A disastrous dinner at Kitchen Story!

Three buddies - Kitchen Story
Three Buddies: grilled double sided short ribs, broccolini, kimchi rice, Asian. pear. $18
Kitchen Story, San Francisco CA

I REALLY wanted to like this place! I’ve been to 3 of the previous restaurants in this seemingly cursed location, and the mediocrity continues! 7×7 Magazine has this place on their list of date spots, which is great if you’re speed dating (more on that later).

Negatives:
– Even though they only had 2 reservations a 6pm, they couldn’t confirm my reservation. I had to point out my own name on their reservation list! Sad.

– There were only 3 tables occupied, but we were still seated at the most dreary, cave-like table possible. The people a few tables over were even using their cell phone lights to read the menu.

– Less than an hour into dinner, we ordered another round of wine and declined dessert. They QUICKLY brought our check, had us sign and took it away. This is normally fine, but they also set the 2-top table next to us for three people while the waiting parties breathed on top of us from the bar. I swear they must have pushed the other table closer to ours because the third menu was practically touching our table! Omg, we get the hint! We are no longer customers and should leave! That’s just wrong. That’s what I meant about speed dating above, this place seems to care more about volume than service. Even the table on the other side us felt it. I overheard them when they sat down, whispering that they needed to eat quickly because they were told that their table was reserved soon. Sheesh! If you can’t fit a party in for a decent dinner, please don’t seat them and rush them! We had a reservation and STILL felt rushed! Last time I checked, an hour isn’t a long seating for dinner.

Big hug - Kitchen Story
Big Hug: their famous Millionaire’s bacon wrapped bay U-10 scallop, grilled eggplant over spicy cilantro sauce, garlic egg noodle. $16

Omg, these garlic noodles were disgusting! They tasted like cardboard with dry rot – seriously. The scallops were overcooked and the bacon made an impenetrable coat around them. This was more like a “slap on the face” than a “big hug”.

Spicy Kobe rolls - Kitchen Story
Spicy Kobe Rolls: grilled Wagyu strips wrapped cucumber, mint, spicy limt beetroot sauce. $10

I know you can’t make anything out, but that’s probably for the better. These meat rolls were hard to chew, hard to handle, and poorly conceived.

Bread and butter - Kitchen Story
Bread and butter. Complimentary

Positives:
– The workers are really sweet when they’re not trying to kick you out of your table.

– The portions are decent.

– My Three Buddies short ribs weren’t overly salty.

I’ve heard that this place is better for brunch so I’ll give them another chance. Hopefully they won’t completely disappoint again.

Ancho chili pepper seared sea scallops – Roy’s

Ancho chili pepper seared sea scallops - Roy's
Local beets, citrus, garlic Israeli cous cous, lilikoi, yuzu kocho glaze. $36
Roy’s, Waikoloa HI

Mmm, this was SO good! I didn’t like a lot of things at Roy’s, but these sea scallops were delicious!

Edamame - Roy's
Edamame. Complimentary

Queen Kaahumanu Highway sunset
Sunset along Queen Kaahumanu Highway.

Spicy scallop roll – Tokkuri Tei

Spicy scallop roll - Tokkuri Tei
Scallop mixed with masago and spicy mayonnaise. Uramaki (inside-out) $9.50
Tokkuri Tei, Honolulu HI

Mmm! It’s a bit sad that one of the better rolls we had here was a simple spicy scallop roll. Some of the other items weren’t so fresh tasting, but maybe the spicy mayonnaise helped to cover up the old flavor. Who knows? I still enjoyed it.

Garbage container, Waikiki Beach
Garbage container painted with Philodendron leaves, Waikiki Beach.

Green curry scallops – Zadin

Green curry scallops - Zadin
Seared sea scallops served on a bed of spinach noodles in a spicy galangal coconut green curry sauce. Toppped with green papaya, zucchini, and fried basil. $20
Zadin, San Francisco CA

This was a weird dish, and I’m not sure it was a successful one. The spinach noodles and green curry sauce didn’t taste amazing together, and the seared scallops just seemed like an afterthought.

Bluebird on my balcony
Mr. Bluebird came to visit my balcony.

Combination seafood with spicy basil – Thai House Express

Combination seafood with spicy basil - Thai House Express
Sauteed shrimp, squid, and scallop with onions, chili, carrot, bell pepper and basil leaves. A la carte $13.95
Thai House Express, San Francisco CA

I like the flavors in there, but the squid was a bit overcooked so it was tough to chew. The service also tends to be inconsistent. It ranges from the most attentive service to having to flag down the waiter depending on the night.

Salvia "Hot Lips" (Salvia microphylla, Lamiaceae)
Salvia “Hot Lips” (Salvia microphylla, Lamiaceae). I love the vibrant red and white flowers of this plant (Baby sage, Graham’s sage, Blackcurrant sage).

Pan seared scallops – 17 North Roadside Kitchen

Pan seared scallops - 17 North Roadside Kitchen
Local quail eggs, sweet corn puree, asparagus crudo. Three course dinner $30
17 North Roadside Kitchen, Mount Pleasant SC

This dish was SO cute! I loved how they topped each scallop with a tiny quail egg. The scallops were perfectly cooked and everything tasted amazing. I did think that some of the raw asparagus shavings looked clunky and unappetizing.

