|Rick Bayless, courtesy of Facebook|
Zagat: You’re only in town for three days. Where have you been dining out?
RB: On Sunday, I had brunch at Local’s Corner and dinner at Flour + Water. Monday it was lunch at Slanted Door and dinner at Aziza. What Mourad is doing there seems to be moving in the direction of Noma. His food is very different than the last time I was there. On my last day, I’m heading to MY China for lunch and checking out State Bird Provisions for dinner.
Zagat: What impressions do you have about the San Francisco dining scene in general since your last visit?
RB: Well, I haven’t been to San Francisco in a couple of years so there’s a lot that’s different. I have had great food on this trip but what’s interesting to me is that there is a real similarity from restaurant to restaurant. Of course, all the restaurants are doing the seasonal thing and getting the same ingredients from the same farms and what not, but it’s all a little bit too alike. Even at the Slanted Door. When the Slanted Door first opened, I recall the flavors were a lot more edgy.
Zagat: We hear that criticism all the time. But even with that group of restaurants that you mentioned? With Mourad doing Moroccan and the Slanted Door’s focus on Vietnamese? How so?
RB: The food here is incredibly steeped in Italian food. For starters, everyone has pasta and pizza on their menu. You don’t see that in Chicago.
Zagat: So this similarity. Is it a pejorative? Do you see that degree of sameness in other metropolitan cities or just in San Francisco?
RB: I think there’s more of it here than in other towns.
Zagat: Obviously your specialty is Mexican cuisine. Have you had a chance to check out any of the newer upscale Mexican restaurants in town such as Tacolicious or Nopalito?
RB: No, I didn’t get chance to on this trip. San Francisco doesn’t really have much of a Mexican food tradition aside from the taquerias in the Mission, which is a fairly limited thing. I am curious to check out Nopalito.
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