Tag Archives: Bay Area

A Christmas Coastal Trail Hike

19 Jan

This year for Christmas we were supposed to be at Mammoth with James’ family but our flight and replacement flight both got cancelled so we were stuck in San Francisco. Booooo!

Most of our friends were out of town, but luckily a few were going for a hike on Christmas Day so we were able to piggy back on their plans. We all headed up to Rodeo Beach in Marin.
IMG_20151225_135715It was a gorgeous day. We started along the lagoon (which you can see part of in the photo above) and headed to a dirt trail. It wasn’t steep steep but it was a long, unshaded uphill segment and we were pretty impressed by the cyclists that occasionally passed us.

Then we turned onto Wolf Ridge trail, which had beautiful hill views and was quite steep in parts. At what we think was the summit (or at least the turnaround point of the hike) there was some sort of army base with abandoned buildings and great views of the Pacific Ocean.

I saw this structure and said to James “you want to climb that don’t you?”

Of course he did.
IMG_20151225_130117And a rare behind the scenes glance at how the magic happens …
IMG_20151225_130152The rest of the hike was easy and just descending, though James has a bad knee so descents are actually the difficult part for him. I think it must have joined onto another hike because it suddenly got a lot more populated (though that could have been because it was later in the day – on the drive back to San Francisco we saw that outbound traffic was completely snarled).

The second half of the hike had a lot of stuff to explore.  There was this cool artillery thing.
IMG_20151225_134521And a couple of creepy abandoned buildings that I didn’t go into but James did, taking this photo for posterity.
IMG_20151225_131739 (1)And here I am holding everyone up with my wanderings.
IMG_20151225_133826The hike alternated between views of the headlands and, as we came to the end, the Pacific Ocean.
IMG_20151225_140419We spent some time here just chatting, snacking and watching the surfers.

James has long arms so is always on selfie duty.
IMG_20151225_132537And strong legs and core so also on piggyback duty.
IMG_20151225_132653(Why do my teeth look so … golden?)

Then afterwards we had dinner and played games until 3am. It was a really nice day with friends and it totally saved us from having the most depressing Christmas ever. Like seriously, we didn’t even have any food in the house.

Last year we wouldn’t have been able to do something so last minute for Christmas and I feel really fortunate that we made some really great friends in 2015. I still prefer Seattle as a city but I love, love, love our friends here.

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Googleween 2015 (Say it Out Loud – It Rhymes)

11 Nov

Yarrrr! This year’s Halloween party was pirate themed!

Alex drove me and Helen down to Mountain View so we could have lunch before the party. We met up with Anne Marie and her husband Ken, James’ coworker Nick and also Will from our Monday board gaming group.

This year we wore costumes!
12190544_10156241749280038_755498155_oCat and Ivo discussing me via email a couple of days after:

Cat: Did you see the Googleween photos on Kaye’s FB page? Is she the shark? ROFL
Ivo: OMG I think it MIGHT be Kaye in the shark costume!
Cat: She looks so happy!

There was lots to eat and drink and we spent most of the time wandering around looking at the different attractions. Like last year, everything (or most things) were based around the theme.

There were various carnival-like games, where you had to knock over bottles or race boats using water guns. Here I am on the ring toss:
IMG_20151029_153207We also got to “walk the plank” (a.k.a fight each other with foam swords over a squishy blue pit). IMG_20151029_154517-2I won! I know James let me win because it’s funnier that way, but it was still satisfying.

There were many shark sightings throughout the day. Here I am with my cake pop friends (also note how beautifully my dead seal is highlighted by the sun):
IMG_20151029_155240Here I am with my inflatable buddies:
IMG_20151029_150421They were actually part of a bouncy castle obstacle course that James and I competed against each other in. James won, but in all fairness the shark costume was really hampering me.

Here I am finishing like .. a minute after he did (it was a short course – a minute was a long time!).
IMG_20151029_150524There was also a writer who would write a short verse about whatever topic you wanted, and then put it in a souvenir bottle (message in a bottle!).
IMG_20151029_151811I asked for my bottle verse to be about a shark who didn’t want to be eaten:
IMG_20151111_154908

We had our photo taken with a snake (also with a parrot, but the snake was cooler).
IMG_20151029_172416They also had face painting and some mermaids who would put sparkly ribbons in your hair, but as an apex predator I didn’t need any of that.

