Friday, September 30, 2005

Luncheon at Limon

On my recent trip to San Francisco (pre-hurricanes; seems like years ago), my solution to the maximum-grub-for-minimum moolah equation was to do lunch instead of dinner at a couple of the most suggested spots. Turned out to be a fabulous idea. Even better that we were the first guests of a Sunday at Limon, a knockout Peruvian restaurant nestled comfortably among the eclectic storefronts of Valencia Street. I love being the first table. The food is fresh and first of the day, the server is fresh from his morning coffee, and I can walk around the dining room and check it out without feeling conspicuous. What's more, Limon is a beautiful space in the daytime light, stylish and colorful without pretension.

The wine list shines with a well-selected and wide variety, organized for easy browsing (thank you very much), and the house n/a beverage is a sort of punch made from blue corn that appeared on every table once more people began to appear. My server brought me a sample, which I found very unusual and refreshing. But I decided to stick to my prosecco. It was too early not to be drinking.

Course one: ceviche, baby. Just look at that little fiesta en plato. Are you not salivating yet? Allow me to describe. Center mound is swooningly fresh marinated mixed seafood crowned with delicately shaved red onion, around which dance an assortment of odd platefellows-- a pile of fresh, crunchy posole, boiled posole, two mussels marinated in a pico salsa, and a lone slice of roasted yam. Aw, yeah.

Course two: Picante de Mariscos. A generous pile of scallops, clams, calamari, shrimp, mussels and potatoes in a smoky adresso cream sauce. I don't mean to lay on the doting praise, but this was perfect. Okay, wait--no it wasn't. Note above that the circle of sauce is interrupted by an errant drip. Other than that, it was perfect.

I think there was a side of rice, too, but who needs to fill up on starch? We gotta do dessert.

In fact, we dove into the dessert before I shot the photo, dammit. Can you really blame us? This is a cherimoya panna cotta, for God's sake. A ripe cherimoya is almost panna cotta on it's own! I nearly licked the menu just reading the description. This one is served with a carmelized pineapple slice and a little napoleon-thingy made with diced tropical fruit and crunchy triangles.

The only mishap of the morning was my wine, which was ill-paired with the entree. My fault, though; I chose a Spanish Montsant (review later) which I remembered liking, thinking that the grenache blend would work. It was a bit of a clash with the cream sauce.

After our lunch, we hit a number of fun stores, including Good Vibrations, where we giggled at dildoes and marveled at the un-illegal-ness of open conversation regarding their proper use. See, here in Texas, one must call one's dildo an "educational device", similar to the way a bong is called a "tobacco accessory" in a head shop. I had my eye on a certain model...but after so many urban legends about dildoes in suitcases, I just couldn't do it.



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