Long Weekend in San Francisco
So, I may have mentioned it before but Fix Feast Flair was named a finalist for Best New Voice in this year's Saveur Blog Awards! I am beyond grateful and shocked to be included in the list of incredibly talented finalists. I'd be honored if you'd vote for me but encourage you to head over regardless to make sure you get your votes in for your favorites. Voting is open through the 30th (which means it closes tomorrow)!! Thanks to anyone who may have nominated me for this awesome award and absolutely everyone who has supported FFF in its first year!! I really can't express how lucky I feel to have all you wonderful readers in my life. This might sound cheesy but seriously many many many mahalos for even reading. And, ok, enough of that talk. Let's talk about long weekends.
Can we please live in a world where vacations never end? I just spent the best (long) weekend in San Francisco and one, I did not want to come back, and two,felt like I was still on vacation when I did head back to Los Angeles and totally treated myself to chocolate snacks and afternoon naps. And then yesterday, I woke up and realized, I'm back in LA and have a lot of shieeeeet to do. So consider me busy for the rest of this week. Really busy cause I'm kinda behind. Whoops. However, trust me when I say this trip was worth it. :D :D :D
Highlights included starting the morning with Moses, an almond latte, and an almond (frangipane) croissant at Tartine Bakery then promptly following that up with a smoked ham and cheese twist and matcha snickerdoodle. Mind you, said twist and snickerdoodle were extra special carbs because they were baked with love by my favorite Craftsman (and Wolves) and shared with two of the raddest ladies in town, Sarah (Snixy Kitchen) and Alanna (The Bojon Gourmet). We shared so many laughs, stories, and maybe even a couple snorts (probably all mine). And as if that wasn't enough magic, Alanna busted out a bag of her homemade chestnut flour cookies just for ME. GOLD. If this was Instagram I'd be hashtaging #humblebrag. Pretty much the best way to start of our (my) first day back in the Bay. And then I saw a bunch of former Williams-Sonoma coworkers (hugs to all of you) and even spent the evening in the WS Test Kitchen with a bunch of awesome bloggers, a few good whiskies, and some good old Southern cookin'. Thanks for a killer night Women and Whiskey and Victoria (SF Girl by Bay)! After all of that goodness, Moses and I ended the night at Tacolicious, which happens to be down the street from my insanely generous friend Robin's perfect SF flat. Moses had tacos and margs, and I opted for water. Woah, talk about a great first day.
Day two was equally awesome. Moses and I started the morning at The Mill SF for, yes, you called it, hipster toast on the best sourdough bread made by none other than Josey Baker Bread. While this would have been an epic morning all by itself, the morning got even better because we had the opportunity to meet two of the coolest dudes who also happen to make some of the best olive oil out there. Have you tried Other Brother olive oil yet? If you haven't, I strongly suggest you do so immediately. They've got an evoo for everyone (there's an everyday variety, a smooth, a robust and even a gunpowder infused version) and they pack all their passion into every bottle. We had the best morning getting to know Evan and Ben (the awesome guys behind Other Brother), olive oil tasting, and generally enjoying life.
We also squeezed in a bit of shopping, a nap, and then spent the evening celebrating the marriage of two of the most amazing humans we know. The wedding was held at the Log Cabin in the Presidio Park and the ceremony had views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and views of the city. It was pretty much picture perfect. I'm gonna go ahead and admit that I did my fair share of tear fighting, which was hard work, especially when every speech was so full of love and delivered by such wonderful people. At the end of the night, my heart was so full and I went home feeling warm and squishy, despite the much needed (!!) rain.
How can you pick a highlight when each and every moment is epic? You can't. Let's just say there were a lot of highlights this trip. The Cuesa Farmers Market at the Ferry Building was one of them. We met up with my friend Jenn and made our way over to Primavera's stand for their AMAZING chilaquiles. Next time you're in town for the Saturday market, make sure to stop there. Since we were only in town for one more day, I wasn't able to buy any produce but I did take in the smells and did a good amount of sampling. After the market, we strolled around Hayes Valley then treated ourselves to yet another nap. After that, we made our way over to the best new restaurant in town, Liholiho Yacht Club. Ravi Kapur, chef and personal friend, has created the ultimate dining experience at Liholiho. Think California cuisine but with Hawaiian flair housed in a bright and inviting restaurant with an open kitchen. Every dish was a favorite, so much so, that I couldn't pick just one! Hands down my favorite meal of the year. Pro tip: Don't wear your skinny jeans.
