Meatballs – Hog & Rocks

Meatballs - Hog & Rocks
Marinara, pecorino. Happy hour $8
Hog & Rocks, San Francisco CA

I loved these meatballs! They were really flavorful and there was plenty of tomato sauce to eat it with. Yum!

Bolognese – Pasta Pomodoro

Bolognese - Pasta Pomodoro
Rich beef, pork and porcini mushroom sauce tossed with rigatoni, topped with shaved pecorino. Lunch epxress with casesar salad $5.50
Pasta Pomodoro, San Francisco CA

I don’t know why, but the pasta at Pasta Pomodoro is always super comforting. Maybe that’s just the power of pasta, but I don’t think so. For a local chain restaurant, Pasta Pomodoro definitely presents a very tasty product!

Grilled focaccia - Pasta Pomodoro
Grilled focaccia with pesto and olive oil. Complimentary
SO good!

Green Muni streetcar
Green Muni streetcar, Market Street.

Amatriciana pizza – Ragazza

Amatriciana pizza - Ragazza
With tomato, Boccalone pancetta, chilies, pecorino, oregano, and a farm egg. $16
Ragazza, San Francisco CA

Omg, delicious! The buttery thin crust is SO flavorful and the thicker edges are airy and have a wonderful elasticity. The toppings are stellar – a perfect combination of salty, crunchy, smooth and rich. Definitely break the egg and spread the runny yolk on every slice. The sauce is spectacular and the thin strips of pancetta are SO frickin’ good! It’s no wonder this pizza is on the 7×7 list. Although the hostess had a bit of an attitude, I didn’t let it affect my food experience. Noms!

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2012, 2013

Peroni beer - Ragazza

Peroni beer. $5
I always prefer Peroni when I’m having yummy pizza!

Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, Orpheum Theatre
Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, Orpheum Theatre. Yay, this production was stunning and beautifully sung!

Unfortunate Helen Keller dinner – Johannes Restaurant

Johannes Restaurant, Palm Springs CA

Ok, the title of this blog entry is a little unfair, but I wanted to vent a little bit. I actually had a very good experience at Johannes. The service was excellent as was the food.

But I’m just gonna go out and say it – I hate super dark restaurants!

For me, part of an amazing dining experience is being able to actually see what I’m eating. For instance, my duck appetizer tasted great and I’m sure it looked amazing – BUT I COULDN’T SEE IT! I really wanted to see the amazing roasted duck against the dark lentils and the beautifully drizzled raspberry vinaigrette. BUT everything looked just like a dark lump. I tried positioning the candle to get better shots to no avail. What you see on this blog is WAY better than what I actually saw in person!

How does a dimly lit room improve my dining experience!? I can’t see my food. I can’t see my dining my guest. I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING!!!

This is becoming such a pet peeve for me that I’m tempted to decline my next reservation if I enter a restaurant and see that it’s lit like a Paleozoic cave! Just wait, I’m gonna do it! This is ridiculous!

So in conclusion, I enjoyed my dinner but it was a little overpriced considering that I couldn’t FULLY enjoy my meal.

Lillet blonde Johannes Restaurant

Lillet blonde. Over ice, orange zest. $9

Vodka martini Johannes Restaurant

Grey Goose vodka martini up with olives. $11

Pimm's cup Johannes Restaurant

Pimm’s cup, lemon juice, over ice. $9

Brussels sprouts salad Johannes Restaurant

Brussels sprouts salad (special). Lemon juice, olive oil, pecorino cheese and walnuts. $12
Very bright and refreshing. This was a simple salad that you can easily make at home. I think the hardest part would be leafing the brussels sprouts, probably very labor intensive.

Honey and soy glazed duck breast Johannes Restaurant

Honey and soy glazed duck breast. Sliced roasted duck breast, Beluga lentil salad, tiny greens and raspberry vinaigrette. $11
My favorite dish of the night. It was served cold and tasted amazing. I’m sure it was beautifully composed, but I really couldn’t see much of it. The dark duck on the dark lentils looked like a black blob in the restaurant. The flavor were great and the textures were fun.

Australian grass fed kangaroo loin Johannes Restaurant

Australian grass fed kangaroo loin. Glazed bosc pear, veal bacon, walnuts, orange, cranberries, broccolini, juniper merlot reduction. $29
The kangaroo didn’t taste as crazy as I thought it would. I guess the chef recommends it served medium rare, but this came out pretty rare. I wish I would have ordered it medium instead. It was very tender and the reduction tasted great. The bosc pear came out super hot and delicious, and I loved the mixed topping.

New Zealand grass fed young lamb rack Johannes Restaurant

New Zealand grass fed young lamb rack. White beans, zucchini, tomatoes, grilled green onions, triple Dijon mustard sauce. $36
Wow, you get a LOT of lamb – 6 ribs of it! This was very delicious and super tender. I wish the grilled green onions weren’t on the plate though. They seemed too clunky for an otherwise beautiful plate.

Bread and butter Johannes Restaurant

Baguette and pesto butter.