Unagi roll – Rikki Rikki

Unagi roll - Rikki Rikki
Bbq freshwater eel, avocado, cucumber. Happy hour $4.95
Rikki Rikki, Kirkland WA

Oh unagi roll, an American sushi standard that I can’t get enough of! There’s something about the combination of bbq eel and salty unagi sauce that is so satisfying to me. Mmm…

Father and Son fountain

Father and Son fountain, 2005, Louise Bourgeois, Olympic Sculpture Park.

Melon and cucumber amuse bouche – Luce

Melon and cucumber amuse bouche - Luce
Basil, grape, burrata. Tasting menu $95
Luce, San Francisco CA

This amuse was bright and refreshing. All the ingredients tasted great and the basil was an interesting and delicious addition. A great way to cleanse your palate before a long meal.

de Young Museum

Main atrium at the de Young Museum.

Seafood poke – Rikki Rikki

Seafood poke - Rikki Rikki
Chopped various seafood and cucumber dressed with spicy soy sauce. Happy hour $4.95
Rikki Rikki, Kirkland WA

This place has a great happy hour with plenty of discounted food and drinks! That’s probably why one of sisters frequents this place, hehe. The poke was pretty tasty. It was more of a salad with some chopped fish on top, but I didn’t mind because it cost less than five bucks. The fish tasted fresh and the soy dressing was good.

Cape cod cocktail - Rikki Rikki
Cape cod cocktail (vodka and cranberry). Happy hour $2.95

Paddleboarders on Shilshole Bay.

Shrimp ceviche – El Techo de Lolinda

Shrimp ceviche - El Techo de Lolinda

Ceviche de camaron. Shrimp, lime, roasted tomato, red onion, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, served with tortilla chips. $13
El Techo de Lolinda, San Francisco CA

Eh, this was a standard ceviche; nothing special and maybe a little on the too sour side. I wasn’t very impressed with this ceviche knowing how popular this place is for drinks and bar food. I think they’re banking on their rooftop location more than providing delicious drinks and food. We’ll see how long before people catch on.

El Cid statue
El Cid statue, Anna Hyatt Huntington, California Palace of the Legion of Honor.

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.

Schmaltz rice – Mission Chinese Food

Schmaltz rice - Mission Chinese Food
Dressed in chicken fat, with cucumber, cilantro, ginger, green onion, fried garlic and hot sauce. $7.50
Mission Chinese Food, San Francisco CA

Ok, how can rice cooked with chicken fat not be simply amazing?! This was SO tasty. The rice had a softer texture with the fatty dressing and a lot more flavor. I can confirm that this rice had no chance and was quickly devoured!

San Francisco morning
A beautiful San Francisco morning. It’s great to be back!

Baked venison puff and sweet potato mushroom mei-si roll – Yauatcha

Baked venison puff and sweet potato mushroom mei-si roll - Yauatcha
Baked bun filled with venision. Deep fried sweet potato and mushroom covered in fine noodles. A Taste of Yauatcha menu £28.88 for 2 people
Yauatcha, London ENGLAND

This was probably our best London meal during this visit. We were on a tight budget so we didn’t go to any fancy restaurants this time around, but Yauatcha had a really good pre fixe for 2 people. It was a great way to taste a variety of their dim sum items without breaking the bank.

We received these two items first, and they were probably our favorites of the meal. The baked venison puff was SO delicious. The outer crust was warm and buttery, and the venison filling was so flavorful. The mei si roll was really fun to eat because of its crispy fried noodle shell. The sweet potato and mushroom filling was super tasty and I would have never thought to combine those two ingredients. NOMS!

Dipping sauces and pickled cucumbers - Yauatcha
Dipping sauces and pickled cucumbers. Complimentary

Elizabeth Tower with Big Ben

The Elizabeth Tower with Big Ben.

Falafel sandwich – L’As du Fallafel

Falafel sandwich - L'As du Fallafel
Pita stuffed with chickpea fritters, hummus, lightly pickled red cabbage, salted cucumbers, fried eggplant, tahini, harissa. 5,50€
L’As du Fallafel, Paris FR

This place is a MUST visit when in Paris! It’s supposedly the best falafel in the city and some would argue the best in most of Europe. Those are some strong words that I’ve read on other sites, lol! I will say that this falafel was absolutely delicious. I didn’t try another falafel in Paris for comparison, but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment I felt from eating this one or how tasty it was.

L’As du Fallafel sits on the Rue des Rosiers which was relatively near our hotel. It’s a really cool section of the Marais that boasts an unexpected Jewish neighborhood complete with synagogues, kosher butchers and bakeries. It’s quite surprising to first walk into the area and feel completely transported to another city. It’s somehow starkly delineated from the surrounding neighborhood by the people, stores, and general vibe – quite exciting actually.

