[Food Porn] San Francisco v1

To me, there’s nothing quite  refreshing as going back home and visiting family; it gets my head right and puts my heart in check.  From roaming the streets of Chinatown to watching the Mountain Dew Skateboarding Tour  to going out and dancing the night away at Ruby Skye with my favorites, San Francisco has a little something to do – and eat – for everyone.  One of my dad’s favorite things to do while I’m home is find new and exciting places to eat. According to him, I used to have quite the adventurous appetite but somehow as I grew older I started getting picky – it’s gotten to the point that most of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles know what my usual‘ is.  So, much to my father’s delight I let him make most, if not all, of the food decisions over the weekend and my stomach couldn’t be happier.

Friday was the first full day I was in the city – granted, it was a little tainted by the fact I had to do some work from the apartment, but no matter – the simple fact that I essentially can work from anywhere is fabulous!  For lunch, I visited him at work in the Symantec headquarters so I could finally meet his lovely coworkers, and then we ventured off to find our lunch!  We bounced a few ideas around, but once we walked past Osha Thai our decision was made.  The best part about Osha, besides how amazing the food is, is there are a few different locations in the city – so wherever you happen to be, you won’t have to venture far to get that yummy Thai food in your belly.

We started off with some delicious drinks – my dad got a Thai Iced Coffee while I sipped on a Green Tea Mojito, super refreshing – and appetizers.  There are a few Thai places in LA that pride themselves on their Duck Spring Rolls so it’s a good point of comparison – and oh my wow, they were amazing! I would’ve taken a picture but we ate them too damn fast.  For our main course we split a steak salad and dug into some of the best massumun lamb curry ever.

Massumun Lamb Curry from Osha Thai

Bummer and Lazarus: Tequila, Ginger Beer, Cucumber, Chilies

There’s a bit of a food tradition my dad and I have when we visit each other; it’s 5 letters long and is the best thing ever…if you guessed sushi, you’d be correct!  Literally every time we get together, we collectively crave it.  So this time, I let him to the picking and choosing of where to go – there are so many good sushi places in SF that you really can’t go wrong.  This time, the choice was Ame at the St. Regis Hotel.  Now, we’d gone under the premise that this fusion Japanese food was going to be sushi – well, (a) wrong and (b) I’ve never been so happy about my dad being wrong, ever!  First of all, Ame is one of the only Asian influenced Michelin rated restaurants in San Francisco – and their modern American take on cultural Japanese food is mouthwatering.

I started off with a Bummer and Lazarus, a signature drink from their incredibly extensive cocktail menu; they literally have a drink for everyone – beer, sake, wine, mocktails – you name it and they have it. We split a few appetizers but they were a little on the small side and between all of our appetites they went very fast.  Next up was the main course – I was pretty overwhelmed by the menu and there wasn’t any sushi per-say, so thank goodness they have a ‘Taste of Ame’ sashimi plate that comes with lots of delectable goodies like a sunomono salad with uni.  I’m not exactly a sashimi fan, but after eating here I might become one!

Taste of Ame Sashimi Plate

I was beyond stuffed after my entree, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try their beer donuts, if the establishment wasn’t so damn posh I’d suggest calling it the Homer Simpson because it essentially combines his two favorite things.  The donuts came with some of the richest chocolate sauce I’ve ever had covering the entire plate and a healthy chunk of Stout Ice Cream in the center. Omnom…

Beer Donuts with Chocolate Sauce and Stout Ice Cream

When we woke up Saturday morning we were all still full from dinner the night before so my step-mother and I took an adventure out to Chinatown during the day to get our walk and talk on.  After a few hours strolling around, I got a huge craving for BBQ Pork Buns – and I was definitely in the perfect location to fulfill it.  We walked for literally a minute and stumbled into Gourmet Kitchen to snag a few and I basically devoured them like it was my job.

BBQ Pork Buns

It’s always bittersweet to say goodbye to my family and the city that I love, but doing it over a great brunch at Prospect makes it so much easier. I usually go for the Eggs Benedict, but I was in the mood for something different and hearty – making the Prospector a shoe-in.  Bacon, eggs, potatoes, sausage and corncakes – such the well rounded American breakfast, but get anything at Prospect and you literally can’t go wrong.  Beyond making a great breakfast, it was also delicious as leftovers when I got back to Los Angeles that night.