Cheese and herb biscuit - 17 North Roadside Kitchen
Cheese and herb biscuit with honey butter. Complimentary
These warm, savory biscuits were oh so delicious and addictive. I had to stop eating them to save room for dinner, hehe!

Scallop and pork belly – Poogan’s Porch

Scallop and pork belly - Poogan's Porch
Pan seared scallop and pork belly with pickled shallots, microgreens, arugula puree, finished with bbq reduction. $8.95
Poogan’s Porch, Charleston SC

Found this restaurant through Yelp, and I’m SO glad I did! The food was amazing and the service was sweet (and on the young side, lol). This pork belly was done pretty well with a great sear and caramelization on the outside. You never know how fatty pork belly is gonna be when you order it, but this cut wasn’t too fatty at all. I really don’t mind either way, but this is Charleston y’all and I needed to save fat calories where ever I could, lol! I will say that the scallops tasted a little too sharp and metallic-y for me. They were beautifully cooked though, the flavor was just off.

Home made biscuit and honey butter - Poogan's Porch
Home made biscuit and honey butter. Complimentary. This biscuit was light and fluffy and everybody frickin’ loves honey butter so I was in heaven.

St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church

St. Matthew’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church. This is a pretty cool looking church along King Street opposite Marion Square.

Naked scallop roll – Saru Sushi Bar

Naked scallop roll - Saru Sushi Bar
Snow crab, avocado, scallop, and masago (capelin roe) wrapped with white soy paper. $12
Saru Sushi Bar, San Francisco CA

This was a new one for me! I’ve never had a roll using soy paper before. It really didn’t taste like anything and the texture was weird, so I don’t think I was a fan. It gives the sushi roll an interesting look, but doesn’t do much in terms of taste. The rest of the roll tasted great though!

Planter with succulent plants, Jersey Street
Planter with succulent plants, Jersey Street. This building was renovated a couple years back and they’ve filled the planter in front with a few different things already. They originally had horsetails (Equisetum sp., Equisetaceae) in it, and currently they have a beautiful assortment of hardy succulents. I definitely prefer this over the horsetails.

Tasting spoons – Saru Sushi Bar

Tasting spoons - Saru Sushi Bar
Four spoons $12
(left to right) Halibut – halibut tartare with grated lime, yuzu juice and Japanese sea salt. Kanpachi – young yellowtail with truffle oil, ponzu, garlic chips and scallions. Scallop – with cucumber sauce, yuzu and fresh wasabi. Ankimo – seared monkfish liver, spicy radish, scallions with garlic ponzu.
Saru Sushi Bar, San Francisco CA

These little spoonfuls were so fun and delicious, but I think $3 per spoon is a bit much. I do love that they all tasted so differently and had their unique flavors and textures. It’s hard to decide which was my favorite, but I think I’ll have to say it was the kanpachi because it had the most variety of taste and texture. The seared monkfish liver was a nice surprise. They were all very good though!

White yarrow flowers (Achillea millefolium, Asteraceae)
White yarrow flowers (Achillea millefolium, Asteraceae) mural, Church Street. This large, colorful mural is one of my favorites in the city because it has a botanical theme of course. I also think the little bee is cute, hehe!

Spicy tuna & spicy scallop rolls – Barracuda Sushi

Spicy tuna & spicy scallop rolls - Barracuda Sushi
Standard makimono with tuna, cucumber, and scallop. Happy hour $3 each
Barracuda Sushi, San Francisco CA

Three bucks per roll – score! I also like how they put the “spicy” sauce on top of the scallop roll instead of mixing it with the chopped scallops. Not the best rolls I’ve eaten, but definitely a great value!

Mosaic snake sculpture, 24th and York Street Mini Park
Mosaic snake sculpture, 24th and York Street Mini Park. I’m surprised how clean this snake stays considering how many kids must climb it on a daily basis! It look super cool!

Caldeirada – LaSalette Restaurant

Caldeirada - LaSalette Restaurant
Portuguese fisherman’s stew. Sea bass, scallops, clams, mussels, shrimp, fingerling potatoes, linguica, lobster fumet. $25
LaSalette Restaurant, Sonoma CA

Wow, this dish had everything in it! It was SO delicious and definitely more refined than a simple fisherman’s stew. The seafood were cooked beautifully and the flavors were amazing.

Mission San Francisco de Solano (Sonoma Mission)

Mission San Francisco de Solano (Sonoma Mission). This was founded in 1823 and built by Mexican authorities to prevent Russia from extending their territorial control into Alta California. Today the mission is part of Sonoma State Historic Park.

Spicy mixed seafood and tofu claypot – Jun Ming Xuan

Spicy mixed seafood and tofu claypot - Jun Ming Xuan
Calamari, shrimp, scallop, white fish, fried tofu, mushroom, cabbage, chilies, green onions. £12.80
Jun Ming Xuan Chinese Restaurant, London ENGLAND

This was pretty good and there was plenty of it! I liked that they used fried tofu instead of fresh tofu because I prefer the texture. There was also a nice helping of seafood in there. I just wish the dish was a little spicier!

Tower of London, Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress
Tower of London, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress. Home to the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, this historic castle is a very popular tourist attraction. We didn’t want to wait in line and, instead, opted to be outside to enjoy the much welcomed sun that day. I’m not crazy about the weird lion statues they installed in front of the fortress. They look out of place.