Ben and I went to San Francisco and Los Angeles to visit family and friends, and of course to sample some delicious foods in California. Overall, we ate very very well both in restaurants and at homes. I was particularly jealous of abundant and high quality produce in many farmer’s market in Northern California. Here are some of the memorable places that we have eaten in San Francisco.
We were expertly guided by our friend L. in our restaurant choices. We met L. for dinner on our first night at SPQR on Filmore Street, which is a Roman style trattoria that had an unusual menu. We started with Bone marrow sformatino, which was totally unexpected and divine and Chopped chicken liver. For our pasta dishes, we had Squid ink scungilli & octopus ‘puttanesca’, Meyer lemon risotto, pea shoots & fried lemon and Beef cheek pyramid , amaranth, lemon & walnuts; the last being the most unctuously good pyramid shaped raviolo/tortellino style pasta.
Particularly I enjoyed mainly West Coast selection of raw oysters at Hog Island Oyster Company for lunch one day. This restaurant is inside the Ferry Building Marketplace on Embacadero, which is full of gourmet and specialty food shops. You can enjoy an excellent individually brewed coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee in the same building afterward. I also caught up with one of my oldest friend G. and her boyfriend for dinner at Domo Sushi, which had some very interesting inventive sushi rolls.
One of my favorite meals was at Thanh Long, whose justifiably famous specialty is Vietnamese style roasted crab and garlic noodles. I should have known that it was going to be a memorable feast when the waiter came around with plastic bibs for each of us. The monstrous dungeness crab was sweet and buttery. I could not believe that I could finish the whole crab. Another favorite meal was the lunch at the girl & the fig, where we had a very good duck confit (and I have eaten my weight in duck confit in my life) and the best Quiche Lorraine that I have ever had (really!) when we went to Napa and Sonoma for a little wine tasting. We also liked Serpetine in newly gentrifying Dog Patch neighborhood.