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

Out of Office…

August 9, 2012

image from Ragdale Hall

No posts for the rest of this week, I am going to give us all a break from my honeymoon updates and go away for the weekend.

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law and I are off to a spa for some pampering.

This trip is much needed… I felt like I was about to have a break down on Wednesday.

Back Monday… hope you all have a lovely weekend!

x

This post may not interest you at all… there will be no pretty food and no amazing restaurant with a gorgeous space.

This is about a burger joint. 

I mentioned this place yesterday in my blog about the town… it is a proper fast food burger place, but instead of getting crappy food at the end it’s freshly cooked and really great, if not good for you it is still ‘junk’.

The menu is simple, pick the burger, the fries and the side (or a salad) and you drink… I had to go for a malted shake, why don’t we have that here?

There are a few tables out front and in the sunshine the majority of people just eat here. You order at the window… 

You get your drinks… 

And this little gadget that beeps and flashes when your food is ready. Very handy, especially because although the food is fast it is cooked for you so it does take a few minutes. This means you can go for a wander and window shop while you wait, it also means the staff don’t have to find people. 

Then you get your food. The burgers were so good, proper thin hamburgers with pickles and those fake cheese slices with a little salad, and great fries.

I didn’t see a McDonald’s in this town, and now I know why. (By the way I am not comparing the two, you cannot)

 The Habit – Santa Barbara (They also have a food truck for hire!)

 

So we ate some great sushi in Thailand and some amazing sushi in Australia, and admittedly I have never been to Japan but in LA they have taken sushi and made it their own. We ate some ridiculous sushi on our first night at Ozumo which was at the top of a mall in Santa Monica.

Mall food in the US is not our mall food… for a start it was between Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s in Santa Monica Place and it’s a food court full of proper restaurants, and due to people driving most places malls are where you start, as the parking is great.

The restaurant itself is a very glamorous place.

 We started with miso soup and edamame beans… of course…

And some deep-fried squid, again we cannot resist squid. Ever.

The sushi was so pretty… and oh so light.

We picked the house speciality first; Ozumo; which is Maine lobster, mango, jalapeno, and cilantro (coriander) wrapped in tuna with spicy sesame yuzu aioli

I loved their sashimi menu, so exotic, anything you could want was on here.

Then I picked the Shacho which was grilled unagi and cucumber roll topped with crab salad, tuna, avocado and spicy mayo with sweet soy, this was amazing. I have never seen anything like it.

And although we were pretty full at this point we had to try this; the O Rainbow which are California rolls wrapped with soy paper topped with salmon, albacore, unagi, tuna, hamachi, shrimp and spicy scallop… it looked great.

So sushi in LA rocks, it’s made to be light and is the skinny starlets food of choice for a reason, we ate tons of the stuff (and besides the fried squid) all of it was super low fat, low calorie and healthy.

Whats not to love? Now we just need Bristol to catch up!

Ozumo – Santa Monica Place, Los Angeles

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!