I went to a bizarre little Szechuan restaurant in the Richmond the other day called Spices II. It was bizarre, not because of the food—which was quite interesting and good—but because of the goofy sort of “Hello Kitty”/schoolgirl-motif interior, and the robot-like schoolgirls who waited on our table.

Anyway, the diversity of a meal of preserved cucumber, Chinese bacon with greens, lamb curry and bok choy with garlic was a great way to show off the versatility of a good Champagne (which they don’t serve, but I brought as corkage; they allowed it, but didn’t seem too happy; but then again, the servers were so robot-like that they didn’t seem upset either.)

Silly dolts that we are sipping on our flutes before a meal, we often forget how awesome Champagne (in this case I was drinking Drappier) is with food. In this case, the Pinot-based wine handled all manner of fish and meat and varying levels of spices like a third baseman on a day when every hitter is shooting one down the line.

For $60, you can’t beat the Lenoble Blanc de Blancs 1996 at Arlequin.

Spices II
291 6th Ave.
(between Clement St & Cornwall St)
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 752-8885