One more final honeymoon post…

A simple American diner.

I loved this place. I made it my mission to eat at as many diners as possible so most days we found one in the AM had amazing breakfasts of eggs or pancakes and coffee before skipping lunch because we were so full.

We found Lori’s on our first night in San Francisco, being just around the corner from our hotel… 

This one was a proper 24 hour diner so being late isn’t a problem.

I love the tiled floor and red leather stools… but we took a booth. I love booths. 

 I ordered a banana milkshake to drink… it was more like dessert. Had a cherry and everything.

I went for the classic burger with sautéed onions and cheddar with sweet potato fries…

Amazing. 

While my Husband went for another American classic of fried chicken and coleslaw with french fries.

It all rocked.

I love junk food I think. 

I love the movie star posters… a classic 50’s diner.

Lori’s Diner – we went to the one in the theatre district near union square but there are a few

Colibri, San Francisco

August 28, 2012

Colibri was recommended to us by San Fran natives… we asked for Mexican food and they said this was the fine dining version. Since we had eaten more than our fair share of food truck fish tacos and burritos from suspicious places we thought we’d treat ourselves.

It was very old world Mexico decor… Love that.

 They start everyone off with spicy dips and tortillas.

 

And the best margaritas I have ever had. Strong too.

 And we had to order guacamole and tortilla chips… All home-made of course.

Then I ordered… Callos con crust de tortilla

Corn tortilla crusted scallops over purple Peruvian mashed potatoes and sautéed poblano pepper, cactus leaves, corn and Portobello mushrooms

Which was amazing. I do adore scallops in any form, put them in Mexican food and I am in love.

My husband ordered… Carnitas

Michoacan style marinated tender chunks of pork served with guajillo and chile de arbol salsa

What our naughty server didn’t tell us was that we probably needed sides. Although we did have chips and dips we had already been for drinks and their major margaritas fuelled us further.

Order sides!

 

We finished with some churros. We couldn’t leave without having one more lot of churros.

 Then we headed to a dive bar to drink more! See Swoon for the information.

 Colibri, San Francisco

Zin was our last meal in Sonoma before we headed back South for our last destination…

It’s a classic California bistro, the kind we try so hard to recreate here but it’s never quite the same. 

Being in wine country most, if not all of the restaurants in Sonoma have a great bring your own policy… there is normally a $15 corkage charge but this is well worth it when standardly the cheapest bottle of wine was about $30 and you could be bringing an amazing bottle from you own collection worth a lot more if brought in the restaurant.

Also wine by the glass and bottle in the restaurants tend to be good value with a small mark up, this was explained to us as being because everyone knew the prices of the wines because they’re all so local.

The service at Zin was great our server was so happy, helpful and attentive in that natural way only Americans can do sincerely. 

We started with some Cajun shrimp. A prawn cocktail switched up. 

Followed by a jambalaya… filled with chorizo. My husband enjoyed this a lot. 

 I somehow ended up having pasta. Again. And immediately regretted it when I was so full I couldn’t move. But these little teeny shells, mushrooms and parmesan was too good to pass up.

Then finished off with some amazing sorbet and ice creams which are all home-made in Zin. One of them was Chardonnay and that’s what swung it. Amazing. 

We also couldn’t without trying their bread pudding; BANANA BREAD PUDDING with Dark Rum Sauce and Crème Fraiche to be exact. Insane.

Zin is on the beautiful square in the centre of Healdsburg in Sonoma

We went to Giovanni’s after much walking and messing about the rocks and beach in Morro Bay… 

You queue at the window and pick your order from a great choice of seafood…  

We grabbed a pitcher of beer and some wine and ordered a ton of food, this spot is great value… 

Everything is freshly cooked to order with the freshest fish, they are right by the wharf so there is no excuse really. Its simple food done well, no frills.

My fish and chips were done in small pieces, and it was probably the best I have ever had. Serious.

We also ordered a salad, a token effort but for a place that’s famous for fried food it was pretty good, all super fresh and again really simple but really fresh ingredients. That dressing was a strawberry vinegar and was amazing.

And my Husband went for the squid, and you know we have been eating this all around our trip, but this stuff was great. I left him to eat the wriggily bits all by himself but stole a little of the bit pieces… so fresh, and the batter was super light. 

You really have to watch the gulls here. There were signs everywhere telling you not to leave your food and not to feed them. We watched a gull pick up a big piece of fish and fly off while one guy went to get a drink. They are big too, if one had of come for my dinner I probably would have left them have it.

Oh yes, we also got onion rings. We were so greedy. They were also great, home made.

We sat and fell into a food coma, and drank our drinks in front of another amazing sunset.

And somehow we managed to find room for some rocky road on our way back to the hotel. Like I said… greedy. 

Nothing ground breaking and yet more fast food but Giovanni’s is great and this was one of my stand out meals in California. I do love fish and chips.

Giovanni’s – Morro Bay, California

See more on our couple of days in Morro Bay here

As soon as we arrived in Morro Bay we headed straight out for food, we were starving after a long drive.

I apologise there are more fast food places than normal. It’s just what they do well, and I love them. I also love naughty food.

