San Diego – 6/24/17 – Craft & Commerce

It is really nice when the place two weeks away has really solid cocktails and quite good food.  Sadly they are guilty of what has quickly become my biggest pet peeve in San Diego which is every bar asking for a credit card to open a tab.  I get it at a crowded bar.  But when I am a repeat customer and am clearly not running out on my check, it is completely inhospitable.  Sit at a table 6 inches away and of course you would never be asked for a card.  Is the threat of dashing and dining any different?  Why piss off guest who is sure to return?  And after having all of my credit cards stolen more times than I can even count I don’t want any out of my possession for hours at a time.  So what I am I to do?  Pay cash for my cocktail and each plate as I order them?  Tip prior to actually receiving any service?


beef tartar – capers, cornichons, red onion, chives, egg yolk, levain

crudite salad – arugula, radish, snap peas, fennel, green goddess dressing

San Diego – 6/22/17 – Juniper & Ivy 

This was my first visit to Juniper & Ivy as I put it off on my interview and apartment hunting trips fearing that I would be disappointment but what was supposed to be the best place in San Diego. Thankfully it is awesome and I have been back so many times in the last few months that eventually I will have to stop posting about it. The menu has since changed many times but this bbq carrot dish is still one of my favorites.

big trouble in little italy – bourbon, montenegro amaro, mint, lemon, peach bitters

bbq carrots, jalapeno chimichurri, peanuts, apricot

asparagus, soppressata, salmon roe, meyer lemon, crispy potatoes, cured egg yolk

beef tartare, fave hummus, pickled eggplant, beef tendon chicharron

Favorite dishes of 2016

I started with more than 60 and have narrowed it down as much as possible. In no particular order here are my top dishes of 2016, whatever ‘top’ means on any such lists. Largely these dishes are not representative of my favorite meals of 2016 and many are from what I would consider casual restaurants. They may not all be the best dishes technically but are the dishes that I could eat every day and often have cravings for. In the interest of fairness of I have disqualified the Au Cheval burger, the Humm Dog, Black Truffle Explosion, and Oysters & Pearls as well as all bread courses.

balsamic, truffle, artichoke
Luskus with Kitchen Table @ Bubbledogs
New York

osetra – plantain, papaya, rum
Alinea
Miami

elvis tartine
Eating House
Miami

beef crudo
Momofuku Nishi
New York

farm egg baked in celery cream
Miller Union
Atlanta

foie gras and truffle macaroon
Osteria Francescana
Modena

sheep’s milk gnocchi
Jockey Hollow
Morristown, NJ

passionfruit semifreddo
Contra @ Gramercy Tavern
New York

carolina gold rice
Roister
Chicago

okonomiyaki
Xiao Bao Biscuit
Charleston

snap pea sushi
Olmsted
New York
pike quenelle

nam tok beans
Kin Khao
San Francisco

spicy tuna toast
Wildair
New York

ko egg
Momofuku Ko
New York

general tso fried chicken
Chaan Teng
New York

San Francisco – 9/8/16 – Tartine Manufactory

After driving in endless circles to find parking, and then waiting in line to enter, I was cutting it very close to make my flight.  I forgot to take a photo of the menu and pretty much inhaled my lunch.  But it was absolutely fantastic and should be your go-to spot if you don’t need to deal with parking and especially if you live in the neighborhood.  The salad contained all of my favorite ingredients and even when I was full I could not bear to leave any of the delicious bread.