Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fish in Sausalito

Seafood is one of my absolute favorites. There's something just so darn good about shellfish. I remember a few years back when I randomly got allergic reactions soon after several big seafood meals. My first thought was that it must be from eating shellfish, and I still remember the sadness that ensued. Luckily, it turned out that the allergies weren't brought on by any foods at all. Thank God.

Anyway, a month ago some of my close college friends all got together in SF for a lovely weekend of drinks, food, and touristy fun. Since we were blessed with beautiful clear weather, my sister suggested renting a Zipcar and heading over to Sausalito for a seafood lunch and then checking out the viewpoint at Marin Headlands to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Alas we missed that exit off the freeway, but luckily we did leave with our tummies full from the most delicious lunch at Fish. If in SF, definitely go here, and bring every one of your out-of-town visitors!

The line was so long by the time we left at 1pm

Bar and picnic table seating

All these outdoor tables were full by the time we arrived at 11:30am

L to R:
Ceviche, $13
This is purely a fish ceviche, so don't expect squid or any other types of seafood in it. (The bf was so disappointed about that). Plenty of nice citrus flavors, but it really does get a bit boring after you've taken yet another bite of fish in lime juice. This had me reminiscing about the ceviche at Miami's Chalan on the Beach. Mmm...

Guacamole and housemade tortilla chips, $11
Way, way too much cilantro for a cilantro-hater like me, but when you finally get to the guacamole, you'll discover that it's quite decent. 

Portuguese red chowder (bowl), $9
Basically a thick and flavorful tomato soup topped with clams.

Green Garlic Cioppino, $26
bay scallops, mussels, manila clams, dungeness crab, saffron aioli toast
An incredibly strong garlic flavored broth with so much seafood.

Fish and Chips, $21
battered with anchor steam beer and seasoned flour, house made tartar sauce
One of the best fish and chips I've ever had. The batter was serious perfection-- very thin and crispy, and the fish inside was so flaky. 

Crab Roll, $25
dungeness crab on toasted roll with organic butter and chives
Fish has tons of rave reviews for the crab roll, so it was a quick decision to add it to our order. It was out of this world. The roll was hot and buttery, and there was so much crab meat! Large and small pieces, and so incredibly fresh. The fries were crispy and perfectly salted. I dream about this crab roll now...

350 Harbor Drive
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 331-3474
*No reservations; cash only


Fish on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pho Vietnam in Nob Hill

A hot bowl of soup noodles is always great for a hangover cure, or when you're just in the mood for something comforting. Pho is basically my version of chicken noodle soup. I'm not sure why good pho was so hard to find in New York, but since moving to San Francisco, I've found that there is very delicious pho in this city-- specifically at Pho Vietnam in Nob Hill.

Although the husband-wife team that runs Pho Vietnam rarely ever smiles or comes to check on you, the excellent food makes up for it!

The restaurant was half empty when we arrived at noon on a Sunday, but it quickly filled up by 1:30pm. Many of the customers looked like they'd just rolled out of bed, or had a little too much fun the night before. (I'll admit we were in that category).

Pho Tai, Gan: rare steak and tendon, $8.75
The broth here is rich without being oily, and the meat is thin and tender. It's awful when pho restaurants serve chewy meat. The noodles also have a great al dente texture. Pho here doesn't even need hot sauce. It's great just the way it is.

Thai iced tea, $3.50

Imperial rolls: deep fried ground chicken, mushrooms, vermicelli, wrapped in rice paper, $7.95
I used to always order non-fried spring rolls at Vietnamese restaurants because I love the fresh taste of the shrimp, lettuce, and other vegetables inside, but after my sister recommended the imperial rolls here, I am kind of addicted to them now. They are perfectly crispy, and the skin isn't too thick, making it easy to enjoy all the flavors from the insides. Even more delicious when wrapped with lettuce and topped with the sweet sauce!

