5/26/19 – San Francisco – Angler

Yes it is expensive but everything I have had at Angler has been perfect as are service and the setting. If the world ever returns to normal I would so love to have a repeat of this meal.

Tuxedo #3

Amberjack, cultured cabbage & pear

Parker House Rolls Sweet Chicory Caesar

Grilled Asparagus

Whole artichoke with swarnadwipa spices Hot fried quail Sundae


5/23/19 – Big Sur – Post Ranch Inn

I had wanted to visit Post Ranch Inn for quite a while and was so disappointed on this particular morning when I realized that the may gray was not going to burn off.  However even without a sunset (which I hope to get back for some day) the view is amazing.  And even when the fog rolled in limiting visibility to about a foot, the effect was still worth experiencing.  View aside, this was a really great meal with impeccable hospitality.  And I have been craving smelt ever since.

Morro bay oysters, rhubarb, sweet William, tarragon

beer battered smelt, anton’s borage, remoulade, meyer lemon

monterey abalone, post ranch mushrooms, fava bean, green garlic

romanesco cauliflower, nasturtium gremolata, meyer lemon confit, pine nut

farm egg, white anchovy, leeks, pencil asparagus

lone mountain wagyu beef ribeye, beets, spring onion, bone marrow jus


hazelnut & chocolate, hazelnut meringue, garden lemon curd

seared apricot, rosemary, buckwheat, local honey

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.


crispy mistake mushroom

spelt & rye dinner roll

sf coast halibut

sungold tomato, shelling beans, seaweeds, squid


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

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


barbequed quail

pronghorn antelope


fruit & tea

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

elvis tartine
Eating House

beef crudo
Momofuku Nishi
New York

farm egg baked in celery cream
Miller Union

foie gras and truffle macaroon
Osteria Francescana

sheep’s milk gnocchi
Jockey Hollow
Morristown, NJ

passionfruit semifreddo
Contra @ Gramercy Tavern
New York

carolina gold rice

Xiao Bao Biscuit

snap pea sushi
New York
pike quenelle

nam tok beans
Kin Khao
San Francisco

spicy tuna toast
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.

San Francisco – 9/4/16 – Kin Khao and the Progress

Kin Khao
Months later I wish I could rewind and do over this day.  I love everything about Kin Khao and would be quite happy to eat here on every single trip to San Francisco.  There are few places where I eat past the point of being full because I literally cannot stop.

Pak Pow – lager, appleton reserve rum, allspice dram, ginger, lemon, nutmeg

Nam Tok Beans – ayocote morado beans tossed isaan-style with lime, chili, rice powder, light soy, shallots, scallions, mint, cilantro

Som Tum Papaya Salad – spicy chili lime fish sauce dressing, green beans, cherry tomatoes, dried shrimp, peanuts

Pad Kee Mao – spicy stir-fried drunken noodles with ground pork, rice noodles, garlic, birds eye chili, onions, bell peppers, holy basil

Khao Mun Gai – chicken fat rice, ginger-poached chicken, served with pim’s secret sauce and a cup of chicken broth

The Progress
It took me far too long to get to the Progress.  As I knew I would, I loved everything about it.  The space is gorgeous, service is fantastic, and all of the food as excellent as expected.  But now I a torn and I see Progress/State Bird double dinners in my future.
(Apologies for the caption-less photos which is what happens when it takes me too long to update this blog.)

melon with sesame & dukkah, zucchini bread with pickled carrot creme fraiche, fried pickles with buttermilk & smoked hot sauce, claim cocktail with avocado & seven pepper cracker

pig’s head charcuterie, korean melon, fish sauce & chiles

hog island sweetwaters, yuzu pickled local nori

San Francisco – 9/3/16 – in Situ, Aaxte, Louie’s Gen-Gen Room and Lord Stanley

In Situ
I have to admit that when I first read about in Situ I didn’t get the concept at all and I really had no interest in going.  A restaurant based on reproducing dishes of various chefs from around the world seemed almost like a fad.  But I wasn’t considering the setting and when I finally visited it all made perfect sense. In Situ is located in the SF Museum of Modern Art and it is actually the absolute perfect museum restaurant as it is own museum of rotating dishes from famous chefs and restaurants around the world spanning decades.  The dishes themselves are classic and are faithfully reproduced.  Now I just need to dig back to that old photo of the Clove Club chicken.

Buttermilk fried chicken & pine salt – Isaac McHale, The Clove Club

Summery warm tomato & basil tart – Michel Guerard, Les Pres d’Eugenie

Ketchup fried rice – Roy Choi, LA Son

As our first stop of the evening we sadly had to limit what we ordered.  But I will definitely be back for a full dinner.  An adorable place, excellent service, and some shrimp that I could eat everyday.

