San Francisco is a great city to live in. It’s an even better city to eat in. Yesterday, I pretty much broke all my rules (guidelines) as I had two big food-and-booze focused events to get through: Company Culture wine tasting and my third GrubWithUs dinner.
Our quarterly company culture event took us to The Wine Club on Harrison between 5th and 6th. This place has a ton of wines and does a lot of cheap tastings. We took the place over with two cases of wine and more food than even I could eat.
As you can imagine, my “I’m not drinking I have to run” turned into a glass of champagne and o taste of red wine, and my “I’m not snacking I am going to a big dinner” turned into… well, let’s just say I can’t remember everything about the afternoon.
I always appreciate company culture events because I get a chance to enjoy the company of my coworkers, who I genuinely like, without suffering from the unfortunate yet inevitably stress of the office.
After I ate and drank more than enough for a dinner it was time to… go to dinner. I’ve written about my first (Italian) and second (hippie vegetarian) GrubWithUs dinners, and last night was dinner #3. (If you’re unfamiliar with the concept: essentially, the company coordinates group meals at restaurants and prepays for the family-style meals, which include appetizers, entrees, and dessert. Then, eight or so strangers sign up to go to dinner with new people! It’s a great way to make new friends and/or network in a no-pressure setting.)
We went to Golden Era Vegetarian Restaurant, which is nestled in the sketchy Tenderloin neighborhood (which much more often than not means the food is delicious) and had great reviews on Yelp so I was excited to check it out.
Our appetizers were spring rolls, potstickers, and papaya salad, all vegetarian of course.
I LOVE a fried spring roll, but wherever I go, fresh spring rolls don’t taste like much to me, I just really like the peanut sauce.
The pot stickers were good! No picture of the papaya salad as I only got exactly two bites of it so you couldn’t get a sense of it on my plate, but it was yummy and spicy.
Then for the entrees:
That would be “super kale” with ginger miso dressing and organic flax crumbles. I am getting a new digital camera in September. I promise. No more horrible iPhone pics!
By far the best dish of the night in my opinion was this lemongrass “chicken.” I’m split on the whole fake-meat thing, but I will say that as a vegetarian who most likely will eat meat again at some point, this was REALLY good.
We also got the House Rice Claypot with tofu, fake soy chicken, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and ginger.
And a spicy (except not) sweet potato curry with tofu and garbanzos in a coconut curry sauce.
And don’t forget the Spicy Jalapeno Tofu, of course.
Dessert was shared—two pieces of cheesecake and two chocolate. The cheesecake kind of tasted like nothing, but the chocolate was good—very moussey.
Overall, this place was okay. I think part of it was that the portions weren’t great for 8 people—the other two GWU dinners I’ve been to have had more than enough food but this one did not. And with the high reviews a lot of the dishes were a little eh—that being said though, they have a HUGE menu and I would totally come back and get the lemongrass faux chicken again and try something else from their menu. And of course, I go to these to meet new people and make new friends—finding new restaurants is just a bonus.
WAY past my bedtime. Happy Friday everyone!