When in San Francisco, Eat This!
San Francisco, California
MAPPING THE DAY
Sights, places and neighborhoods abound in San Francisco. Each time we are there, we discover new places and vow to return soon and visit longer. We often stay in the Marina neighborhood at a little hotel called Cow Hollow Motor Inn on Lombard and Steiner. It is a modest hotel and really nothing special except that it is clean, moderately priced and has a convenient location. In addition, parking is free, which is a big benefit in SF.
Once we park the car, we start walking. Up Steiner to Union Street, there are shops and restaurants for a relaxing day in the city. It is never too crowded. It is a locals secret, so you will see parents with kids in strollers, casual diners in sidewalk cafes and residents living their neighborhood lives. We like to peruse the local shops, dream of living in SF someday and duck into a locals bar for a cold beer along the way.
Also from the hotel, you can walk a short block to Chestnut. There are national brand stores juxtaposed with local fare and shops. Don’t miss the Italian deli for cheeses, meats and ACME bread. There is also a great Sushi restaurant that has a weekday evening happy hour.
When KO and I owned a furniture store in the 1990’s, there was a twice yearly furniture market in San Francisco. Most attendees and showroom representatives stayed near Union Street. But one of our reps always stayed at the Cow Hollow.
He invited us to dinner (as good reps do), but insisted we dine in his neighborhood. Since he was buying, we jumped in a cab and met him on Lombard and Steiner. That’s how we were introduced to Izzy’s Steaks and Chops (http://www.izzyssteaks.com/). It has been our favorite San Francisco haunt ever since.
VIEW FROM THE TABLE
Izzy’s is clubby and inviting. Greeted at the door, you can sit at the bar (if there is room) for a cocktail while you wait for your table in the cramped dining room. There are bottled sauces from around the world along each pony wall in the restaurant. It is loud with laughter and clanking dishes. For parties of 4, ask for a booth in the back, but any table is great. Seated at a small two-top, we have often talked with our dining neighbors, since the tables are closely positioned. You can’t help but enjoy the San Francisco neighborhood hangout and meet locals on their way home from work.
I have ordered only one menu item in the dozens of times we have dined at Izzy’s: Filet Mignon Medallions Au Poivre with Pepper Cream Sauce. Two sides are included and you cannot miss Izzy’s Own Potatoes and the creamed spinach. That’s it, eat this!
The steak and pepper cream sauce is a simple preparation. Buy a high quality steak, cook it rare and smother it in the cream sauce. It is just so good.
The potato recipe was a challenge to replicate. We think we are pretty darn close, but if someone knows more, please let me know!
STEAK AND PEPPER CREAM SAUCE
“IZZY KNOWS BEST” SCALLOPED POTATOES