The Prospector

Kitchen Kitten: Pizza, Pizza!

Since I moved into my new place about a year ago, I’ve been on the hunt for easy, breezy and delicious dinner recipes.  It started off with incredibly basic things – like potstickers, rice and a salad – that take little to no planning or preparation.  But, over time, the tried and true meals tasted bland and I found myself getting incredibly bored.  So, for the sake of my taste buds, I’ve taken to the interwebs and a few great cookbooks to get a feel for what’s actually possible in this kitchen of mine.
My research left me with a couple great takeaways. The first thing I learned about creating a meal was this: if you can follow instructions, you can cook.  But what I didn’t realize was that recipes are like templates – sure, they build a great final product, but who says you can’t make any alterations? After all, it’s going in your stomach! The second thing I learned was that, as in life, timing is everything.  It’s one thing to create a mouthwatering salad with pasta and sizzling steaks as individual items;  but if you have no concept of timing then your steak could finish before your pasta is tender and you’ve cut your fresh vegetables.

One of my newest, and most delectable, additions is making pizza!  If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, chances are you’ve seen my ridiculously scrumptious posts floating across your timeline; if not, that’s just too bad because my creations are amazing! It’s super simple to make, it’s affordable and its great for groups.  Simply ask each person to come with a favorite topping – or beverage – and voila, collaborative pizza party!  The one thing I do need to own up to is that I don’t make my own pizza dough, but hey – what do I look like, Papa John?

Pizza – Prep Time :20  //  :15-20

Equipment:

  • 12″ Pizza Tray, but a cookie sheet will work if you’re S-O-L
  • Cutting Board
  • Small, sharp knife
  • Oven

Ingredients*

  • 1 Tbs Flour
  • Pizza Dough: I love the premade dough at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s; I tried the ‘Garlic & Herb’ last night and it was delish!  If you’re feeling crafty, you can even make your own!
  • Sauce: Trader Joe’s makes a great pizza sauce, but I actually perfer using pasta sauce like Ragu’s Old World Style in Meat Flavor
  • 6 oz Grated Cheese: Half a block or half a bag, depending on your preference. You could get fancy, buy a nice block and grate it yourself but I prefer the pregrated cheese assortments like the ‘Three Cheese Mexican Blend’ at TJ’s.
  • Toppings: First of all, there are a world of toppings to choose from so why confine yourself to the basics? Walk over to your local produce spot and take a gander at their fresh veggies then head over to a deli and take a peak at their meats.
  • Dranks: Wine and beer both go great with pizza, and I suggest opening a bottle of either (or, both!) while you get cooking!

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 450 F
  • Sprinkle the flour lightly over the pizza tray and set the pizza dough on top of the flour; it’ll take about 20 minutes to properly rise.
  • While you’re waiting on your dough, cut up the vegetables and meat into bite size portions. It’s okay to sneak a few bites, I won’t tell!
  • After 20 minutes is up, spread the dough evenly on the pizza tray using your hands or a rolling pin if one is available
  • Cover the pizza with sauce, leaving about half an inch at the edge for crust.  I’d say use about 4 heaping spoonfuls of sauce, and make sure it’s spread out evenly
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on the sauce then distribute your toppings
  • Turn the oven to bake, and put the pizza tray in for 15 minutes
  • Set an alarm, and check the crust at 10 minutes – then leave for longer based on your desired crispiness!

Ps. Tips!

For meats, it depends how much work you want to put into it – Trader Joe’s carries something called ‘Just Chicken’ that’s precooked, or you could prepare your own chicken.  Then there are the packaged meats like salami, ham and prosciutto; I can’t give you a favorite because they’re all so good

There are so many different vegetables you can throw on pizza, but so far I’ve really enjoyed are: avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, onions, garlic and mushrooms.  Now, I’ve tried using two different types of tomatoes – the larger, ‘off-the-vine’ variety and smaller, grape tomatoes.  I thought the size of the grape tomato would be better to deal with, but in actuality I prefer the larger ones!

You can pick all of these up at any supermarket, but if you want to kickass in your community find a mom and pop produce and deli store to make your purchases.  It’s a lot more affordable with a bigger variety of veggies to choose from, and to boot you’re helping stimulate your local economy.