On Wednesday I went out with some colleagues to Betelnut This is a Asian fusion restaurant in the Marina district, a short but intersting taxi ride from downtown San Francisco. [More on this later] . The waiter was helped us order an very enjoyable selection of starters, firecracker shrimp, glazed pork short ribs with thai basil & garlic, crispy tofu cakes with doc ong’s chilli sauce, and chili crusted calamari. This was washed down with the smooth, not-too-bitter, not-too-sweet local Betelnet Honey Blonde Ale. The main courses we also shared: singapore black pepper jumbo prawns, seared tenderloin “sashimi” with “momiji,” scallions & ginger shoy, “bein pow” firecracker chicken szechuan chilis, onions & almonds, korean charbroiled pork with scallion-pepper sauce and green papaya, grapefruit, herbs & “nuoc cham” salad accompanied with some sake. Great variety!
I had two contrasting taxi rides between the hotel and the restaurant. The first taxi driver opened the conversation by asking me not to use a mobile phone during the journey. The radiation gives him a headache. He then spent the twenty minute journey making laconic comments about San Francisco and England while taking a slow but scenic route through majestic residential areas. It is was $10 fare and protocol dictated another 20%. For the return journey, around midnight, my taciturn driver sped the whole way, hitting over 75 mph through the Broadway tunnel. We overtook everything in sight, firetrucks, ambulances, low flying aircraft, and made it back downtown in under 10 minutes for a $7 fare and a $3 tip.