Louie’s Gen Gen Room
I didn’t have time to try Lilhio Yacht Club on this trip unfortunately but did have a chance to check out this recently opened subterranean cocktail spot below it.  The space is adorable and the drinks bright and refreshing.  The abbreviated food menu contains a large number of waffle options.  A strange choice I initially thought but they were far better than I expected.

Lord Stanley
It was quite late by San Fran standards by the time we reached Lord Stanley and I felt badly that they allowed such a late reservation as we were the last table seated.  I don’t think I really appreciated how good this dinner was until the next day.  The vegetable preparations are really fantastic and refreshingly different.  The eggplant accompanying my lamb was hands down the best I have ever had.  It has never been one of my favorites and was completely transformed.  I”m looking forward to a return trip for the tasting menu.  Indeed one of the best new restaurants in America!

Onion petals with sherry vinegar

Grilled trumpet mushrooms, garlic and almond

Wagyu beef tartar with chanterelle and summer truffle

Sweet potato with shemeji, horseradish creme fraiche and nasturtium

Lamb loin and belly with charred eggplant, black olive and lemon

San Fran – 10/10/14 – Kin Khao & State Bird Provisions

Kin Khao
I have read so much about Kin Khao recently that I was initially puzzled to arrive for lunch to an almost empty dining room. My first thought was ‘I guess I didn’t really need a reservation.” But of course it turned out that all of the tables were reserved and San Fran just starts lunch a bit later than I do running on EST. For being in a somewhat strange space in a strange location I loved the quirky decor which contributed to an ultimately homey atmosphere. The perfect amount of heat in each dish…the kind that makes you unable to stop eating. I must get back for the wings!


Som Tum papaya salad – shredded papaya, green beans, cherry tomatoes, dried shrimp, garlic, peanuts, lime, fish sauce


Blistered green beans in XO sauce


Pad Kee Mao – spicy stir fried drunken noodles with ground pork, rice noodles, garlic, bird’s eye chili, onions, bell peppers and holy basil


Khao Soi Gai – northern style chicken curry broth, egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, and spicy chili oil


After stops at Mikkeller Bar and Smuggler’s Cove….

State Bird Provisions
If I lived in San Fran I’m afraid that this blog would be half State Bird as I would be there every week. It’s so much fun that you don’t want to leave (which makes it even more impressive that they can turn tables at regular intervals). Thankfully I had some help on this trip so I could order more. But I still left too full to order an amazing sounding lamb dish (I am seriously full if I can’t eat lamb!). I started out trying to keep a list of all of the passed dishes but just gave up because I just wanted to enjoy the experience instead of documenting it. I think I may have missed a few pictures as well.







Toasts – chanterelle and pickled local anchovy





Butter clam ‘picatta’

Rose geranium ‘ice cream’ sandwich, chocolate cardamom ganache, pistachio and ‘world peace’ peanut muscovado milk


If there is a more unassuming and gracious chef than Stuart Brioza I have yet to meet him. Thank you Ryan Anderson for the truly fantastic hospitality! Looking forward to what’s next at The Progress!

San Fran – 7/20/14 – Bar Agricole, Humphry Slocombe, Flour & Water

Bar Agricole
The only disappointment of the weekend was missing out on Bar Agricole’s cocktails. I woke up with migraine induced nausea so terrible that I didn’t know how I would possibly make it to brunch. I forced myself out and thankfully rallied but a Radler seemed to be a better idea for an upset stomach.


Avocado and beets with goat cheese and seeds


Baked eggs with black eyed peas, house-cured ham, wild spinach and goat cheese


Humphry Slocombe
As it just happened to be National Ice Cream Day I needed no further justification for an afternoon ice cream! I’m not sure that there could be anything better than bourbon ice cream.




Flour & Water
I waited in line but unfortunately lost our first table as my friends were stuck in traffic. How convenient that Trick Dog was right across the street while waiting for them to arrive! It all worked out perfectly and I had plenty of time to make it to the airport. I wish I had gotten the name of the absolutely lovely hostess who texted me updates on or new table.

Heirloom tomato panzanella with cucumber, mozzarella Di bufala & basil


Grilled stone fruit with herbed ricotta, salsa verde, purslane & pistachio


Corn cappelletti with honey & chocolate mint


Pork cracklings with calabrian chili aioli


Pici which braised rabbit, gypsy pepper & prosciutto soffrito


Pomodoro – heirloom tomato, fior Di latte, garlic & basil


Salsiccia – pork sausage, Calabrian chili, capers, lamb quarters


Chocolate budino with espresso cream & sea salt


Zucchini cake with fried squash blossom, chantenay carrot & gelato di bufala


Seasonal gelato


San Fran – 7/19/14 – SPQR, State Bird Provisions, Trick Dog, Wilson & Wilson

After a morning walk up and down a few hills I kept walking the whole way to SPQR for lunch. I so rarely eat pasta that I appreciate it even more when I do and this was delicious. Of note, there were more solo diners here for lunch than I have ever seen at any other restaurant. We actually outnumbered the 2 and 4-tops. I know it’s not a good thing for the restaurant’s bottom line, but I did love seeing it. Even though I’m quite comfortable dining alone, there are still moments when I feel like a complete outcast.


