Category — California
You might have noticed by now that I love meat. Steak, especially! I also have an incredibly detailed memory for all of the food I have ever eaten in my life. So if you are wondering about my very favorite steaks, look no further. Here is a handy list of some of the best steaks and related steak-like items I have found in my time and travels thus far.
September 21, 2010 5 Comments
My friend Eliza gave me these awesome little containers. They are about an inch and a half high and super frickin’ adorable.
Their sole purpose is to allow you to bring a little bit of soy sauce with you wherever you go, just in case. They come with a little tiny eye-dropper so you can fill them up with soy sauce. So far they have never leaked and they always make me smile when I pull them out at lunchtime! Something about those vacant, beady eyes and perky ears- they are really endearing little pals to have around.
Eliza got these for a couple bucks at one of my very favorite stores in the world, Daiso Japan. Daiso is kind of like a super cool Japanese Dollar Store, except most things cost two dollars instead of one. Daiso has a crazy cross-section of stuff, from garden supplies to kids’ toys to dishes to cards (many in hilarious Engrish) to fake flowers to, er, individual soy sauce holders. With ten bucks in hand, you can have a GREAT time in there.
There are 3 stores in the Seattle area and 6 in the Bay Area- here’s a list of all U.S. locations.
January 30, 2010 3 Comments
This weekend I went with Ross to Aquatic Park so he could go swimming in the bay with his friend Pablo. Swimming in the bay, not for the faint of heart. But there were an astounding number of people doing it! I am always dead impressed when Ross and friends suit up and jump in.
I am constantly reminded of, and delighted by, the great many picturesque and unique things and places one can find in San Francisco and today was no different. We so often stay in our own little microcosms and neighborhoods, and forget to get up and out into the world and enjoy the variety of wonders our fair city holds!
November 14, 2009 No Comments
For my birthday last year, I asked my friends and family to get tickets for a Demolition Derby in Dixon, CA, which is a small town about 75 miles east of San Francisco.
I will admit that after making this plan I realized that I actually didn’t even know what a Demolition Derby was- I mean, I guess I could have figured it out if I thought about, but I didn’t. I think that’s because I couldn’t have imagined how utterly fun and awesome it is to watch cars crash into each other. So now I know: more or less, a bunch of cars drive around in dirt crashing into each other, until only 1 car is able to move. Pretty straightforward.
November 12, 2009 No Comments
It occurred to me that I always take lots of photos of food and shops and streets and signs when I travel to faraway lands, but I rarely do so in my own town. San Francisco, after all, is a major tourist destination, and there are LOTS of interesting things to photo right here in my own backyard. The area around Bryant and 24th Streets, for example, is a slowly and funkily gentrifying old-school Mexican neighborhood that’s colorful in more ways than one, and it’s a prime spot for a photojournal.
The one, the only, the original- the garish Roosevelt Tamale Parlor sign is a long-standing beacon of this ‘hood. Cute and quaint, with great… wait for it… tamales.
Roosevelt Tamale Parlor: 2817 24th St. between Bryant and York.
August 14, 2009 No Comments
Let’s say you’re hanging out in the 310, the 213, or even the 90210. Last night, you ate at Cobras and Matadors, then had a pretty hardcore night of drinking at the Golden Gopheror perhaps SkyBar (you fancypants you!) You wake up late the next day and need a serious hangover brunch. One choice. Has to be Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood.
The syrup they serve is magical- it’s like honey on a biscuit, but syrup on a waffle. Go figure! Also it’s the only place I think I have EVER been that actually has Bartles and Jaymes Wine Coolers on the menu. Yes! It’s absolutely an LA institution.
Note: There are other branches, but the Hollywood one is the “touristy” (white?) one. The food is the same at all of them, but the crazy, cramped, funky vibe is more present at Roscoe’s in Hollywood as well, since it’s the original. But if you happen to be in Watts, by all means, hit up another branch.
August 10, 2009 No Comments
We had some friends visiting from Scotland, and they wanted advice on where to go as they embarked on a SoCal roadtrip. Thinking about LA I was reminded about how dearly I love Versailles Cuban Restaurant. There’s some complicated history about why it’s called Versailles that involves the name of a sauce or something but I can’t remember, because admittedly that’s an odd name for a Cuban spot… but they have fantastic food that is really inexpensive. It’s so much better than that other Versailles. You know, the one in France with the palace and the gilding and whatnot. Because gilding does not hold a candle to pork and plantains and it never will.