1406 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 921-1901

Pho Vietnam on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Napa Valley: Prix Fixe Dinner at Ad Hoc

When I told friends that I went to Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc, their replies were always the same-- "did you have the fried chicken?" Unfortunately the famous fried chicken at Ad Hoc is served on Mondays, and my friend and I were there on a Thursday. I am happy to say though, that I was still blown away by everything I did try.

Ad Hoc offers a $52 (+ $36 for wine) 4-course menu for dinner that changes on a daily basis. Each course is served family-style. The restaurant serves brunch on Sundays.

This was hands down the best meal I've had in 2015, and looking back on it is making my mouth water. I cannot wait to return on a Monday and get some of that fried chicken!

Mixed Green Salad with red beets, pickled red onions, crispy gaufrettes, granny smith apples, toasted caraway creme fraiche
A superb salad with a wonderful combination of flavors. The beets were sweet, the onions spicy, and the apples refreshing.

Mar I Muntanya: Saffron rice, piquillo peppers, green beans, cauliflower, chorizo, roasted chicken, pei mussels, gulf shrimp
Mar I Muntanya is a Catalan dish composed of chicken and seafood over rice. I am a huge fan of seafood paellas, and this dish won me over just one bite in. The rice was incredibly flavorful with a perfect al dente texture, the chicken skin was crispy, the inside moist and juicy, and all the seafood was fresh and amazing.

Veal Cutlet ($16 addition) with olives, tomato sauce, capers
Without the additional course, we definitely would've had more than enough food, but we did drive over to Napa mainly for dinner at Ad Hoc (wine tasting was just a bonus), so when it came to deciding whether to add on this veal cutlet or not, it took all of a minute for us to say yes. And I'm very glad we did. This was fried to perfection. It was simple but very solid.

Bellwether Farms Pepato with palladin toast, dijon mustard
The sheepsmilk with peppercorn was semi-hard with a strong flavor. It paired well with the spicy dijon and warm bread.

Cranberry Bourbon Bundt Cake with toffee sauce and candied pecans
I have a major sweet tooth, but just because I love desserts, doesn't mean I like terribly sweet ones. This bundt cake was perfect! Dense and far from being overly sweet.

6476 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 944-2487


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Ad Hoc on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 23, 2015

Napa Valley: Wine Tasting at Round Pond Estate

My favorite winery is Frog's Leap, but after experiencing a wine tasting at Round Pond Estate, I think the two tie as my favorites now.

The family-owned Round Pond Estate winery is beautiful, starting from the long palm tree-lined driveway leading to the estate.

Reservations are highly recommended. Tastings are available from 10am to 4:30pm. My friend and I hadn't planned ahead and made an appointment, but because it wasn't too busy when we arrived on a Thursday afternoon, they were able to take us on.

We opted for the Zinc Bar Tasting, which is $25 per person for 3 Round Pond wines.

The estate also offers Estate Tastings, which is $50 per person and includes 4 wines paired with appetizers, and also Barrel Tour and Tastings for $75 per person, which involves a winery tour and wine tasting with appetizers.

L to R: 
2013 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (retail price: $42)
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (retail price: $60)
2012 Proprietary Red Wine (retail price: $80)

I really liked the proprietary blend. It's primarily cabernet sauvignon, but also includes petite syrah and malbec. 

Our wine educator kindly gave us a complimentary olive oil tasting. All oils are created and bottled at Round Pond.

L to R:
Meyer Lemon Olive Oil (retail price: $36, 370ml)
Garlic Infused Olive Oil (retail price: $18, 250ml)
Meyer Lemon Citrus Syrup (retail price: $18, 200ml)

I bought bottles of garlic and lemon citrus syrup. Garlic oil would be great for cooking with, and the lemon citrus syrup would be amazing for drizzling on cheese or mixing into cocktails.

Nicely packaged syrups

A lovely grand fireplace on the patio

Plenty of outdoor seating

Round Pond offers a family-style lunch for $125 per person

I will definitely be back soon!

875 Rutherford Road
Rutherford, CA 94573
(888) 302-2575

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