Sweet carrot and lentil salad, medulla date and vadouvan curry crema


Buckwheat tagliatelle, cider and bacon braised suckling pork and spigarello broccoli


State Bird Provisions
I had a moment after I had been waiting in line for about 45 minutes when I was seriously questioning my sanity. I hate waiting in line. Perhaps one too many times of trying to be in the front row of a general admission show. I’ve only waited at a restaurant twice before, oddly both for pizza, Di Fara and Pizzeria Bianco. The former I barely remember as we were so hungry by the time we got our pizza that we would have eaten cardboard and so totally inhaled it without even tasting it. And the latter is my absolute favorite pizza in the US so it was well worth the wait.

If I lived in San Fran I think I would be at State Bird once a week, line and all. Hands down this was the most fun I’ve ever had dining alone. I never even picked up my book. The dim sum concept is just fantastic when so well done. It’s a bit like gambling in that you don’t know if you should take the 1st dish that comes around, or hold out for something you may like better. At first I wished there was a list so I would know how many choices there would be and strategize appropriately (actually there is a list online but I wasn’t sure how frequently it changed, etc). But I quickly realized that being surprised made it so entertaining. Next time I do need friends just so I can try more. In the end I only ordered 2 things from the actual menu but saw so much leaving the kitchen that I wanted to be able to eat. Lastly I think it takes a certain personality to work in this type of concept and everybody here had ‘it’ in spades.




Shrimp ‘Louie’ bean salad


Guinea hen dumpling


Garlic bread with burrata


Air dried beef with chili juice, rice powder & garlic chips


Smoked trout-avocado chip & dip


CA state bird with provisions


Yeasted butter cake, sing old tomato caramel & peaches


Trick Dog
Thankfully not everybody went to Tales of the Cocktail!



Coit Tower – Rittenhouse rye, raspberry, thyme, lemon, cider


Dragon Gate – campo de encanto acholado pisco, muscat, Szechuan pepper, lemon, ginger, egg


Wilson & Wilson (in Bourbon & Branch)
Even better than a basement speakeasy is one with a password. I’m still trying to figure out what I said to get myself labelled as a scotch drinker! I needed you dad.



San Fran – 7/18/14 – Coqueta, Mikkeller Bar, Coi

A lovely lunch at Coqueta but why do I always get the clueless diners? A table of guys thought they were so cool, yet tried to order chips & salsa (at a clearly Spanish restaurant but I guess Spain and Mexico are the same) and then despite a great cocktail list, a T&T as if it was the greatest drink of all time. Don’t get me wrong, I love a G&T but not when there are much more interesting versions on the menu.

Tariff- jamon iberico infused gin, acorn & apricot tonic, orange, cava

Esparragos Trigeros con Romesco – wood grilled green asparagus with coal roasted romesco salsa, raw manchego and Marconi almonds


Huevos Nacional – deviled eggs filled with spring pea, smoked pimentos aioli, on pickled saffron potatoes and olive oil poached bonito


Jamon Serrano




Albondigas a la Feria – Grilled duck and pork meatballs with tart cherry and Tempranillo salsa and crispy shallots


El cazador – oloroso sherry, Campari, lime, honey




Mikkeller Bar
I couldn’t stop thinking that as much as I enjoyed this place my brother should have been with me because he would have loved it more. I do find it interesting that while the brothers don’t get along, they clearly respect each other’s talents as Evil Twin is featured predominately here (as is Mikkeller at Torst).




Lovely is the only word that comes to mind to describe this evening. Exceptional service. Great wine pairings. And the most perfectly portioned tasting menu I can remember having.


California Bowl


California Sturgeon Caviar, egg yolk poached in smoked oil,crema fresh, chive


Seared Spot Prawn, watermelon, cucumber, opal basil


Cherry tomatoes, purée of grilled zucchini and wheatgrass, green olive oil, herbs and flowers


Chilled spiced eggplant soup, pole beans, charred okra, fermented chile, flowering cilantro


Wild king salmon, crayfish bordelaise, lovage, fennel pollen


Steamed shiitake potato dumpling, mushroom dashi, brown butter, tatsoi


Emigh ranch lamb, chard leaves and stems, garum, rosemary


Coconut Mochica bun, kiwi, shiso


Ha’ogen melon, olive oil, holy basil


Blueberries and Violet


Frozen dark chocolate yuzu marshmallow