Where was I? Oh yeah, California. Specifically, San Francisco and the Bay area. Since I ended up spending a long time in Silicon Valley, after 2 years in Santa Barbara, I like to return to the city by the bay, whenever I get a chance. So we jumped at the opportunity last month, to celebrate Significant Eater's b'day and our belated anniversary, and found ourselves in a rental car at SFO, on a beautiful, sunny Wednesday afternoon.
Here's where we head first - at least when it's dungeness crab season...
After a nice break at our Union Square hotel (The Rex), and a couple of rye old fashioneds in their cute little bar, we were off to find Kin Khao, Pim Techamuanvivit's lauded Thai eatery. Pim is an old web friend from the early days - she posted on some of the first food boards and also Chez Pim; now, she seems to be busy running a restaurant. And a damn good one, too...
The next morning, we got an early start, since we were headed to Pescadero for lunch.. But we wanted to make our traditional visit here...
Birthday dinner this night was at Chris Cosentino's new place, Cockscomb. We've been Cosentino fans for a while, at least since eating at the now-closed Incanto several years ago. Cockscomb's a big, high-ceilinged space, in a much friendlier location than Noe Valley, at least if you're staying in North Beach/Union Square, etc. It's got a great open kitchen, and chef was working the pass. A nice selection of oysters led into this bruschetta topped with uni and Iberico lardo...
|Cockscomb Uni Bruschetta|
Breakfast the next morning was at another one of our favorites, Plow. Plow's up on Potrero Hill, and if you're sporting a vehicle (it is California, after all), breakfast or lunch here is a must. It can be healthy or not - that's your choice. We usually go half and half; that is, we shared avocado toast (it is California, after all), and also a delicious house-made sausage with eggs, home-fries, and coffee cake to top it off. The service is sweet and earnest, and you'll thank me for this recommend.
We kinda skipped lunch; okay, not really - lunch became a sandwich and snacks from here...
|Ferry Market Building|
|1360 Montgomery Street|
The Progress is the sister restaurant (and right next-door) to James Beard winner, State Bird Provisions. They offer a prix-fixe menu in the dining room, and a la carte service at the bar...we chose the bar, because, well, we like bars. Long-time San Francisco restaurant critic Michael Bauer reviewed The Progress, with much better pictures, back in February. I'll defer to him, but I sure wish we had a place like this (or like State Bird, for that matter), here in New York. We had a fine time, with fabulous people working behind the bar - and great food.
Don't forget coffee; San Francisco is a damn good coffee town. We always hit up one of our favorites, Four Barrel, on Valencia Street in The Mission. Sig Eater will have one of these...
|Macchiato at Four Barrel|
This trip, we discovered a new (to us) great view spot at, you guessed it - Buena Vista Park. We approached from the back side, the entrance at the top of Duboce Avenue; if you're willing to schlep up a bit, and you're lucky, you might see this...
|Golden Gate Fog|
|Parrots of Duboce Triangle|
|Marina Green View|
|Sig Eater Enjoying the Weather|
Our final meal (well, we did have breakfast the next morning) of this whirlwind trip was at Trou Normand, located in the classic 1925 Pacific Telephone building. Trou Normand does the in-house charcuterie thing, butchering whole animals, so along with a nice roasted pork shoulder and a fine Tagliatelle Bolognese, this "small board" hit the spot with our cocktails...
|Trou Normand Charcuterie Assortment|
Until next time, San Francisco.