On our last day in the city, we spent the morning at a friend's house sipping on his perfect hazelnut lattes made with the most amazing espresso machine I've ever seen, La Pavoni Stradivari Professional 16-Cup Espresso Machine. It's a manual espresso machine that produces perfect shots with insanely gorgeous crema. I even got to pull my own shots! After a caffeinated morning, we met up with Ravi, April, and their beautiful son Makoa (#makoastorm) for some SF bites. We hit up Bar Agricole for some cocktails and oysters, Front SF for a Neighborhood Bakehouse everything croissant (!!!), Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous for some olive oil ice cream and creme fraiche ice cream, and Smokestack for some BBQ! Pretty epic way to end our long weekend in the Bay. Until the next trip, here's a list of our current favorites.
- Tartine Bakery - Get the croissant (ask for jam and butter), almond (frangipane) croissant, morning bun, or anything lemon. Pro tip: Weekdays are your friends.
- Craftsman and Wolves - The Rebel Within is a must but definitely dip into his seasonal offerings as well. Pro tip: The Rebel does sell out, so get there early or run the risk of leaving disappointed.
- Tacolicious - The braised short rib tacos are hands down my favorite and I know you're supposed to try other things but I always go with those and guacamole if I'm feeling ambitious. Pro tip: Start (or end the night) at Mosto, the adjoining tequila bar. If the wait at Tacolicious is too long, stay at Mosto and order tacos there!
- The Mill SF - Hipster toast in full swing here. It lives up to the hype though. Pro tip: Order two slices of country bread, one with the classic preparation of butter and cinnamon sugar and the other with their Housemade Nutella, then sandwich them together. Heaven.
- Juice Shop - If you're feeling the effects of a full night (aka a hangover), pick up a Bright Green, Coco-Chlorophyll, or whichever juice floats your boat. Pro tip: Sit and watch the neighborhood dogs romping around then return your bottle and take your $2 bottle deposit and put it towards a slice of Casey's Pizza next 'door'.
- Souvla - Chicken Sandwich is my fave. 'Granch' Dressing, Fennel, Navel Orange, Pickled Red Onion, Pea Shoots, Mizithra Cheese. Boom. Pro tip: Save room for frozen Greek yogurt!
Cuesa Saturday Farmers Market at the Ferry Building
- Primavera - Chilaquiles. Chilaquiles. Chilaquiles. Pro tip: Smother them in the sauce and splurge on one of their juices!
- Frog Hollow Farms - Try everything, their stone fruits are out of this world. Pro tip: Take home a jar of preserves or some of their delicious sun dried fruit if you can't shop all the fresh produce.
- Far West Fungi - It doesn't matter who's working the stand, I always refer to him/her as the mushroom man in my mind. They have the best variety of mushrooms and carry ramps and fiddlehead ferns when in season. Pro tip: Bring home some of their unique dried mushroom offerings if you're traveling.
- Liholiho Yacht Club - Order everything. Ok, that might not possible so here were my top three: tuna poke with sesame oil, radish, and nori cracker, gold beets with shiso ranch, sunflower seeds, and crispy sunchokes, and their *secret menu* housemade spam with Calrose Japanese short grain rice, furikake, and quick pickles. Pro tip: Be sure to order their signature Baked Hawaii with caramelized pineapple ice cream, and vanilla chiffon but save some room for the cardamom cheesecake with pistachio, and candied kumquats.
- Neighbor Bakehouse - They've got weird hours so plan ahead or cross your fingers that the pastry you're looking for is still available at their, erm, neighbor's place, Front SF. Pro tip: EVERYTHING CROISSANT.
- Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous - My favorite ice cream shop in SF. Their menu changes frequently, so I won't tell you my favorites (they're all good but not always available) and instead just say, everything's good. Pro tip: Get there early because they small batch everything, so once they're out, they're out for the day.
- Smokestack - Follow the HOUSE PROTOCOL and you'll be fine: "LINE UP AT COUNTER FOR MEATS-SIDES-BEERS. BAR SERVES ALL BEERS, FLIGHTS, COCKTAILS, WINES, WHISKEYS, TEQUILAS, SHERRY, CHARTREUSE OR WHATEVER SO MAYBE SEND A FRIEND. SEAT YOURSELF & SCOOT OVER FOR OTHERS." Pro tip: Make it a point to stop by Mr. and Mrs. after (or before).