We left just before it officially closed but I felt like I had a pretty good sampling of the party. There was also a scavenger hunt  where you had to get your photo taken at various locations to win a mystery prize but I was content just floating around.

I had a much better time than last year since I knew a lot more people. Also I wasn’t desperately homesick – that definitely helped.

Helen and Zoltan dropped us back in the city which was nice. As soon as we got home we had to pack for a week long trip to Cancun to see Luke and Madeleine get married. But more on that next time. =)

A Day at Maker Faire!

5 Jun

Last month James and I met up with Nick and Kelly at the Bay Area Maker Faire. It’s a fair celebrating science projects and DIY stuff and we thought it was worth checking out!

We were greeted by an enormous fire-breathing robot.
IMG_20150516_103643To interact with the different exhibits you had to sign a waiver and get a wristband. If you went to the booth right by one of the main entrances the line was really long but on the other side of the booth (like literally steps away) there was no line. Score!

This was a cool rhino that you could get inside.
IMG_20150516_113732Also an arena with a bunch of modded bicycles that you could play around on. There were a couple of weird tandem bikes (like where the other seat was on the handlebars), one where the bike went in the opposite direction that you pointed it in, and another where the back half would swing around on its own and made steering really difficult.
IMG_20150516_105640My favourite exhibit was a pedal-powered ferris wheel. It could only fit three people and they gave you quite a generous go on it so the line took awhile to get through (and a couple of people got all the way to the front only to find out that they didn’t have the required wristbands).

The ride needed all three people to be a similar weight or else the lightest person would swing wildly around so I went with a couple of smaller girls while James, Nick and Kelly went together.

James and Kelly were a bit wary so they weren’t pedaling as fast as they could. =(

We also saw a robot that could do that movie thing where someone spreads their hand on a table, gets a knife and stabs it in between each of their fingers really fast. Though there were some stab marks on the dummy hand so I don’t think the technology is quite there yet to demonstrate it with a real one.
IMG_20150516_131602

Afterwards we had lunch. I bought some fairy floss for dessert but it was $10 for a bag. What a rip! $10!

We did see something that I had always thought was a myth …
IMG_20150516_130856We wandered inside the main expo hall which had people demonstrating and selling cool stuff. We saw a machine that used magnets to draw cool patterns in the sand, some pixel art that James really liked, and a gumball machine that released a gumball when you gave it a secret knock.
IMG_20150516_134416

While Nick and Kelly looked at the lego exhibit James and I watched some drone battles. People had modded drones – one had a baseball bat attached to it! – and were fighting each other in the air. It sounds cooler than it actually was because the drones kept malfunctioning (the baseball bat drone could barely get off the ground) and we had to watch like, 5 aborted matches until we saw one where they actually got to fight. And the actual fight was crap – they would gently brush up against each other which would send one or both crashing to the ground.

James: Are you writing about the fight? And how lame it was?
(long pause) 
James: 
I feel ignored.

We also got to try an Oculus Rift and saw a cannon that shot what I think was puffs of dry ice.
IMG_20150516_152620

And here is James in a battle bot. =)
IMG_20150516_114133

There was so much other stuff to explore – a sauerkraut-making class, a building full of 3D printers and big piles of lego you could play with.

Oh yeah, and right at the end we saw an actual battle bot (sorry James) shoot a cannon at a car.
IMG_20150516_160810My favourite was still the ferris wheel though. Or maybe the wacky bikes. Nah, it was all great. It was a super fun day!

(But seriously, it was the ferris wheel)

Surfing in Santa Cruz

19 Mar

A few months back Luke came to visit his team in Mountain View and stayed with us over the weekend. We made the drive down to Santa Cruz so he and James could go surfing (I don’t like surfing so I jogged along the cliffs).

We had a fairly unmemorable breakfast at one of the diners in the area and then James and Luke rented surfing gear at the newbie surf beach.
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Apparently the surf conditions weren’t very good but it was still a beautiful day. And you know, photos can be massaged a little.

