It began with an idea to open a Vietnamese crêpe stand or a noodle shop in the Tenderloin neighborhood. Charles Phan searched for a location but was told that there were already too many Vietnamese restaurants in the area. He moved the search to his own neighborhood: the Mission. He quickly found an available space on Valencia Street.
The Slanted Door was born in 1995 with the goal of elevating Vietnamese food to the next level—modern design, sustainable local ingredients, quality teas, and wine pairings. The Slanted Door was quickly recognized and became too small to accommodate the reservation requests. The growing restaurant moved to South of Market in 2002. It was there that the team integrated a craft cocktail program, which was one of the first restaurants in San Francisco to offer craft cocktail menus. The Slanted Door moved again to the San Francisco Ferry Building in 2004.
Charles and his team has since opened more locations including San Ramon and Napa, and a sandwich shop in the Mission.
Charles has authored two cookbooks: Vietnamese Home Cooking and The Slanted Door.