I haven’t been writing as much the last few days, partly because the show floor has kept me busy, partly because the hotel wanted me to pay for WiFi even if I already bought a day of wired Internet use in my room. Memo to Starwood: for a luxury hotel, you’re sure making me feel nickeled and dimed to death.
I had good luck on this trip with restaurants, thanks to the eGullet Forums. Monday night we tried Oola on Folsom Street, just a block or so south and west of the Moscone Center. Fabulous. A salad of peppery arugula and heirloom tomatoes followed by a daube of lamb with root vegetables—which in the 50-degree San Francisco summer night was richly fulfilling rather than overwhelming as it might have been anywhere else in the continental US. Great wine list—though a little light on my favored Southern Italian wines, they did have a Greco di Tufo from a producer I had never heard of and a good selection of Cotes du Rhone wines, which made up for it. Good ambience too, even if it was a former elevator repair shop.
Tonight my coworker and I were looking for an early meal before we headed airportward, and he suggested sushi. I found recommendations for Ino and we went. I think it was some of the finest sushi and sashimi I’ve ever had. The nigiri, with a little wasabi paste between the fish and the rice, was super fresh and bracing; the sashimi was just brilliant. I have to put in a special word for the unagi, which is broiled to order and served with a suggestion to skip the soy sauce, and may be the most perfect serving of eel I’ve ever tasted. The restaurant itself is tiny, a small mom and pop shop in a Japanese-focused shopping mall next to the Radisson, and very clean—the finished nigiri is placed directly on the sushi bar in front of you. The service was great and personable too, with the wife giving my co-worker a hard time for ordering a Coke (he sheepishly changed to a glass of white wine) and both owners filling us in on the best place to catch a cab after dinner. Highly recommended.