After our lackluster visit to the zoo yesterday, we realized that we were hungry in the extreme, and that this needed to be addressed. Peaches recommended a restaurant she had recently eaten out in the Castro, and we were game. Me especially because Hot Cookie is right next to the Castro MUNI so I knew I could grab a penis macaroon after lunch.
The restuarant we went to is called Nirvana, and it is pretty damn excellent. The decor is very southeast Asian, and the staff are an assortment of adorable gay boys. It was a little wierd that they were playing swing music, but it sort of went well with the meal anyway.
We ordered a variety of food to eat family style starting with the Nirvana Sampler, which included samosas, fried tofu, spring rolls, and scallion bread. The sampler came with an assortment of sauces which were all excellent, and we cleared the table in about six minutes.
After the sampler, we had firecracker soup, which was amazing. The soup was intensely hot, rich, and delicious, reminding me a little bit of Tom Kha. It has rice noodles, chicken, and fresh veggies in a spicy coconut broth. Very sinus clearing: I recommend ordering it in mild if you are faint of heart.
We also ordered a Nirvana Lunchbox, which came with sauteed veggies on noodles, a green salad, more tofu, samosas, and spring rolls. Alas we were too stuffed for dessert, but I heard “sticky rice with mango” and “coconut pannacotta,” so I know I’ll be back.
Being extraordinarily hungry, the food tasted extra delicious. The weather outside was dull and a little cold, and the soup got us all fired up. The flavors were very distinct, complex, and delicious, and I look forward to trying more of the menu out. The prices were fairly affordable, and the service was excellent: the kitchen kindly made firecracker soup for us even though it was a dinner item, for example. The staff were super attentive, very friendly, and easy going, making us feel at home.
Yes, Nirvana is certainly going to be a repeat expedition. If you’d like to go check it out yourself, you can find it on 544 Castro, open for lunch and dinner every day with slightly varying hours. They have a wide number of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options, along with a very accommodating staff, so I imagine that most people with special dietary needs could get them taken care of. Expect to spend around $20-30 for your meal, and prepare for deliciousness!