There’s always a line for this place because everyone seems to know about it, but it goes fairly quickly. A guy works the line and gets your order and payment before giving you a “claim check” for your order to turn in at the window. I feel bad, but we were standing in line talking when this random guy came up and started asking us something that we couldn’t understand. I mistook him for some street person trying to sell us something so I think I responded in a rudish kinda way. I immediately realized my error and apologized for not being about to speak French, lol! I’m such a dork!

We both ordered our falafels “hot” so they came with extra harissa. These “sandwiches” were HUGE! We didn’t want to sit in what limited indoor seating they offered so we just found a curb nearby and sat with everyone else. I think it took me 15 minutes or so to eats this monster! And it messy and fun! I would take little nibbles and immediately reach for napkins to wipe off my saucy mouth. The tahini-based sauce and harissa are a killer combination. Besides the perfectly cooked falafel, the eggplants were one of my favorite components. NOMS!

I think I’ll always remember that simple meal, sitting on the dirty curb alongside other tourists, watching people pass by while trying to fend off a throng of expert pigeons, and reveling in our communal enjoyment of a special piece of Paris.

View of Notre Dame Cathedral
View of Notre Dame Cathedral from Pont de la Tournelle bridge.

Cucumber gazpacho – L’Epigramme

Cucumber gazpacho - L'Epigramme
Gaspacho de concombre. Entree/Plat option 24€
L’Epigramme, Paris FR

We came to this randomly located restaurant for lunch because I read good blog reviews for it online. OMG, I’m so glad we did because this was the BEST meal we had in Paris! I will qualify that statement by saying that we really didn’t do any crazy fancy, expensive restaurants because we still had a wedding to attend followed by a London visit. And we knew that our wallets were gonna feel really empty after everything was said and done.

Anyway, L’Epigramme offered an appetizer/entree or entree/dessert option for 24€ OR an appetizer/entree/dessert option for 28€. Because we’re not big dessert people, we had one of each option so that we could at least try one of the desserts. For the quality of the food we received, these prices were amazing!

This cucumber gazpacho was so refreshing and had a wonderful flavor. I think it was beautifully prepared!

Cauliflower spread - L'Epigramme
Cauliflower spread and crostini. Complimentary amuse bouche
We weren’t expecting an amuse bouche, so this was a pleasant surprise. It seemed a fairly simple dish, but it was SO delicious and the texture of the finely chopped cauliflower was great.

Fountain at the Champ de Mars
Fountain at the Champ de Mars. This green space adjacent to the Eiffel Tower is really pretty, but seems SO large on a hot day filled with nonstop walking, lol!

Salade Comete – La Comete

Salade Comete - La Comete
Smoked salmon, mushrooms, tomato, haricot vert, cucumber, hard boiled egg. 9,90€
La Comete, Paris FR

We were searching for an early, small dinner but all the restaurants/cafes were packed. It was such a warm evening that we really wanted to sit outside at a sidewalk table to enjoy the weather and to people watch. Everybody else seemed to eat outside regardless so why not do the same? We walked around for quite some time before we ended up at Cafe La Comete.

Our initial idea of getting a small meal quickly ended when we realized the portions were quite large! The prices were, however, much more reasonable than our first meal in Paris (which I thought was slightly overpriced). The food here was good, but nothing special. I’d never seen a salad completely veiled in thin layer of smoked salmon though – that was new. Our waiter was really cool, a little rough around the edges but friendly and accommodating (and easy on the eyes). We haven’t really had to fumble with our French at all so far since everyone speaks English anyway.

French baguette - La Comete
French baguette. Complimentary

Place setting - La Comete
Place setting.

Jardin de l'Hotel-de-Sens
Jardin de l’Hotel-de-Sens, Le Marais. We were walking around the neighborhood near our hotel and passed by this cute garden with low hedges and beautiful flowers. I also love the red accents on the building’s dormers.

Spicy soft shell crawfish maki – Sushi Ran

Spicy soft shell crawfish maki - Sushi Ran
Cucumber, seven types of Japanese spice, umami tobiko, spicy crab and shiso. $13.50
Sushi Ran, Sausalito CA

Spicy soft shell crawfish maki - Sushi Ran
I thought this sushi roll was really fun and delicious! I’d never had crawfish sushi before. The crawfish was cute and crunchy and I loved the umami tobiko and shiso. This roll had so many great flavors, noms!

Chopsticks - Sushi Ran
I’m so glad that they don’t use cheap wouldn’t chopsticks. 🙂