Out the door is convenient and reasonable priced comfort (at least for me) food. The casual restaurant located in the food court but at the same time tucked away from the madness with its own full service restaurant. Out the door’s #87 Spring Rolls on 7x7 Magazine's 100 Things to try before you die in San Francisco is a good way to take a break and kick up my heels.
The entrance of the restaurant offers a quick and easy way to order take-out with many of the items not available for dine-in. For example, the banh mi or Vietnamese coffee panna cotta is not available to eat in the restaurant. (I know, I asked)
The Spring Roll is very basic: Rice paper, lettuce, sliced pork, vermicelli noodles, herbs, and shrimp. Out the door's quality is above a notch and changes the dish by spreading a very, very thin layer of mayonnaise on the lettuce. After one bite, one wonders "Hmmmm, there's something different" kind of like sprinkling a small amount of nutmeg in coffee. Blink and you'll miss the mayonnaise. The peanut sauce pushes the spring roll experience over the edge. The sauce is expectational smooth with the tang of hoi-sin sauce and a balance of sweetness. This dish at $8.50 is well worth the Alexander Hamilton.
The shrimp yam fritters are rare to find on menus and a favorite so it was a must order. The dish is julienne yams rolled with shrimp and baby scallops deep fried to a crispy and tender ball. A deal at $9 with large pieces of shrimp splited down the back like a lobster tail. The sauce accompanying the dish was another winner, it was nước chấm (missing the raw garlic taste) with enough soy sauce to change the color, soaked with slices of fresh thai peppers.
The Mekong Catfish cellophane noodles sauteed with green onions and bean spourts had a nice touch to the dish with the seared crust on the fish fillet. Personally, I love cellophane noodle because of the springy texture and how it really grabs onto the flavor of the ingredients. The fish was tasteless without the "ocean" scent, a sqrint of lemon semi brought it back to life.
The Lemon Grass Chicken sauteed with an abundant amount of red onions and fresh jalapeno peppers was a good way to shovel with jasmine broken rice. (Yes! cơm tấm.) It is always a nice surprise to find red onions used in a dish, albeit nontraditional.
I find it very hard to shop downtown and not sneak in the spring roll as a snack. I always have to make a decision between the a creamed filled choux pastry from Bread Papa's or Out the door's spring rolls. The latter wins most of the time and I justify the decision because of the fresh and healthy ingredients. Maybe if I choose the spring rolls more often I can fit* into a Herve Ledger dress.....
Out the Door
865 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103
*fit my right leg