Monday, October 12, 2009

San Francisco - Coi, Frozen in Time

The journey from Napa back to downtown San Francisco was much smoother on a Saturday and the only small mishap was Dad driving into the Muni bus lane. Oops. GPS was slow to correct its bearings but they still managed to find their way to the hotel. After unloading all the luggage with the hotel porter, they decided to keep the rental car for the night since meter car parks were free from 6pm Saturday. After a brief rest in the hotel watching NCIS back-to-back marathon, they headed out again to the final Michelin starred dinner of their journey. Dad was convinced that he could find the way to the restaurant without bringing a map. But then at night, every street looks the same in a foreign country. After asking a few people in the street including a bunch of Singaporean students, who were probably even more lost than dad, they arrived at Coi.

Coi, pronounced "kwa", is located literally next door to a strip club around the nightclub area along Broadway street. The restaurant opened its door in 2006 and got its first Michelin star in the 2008 which came out in October 2007 and its second star in the 2009 guide in October 2008 (confusing right?!)

They get ushered into their designated table, sat down and were shown the fixed price menu of the day. It was not the most desirable table as mum was sat facing the entrance which looked into a section where all the waiters and waitresses juggle for utensils. So they asked for a table change and was told that there was table that would be freeing up soon. And mum and dad decided to wait to start their dinner after they were reseated. It was 8:30pm and hunger started to set in, as the lunch they gobbled down in Taylor's Refresher was well and truly digested. They kept themselves busy by looking around at the people, the decor and at the menu. There was a menu of the dishes and then there was another page telling you where each ingredient came from. The emphasis was on the use of local Californian fresh produce. The restaurant was the probably the most informal among the Michelin 2 star restaurants in San Francisco and some of the guests were wearing jeans that night. The service was relax and unhurried and the decor reminded dad of Japanese clubs in the 70s and 80s, with the lighting covered by Japanese paper.

There's a limit to how much you could appreciate with an empty stomach. After waiting for what felt like an eternity, 3 tables asked for their bills consecutively and they got a table at a quiet corner of the restaurant. Their first course arrived and it was well worth the wait.

More to follow..........

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