Dear Salt House,
I had the pleasure of eating at your establishment with some beautiful friends last Sunday night. I know you would want to know what I thought. Here is what I thought. The atmosphere is delightful with all that dark wood everywhere and deep inset windows. If thereís anything that screams new-American seafood, it is deep inset windows. I liked the rectangular bar very much. A classic shape. The hostess tucked cutely into the window pocket right as you walk in, is very cool. Except that little corner is so small? You should probably make her sign some sort of non weight-gain clause in her contract. She fits in there now, but you can never be too careful. Right? Your table spacing is great. I think most San Franciscans have come to expect a healthy distance between themselves and others. Even though we were all mostly white, affluent and soft spoken. Still I agree, better to play it safe. I noticed one black lady, but she was with some French people so that was alright. Anyway, I felt quite far enough away from the other patrons that I was even comfortable discussing my latest episode of gonorrhea which I acquired from this beautiful but infected friend of mine named Pat. The treatment went fine and itís totally gone now. At least I think it is? How can you tell? Your kitchen, the way you have it all visible, looks great. Your cooks are all so young and alive, standing upright behind the counter, just preparing away. Itís no wonder you would want them on display. The bread was fine. The oysters did not make any of us sick. My friends had some fish entrťes which they didnít say anything about and I find it's always better not to ask. I myself had three things. The corn soup was good. Attractive. Yellow. I personally would not have used huge pieces of the white parts of scallions, but thatís just because I happen to find them dirty and overpowering. But I understand where youíre going with it. Who could blame you not wanting to use those little tiny snippets of green scallion middles. I mean seriously, since thatís what every other corn soup in the world does. How boring?† And your way is way crunchier too. If I may suggest a compromise? You could cut oversized tubelets of scallion from the middle part. That way you can still be special, and it will taste good. My sausage and chick pea thing was good. The sauce was a nice brown color. What more could I want? But now I must tell you about my third itemóand this is where it gets very serious, so weíll both need to start paying more attention. The batter-fried shrimp appetizer with giant pile of green beans, almonds, all delicately drenched in a red curry sauce would nearly have been a delightful dish, if not for that fact that it wasnít. Of course Iím sure this is not the fault of any of the strapping and loyal men in your kitchen. Clearly a mole, probably sent by The Pepper Shack, had snuck in the week before and sabotaged your sauce. They probably switched up the usual red curry for one with say, triple or perhaps quadruple the normal amount of chili pepper or chili oil or whatever exciting pepper is in it. In any case, it was indelibly hot. Having to just watch an entire uneaten pile of green beans get taken away from me was a sad moment and one which I still remember as if it were last Sunday. It might be helpful though, at least until the culprit can be found, and killed, to have someone assigned to taste the sauce each night before the appetizers are unleashed. Perhaps even the person who is tasked with preparing the dish, would be a good candidate.
But otherwise we had a wonderful time and I think your place is really good. And it will also be very reasonably priced, after you mark down everything on the menu by about a third. Thanks again and I hope you are enjoying our ongoing relationship as much as I am.
p.s. I am the
guy who left that little miniature cobra in that jar in the window! Itís from