Sunday, October 28, 2007

Old Thyme Inn

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Breakfast with Lowell

The Old Thyme Inn is a wonderful little bed & breakfast in Half Moon Bay. Right on Main Street in downtown Half Moon Bay, it is a 7-room B&B with a cute garden and yard and friendly innkeepers. For breakfast, we walked out of our room to the living room, where a little table was set up with homemade raspberry yogurt and lemon-rosemary bread made with ingredients from the garden. Fresh orange juice, coffee and tea were all great, than we had chile rellenos with Cuban black beans, which were just wonderful.

779 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-1616


Saturday, October 27, 2007
Birthday dinner with Lowell

Navio is the restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay, super nice, wonderful views of the cliffs and ocean during the day, and I hear it's wonderful for drinks. But I was lucky enough to go for dinner.

We thought about the $105 tasting menu, which looked just fantastic. There were a few things on the tasting menu which weren't available on the regular menu, like the butter poached lobster. But there was enough to try on the regular. I started with a pumpkin soup over creme fraiche and chestnuts. Lowell had a prawn appetizer - some over a sauce and over fennel salad with the heads fried. I liked the fried shrimp heads, but Lowell said the prawns were just ok.

Lowell had beef short ribs, which looked quite holiday festive with dark green kale and pomagranate seeds. Really soft and good. I had a fantastic pork loin with globe artichokes and potato. The sides of brussel sprouts with bacon and exotic mushrooms were good.

We both thought that the food was good but we've had better, especially for the price. Then we got dessert, which made up for everything. First, the waiter brought us a plate with a small box of truffles with Happy Birthday written in chocolate and a candle because he had asked what the occasion was at the beginning of the meal. We split two desserts. The "biscuit au chocolat" was basically a souffle (had to order 25 m in advance) and just heavenly that you dip in this crystallized salt trail. The pumpkin-coconut mousse with candied fruit and salty sorbet was awesome. They did an amazing job of combining the sweet and salty.

One Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 712-7000

Osha Thai

Friday, October 26, 2007
Birthday dinner with Lowell, Nadim, Eric, Shan and Karen

Osha Thai was a nice accidental find in SoMa before the birthday party at Mr Smiths. We called an hour before for a reservation and showed up 15m late. Only with Nadim's magic did they let us sit down -- highly recommend reservations and showing up on time. Super trendy fusion Asian Thai place.

Great cocktails, I loved the lycheetini myself. Appetizers of spring rolls and seared wasabi ahi tuna were quite good. We went family style on the rest of the meal -- ginger chicken, pineapple fried rice which was one of my favorites, curry dish, spicy eggplant with beef, and a shrimp dish.

149 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 278-9991

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bissap Baobab

Saturday, October 20, 2007
Dinner with Carolyn and Karen

Bissap Baobab is a great Senegalese place down in the Mission. I still can't really tell you what Senegalese food is, but it was quite good. Best were the appetizer fried plantain and the shrimp coconut dish with an amazing sauce (good with rice). The lamb dish was ok. I thought the cocktails were interesting, but Carolyn had to send hers back for a beer, so try at your own risk.

2323 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 826-9287


Friday, October 19, 2007
Dinner with Lowell

420 Emerson Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 326-0983


Thursday, October 18, 2007
Dinner with Nathalie and Tristen

Umami is an inconspicuous two-story restaurant and bar on Webster just down the hill from Union. Trendy and fusiony, has a great cocktail menu and small dishes to start. The Za Panchi was an awesome cocktail. We had edamame hummus with housemade pita. Fish tacos (there is a fancier name) were fantastic. We also had shrimp skewers which were quite good, and a curry dish.

2909 Webster Street, San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 346-3431

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Dinner with Reiko

Arriving at Gochi still stuffed from a ridiculous lunch at Darda Seafood did not stop me from completely gorging myself at dinner as well. Gochi is definitely on my top 3 Japanese-restaurant-not-in-Japan list.

The place is remarkably cute for an authentic Japanese place, with most of the dining area on a raised platform where you take off your shoes, in addition to tables and tatami rooms. It is always full and so you have to grab the wait staff to get orders, food, tea or the check, but well worth it.

