La Jolla – 10/10/17 – George’s at the Cove

While its obviously all about the sunset, the food is delicious!


chili calamari – fresh hers, fresno chiles, sweet chili sauce

hummus – marinated olives, roasted peperonata, charred eggplant puree, za’atar, tzatziki, house made pita

grilled faroe island salmon, vegetable Lanson mills faro grain salad, watercress, chermoula

San Francisco – 9/2/17 – Tartine Manufactory and Lazy Bear

Tartine Manufactory
Absolutely perfect at anytime of day.

Lazy Bear
I was expecting to like Lazy Bear but perhaps not as much as I actually did. It was still a heatwave and so quite uncomfortable on the 2nd floor where dinner starts with snacks. But as we moved downstairs the ceiling fans made things tolerable. Considering that all diners are served at the same time at large communal tables execution was fantastic.  Most memorable were the reserve wine pairings which were definitely a good choice over the standard pairings.  Certainly a very fun evening and I would definitely return.

snacks




crispy mistake mushroom



spelt & rye dinner roll

sf coast halibut

sungold tomato, shelling beans, seaweeds, squid

abalone


king salmon and its roe, arrowhead cabbage, buttermilk, dill

corn, pork jowl, kale, egg yolk fudge

squab, smokey beets, huckleberry, pink peppercorn

blackberry, corn, butterscotch, basil

nectarine, nasturtium, white chocolate, oats

gummy bear, grilled strawberry, koi, olive oil
cinnamon macaron, white shocolate ganache
PB&J, raspberry jam, peanut butter mousse

San Francisco – 9/1/17 – Kin Khao and Saison

Kin Khao
Love, love, love Kin Khao so much.  The nam tok beans I can’t stop thinking about every time I have them.

nam tok beans – scarlet runner beans tossed isaan-style with lime, chili, rice powder, light soy, shallots, scallions, mint, herbs

som tum papaya salad – spicy chili, lime, fish sauce dressing, green beans, cherry tomatoes, dried shrimp, peanuts

Saison
Unfortunately I ended up in San Francisco during a heatwave and most places don’t have air conditioning.  Saison unfortunately was no exception.  I hate to judge the experience solely based on the temperature, but it in fact did make the evening almost unbearable especially as the staff seemed to almost ignore it instead of acknowledging it.  When we tried to have a server take away the wool and fur throws and pillows on our seats which were making us sweat by looking at them, he seemed taken aback.  Two hot teas and a hot broth were on the menu and as the heatwave was forecasted I can’t understand why these dishes were not changed.    The signature uni dish was fabulous as was the antelope.  But my lasting impression was of my sweat soaked dress plastered to me as I stood up to leave.



saison private batch caviar

spot prawn

sea urchin

ratatouille

barbequed quail



pronghorn antelope


pineapple

fruit & tea




Chicago – 8/26/17 – Proxi

Yet another fantastic addition to the west loop.  Those tempura elotes alone are worth a visit.

tempura elotes

salad of sugar snap peas and carrots, yuzu kosho, sesame, miso brûlée

shaved zucchini, sheep’s milk feta, pine nuts, mint

baby octopus, red chermoula, fava bean hummus

black pepper pork, butter lettuce, peanuts, apple, mint

merguez sausage, eggplant aioli, almonds, grapes, radish

Chicago – 8/25/17 – Roister and Alinea

Roister
If you haven’t been to Roister and live in Chicago we probably can’t be friends. Always excellent and dishes that are so much better than they read on the menu. The spicy cucumber salad I could easily eat once a day forever. And those grits may not look like much…but the scallop XO….amazing. Some others told me that the foie gras toast was too sweet. But as dessert is is perfect and evoked so many amazing childhood cinnamon toast memories.

anson mills grits, scallop XO, egg yolk sauce, parmesan

avocado toast, english muffins grapefruit, everything butter

spicy cucumber salad, pineapple-fish sauce dressing, lots of herbs

Foie gras, cinnamon toast, strawberry jam

Alinea
Still my favorite restaurant a decade later.  Somehow I am missing a few photos because I was enjoying myself too much to be bothered.  Always an an amazing experience and always something new that is a complete surprise.  On this visit, the spud.  Perhaps not the prettiest dish in the era of instagram (despite best efforts which gave me a good laugh) but absolutely delicious.

spear | avocado, coriander

paper | langoustine, bouillabaisse, olive oil

crunch | rouille, nori

ink | olive, artichoke

garden | orange, sherry, tomato

black bass, shellfish, kuzu
kaffir lime, tropical fruit
coconut
chicken, rice



steam | hamachi, rosemary, kombu

glass | blueberry, lapsing soughing, maitake

spud | truffle, midwest dairy


toast | gruyere, black truffle, pumpernickel

smoke | veal cheek, pineapple, hearts of palm

rock | sweet potato, chocolate, miso

nostalgia | bubblegum, candy bar

NYC – 8/19/17 – Blue Hill at Stone Barns

There are certainly no better vegetables out there than those grown at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Course after course somebody at the table said “this is the best [insert type of vegetable] that I have ever had.”  And thank goodness there were so many vegetables otherwise I would have been struggling with this very long menu long before the last two courses.  This is certainly a must-do if you haven’t been, in which case go early to walk around the farm a bit.  Be forewarned, especially if you have arranged a car service back to NYC, that this is a very long menu.