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

Soju cocktails – Solaire Restaurant + Bar

Soju cocktails - Solaire Restaurant + Bar
Santa Cruz 75: bubbles, elderflower and lemon. $8
Bubbly Berry: bubbles, berry, lemon, pomegranate and hibiscus. $8
Solaire Restaurant + Bar, Santa Cruz CA

I don’t know why I think that soju cocktails are ever going to please my palate. I always have a false sense of hope that I’ll finally like how they taste. Well, I was wrong yet again! Solaire doesn’t have a proper liquor license so they’re stuck with serving hard liquor replacement cocktails. Both of these were especially sweet and nauseating.

Solaire menu

Solaire menu.

Hotel Paradox pool area
Hotel Paradox pool area.

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

Pomegranate margarita – Eureka Restaurant and Lounge

Pomegranate margarita - Eureka Restaurant and Lounge
Reposado tequila, Pama pomegranate liqueur, triple sec and lime on the rocks. $10
Eureka Restaurant & Lounge, San Francisco CA

I love the soft pink color of this margarita! It’s nicely made and tastes wonderful.

Mill holiday windows

My neighborhood has began decorating its storefronts for the holidays. I like the simple window trims at Mill, 24th Street.

Cream yogurt sherbet – The French Laundry

Cream yogurt sherbet - The French Laundry
Toasted oats, pomegranate, Oxalis and Osmanthus “nuage”. Chef’s Tasting Menu $270
The French Laundry, Yountville CA

Cream yogurt sherbet - The French Laundry
Ah, this was SO refreshing! I really liked the cream yogurt sherbet with the tart pomegranate arils and the crunchy oats. I don’t know what Osmanthus is supposed to taste like, but the “cloud” was cute enough.

Cream yogurt sherbet - The French Laundry
All done!

Pomegranate bellini – Local Mission Eatery

Pomegranate bellini Local Mission Eatery

Casa reserva and pomegranate juice. $6
Local Mission Eatery, San Francisco CA

Brunch has got to be one of my favorite meals! Local Mission Eatery is a great relaxed spot in The Mission for great food and friendly service. You order your food at the register and they bring it to your table. They share the space with Knead Bakery so there are plenty of delicious breakfast treats waiting for you!

Balmy Alley, San Francisco
Murals and artwork at Balmy Alley. This alley in The Mission is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. San Francisco has many alleys like this one that showcase large-scale art to the public.

Autumn salad – Fish & Farm

Autumn salad Fish & Farm

Red endive, frisee, red pear, candied walnuts, pomegranates, and Humboldt Fog goat cheese with mustard vinaigrette. Menu says $11 but receipt says $12 – BOO, LAME!!!
Fish & Farm, San Francisco

So the price discrepancy is totally lame! I don’t know if the menu wasn’t updated or out server was completely brain dead. I did mention during dinner that our server wasn’t very good compared to the server at the next table. Ours didn’t even give us the specials before we ordered. I didn’t even know there were specials available until the server at the adjacent table told her guests! Whatevs, our server was definitely “slow”, if you know what I mean.

This salad was tasty, but not very original.

Red bell pepper soup Fish & Farm

Red bell pepper soup. Complimentary. I really liked this shot of free soup. It was hot and very flavorful.

Cocktails – Fish & Farm

I enjoyed these cocktails at Fish & Farm but I don’t think they were worth $12 a pop. You can get delicious, more intricate cocktails and other places for less money. And you’ll get larger pours!
Fish & Farm, San Francisco

The Scofflaw cocktail Fish & Farm

The Scofflaw. Classic Prohibition Era cocktail. Templeton rye, dry vermouth, house-made grenadine, fresh squeezed lemon juice, Reagan’s orange bitters, orange peel garnish. $12

Basil Blush cocktail Fish & Farm

Basil Blush. Hangar One vodka, fresh lime juice, agave nectar with a fist full of basil and freshly Watkins cinnamon shaken and served up. $12

Taylor Street Margarita cocktail Fish & Farm

Taylor Street Margarita. Herradura Blanco tequila, cointreau, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar shaken hard and served on the rocks. $12

Pama Manhattan cocktail Fish & Farm

Pama Manhattan. Woodford Reserve bourbon, Pama pomegranate liquor, chilled and served up, garnished with a brandied cherry. $12

Annabelle’s chichories salad – Contigo

Annabelle's chichories salad Contigo

Mixed greens with seared cana de cabra goat cheese, persimmons, pomegranates, walnuts and chervil. $13
Contigo, San Francisco

I can’t say that I’ve ever had a salad quite like this! And it was yummy! The persimmons and cana de cabra goat cheese were the ingredients that were new(ish) to me. I don’t usually like raw persimmons but they were really good in this salad. This was the first time I’ve had this goat cheese and I love the crunchy sear on the outside that contrasted with the soft smooth interior. The thick, crsipy greens were hearty enough to hold up to the rich toppings. Great salad!

