Fritters – Next Door

Fritters - Next Door
Blue crab, yellow corn, and pimento cheese fritters served with comeback sauce. $12
Next Door, Memphis TN

These fritters were really tasty especially with the comeback sauce. I didn’t realize that there were going to be 3 different kinds of fritters in the bowl. I think my favorite was the pimento cheese for its gooey texture, but the blue crab for the flavor.

Blue crab fritter - Next Door
Blue crab fritter.

Barrel aged Manhattan - Next Door
Barrel aged Manhattan. Buffalo Trace bourbon, Dolin sweet vermouth, barrel aged bitters. $10

Crab ‘n corn soup – Paraiso Grill

Crab 'n corn soup - Paraiso Grill
Creamy soup with crab, corn and egg. 200 PHP
Paraiso Grill, Boracay PHILIPPINES

Meh, this soup was neither particularly good nor bad. It tasted fine, but it was definitely forgettable. I guess it was something to eat while we waited for everything else.

Pineapple daquiri - Paraiso Grill
Pineapple Daquiri: rum, triple sec, lime juice, fresh pineapple. 180 PHP

Outdoor seating
Outdoor seating along the White Beach Path. The nautilus lamps are kinda cool.

Bulalo special – Leslie’s Restaurant

Bulalo special - Leslie's Restaurant
Beef shank stew with bone marrow, napa cabbage, corn, long bean, bok choy, and onion. 599 PHP
Leslie’s Restaurant, Tagaytay PHILIPPINES

Bulalo special - Leslie's Restaurant
I guess Leslie’s is famous for their bulalo and now I know why! This beef soup was SO delicious. It had SO much flavor with just the right amount of bitterness. The restaurant is super popular so be prepared to wait. The views behind the restaurant are also spectacular!

Raised hut overlooking Taal Volcano
Raised hut overlooking Taal Volcano behind Leslie’s.

Cachapa de pollo – Pica Pica

Cachapa de pollo - Pica Pica
Sweet yellow corn crepe stuffed with grilled chicken, black bean spread, tomato, queso fresco, Guasacaca sauce, served with ensalada Caracas and black beans. $15
Pica Pica, San Francisco CA

The cachapa was pretty large and I couldn’t finish it all, but I had fun trying. The corn crepe was interesting – I thought it would be thinner. The grilled chicken was good, but I wish that they had melted the cheese. I think the different house sauces that they have at the table were delicious and ended up dousing the cachapa in them. Noms!

La Chiffonniere

La Chiffonniere statue, 1978, Jean Dubuffet, Justin Herman Plaza.

Mashed chicken and sweet corn soup – Makli Chinese Cuisine

Mashed chicken and sweet corn soup - Makli Chinese Cuisine
Thick broth cooked with tiny pieces of chicken, corn, egg. Cup $2
Makli Chinese Cuisine, San Francisco CA

This is a standard soup served in most Chinese restaurants. For me, it’s the consistency of the broth that either makes or breaks the soup. Too runny, and it is unsatisfying. Too thick, and it becomes a chore to it. Makli’s soup was just right in terms of consistency. It was also pretty flavorful and nice and warm. I prefer more egg though.

San Francisco Ferry Building Terminal
San Francisco Ferry Building Terminal.

Arepas de pernil – Pica Pica

Arepas de pernil - Pica Pica
Grilled sweet yellow corn pocket stuffed with slow cooked pulled pork, avocado, tomato, pica’pun, ajo aioli. Served with Pica slaw and taro chips. $10.75
Pica Pica, San Francisco CA

This was really tasty and very filling. The texture of the grilled corn arepa was fantastic and I liked that there were whole kernels mixed in too. The pulled pork was flavorful, and the crisp fresh Pica slaw was a great accompaniment.

Sangria - Pica Pica

Sangria. Red wine, passion fruit, apple, and Adriana’s special spices. Glass $7

Noe Valley
This is how people decorate their trees in Noe Vally, lol! Ok, maybe just this house.

Butter poached lobster – Luce

Butter poached lobster - Luce
Sweet yellow corn, green strawberries, radish. Tasting menu $95
Luce, San Francisco CA

Another interesting flavor and texture combination from Luce, and I think a successful one. I don’t think I’ve ever come across green, unripe strawberries as an intentional ingredient before. They actually have a great texture and flavor profile (I grew up on a berry farm so I’m quite familiar). I also loved that there was a corn puree, roasted corn kernels, and shaved baby corn on the plate. And let’s not forget the beautifully poached lobster! Noms!

Black-eyed Susan vine
Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata, Acanthaceae), Kentfield.

Fried chicken – Town Hall

Buffalo fried chicken - Town Hall
Buffalo fried chicken (Sunday BBQ special), jambalaya(?). $23
Town Hall, San Francisco CA

Um, this wasn’t a successful dish. It had a weird flavor (and not very Buffalo-y tasting either), and the crust was soggy. Maybe they fried the chicken pieces first then tossed them in a Buffalo sauce, but by the time they made it to our table the sauce had soaked through the batter. The sides were also forgettable because I don’t even remember what they were and I can’t tell from the pic. I think one of them was a jambalaya though.

Mary's buttermilk fried chicken - Town Hall
Mary’s buttermilk fried chicken, smashed potatoes, corn maque choux, bacon gravy. $25 (comped)

So this dish was comped because the kitchen had overcooked the first batch and didn’t want to serve it. I can respect a kitchen (or management) that refuses to serve mis-cooked food, bravo. But I felt REALLY bad for my roommate who had to wait while everyone else ate their entrees because fried chicken takes a long time (he was birthday boy). When it came out, this batch also seemed overcooked so I’m not sure it was worth the wait. The batter was bland but it was at least crispy. I was not a fan of this dish overall. (The fried chicken at Wayfare Tavern is WAY better.)

Robert Dollar Gallery
The Robert Dollar Gallery, California Palace of the Legion of Honor.

Long cooked pork – Nopa

Long cooked pork - Nopa
Fresh shelling beans, roasted corn, tomato confit and skillet bread. $15
Nopa, San Francisco CA

This was a very hearty, filling dish and it was tasty! It would be great as a hangover cure, lol. I could easily see this served as a lunch or dinner item too. All the ingredients were delicious and the pork was tender and flavorful. There could have been more of it though. The portion was a bit on the small side.

Blooming aloe

Blooming aloe, West Field Road.

Lobster gazpacho – Roxy’s Cafe

Lobster gazpacho - Roxy's Cafe
Heirloom tomato, corn, cucumber, green onion. 10-course chef’s tasting menu $75
Roxy’s Cafe, San Francisco CA

This soup was really delicious! There wasn’t much lobster, just the small pieces on top but they were beautifully cooked and so tasty. I loved the rich, comforting flavor of the soup especially with the extra flavorful, cooked scallions.

View of Twin Peaks
View of Twin Peaks and Sutro Tower from Noe Valley.

Blue shrimp – Jardiniere

Blue shrimp - Jardiniere
Corn, shelling bean, purslane. Tasting menu $140
Jardiniere, San Francisco CA

Mmm, the shrimp in this dish were delicious and perfectly cooked. I was afraid that the purslane leaves were going to be too slimey, but they actually weren’t bad. There were also sesame seeds and some other hard, crunchy seed(?) which I didn’t really like.

Gougeres - Jardiniere
Gougeres. Compimentary
Absolutely scrumptions – I love gougeres, NOMS!

America's Cup Pavilion
America’s Cup Pavilion, Pier 27.