I spotted this cute place… and they did fish tacos so we went here for a ‘snack’ 

There was surfing paraphernalia everywhere. It was very bright in here.

 So we ate fish tacos with chips… so good.

 More stuff on the walls… no shortage of things to look at in here. It’s cute.

I ate a hog dog… I had a real thing for hot dogs while we were in California. 

Rocca’s Surfshack – Morro Bay, California

Beerd, Bristol

August 6, 2012

I like Beerd. A lot.

I liked everything about it, the menu, the staff (so lovely), the bar, the furniture.

It’s so colourful in here…

I love Tolix chairs… took all my willpower not to try to leave with one. They are what I want for our garden one day.

And they have booths (kind of)… my favourite.

But anyway enough about the furniture… the pizza and beer are worth the trip too…

They have a changing selection of craft beers, more than just Bath Ales, so they should always be something  new.

In fact the bar snacks and drinks are worth the trip alone, if I had my way we have just ordered all of these…

We did have to order the onion rings after spotting them arrive at another table… they were so good, you have to promise to get them too okay?

And pizza, the reason we were here, it’s my husband’s favourite… he picked Salami and Roasted Chilli and I Buffalo Mozzarella and Basil.

They were proper. Mine was so rich and I wished I had given up earlier because our great waitress wrapped the last piece up for me to take home.

Cold pizza for breakfast rocks.

I highly recommend the Mozzarella pizza. It was delicious.

Goes without saying I think you should visit… and the staff really are great, friendly, attentive and knowledgable.

Beerd – St Michael’s Hill, Bristol

animal, Los Angeles

July 26, 2012

So to LA, a place I was very excited to visit. A place I did endless research on, as a blogger I read a lot of other blogs a lot of which hail from this town. However when we were in LA, and we realised how difficult it was going to be to visit all these spots we kind of didn’t… and just explored instead.

The one place I did not let slip was animal, having been recommended by East Side Bride, as the one place you have to go I booked us in when we were in Australia.

My husband was always laughing at me for this, and hates hype so thought it was never going to live up to my expectations. But it really did.

It an unassuming front, in a very cool neighbourhood (that I wish we had found a day earlier, we left the next morning) but the buzz around it was unmistakable.

While we were there countless people dropped by hoping to get in, you really have to book quite far in advance to eat here, they do have 4 seats at the bar too which are for walk-ins but they were full the whole time, you’d have to get lucky.

I loved the menu, (reminds me very much of Flinty Red) just the ingredients are listed and is a sharing plates idea… we had a ton of questions and as always in the US our server was amazing and answered all of them with knowledge.

We started with the chicken liver toast, my husband hates pate but even he enjoyed this. The flavour was insane and that ‘jelly’ on top was tart with the smooth pate. Amazing start.

I also picked the baby kale, pecorino, lemon chilli vinaigrette and breadcrumbs for some greens, but I really loved this salad. Kale is plentiful is California I saw it on so many menus normally served raw with some citrus it’s so fresh and full of flavour. I really need to seek out some good kale now I am home.

A pick from my husband; crispy pigs head with pickled vegetable aioli. Now we are at animal, it is all about the meat but I have to say I was a bit scared of ordering a few things that he wanted… pigs head got through because I had seen it served like this at a restaurant I had worked at… so I just had to not think about what I was eating and get through it.

As soon as I tasted it I forgot. Amazing tender meat and the veggies were great too. We wanted another.

Another pick from me; not meat, it sounded too good, ricotta gnocchi, mikes liver sauce, black trumpet, green garlic.

My H still won’t believe me but it was one of my favourite dishes of the night. I love gnocchi anyway and this was the best I have ever had.

A little peek at the restaurant; very trendy as my H put it… I liked it, very plain but stylish (as were the diners, I saw a lot of louboutins!)

So the next pick was steak; this was the knife we were given. I felt like Crocodile Dundee, this is a knife!

Flat iron (onglet I think) sunchoke hash, truffle parmesan fondue.

This was insane, for a lean steak it was so tender and had so much flavour. Real good meat; the reason you come here. The fondue on top? Beautiful. Man I wish I could have this for breakfast!

The one thing East Side Bride said I had to get (repeatedly on the blog and then on twitter) was the loco moco; foie gras loco moco, quail egg, spam, hamburger.

We had decided on the way over not to get this, both of us feeling a bit squeamish about the foie gras, but having eaten all of the above and feeling like we could possibly fit one more thing in we decided we had to try it, everything else had been so amazing that since this was supposed to be the best thing we couldn’t leave without trying it.

It was so good. We both loved it.

It really was the best thing we ate (along with the gnocchi)

We finished with berries, vanilla custard, lavender crumble, opal basil. A dish so pretty I could barely eat it, and a kind of simple delicious too, much-needed after all the decadence of the meal.

So I guess you can tell I loved animal, definitely lived up to my hype, and huge thanks to East Side Bride for the recommendation… if you are going to LA she has this awesome guide right here

animal – Los Angeles

animal now have a sister restaurant; Son of a Gun, which I think is all about seafood and fish… wish I had know about this!