Elephant Sushi Golden Gate

(Photo taken elsewhere… in the Mission)

Recommended: yes

A place that’s only open from 10am-2pm W-F has to be special. Elephant Sushi is tiny and easy to pass on the street. Though it’s in the iffy part between the Tenderloin and Civic Center, it feels far from that inside. Almost across the Pacific far. Inside, it’s calm and the staff is friendly — cheerfully answering questions about what to order. For me, the choice was obvious. The spicy trio:

I had been eating de-frosted cod for the week prior to this experience, so the buttery texture of the spicy scallop was heaven — melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Everything in the trio (salmon, scallop, and tuna) was very fresh. Hiding under the fish is just enough rice to be filling, but not enough to bring on food coma.

My boyfriend chose Bowl #2 with salmon, snow crab, walu butter fish, and avocado. Yes, it’s real crab.

Compared with my bowl, I found his a bit dull. The butter fish doesn’t have much flavor, nor does the snow crab. Perhaps I should’ve added soy sauce and/or wasabi. They also make their own pickled ginger in-house: it tasted closer to ginger and was thicker than the rose pink ribbons of it that are standard elsewhere.

The bowls are $12 each, and miso is an extra $3. Not bad for sashimi!

Berry tart

I have nothing useful to say about this. You can tell I have feelings for this subject though, since I have never captured anything else so beautifully on camera.

It’s a berry tart from Tartine, and it’s heaven.

Cioppino

cioppino

I’m not telling where this is from. I wouldn’t want you to come and make the line longer for me. San Francisco looks like a sleepy seaside town in many parts. It’s easy to forget how big it is. The light. What one pays for when dining here is the light at golden hour. The way it softens reality towards the ideal. But it isn’t bright or garish. It’s a grey-blue dying haze. If fog could be illuminated… It makes all the simple things beautiful: white lion head soup tureens, tubby bumblebee striped salt and pepper shakers, the veteran aluminum pitcher and all its icy condensation. Everything is crisp.

World’s Ugliest Cake

but i love you!

Sometimes I see something beautiful, like Not Martha’s rainbow Leprechaun Trap Cake, and I think to myself… “I’m reasonably intelligent. I can read. I can follow instructions, kinda. I can make one too!” Then I wind up with a disaster like the one you see above. Poor thing.

It was off to a decent start, its bright concentric cake mix rings looked textbook.

yumsauce!

But my visions of covering it with a light layer of white lemon frosting then decorating with tiny spring florals just weren’t meant to be. Attempting to spread the frosting took out whole chunks of cake like this one.

ow

Not even the insides looked right. Instead of a perfect rainbow, I got clown vomit which varied from slice to slice. This first slice looked like it had a heart.

heart

Another slice looked more or less like a rainbow, but the colors are mysteriously inverted. I wonder what that purple blob is doing. Perhaps that’s the magic smoke this cake released on its death throes.

the magic (purple) smoke?

But here! Ah, here is one tiny corner that looks as intended. The smallest of triumphs. I’ll take it.

how all of it was supposed to look

I’m fascinated by the rich inner life of cake mix as it solidifies in the oven. I really did put the same amounts of colored cake mix down in the same order and my results are nowhere close. But I’m not sad. It just means I’ll have to try again.