San Francisco-style cioppino – The Rotunda

San Francisco-style cioppino - The Rotunda
Mussels, clams, shrimp, dungeness crab, halibut, tomato-oregano broth, sourdough roll. $27
The Rotunda, San Francisco CA

This cioppino was good, but I was honestly surprised that it wasn’t better! I expected it to be AMAZING for almost thirty bucks. The ingredients were nice but I wasn’t blown away by the broth. It lack the all the flavor and depth that I was looking for. The mussels were also a little overdone.

The Fall Gem cocktail - The Rotunda
The Fall Gem: Eagle Rare single barrel bourbon, St. Germain, pomegranate, fresh-pressed lemon, orange bitters, orange peel, rocks. $12


3-piece fish ‘n chips combo meal – Ivar’s Seafood Bar

3-piece fish 'n chips - Ivar's Seafood Bar
Original recipe Pacific true cod, French fries, white clam chowder, diet Coke. $12.99
Ivar’s Seafood Bar, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

3-piece fish 'n chips combo meal - Ivar's Seafood Bar
This definitely isn’t the healthiest option at the SeaTac Airport, but Ivar’s is such quintessential Northwest food that I couldn’t resist. Their fish is actually really good and the fries come out piping hot. I also love the consistency of their clam chowder. Noms!

White clam chowder - Ivar's Seafood Bar
Cup of white chowder.

Sweet and sour seafood hot pot – Nha Hang Ngon

Sweet and sour seafood hot pot - Nha Hang Ngon
Lau hai san chua cay. Shrimp, clams, fish, squid, cherry tomato, cilantro. 295,000 VND
Nha Hang Ngon, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

Assorted greens and oyster mushrooms - Nha Hang Ngon
Assorted greens and oyster mushrooms. I have no clue what most of these greens were, but I think there were even mimosa (sensitive plant) stems and leaves!

Vermicelli rice noodles - Nha Hang Ngon
Bun rice vermicelli noodles.

Sweet and sour seafood hot pot - Nha Hang Ngon
All the ingredients stewing in the hot pot! The server placed them in there once the pot was hot enough.

Sweet and sour seafood hot pot - Nha Hang Ngon
The end result was a delicious bowl of beautifully cooked seafood in a delicious broth with a little kick.

Hung King's Monument
Hung King’s Monument, Tao Dan Park.

Hot pot proteins – Hoang Yen

Hot pot proteins - Hoang Yen
Clams, cockles, beef, fish, squid, and prawns. North-south hot pot 279,000 VND
Hoang Yen, Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM

This was a pretty good selection of seafood and meat to throw into the hot pot. Everything seemed pretty fresh and well-cleaned. Can you really ask for much more? Noms!

Sauces - Hoang Yen
Mixed sauces.

Sauce ingredients - Hoang Yen
Soy sauce and sauce ingredients.

Martial arts practice
Martial arts practice at night, Cong Vien 23 Thang 9 Park.

Ciopinno – Cafe Renzo

Ciopinno - Cafe Renzo
Clams, mussels, calamari, prawns and fresh fish sautéed in a tomato garlic broth. $23
Cafe Renzo, Palo Alto CA

Meh, this was ok. Definitely not the best ciopinno I’ve had. The sauce was a bit salty and some of the seafood were overcooked, but the flavors were there. I wasn’t feeling the love from this seafood stew though.

Dinner roll - Cafe Renzo
Dinner roll. Complimentary

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Pigeon Point Lighthouse.

Clam chowder – Barbara’s Fishtrap

Clam chowder - Barbara's Fishtrap
Award winning chowder, fresh made using Barbara’s own secret recipe. Loaded with clams with no MSG or milk products. Bowl $7.95
Barbara’s Fishtrap, Half Moon Bay CA

Clam chowder - Barbara's Fishtrap
This clam chowder was AMAZING! Honestly, it tasted like Thanksgiving. It was thick and flavorful and was packed with clams. (I’m sure it was also very healthy, hehe.)

California wildrose flower
California wildrose flower (Rosa californica, Rosaceae), Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve.

Boston clam chowder – Mission Street Oyster Bar

Boston clam chowder - Mission Street Oyster Bar
With green lip mussels, black mussels, clams, and shrimp. Cup $3.95
Mission Street Oyster Bar, San Francisco CA

This chowder was pretty good, but I still couldn’t get over the fact that they charged for bread and butter especially when the price point of their entrees was $20 and up. And as you can see, they only give you a few slices. I don’t think I’ve experienced this at a San Francisco restaurant – kinda un-classy.

Bread - Mission Street Oyster Bar
Bread and butter. $1.75

Robert Howard sculpture
Creepy heads sculpture by Robert Howard, Phoenix Hotel.

Crab cioppino – Fishermen’s Grotto

Crab cioppino - Fishermen's Grotto
Dungeness crab, prawns and clams in a rich tomato stew. You pick it from the shell. We provide the bib. $29.95
Fishermen’s Grotto, San Francisco CA

Mmm, this was SO delicious! The tomato stew was certainly rich and flavorful and there was A LOT of cracked dungeness crab in there. I had fun wearing the plastic bib and picking out as much crab meat as possible. 🙂

Cabernet sauvignon - Fishermen's Grotto

House cabernet sauvignon. $7

Spunky Monkey flowers
“Spunky Monkey” flowers (Mimulus naiandinus ‘Mega’, Scrophulariaceae), 18th Street.

Coney Island clam chowder – Fishermen’s Grotto

Coney Island clam chowder - Fishermen's Grotto
Tomato based chowder served with oyster crackers. Cup $7.50
Fishermen’s Grotto, San Francisco CA

Mmm, this chowder was pretty flavorful. It was on the thick side, but I liked it. It had plenty of clams and vegetables packed within, yay!

Yellow California poppies
Yellow California poppies (Eschscholzia californica, Papaveraceae), Point Lobos Avenue.

Boston clam chowder – Fishermen’s Grotto

Boston clam chowder - Fishermen's Grotto
Cream based chowder served with oyster crackers. Cup $7.50
Fishermen’s Grotto, San Francisco CA

I was skeptical of this restaurant located smack down in the middle of touristy Fisherman’s Wharf, but the food was great! The service was cheesy especially with their outdated uniforms, but very friendly. And the people-watching can’t be beat, lol! This chowder tasted great and had a nice creamy texture.

Sourdough bread - Fishermen's Grotto
Fresh sourdough bread. Complimentary

Yellow yarrow flowers
Yellow yarrow flowers (Achillea millefolium, Asteraceae), West Field Road.

Tutto mare – Boulevard Cafe

Tutto mare - Boulevard Cafe
Spaghetti, prawns, clams, mussels, fish, garlic, basil, white wine, red sauce. $15.95
Boulevard Cafe, Daly City CA

This restaurant is one of those places where the menu is gigantic and appears to contain food from all cuisines. Usually the food at these places are sorely lacking, but the things I ordered were actually pretty good. The tutto mare had plenty of seafood which I was surprised about since most places will skimp of the more expensive proteins. It had bold flavors and the pasta was perfectly al dente.

Avgolemono soup - Boulevard Cafe
Avgolemono soup. Traditional Greek soup with chicken, rice, lemon and egg. $2.95
This was OK. It was mostly broth.