Off the Grid

Recently, I attended the Fort Mason Center’s Off the Grid in the Marina District with some friends.

Off the Grid is a fun yet laid-back event centered mainly around food, but it usually has live performances, DJs and an all around great atmosphere. This event really encourages the community to come together once a week to have fun, mingle and try some amazing food.

Off the Grid invites food vendors of all different culinary styles and cultures. Each vendor tends to put a bit of a spin on the classics so the results are pretty unique. Either that or they keep their food amazingly simple.

My friend Paige is a lobster fanatic so her first stop was the Lobsta Truck. She ordered the classic “Lobsta Roll” which comes with fresh Maine lobster served on a toasted split top roll and is topped with either butter or seasoned mayonnaise. I tried a bite of her roll and it immediately tasted fresh. It surprised me that something that seemed so simple tasted so delicious.

Koja Kitchen describes their culinary style as “Asian Fusion.” Their food is a mix of Korean and Japanese, which is where the name KoJa comes from. I ordered the Kamikaze Fries, which are served with Crisscut waffle fries, minced Korean BBQ beef, kimchi, Japanese mayo, teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds.

Paige ordered the beef Koja, which is like a burger but served on fried garlic rice buns and comes with the same Korean BBQ beef that was on the Kamikaze Fries, sautéed onions, sesame vinaigrette lettuce, pineapple, red sauce, and sesame seeds.

We were both in absolute heaven as soon as we took our first bites. Everything was extremely flavorful and the rice bun was a really unique spin on your typical hamburger bun.

My last stop at Off the Grid was El Sur. El Sur serves handmade Argentine-style empanadas. Its founder was classically trained at the Cordon Bleu and their van is a fully restored vintage 1970 Citroen H-Van that originally came from Auxerre, France.

I ordered two empanadas and a dulce de leche filled churro to top the evening off. The empanadas were the most delicious I’ve ever eaten. The meat inside was extremely tender, and the sauce they came with was simple but really tied everything together perfectly. Of course, the churro was amazing as well. The dulce de leche was creamy, sweet, and tasted just right inside the crispy churro.

The Off the Grid headquarters are located right inside the Fort Mason Center in the Marina District of San Francisco, Calif. Off the Grid regularly holds events all over San Francisco and has now spread to 27 cities in both the bay and Sacramento area.

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