Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Art of Balancing

It's always nice to get away.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that a place so different from San Francisco, like Sausalito, is only a Golden Gate Bridge away. Today was the perfect sunny day to enjoy in the North Bay where there are lush green hills, quaint little stores, and a gorgeous view of the city.

Really, what else are sunny days made for but adventure?

It's hard not to love the view of San Francisco from across the waters! Especially when the sun is out and the skies are crisp and blue. Matt and I get giddy about days like these because it's an opportunity to go somewhere, sit outside, enjoy the weather with some great food, and just people watch (or in today's case, sailboat watch). We were talking about how we definitely missed this while living in Orange County, where although there are many sunny days, the skies are never, ever, this beautiful, crystal blue. It always seemed to have this gray/orange tinge in the OC, but San Francisco on a sunny day, amazing--just makes you want to lie out in the grass, kayak, or go for a bike ride. Maybe we appreciate sunny days more now that we've moved back to the city and this kind of weather is rather rare...but I just love when the sun's out and the ocean breeze is just right. And today is a fine example.

It doesn't hurt that a small town like Sausalito is so close and serves up breakfast/ brunch with a view either.

Eggs Benedict with Mushrooms (instead of Canadian Bacon)

Corn Beef Hash

After breakfast, we saw that a crowd had gathered across the street near the waters and heard a guy, with semi-broken English, asking people to visit his blog. We couldn't resist but to go over and see what he was doing. And this is what we found...

Rock balancing
I have to admit, this guy is pretty impressive!

Matt and I sat on the rocks by the water for, what I would have to say was a long, time watching this man balance huge rocks on top of little garden-scape sized ones. Although, we still don't quite understand how he was able to make these rather artistic columns with nothing but rocks, watching him was incredibly intriguing. Especially when you have a snack...

Vanilla Bean and Molokai Passion ice cream from Lapperts
Who can say no to ice cream?

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I'm not sure what my obesssion is with beans and rice. Well, beans, rice and plantains to be exact. If you've read my previous post about my Cuban food/ plantain semi-let down, you'll know that I've been on the look-out for plantains prepared the sweet way; the way I like 'em. I guess I do know why I love this combination so much. As filling as they are, I some how always want more. It's the way the sweet plantains cuts through the richness of the savory rice and beans. I'm a sucker for sweet and savory.

Back down in Orange County, our go-to place for cuban food was Felix in Orange, California. But ever since we've been back, we've had some trouble finding a good down home Cuban food joint.

That is until this week.

Cana is a really small Cuban food restaurant/ cafe. Most people come here to order food togo since there's minimal seating. They have only recently started to stay open for dinner so the service is a tad slow. With that said, it was definitely worth the wait. Matt and I decided to eat at Cana since a table for two had opened up inside and we really could not wait to dig in.

Lechon and fried plantains

Cuban Sandwich
Sweet and crispy bread filled with ham, cheese, lechon and tangy sauce

This is exactly what I'd been craving for so long! Sweet fried plantains with cinnamon cream. I could have done without the cream, but it was a nice touch.

Classic Cuban rice and beans

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Best Steak In Town

If you're on the search for the best steak in San Francisco, I'm almost certain that I've found it.

Three words: Bone-in Filet Mignon. Those three words should say it all. The most tender, most flavorful piece of Filet Mignon I've ever had. I have to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of filet mignons--they're more expensive and less flavorful than say a sirloin. Other than looking incredibly fancy while eating it, I really don't see what the big deal is; I'd take a hanger steak over a filet any day. Though, I have to say, a well aged, bone-in, perfectly med-rare, filet mignon at Boboquivari's has me converted--they made me eat my words! (Along with the delicious filet, to-die-for brussel sprouts, and the mac and the wise words of Charlie Sheen,"Winning!")

We brought our own bottle of wine, from A.G.Ferrari Foods, of course. This has quickly become one of my favorite wines because of it's very unique violet and blueberry nose and palate.
If you've looking for a wine to go with cold cuts and cheese, this would go perfectly!

How could you not love a place that brings you half a loaf of warm bread drenched in olive oil and topped with olives and garlic? What's not to love?

The most beautiful, buttery filet I've ever laid eyes on.

Brussel sprouts, panchetta, capers, and parm shavings.
If you think you're not a fan of brussels, this WILL change your mind.

