Saturday, June 2, 2012

May Highlights

– A sunny brunch with my good friend Aluma at one of my favorite SF cafes (it's tiny and has a lovely outdoors patio). Waited outside for my order to be ready, and when I went back in to pick it up, the song "Cecilia" was blasting.  I actually thought it was a coincidence until I noticed the barista and the guy who took my order laughing. Happy little moment :)

– To celebrate Cinco de Mayo: coronitas (cute toy beer!) with lime and fajitas grilled-to-order at Golden Gate Park. I made slow cooked carnitas and pico de gallo, which I learned is surprisingly easy to make, you just have to chop and cry a lot. (Onions.)

Mt. Sutro in the background


– Dinner at Cotogna.  See below for food amazingness.

– Dog-watching at Espirit Park in (appropriately) the Dogpatch. Seriously, dog-watching is better than people-watching, cause you get to observe both dogs and their owners.

– Hanging out at home on Mother's Day.  Since it was Mother's Day, my mom told me I had to do whatever she wanted.  This included taking many, many pictures of her newly-purchased chicks, in different poses, against different backdrops...I was also required to photoshop the not as cute ones.

One of the 390800 poses I captured

– Working from home with coworkers on a gorgeous sunny day in Woodside, CA.  This was not my home, sadly...but how gorgeous is this.

– My first Bay to Breakers! Yes, I've lived in the bay for about a decade. But no, it is NOT overrated.  I was very averse at first to the thought of walking long distances and trekking up steep hills in the scorching sun, while drinking, which is what I ended up doing, but the energy and creative costumes (and lack thereof) of the people around you makes such a difference.

Oh yeah, and we made it to the end ;) VICTORY!

–  Working on a new Tavern Books website.  I'm pretty excited. Hoping to get it all coded up and ready sometime this month.

–  A Memorial Day weekend trip down to Orange County and Vegas.  I think I'll try and do a write up about it so I can preserve my memories of the trip...but I'll just say. I really like my girlfriends. Also, I'm getting old.

Birthday girl in the middle!

– Finally finding some light buttons.  I didn't come at the right time of day to get the full effect, but they are still truly mesmerizing.

Best things I ate this month

–  The foccacia bread at Cotogna.  It's complimentary, yes, but so delicious.  It's dense and moist and herby and slightly crispy at the edges...I could eat a whole 9"x14" pan of this in one sitting and sadly I do not lie.

– Also at Cotogna, and not as complimentary: a giant glob of burrata with ramps, bread crumbs, and hedgehog and yellow foot mushrooms.  I love wild mushrooms.

– A really delicious and seemingly simple roasted pork soup at Tao Cafe.  It came with bok choy and fried wonton-wrapped shrimps, but the best part was the incredibly flavorful broth.

I may have eaten half of this before remembering to take a photo

– Vietnamese spring rolls at Brodard, in Little Saigon. My roomie had always insisted that Vietnamese food was infinitely better in Socal than in Norcal, and these are what she uses to prove her point.

It was kind of hilarious – there was an assembly line of cooks making these, but there were sheets of metal hiding their hands, so you couldn't observe their "proprietary" methods.

It was pretty ingenious of them to think of putting what tasted like fried egg roll wrappers (with crispy fried onions inside) in the center of these. The grilled pork sausage inside was pretty good too – it was slightly sweet and reminded me of la chang, which are smoked Chinese sausages seasoned with soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar.

–  Vietnamese coffee at Lily's Bakery, also in Little Saigon.  My first time having Vietnamese coffee – why did it take so long?  I have no idea what's in this version, but it tasted very rich, not too sweet, and very hazel-nutty.  I saw them put a good amount of whipped cream in...I'm sure that has something to do with it.

It comes with a free beignet <3

– Epi bread at Bouchon Bistro in Vegas.  Yes, it's the complimentary bread they serve you, but whatever.  My entree (corned beef hash with two eggs and toast) was good, but this bread has a special place in my heart. I think I sometimes just go to fancy restaurants for their bread.

I really like how crispy and chewy the outside of the bread is, and I highly enjoy pulling apart the loaves from the "stem."

Interactive bread

– Wild nettle pizza at Gialina Pizzeria. Holy sh*t. So good! The nettle leaves were seasoned and really crispy (kind of reminded me of kale chips), layered underneath the pizza, which also came with pancetta, red onions, mushrooms, and provolone. I think it's the best non-deep-dish pizza I've ever had.

(So far. There are still a few pizza places I haven't yet tried yet in the city.)

(I would like to take a second to pat myself on the back for the relative timeliness of this post...)