I can still vividly recall my first taste of the Dungeness Crab Cellophane Noodles at Slanted Door (1 Ferry Building # 3). It’s not surprising, as this perfect blend of light ocean flavor and pleasingly chewy textures is truly difficult to forget.

The Slanted Door has been a fixture in San Francisco since the mid-90s, but it was only somewhat recently that they opened the doors to a brand new, 150 seat restaurant overlooking the Bay Bridge in the resplendently refurbished Ferry Building. Nowadays the “Door” packs ’em in all day long, as eager diners wait patiently along water’s edge for the opportunity to devour the Vietnamese-inspired specialities that made this place one of the city’s most popular eateries.

I’m a big fan of their crispy imperial rolls: fried egg rolls stuffed with glass noodles, shrimp, pork and peanuts…I mean, how can you go wrong there, right? The pork spare ribs are also sinfully delicious, drowning in a robust honey-hoisin sauce.

Yet somehow it all serves as a preamble to the main event…Dungeness Crab, bountifully strewn throughout a hearty rationing of delectable, clear strings of cellophane. The noodles in the dish provide the perfect medium from which to suspend all the subsequent ingredients, as their absorbency tends to just sop up all of the surrounding goodness, concentrating it into each and every noodley burst of vigorous Vietnamese flavor.

Oh yes, the view is quite amazing from inside here…

But somehow once the food arrives at your table I doubt you’ll even notice.