Abalone style calamari – Hula’s Island Grill

Abalone style calamari - Hula's Island Grill
With lime-ginger sauce and soy glaze, rice and mango salsa. $5
Hula’s Island Grill, Santa Cruz CA

This tasted ok, but the squid steak had a super squishy texture which I didn’t like. I liked the sauces they used and the addition of rice and mango salsa though. It was also nicely fried so it wasn’t greasy.

Orange-yellow hibiscus flower
Orange-yellow hibiscus flower (Malvaceae), The Mystery Spot.

Chilled squid – Sushi Ran

Chilled squid - Sushi Ran
Chili, mint, lime, crushed pinenut. $9
Sushi Ran, Sausalito CA

Wow, this chilled squid salad was frickin’ amazing! It was bright and delicious and all the different textures were fun to eat. I could eat a bowl of this every day, NOMS!

Kirin light beer - Sushi Ran

Kirin light beer. $5

Random shrine

Random shrine, downtown Sausalito.

Beef tongue – Namu Gaji

Beef tongue - Namu Gaji
Asparagus, broccoli, collard greens, cedar, lime. $14
Namu Gaji, San Francisco CA

Boy, was this good! I’ve only previously had beef tongue sliced into sandwiches, shredded into tacos, or cut up in different ways as an ingredient in soups and stews. This was large pieces of tongue, perfectly cooked and beautifully dressed, simply presented so as to enjoy the beef tongue in all its delicious glory. Great job, Namu Gaji!

Beef tongue - Namu Gaji
7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2013

Banchan - Namu Gaji
Banchan. Mung bean sprouts, daikon greens, kimchi. Complimentary

Shrimp papaya salad – Dinosaurs

Shrimp papaya salad - Dinosaurs
Shrimp with green papaya, carrots, daikon, tomato, and Thai basil. Served with crushed roasted peanuts, fried shallots, and a sweetened lime-fish sauce dressing. $5.75
Dinosaurs, San Francisco CA

Mmm, even the salads at Dinosaurs are delicious! The ingredients taste super fresh and I can’t get enough of those fried shallots and lim-fish sauce. 🙂

Seal Rocks
Seal Rocks, Ocean Beach.

House margarita – El Chupacabra

House margarita - El Chupacabra

Gold tequila, triple sec and their own sour mix, muddled limes, shaken and served on the rocks in a pint glass. $6
El Chupacabra, Seattle WA

These margaritas were decent. I asked for “no salt” but that’s a minor mistake. There were really annoying “ladies” sitting at the bar though and they were bullying a table of kids sitting nearby. Lame! The ladies seemed liked regulars so I guess they were permitted by the bar staff to bully other guests… 😦

Bleeding-heart flowers
Pink and white bleeding-heart flowers (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, Papaveraceae), Ballard.

Chicken cabbage salad – Dinosaurs

Chicken cabbage salad - Dinosaurs
Shredded chicken with green and red cabbage, carrots, daikon, and rau rum. Served with crushed roasted peanuts, fried shallots, and a sweetened lime-fish sauce dressing. $5.75
Dinosaurs, San Francisco CA

I liked this salad, but the chicken wasn’t as good as the kind they put in their banh mi’s. But everything tastes better with that lime-fish sauce on top!

Horses at Fort Funston
Horses at Fort Funston Beach! Thank goodness my doggie doesn’t chase after them. 🙂

Guacamole chilango – Chilango

Guacamole chilango - Chilango
Avocado with lime, onion, cilantro, and serrano chile. Small $6
Chilango, San Francisco CA

Mmm, I love guacamole! I hated it as a kid because its appearance grossed me out, but now I can’t get enough of it. Is it also weird that I prefer the tortilla strips over the triangles! Hehe.

Pinkish tree mallow flowers
Pinkish tree mallow flowers (Lavatera arborea, Malvaceae), Point Lobos Avenue.

Cocktails – Wayfare Tavern

Briar Patch cocktail - Wayfare Tavern

Briar Patch: rye, rhubarb, lime orange bitters. $11
Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco CA

Noms! We went to Wayfare Tavern with my roomies and had a fabulous time. The service was amazing and I loved the drinks. Dare I say, I loved them more than the food? It’s true. The drinks are expertly made. Although, you really can’t beat their popovers (more to come about that).

Pomegranate Fizz cocktail - Wayfare Tavern

Pomegranate Fizz: vodka, pomegranate, ginger rosemary syrup. $11

Sazerac cocktail - Wayfare Tavern

Sazerac: rye, herbsaint, peychauds, sugar. $11

Chinatown duck sliders – Maven

Chinatown duck sliders - Maven
Shiitake mushrooms, Chinese greens, bacon. Bloomspot 4-course chef’s tasting menu with cocktail pairings for two.
Maven, San Francisco CA

These duck sliders were very rich and delicious! They were on toasted buttery poppyseed egg bun which helped soak up all the yummy juices from the pulled duck. The greens (not quite sure what they actually were) were flavorful, almost on the pungent side. The sliders were on the verge of being too salty from all the rich umami flavors, but I’m glad it didn’t go over the edge.

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2014

5 Spot cocktail - Maven

5 Spot Cocktail: aged rhum, ginger, lime, maple, Thai basil, five spice.
This cocktail had a lot of flavors going on, but they actually all tasted pretty good together. The lime and basil also helped to freshen everything up.

Pickled Pink sliders – Sliderbar

Pickled Pink sliders - Sliderbar
Ground shrimp with chili and ginger patty, house made pickled onions, cilantro and lime mayo, arugula on an artisan white bun. Two for $10
Sliderbar, San Francisco CA

Mmm, there are some delicious Asian flavors in this unique slider! Gotta give it to Sliderbar for creating some pretty creative sammies.

Pozole verde – Puerto Alegre

Pozole verde - Puerto Alegre
House specialty, a special blend of chicken, pork, hominy, ham, and bacon in a green stew made with chiles and tomatillos. With lime, lettuce, and radish. $10.85
Puerto Alegre, San Francisco CA

Mmm, this was very tasty but I think I’ll order a regular (non-green) pozole next time. I guess that I’m just not a huge fan of tomatillo based soups and salsas. I’d much prefer tomatoes. 🙂