But I digress… anyway, I think the lechon asado (roast pork) is ridiculously good, even though most people rave about the famous Versailles garlic chicken. You can’t go wrong! Don’t expect a fancy atmosphere, just a big ol’ plate of comida deliciosa.
So next time you’re in LA- don’t miss your chance to hit Versailles, for some Cuban food that actually makes me wish the historical migration patterns had funneled a few more Havanans up to SF so I wouldn’t have to go all the way to NY, LA, or Miami for Cuban food this tasty!
Find more info at their website. There are like 4 or 5 of them now, so wherever you are in the big sprawl, there should be one nearby!
June 8, 2009 No Comments
I love Palm Springs- it’s one of my favorite places. In fact, I love it so much I’m getting married there. Palm Springs combines outdoor activities, nightlife, and a cool mid-century modern vibe to make it the perfect weekend getaway. Plus, they have recently expanded their airport, so it’s gotten a lot easier and cheaper to fly in.
We stayed at the Hope Springs Resort, in Desert Hot Springs, about a 20 minute drive out of Palm Springs. We were angling for some Joshua Tree action so we wanted to be a little farther along the road, and we were intrigued by this hidden gem. Traveling through a wholly unprepossessing strip-mall exurb, you arrive at a funky old motel sign, but beyond the little post-modern entryway you find a pocket-sized oasis of tranquility. There are only 10 rooms, and 3 pools fed by natural hot springs to enjoy. The atmosphere makes you feel like you have a very very rich friend who is letting you crash at their vacation getaway. They serve a charming, sort of DIY breakfast, but the con of the place is that you do have to leave for other meals (although some rooms have little motel kitchens- so ostensibly you could remain in your cocoon here with some planning ahead.)
So. Where to eat? I’m assuming you can’t afford to stay at the Parker Palm Springs (although, they do have a hidden deal for folks under 30- you get to stay there half price if you’re ID proves you’re a 20-something.) No matter. Go for breakfast or lunch at Norma’s, sit on the deck, and watch the beautiful LA people making deals on their cell phones while you tuck into a brunch that’s tasty if a tad too pricey. They even give you a breakfast amuse bouche of a little smoothie- how sweet. Bring a book so that after stuffing your face, you can walk the grounds and settle into one of their many little magical nooks and crannies for a relaxing literary digestif. For something a little more low-key, you might try Cheeky’s- a casual and hip breakfast spot that has a bacon tasting plate, which obviously earns them a gold star in my book.
If you want a great dinner in Palm Springs, I recommend Zin. It looks so-so, but the food is absolutely fantastic. Hand-cut steak tartare. Are you kidding me? How awesome is that? The service was perfect and the meal couldn’t have been better. The wine list was well-rounded and affordable. I only wish we had room for dessert. We had a fun and perfectly pleasant people-watching lunch at the Mexican charmer Las Casuelas, a restaurant that turns clubby after dinner. The top-shelf margaritas were strong and above-par, and the food was satisfying if not exciting. Spencer’s at the Mountain also offers great food, but the setting is the real draw: an open-air restaurant with a beautiful patio right at the foot of Mount Jacinto. The sleek, contemporary design serves as a great backdrop for all those Martinis whizzing by. It’s also a great place to go for a drink at sunset.
The furniture and home stores in Palm Springs provide just as positive and educational an experience as visiting a well-curated museum. The breadth of the mid-century modern and modern designs they showcase is incredible, and you will see things you haven’t seen anywhere before. Whether you’re buying or just looking, there is enough eye candy to keep you engaged for a couple of hours. If I could just pick 2 and no more, they would be House 849- a neverending maze of rooms housing a dizzying array of styles and pieces- and the all modern Interior Illusions, across the street, which had me wishing I had some way to justify spending $5K on a light-up coffee table or an enormous mirrored sculpture. There is a cluster of other, smaller shops within a couple blocks.
