[Photos: Patricia Chang]
Open for nearly 20 years (albeit in more than one location), the Slanted Door is an SF institution, and took home the James Beard Award for Best Restaurant this year. Its most famous dish: the Shaking Beef, a simple yet beloved stir-fry of beef and onion, served over a bed of watercress.
While the dish was added to the restaurant's menu in 1996, its inspiration dates to Phan's first visit to Vietnam. "I [first] had the dish at this empty restaurant," he says. After he created his own version with locally sourced ingredients, "it just took off." The restaurant sells so many orders of the dish that he estimates they spend roughly $380,000 yearly on beef for the dish alone.