Originally, we had ordered the baked yam, but somehow we ended up with the mac and cheese; one order mistake that I will never regret. If you can image the most smelly cheese (perhaps blue cheese) combined with the smoothest, richest bachamel and then baked until the top was golden brown and crispy; you'd get Bobo's mac and cheese.

The damage done.

I'm a sucker for all things pistachio, panna cotta, mango, and creme anglais...Boboquivari's combined all four into a dessert--I really cannot think of anything more heavenly and more perfect. Though I wish the panna cotta was a bit smoother, it was just bursting with pistachio flavor and the mango creme anglais made a perfect pairing to the pistachio.

On a side note: The table next to us had ordered the whole crab, which totally made me salivate as we were waiting for our steaks to come out. Matt and I will definitely be back for the surf side of Bobo's.
Until next time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brazilian Breakfast

As we speak, I'm having one of the most delicious breakfasts--A savory fried Brazilian pastry with chicken and cream cheese and an Acai bowl from Sun Stream.

I've mentioned this place before in a previous post and hadn't been back since. Every morning when I drop Matt off at work from the East Bay, on my way home I always past by Sun Stream and get the urge to stop in. But I never do.

I'm really glad I did today; even in this pouring rain. (I knew the sunny weather wasn't going to last.)

If you've read my last post on Sun Stream, you already heard me rave about this place and the fried pastry filled with shredded chicken. So bare with me because I'm going to gush about it again! This darn thing is just so good! It's crispy on the outside with smooth and creamy dough on the inside, filled with shredded chicken that's just bursting with flavor. It sounds like it'd be too rich what with it being fried, doughy, and made with cream cheese, but it's not--it's very balanced and a perfect accompaniment to my acai bowl.

I've heard many good things about the acai bowl, apparently that's what the whole city goes to Sun Stream for. Although it may not be the perfect breakfast item for a chilly day like this one, it is incredibly delicious. The acai component of the bowl is made by blending frozen bananas with acai juice until it turns into a smoothie and then it's topped with thinly sliced bananas, and a generous handful of chunky granola littered with toasted coconut flakes and sliced almonds.

Ok, time to get back to eating before my entire acai bowl melts and my chicken pastry gets cold! Until next time, folks.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Last week Matt and I decided to meet up for a quick dinner at the Ferry Building after work. "Quick" turned out more to be "rushed" since we were so side-tracked by Boccalone, Miette, and Sur La Table. The Ferry Building is really our go-to place for specialty foods, like wines, salumi, aged steaks, cheese, bread and sweet confections. It's almost always crowded--on weekdays after work, you'll see people dressed in their business clothes making their way over to the building to enjoy a glass of wine with cheese as they await the ferry or to unwind from their long work day. On the other hand, weekenders flock to the Ferry Building to enjoy the boutique-sized food shops while others come during the early mornings to pick out the freshest produce at the Farmer's Market. This place also sees it's fair share of tourists passing through--you can always tell by their amazed faces and their hefty DSLRs around their necks (this is what Matt and I must have looked like at Pikes Place, minus the DSLR).

Matt passes through the Ferry Building everyday because not only does he work very close to the Embarcadero, but he also takes the Ferry to and from work. Lucky duck.

I, however, am not so fortunate. So, every time we decide to go, it feels like a treat!

After walking around for a bit and finally realizing that we only had 40 minutes left before Matt's ferry boards and before my parking meter runs out, we had to quickly decide what we wanted to eat. Sidekick for cheese? Boccalone for salumi? Hog Island for oysters? Japanese? Mexican? Bar and Grill? There are so many choices. We must have walked up and down the building twice debating over how we would choose where to go until Matt said he had seen a burger joint down one of the off-shooting hallways he'd wanted to try. I, admittedly, was a tad hesitant about going to another potential $10+ burger place, but with only 30 mins left, I agreed.

Gott's is the name. It reminded me of a New York mod sloppy joe's kind of place. They serve shakes, burgers, salads, ice cream, basically it's diner food tszuj-ed up. (It took me forever to find the proper spelling of "jooj").

We ordered garlic fries, Matt got a patty melt, and I got the ahi poke crispy tacos.

The taco was so much better than I had expected. I'm usually skeptical about Ahi since it's been so mainstreamed, but this taco did not disappoint. The fish was marinated with soy, ginger, and definitely had sesame oil. The poke piled on top of a bed of shredded cabbage with what tasted like a siracha mayo sauce topped with avocado, scallions, and sesame seeds all nestled neatly inside a fried shell. I think my favorite part of the taco was the fried flour taco shell.