Their menu is extensive with many dishes common to a traditional izakaya in Japan. We started with ankimo (monkfish liver), kabocha-mochi with cheese (kind of pumpkin-cheese-potato croquette), and seaweed salad which was impressive in being enormous and not neon green (really good). The buta kakuni (boiled pork dish) was amazing, it just fell apart with a touch of the chopsticks, super soft. We also had a great fish special (gindara nizuke).

Gochi has the traditional izakaya "finishing" dishes like grilled rice balls, soba and miso soup. Unfortunately they were out of asari (small clam) miso soup, but I had an amazing tororo oroshi soba (soba with grated yam and daikon) and Reiko had a rice ball with mentaiko (spicy cod roe) which was just fantastic.

*Highly recommend making a reservation in advance, they are always packed, even on weekdays
*If you like sake/shochu, they have a lot of good stuff, and they will let you keep a bottle there with your name on it (I have not done this, just heard)

19980 E Homestead Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 725-0542

Darda Seafood Restaurant

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Lunch with Gautam

Darda Seafood is in the amazing cheap Asian food mall in Milipitas on the west end of Cisco's campus. I think I was told it is Muslim Chinese food (correct me if I am wrong). Whatever it was, it was really good and pretty cheap for ALOT of food.

They start you off with a soup (think it was egg drop and corn) and tea. We ordered a lamb dish and moo shu shrimp and thin sesame bread. Whoa. Dishes are enormous, they had to clear off our condiments to make it fit on the table. Really good food though. The "thin" sesame bread was probably the size of a stuffed crust pizza and alone could have fed the two of us. Again really good though, and think the grand total was $30ish.

296 Barber Court, Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 433-5199


Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Dinner with Alka

Lavanda is a University Ave Italian place with a good bar for drinks and nice dining room. Alka and I had their pick-three-antipasti-for-$15 with grilled calamari (cold), grilled shrimp skewers (hot and yummy) and potatoes with brava sauce (I love it). Alka had her wine and salad, and I had some tea, so not a huge dinner -- about $40. Service was a little funky. I didn't think we were there that late (9pm) but they kind of rushed us at the end.

185 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 321-3514

Chez Maman

Sunday, October 14, 2007
Brunch with Lowell, Robyn and Rob

Chez Maman is a super cute, super French, neighborhood bistro on Union Street (though looks like they have a Portrero Hill location as well). They don't really have a "brunch" menu -- a few ouefs dishes, which looked great, but that is it. No Bloody Mary's either, was told my options were "beer or wine" by the French guy, but they had good mimosas and Rob's hot chocolate looked amazing. I had the Savoyarde crepe -- proscuitto, brie, bechamel sauce (which I was told by Robyn was "cream and goodness") and tomato -- awesome.

2223 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 771-7771

Taqueria Cancun

Saturday, October 13, 2007
Late night dinner with Lowell

Best, hot (spicy) burritos and quesadilla ever!

Yelp review.

2288 Mission Street (between 18th St & 19th St), San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 252-9560


Sunday, October 7, 2007
Brunch with Lowell

Cute little diner-esque place on Chestnut near Scott. Had an amazing artery clogging Italian omelette, which was basically a lasagna with eggs instead of pasta. YUM. Fantastic breakfast potatoes too, I would go back just for that. Lowell had a much healthier avocado and cheese omelette that was pretty good too.

2346 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 346-1801

Campo di Bocce

Friday, October 5, 2007
Team outing

Campo di Bocce -- super fun competitive bocce plus great Italian food and beer.

565 University Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030
(408) 395-7650

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

McCormick & Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant

Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Dinner with Okamoto's

McCormick & Kuleto's is in Fisherman's Wharf on Ghirardelli Square. The restaurant is a pretty big chain, but they have great seafood and with beautiful views overlooking the wharf and water.

We started with an 0yster sampler of West Coast varieties, which tend to be smaller but more rich and creamy. We also had cups of chowder, isn't New England but good. The crab cakes were also quite good.

My favorites were the three grilled sea scallops with a shrimp-stuffed potato croquette and sauteed spinach. Super juicy scallops and the croquettes were great with the sauce. We also shared a halibut, which was surprisingly light. The wild atlantic salmon was a little too complex with a tomato compote and marscapone polenta.

900 North Point Street, San Francisco, California 94109
(415) 929-1730