Once you’ve had your fill of man-made beauty, go for the Palm Springs tram ride- the tram car rotates while it heads precipitously up Chino Canyon, and leaves you at the very tippy top of the mountain, looking down at the vast expanse of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. The views are breathtaking, and if the ride had you on edge, you can grab a drink at the ski-lodgey bar up at the top before making your descent.
We spent a practically perfect day at Joshua Tree National Park. Instead of taking one long hike, we opted to explore many different areas of the park, alternating between these great 1-mile loops they’ve set up, and going off on our own scrambling up and over the rock formations, getting momentarily lost off the trails.
Heading out of the park after a picture-perfect sunset, we stopped at the 29 Palms Inn, a kitschy old inn with a terrific restaurant. The menu choices skew towards the old-fashioned– think, steak and baked potato, chicken marsala, spaghetti bolognese- but everything is done very well. They use produce and herbs from their own organic garden out back. Their wine list is small but careful, with all good choices, and the cocktails are top-notch. Plus, you can eat sitting around the pool while enjoying live entertainment of the lounge-iest sort. A truly lovable spot, and the perfect ending to a Palm Springs weekend.
View Palm Springs on Off The (Meat)Hook in a larger map
May 17, 2009 2 Comments
today in Haiku Reviews:
ICE CREAMS OF THE WORLD
Haiku Reviews: They’re baaaa-aaaaaaack! I had a fierce urge to put some haikus together today, and I have to tell you, the haiku muse has been conspicuously absent for the better part of 6 months now, so I thought I should go with it. The timing is unfortunate, since I just posted a recipe earlier today after not posting for like a week, but what can I say? I can be an undisciplined blogger. (I’m working on it, though, in therapy. Or I would if I went to therapy.) At any rate, I’ve decided to strike while the muse-iron is hot and wax poetic on some ice creams of the world!
I could have gone on all day, but then it would be one in the afternoon and I’d still be in my pajamas. Oh wait! That happened already. Add your suggestions/disagreements in the commments and tell me what creamy delights I’m missing out on!
this ice cream in Dubrovnik, Croatia looked pretty, but sadly it did not taste that good.
Ah, the old standby.
gold medal ribbon kicks a**.
MITCHELL’S (San Francisco)
San Francisco treat!
I admit, I never try
the purple yam though.
BEN & JERRY’S (Everywhere)
it’s a hearty scoop
it reminds me of college
cookie dough is king
GELATO (Anywhere in Italy)
there’s nothing better.
throw down as much as you can
before you die. word.
MASHTI MALONE’S (Los Angeles)
ice cream from Iran?
well, it is really hot there.
this place is AWESOME.
MR. SOFTEE (Northeast U.S./China/HK)
summer in New York
hearing the tune, I’m consumed:
plain dip with jimmies
HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE (San Francisco)
you’re a bit much, dude.
salt, pepper, chili, and such?
get “secret breakfast”
FENTON’S CREAMERY (Oakland, CA)
love the old-time biz.
fun for the whole family!
sundaes are required.
CHRISTINA’S (Cambridge, MA)
so many flavors!
(folks will say “Toscanini’s!”
BI-RITE CREAMERY (San Francisco)
can be uneven,
but salted caramel IS
as good as they say
LOARD’S ICE CREAM (Oakland, CA)
a cool, old skool joint
big creamy cones to drool for
they have candies too!
BERTHILLON (Paris, France)
the best in Paris
it’s famous for a reason.
oui, c’est bon bon bon!
COLDSTONE CREAMERY (Everywhere)
it’s too much pressure.
I always feel sick after.
CARVEL (Northeast U.S.)
hi, fudgy the whale!
now you taste artificial.
better as a kid.
Here’s why I do them in haikus.
Previous Haiku Reviews:
Odes to Foods I Love to Eat
Eating Indian Food in SF
Omnivorous in Oaktown- Eating in Oakland, CA
Where I Tell People To Eat When They’re Visiting SF
Pleasing the Palate in Palo Alto
Cole Valley’s Culinary Delights
7 Spots in SF’s Outer Richmond District
SF’s Bernal Heights Haunts
Pizzas of SF’s Mission District
5 Stunning Sandwiches of San Francisco
Romantic Restaurants of the Bay Area
February 5, 2009 No Comments