On my last (!) spring break possibly ever, I went to the Bay Area in California with Ari, where he is from. Of course, anyone who is from there would argue that it is the best place on earth and has the best food. While I am a loyal midwesterner, I must say that I have had some of the best food I have ever eaten in that area. It was my second time there, and we went back to many of the same restaurants, because they are just that good. However, Betelnut, on Union Street in San Fransisco was new. The food is somewhat Asian-fusion, and the decor reflects that, lots of Chinese characters and red, black, and gold. I loved the palm fans waving from the ceiling and the huge open windows at the front so you could people watch and enjoy the breeze.
But most importantly, the food. Apparently Ari and his mom, Roberta, always get the same things when they go so we stuck to their old favorites. The calamari was perfect crispy and well seasoned without being greasy, and served with fried chiles and a sweet chile sauce. The chicken and lettuce wraps were good as well, though I would have liked them a little spicier. Last, the short ribs were wonderful, finished with a spicy-sweet glaze and basil leaves. Messy, but so delicious. I would love to go back and try more dishes -- they had some noodle dishes that looked particularly good. However, Betelnut was a great place to go for appetizers and watch the city go by.