medical system.

So, we showed up at the Concierge, and asked for an eccentric restaurant for dinner. I'm a big fan of concierges. Back when I was an EA, I sent people all over the world, to restaurants and theatre events and in cabs, solely on the advice of the concierge in a local Hilton Hotel. We are at a Hyatt, but I'm still willing to place myself in a concierge's confident hands. She suggested a place called Fish and Farm - they do local cooking, a variant of the 100 mile diet. It sounded exciting, so we duly made our reservation and carried on, walking down there. Mr. Spit refused to let me anywhere near the front door of Saks, Macy's, Luis Vuitton, or even
this guy. So, we arrived at the restaurant a scant 10 mins early, and were shuttled off to the bar. We got the last 2 seats, in the corner. I ordered a mint julep with small batch Bourbon, organic sugar and organic tarragon. Mr. Spit rather sensibly ordered the 12 year Talisker. His was the better choice. We sat the 10 mins to our reservation. We sat 15 mins past. Then another 30. Then another 5, while they set our table. They finally seated us. We entertained ourselves by asking the front desk where the washroom was.

Me: Excuse me, could you tell me where your washroom is?
Confused Front Desk Guy: We don't have a washroom.
Me: No, really, I'm in the restaurant. How can you not have a washroom?
Confused Front Desk Guy: You mean the bathroom?
Me: Yes, the washroom.

I sent Mr. Spit to ask for the lavatory, just because.

So, back to our meal, now that we are finally seated. The Chef sent out cream of artichoke soup. Which you would think would be good. You'd be wrong. But, because I am polite, and Canadian, I made Mr. Spit drink mine too. You know, so the chef wouldn't be offended. Then our meals arrived. I had the gnocchi. Now, I must confess, I'm a bit of a gnocchi connoisseur. I love gnocchi, so when I saw that it was homemade, I was excited. Mr. Spit had the salmon, and we ordered a side of fava beans. The salmon was really, really rare. Like, sushi rare. Which is fine, if you are ordering sushi. When you've ordered the poached salmon, well you expect it to have seen enough water after it's demise, that you aren't wondering if it's still going to swim.

Now, about the much awaited gnocchi. Good gnocchi is plump, firm, slightly chewy to the taste. Not rubber, but a bit of a resistance when you bite into it. There shouldn't be much flavour to the gnocchi, it's mostly potato and flour, so the sauce should have some good flavour to it. Note, I said flavour. So, when I took a bite of the odd, limp broccoli and spinach mixture, very artfully arranged underneath, and my mouth burned, that would be a signal that we were past flavour, and into wallop. I made Mr. Spit have a bite, and he choked on his water, trying to cool his mouth down. So, I ate my 12 gnocchi, and left the green bits behind. I ate one of the fava beans, which are generally served out of the pod. Unfortunately, they were an heirloom variety, so they still had the string attached to the pod, which makes them like eating beans with a side of dental floss. I carefully pulled the beans out, and tried to eat them, but they were crunchy, and stuck in my teeth.

They brought us the dessert menu, but dessert is one of my favourite parts of any meal, and I just couldn't bear any more disappointment.

Cost of the drinks - free, the bar paid for them during the 50 minutes we were waiting for our reservation.
Cost of the gnocchi - free, after Mr. Spit horrified the waitress when water came out his nose while he choked.
Cost of the beans - 8.00. Approximately $4.00 a bean.
Cost of the Sushi Salmon - $22.00, but they didn't provide any rice, kelp, or wasabi to make sushi.
Cost of the Tip - $10.00, because we tipped on the entire meal's price, cause we are Canadians, and we are like that. We would have apologized, if we could have found someone to listen.
Cost of confusing the front desk guy over bathrooms - worth the entire price of the meal.

I have to go now, I'm waiting for my nachos from room service to arrive, so that we don't starve to death. The Moral of the Story: we are making our own reservation for dinner tomorrow. Mr. Spit has drawn my attention to the in-room guide about SFO's restaurants.