Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Maya, Asha and the Flytrap

During my two days in San Francisco during this trip, I sampled some new fare from restaurants in and around the downtown 'SoMa' area close to my hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott on 2nd Street.

Maya, located at 303 2nd Street is the creation of chef/owner Richard Sandoval who brought this unique Mexican cuisine to the City that has seen it all when it comes to restaurants. Looking to his native Acapulco for inspiration, Sandoval created an authentic upscale Mexican restaurant to showcase a side of contemporary Mexican cuisine that is rarely seen north of the border.

I directly went to the entree section and ordered the Torre de Huachinango which consisted of pan roasted red snapper on a warm goat cheese stuffed tomato with spinach salad, avocado rouille in balsamic reduction, and julienne of fried onion. The Pinot Noir paired quite nicely with my entree. The Cajeta Crepes dessert which my waiter recommended was absolutely delicious: crepes in caramel sauce with slices of banana and ice-cream.

Asha is a Thai restaurant on 2nd Street, with soaring ceiling and bustling during lunchtime. I needed a hot soup, and ordered that all-time favorite, Tom Yum. This was a big bowl filled with seafood (mussels, shrimps, crab, scallops, etc.) and a spicy mix of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime, tomatoes, and shitake mushroom.

The spicy catfish rice plate was interesting too: deep-fried catfish stir-fried with basil, kaffir lime leaves, red bellpepper and red curry paste sauce topped with crispy basil.

But the highlight of this trip was clearly The Fly Trap. Becks & Posh describes the ambiance in this 100-year old restaurant on Fulton Street very accurately:

"Flytrap is classic in style. The yellowed walls are papered with old diagramatic prints separated by faux frames, crisp white cloths adorn the tables, there are fresh flowers everywhere, candles flicker at every setting and unusually-shaped, beautiful white china makes a stunning backdrop for your food.

If you are feeling romantic, Fytrap will enhance your mood, especially if you visit between Tuesday and Saturday when live music, courtesy of a grand piano and maybe even a singer, will accompany your meal. Perhaps you will be asked if you would care for a little decoration? As your eyebrows wrinkle up to create a look of puzzlement at the question, handfuls of fresh rose petals are gently scattered on the table in front of you causing you relax into a warm smile. It feels nice here.

A basket of tasty hot breads, swathed in a starched white napkin, with a dinky little spheroid of butter, is promptly delivered by the waitstaff who are perfectly turned out, beautifully dressed and some of the friendliest and most accomodating in town."

I selected the lunch special of herb encrusted sea bass with shrimp laden mashed potatoes, and followed it up with an Exotic Bomba, a cocktail of fruity sorbet locked inside white chocolate crust.


Bong Mom said...

Hey how is the daughter doing ? My daughter was ill too last week and I can pretty much understand what you and your family back home must have gone through.

Shantanu said...

Thanks for asking, Sandeepa! She's ok now and has begun going to school again after a long-ish break.

Anonymous said...

South of Market is the best 'hood in San Fran! I'm envious.

Anonymous said...

The Thai place looks really good - I'm gonna have to try it when I am there next week!

Sig said...

Lol, I loved the title... had no idea what to expect. :) All the food looks great, esp the first one... I made the mistake of clicking on it and saw the expanded version... wow, now I am really drooling:).

Shantanu said...

@melissa: Lucky for me, the office I work out of when in San Francisco is right in the middle of SoMa.

@jitesh: Do that; it's different from any other Mexican restaurant I have been to.

@sig: :-) That was intentional. And yes, the red snapper was gooood!!

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