Office Holiday Party Extravaganza!

So my office held our 2nd Annual Holiday Potluck and everyone (well almost everyone) brought delicious food to share! I’m posting some of the yummy food so you can get a few ideas for your next holiday get together.  If all else fails, make a Costco run apparently. I mean who needs a fancy corporate holiday party when you can have a good ole potluck?! All names have been changed to protect the innocent! 🙂

Pork belly steamed bun

Pork belly steamed bun – Papa Chang
We all know that most holiday plates are fattening so why not get it in the form of tender pork belly?! Just top the bun with shredded scallions and hoisin sauce for an elegant presentation! You can purchase frozen buns at your local Asian market and steam them prior to serving.  Xiexie!

Pigs in a blanket

Pigs in a blanket – Rapunzel
Simple but delicious, a perennial party favorite! Just wrap ‘Lil Smokies (these are turkey) with crescent pastry rolls (these use a low fat variety) and voile, you have an all-American treat! According to Rapunzel, each piece has only 45 calories!

Pomegranate kielbasa bites

Pomegranate kielbasa bites – Dumes
The perfect combination of beefy meat and sticky sweet. Simmer sliced beef kielbasa sausage in a mixture of pomegranate juice, ketchup and Tabasco sauce until the sauce is thick and reduced. Serve on a buttery Ritz cracker to make it classy! Thanks Dumes!

Spam musubi

Spam musubi – Sophie
Perfectly portioned and utterly delicious! Spam plus sushi rice and a nori strip equals a happy vicenteSF! Arigato!

Traditional Midwestern Queso Surprise

Traditional midwestern queso surprise – vicenteSF
OK, I made that name up but my roommate IS from Kansas and he makes this delicious dip once in a while. Just combine Velveeta cheese (SO American!) with browned ground beef and a can of Ro-Tel brand diced tomatoes with chiles (another midwestern staple) in a crock pot. Set it and forget it! It’s customary to eat this with potato chips, not tortilla chips, silly!

Quiche lorraine

Mini quiche lorraine – Mats
Another easy potluck option, the frozen mini quiche! Just throw into the toaster oven for a few minutes and these buttery, salty bites are sure to please everyone!

Shrimp cocktail

Shrimp cocktail – Pong
Costco wins again! Seafood always ups the chichi factor!

Roast chicken

Roast chicken – Pong
And antoher Costco treasure!

Chewy mixed chip holiday cookie

Chewy mixed chip holiday cookie – Rapunzel
These are surprisingly good despite Rapunzel’s baking track record! Just kidding. These nommy cookies have milk chocolate, white chocolate AND butterscotch chips! And lots of butter for all the good lil boys and girls!

Almond jello with fruit

Almond jello with fruit – Sophie
Sophie fights back with a more sophisticated dessert approach. The light almond jello pairs wonderfully with fresh fruit!

Walnut brownie

Walnut brownie – Jefe
And what’s more traditional than some chocolate brownies with NUTS! Walnuts are a safe, delicious and nutritious choice!

Melkesjokolade chocolate

Melkesjokolade chocolate – Huff
And Huff brings up the rear with a Norwegian contribution! Tusen takk!

Happy holidays, everyone!!!

Yummy "dim" dinner – Range

We had an absolutely wonderful dinner at Range on Valencia Street in the Mission. The restaurant is dimly lit so I wasn’t able to take any good food pics, but I thought I’d post these anyway for posterity, hehe. We also had the creamed nettles with a poached farm egg for an appetizer, but that pic didn’t come out at all.  Enjoy!
Range, San Francisco

Pink Panther cocktail Range

Pink Panther cocktail – Tito’s vodka, pomegranate, tawny port, black pepper, lemon.
Yummy yummy cocktail and I loved the soft pink color!

Smoking Gun cocktail Range

Smoking Gun cocktail – Bulleit bourbon, maraschino, Dolin sweet vermouth, scotch rinse.
I didn’t like this cocktail as much.  I think the scotch rinse was too much for me.

Pan roasted bavette steak Range

Pan roasted bavette steak with horseradish, barley, brussels sprouts, shiitake mushrooms and baby turnips. $28
Yum!  I’m not a huge horseradish fan, but these were mild and tasted great with the perfectly cooked steak.  The brussels sprouts were yummy and the baby turnips were so frickin’ cute!

Coffee rubbed pork shoulder Range

Coffee rubbed pork shoulder with creamy hominy and braised greens. $25
Omg!  I’m hungry just recalling this dish!  The pork was so tender and juicy and the coffee rub gave it a great flavor.  The sauce was to die for and tasted SO good with the hominy and greens.  A definite winner dish!

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010, 2011, 2014