The garlic fries look good don't they? That's what we thought too. Their glistening green parsley tinge persuaded us into choosing them over the shoe string sweet potato fries. Well, actually, they persuaded Matt into choosing them. Which then I relented. So I guess we're both guilty.

They were good. The garlic flavor was very present, without the burning sensation you get at most places who use raw garlic on their fries. The size and shape of the fry was to my liking (it passed the "MickeyD's" test) but the garlic oil made them soggy. After taking a few bites of my taco before diving into the fries, I definitely have to say, "Sorry, you were out-shined".

I will be back for the tacos though! You can count on that.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dirt Cheap Oysters

I hate to call them "dirt cheap" because that just makes them seem semi-invaluable, like there's something oddly wrong with them, but then again, they're assuredly delicious fresh oysters for under a dollar a pop! I'm sticking with it, dirt cheap (and delicious!) oysters.

Matt and I have this on and off "lets-not-spend-so-much-on-food" thing. We've been trying to save money (for another possible trip, but I don't want to get my hopes up) by only spending a combined $30 per night on food. Don't think we can do it, huh? Well we didn't think we could do it either when a sudden urge to slurp oysters off a half shell hit us smack in the face and the only place near Matt's with fresh oysters was the Tokyo Fish Market. That just screams $$$$!

Boy, were we pleasantly surprised to find prices like these!

So, we bought a 1/2 dozen of three different types of oysters.
That was "conservative Matt and Bridget" going grocery shopping.

We even had money left to buy skin-on pork chops at the market! Couldn't pass up that offer.

Pork chop with apples.
We used sprite to deglaze the pan and make a sauce!

O and as an added bonus: Reunited and it feels so good.

Miso Dressing!
This is what got me through college.
(Luckily, this was not included in the $30 deal)

No Better Way To Spend a Sunny Evening

After two torturous weeks of minimal sun and tons of rain, the sky decided to treat us to a week of fabulous sunshine and warmth. Yes, enjoying the sun IS my excuse for having not blogged in over a week. But I'm back, now that the sun is saying farewell once again and the stormy winds are picking up. I'm sad to see the sun go, but at least I'll be (semi)-consistently posting again.

I really can't think of a better way to spend a warm evening than with sushi, tons of sake, and meeting new people who will treat you to sake and dessert at the sushi bar (more on this in a bit).

Sake nigiri

Cold sake and an ice cold sapporo (they're from CANADA!!....I know, I couldn't believe it either)


Oyster Shooter with a quail egg.
It was after this shooter, that the impressed couple at the other side of the bar bought Matt and I a shot of junmai sake and shared part of their fried ice cream with us at the end of their meal. And yes, those would be the tips of Matt's fingers--he could hardly wait.

Now is that a great way to spend a sunny evening or what?

Fried amaebi heads
Halibut with a shiso leaf (my absolute favorite!)

If you're thinking, "Wow, they had a VERY small meal", I'm proud to let you know there was also a rather hefty seaweed salad and karage chicken. Don't worry, we haven't changed THAT much in one week.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pamplemoose (Sort of...)

I've been had, yet again. The deep vibrant red always cajoles me into buying strawberries which I KNOW aren't sweet. It seems that the existence of sweet, flavorful, seasonal fruit not longer exists! In fact, it has been sadly replaced by mediocre, tasteless, but yet deceivingly ripe looking fruit. Now, I'm stuck with a 3 pound box of bland, (but very red!), strawberries that even the presence of condensed milk couldn't save. Yes, that bad. I think they'd make for better compost than they do an afternoon snack. Sad.

On a brighter note, grapefruit is definitely in season!

On an even brighter note, I used the grapefruit I bought to make a delightfully refreshing cocktail. I give you an adaptation of the Pamplemousse (a recipe which I found on the Orangette):

I made a small pitcher of this, and this is the approximate recipe:

The juice of 1 1/2 ripened grapefruit
2:1 ratio of Lillet to fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
The juice of 1 lime
1/2-3/4 cup of dry champagne

And in light of the beautiful weather in these past two days, I did take the liberty of using champagne instead of white wine, which made for a wonderfully crisp afternooner to be enjoyed while laying out in the sun.