Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Fresh Choice in the Marina

I have been neglecting my wonderful blogs and the blogosphere as of late, and I have to get some new stuff up. My absence is excusable, however, as I have been spending my time preparing for my upcoming wedding next Saturday. That wonderful woman I have so often referred to as my fiance will very soon be referred to as my beautiful wife. Yes, dear bloggers, the next time you hear from me I will be a married man. As of Monday, we will hop a plane to Cancun, Mexico for two weeks of sun, sand, blue water and cold beer. I am hoping to come back to you with a few great foodie things to discuss. Hopefully none of them will involve dysentery.

Before we go, I wanted to tell you all about a great new restaurant out in the hip and fashionable Marina of San Francisco. On the corner of Steiner and Chestnut, Lettus Organic Cafe is a refuge from all of the over priced, pretentious restaurants peppering the Marina. The menu is almost totally organic, with each dish being made of fresh, healthy ingredients without tasting like baked cardboard as with many vegetarian dishes. It should be noted that the menu is mostly vegetarian, but with the option of adding grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon it will satisfy most carnivores looking for a healthy alternative to heavy meat-laden dishes.

The restaurant is fittingly hip for the neighborhood, with sleek minimalistic furniture of light wood and steel, mood lighting through wood slats on the walls, and an open, spacious feel for what is a relatively small space. We stopped at lettus on a weekday around 6:30, and the restaurant was slow but not dead. Word has it on busy nights the line at the order counter can lead out the door. I ordered the spicy red curry with grilled chicken while my fiance tried the udon noodles with tofu. Other than the salmon dishes, every entree is vegetarian, but with the option of adding chicken, shrimp, or tofu. We started with the vegetarian spring rolls, which were served with two dipping sauces; a peanut sauce and a spicy dipping oil. The vegetables were crisp and fresh, and being one of my favorites, the peanut sauce was delicious.

Our entree portions were huge, so much in fact that neither of us cleaned our plates. The red curry was spicy without being overbearing, and was not so saucy that the rice and vegetables were drowned in it. It was just enough to give the dish a great flavor with the grilled chicken and fresh vegetables. My fiances udon noodles were fantastic, served in a tangy broth with tofu and cooked vegetables. For me, it is a testament to a restaurants quality when you want to share your dish with the people at your table, and we both picked off each others plates throughout the meal. The deserts, made totally in-house, are fantastic and made with mostly organic ingredients. I recommend the chocolate cupcakes.

In the spirit of being totally un-pretentious but unabashedly cool, Lettus offers its entire menu to-go, and even offers a daily "grab & go" area for those on the run. The place seems to be popular with the fashionable marina-ites, and I would recommend it for anyone looking for a healthy and fresh alternative without having to venture too deeply into the vegetarian world. For more information on Lettus, check out their website,

Thanks are due to my friend Josh Marden who, as a former employee of Lettus, insisted I find the place and try it, and even turned me onto those delightful chocolate cupcakes. Thanks Josh.

So now, it's off to Mexico! See you all in two weeks!