Here they are waiting for a wave:

0147c0cae9106b430e5aa6aa9f00e132c11d523166And James coming to greet me after my jog:
01e9637a91d8b198a0442e887ad2b8ba0c21882b5eThen at the end of the day.
01dc2d1df2a53fa2f372487e1ec82e0330233f7af0After they got changed we checked out the boardwalk amusement park. James waited in line for 20 minutes for an elaborate potato twisty thing that you could put different seasonings on (it was delicious).
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While he waited, Luke and I walked around and looked at the rides. I told Luke I’d go on one ride with him and he carefully gauged my reaction to all of them until he found the one I was the most terrified of:
IMG_20141019_160341I screamed my head off. Luke spent the whole ride laughing at me and showing off by like, lifting his arms in the air.

Afterwards we dropped Luke off at the airport and headed back home. I’m glad that he’s able to visit every few months for work. We are making new friends here but it’s always good seeing old ones. =)

I Bet the Germans Have a Word for HappySad

6 Aug

I get soo many hits on my blog from people looking for information about Amazon interviews and/or relocation. (I also get recognised on the street more often than you would think!) So it’s sad to be posting this, but James will be leaving Amazon at the end of this month. =(

Even more sadly we will be leaving Seattle. I can’t tell you how much I love it – the weather is perfect, it’s close to beautiful hikes and amazing snowboarding, and we’ve made such wonderful friends. Honestly I feel like I could have lived the rest of my life here. I don’t even get hayfever which is freaking astounding.

So why would we leave? Because James has accepted a job offer in California! He’ll be working for Google in an area he’s passionate about, so I’m absolutely thrilled for him.

It wasn’t something he’d planned in advance (as our SEA-LAX-MEL flights, my half-used CSA subscription and completely un-used 2014-15 season’s pass will attest to) but once the ball started rolling everything moved pretty fast. We just came back from a location scouting trip in the Bay Area and later this week we’re heading to Mexico to get our visas sorted. Then at the end of the month we’re moving into corporate housing in San Francisco!

These next few weeks will be pretty hectic. I’m super sad at leaving all our friends and this beautiful city but happy that James will be working at his dream job. So yeah, HappySad.

San Francisco: The Other 4 Days!

8 Oct

Day 2

James and I had originally intended to go to the Exploratorium but it turned out that it was free entry that day so there was a crazy long line outside. Ugh, I’d rather pay and deal with less of a crowd.

So instead we strolled around the Embarcadero, checking out the various tourist attractions. Pier 31 was the most touristy area; it was full of souvenir shops and this awesome life-sized claw machine. It was something like $3 a try, and James originally considered having a go for the novelty of it. But it’s kind of like, even if you won you’d initially be excited but then you’d be like “… fuck”.

We also spent a couple of minutes running up and down these musical stairs (verdict: better than the ones in New York but still not the giant keyboard of my dreams) We also dropped by The Musee Mechanique, which had all these old timey arcade games that you could play for a quarter. There were also displays that moved when you put money in and some of them were pretty grim: Or porny (there were a few porny ones actually: James found a machine that someone had put a quarter in and abandoned. Score! The likeness is uncanny … For lunch we went to The Slanted Door. Well actually, we had to put our names down and wander around the Ferry Building Marketplace for an hour, but that wasn’t too much of a hardship because there were all these cool food shops. And when our table was ready it was right at the window so we could see the water and it was really lovely. =)

James ordered and Old Fashioned and I had a Pimm’s to start off with. We had the Crispy Imperial Rolls ($12) which were really nice! The sauce was a perfect blend of hot/sour/salty/sweet, especially compared to Seattle where I find a lot of places err on the sweet side. After that we had barbecued pork spareribs with scallion, cilantro and honey-hoisin sauce ($17). Another awesome choice! Then the mains arrived. We split some cellophane noodles with dungeness crab ($20): It was OK but taste-wise I think I was hoping more for those Chinese crab noodles, which for me will always be the height of crabby noodles.

Our other main is apparently the must-order dish at The Slanted Door; the grass-fed shaking beef ($36): I really loved the salty limey sauce that came with this, but someone (*ahem* James) poured the sauce over his beef, leaving a tiny bit of lime sauce and ALL of the salt. So when I dabbed my second beef cube in the sauce it collected all the damp salt and was the saltiest fucking thing I’ve ever tasted. But aside from that it was great.

Then it was time to order dessert! James ordered the chocolate and peanut butter cream pie ($10), which was super chocolatey and dense: But the star of the show was my lychee fairy floss ($5). My back was to the restaurant, so James saw it arriving first and went “oh my God.” It was huge! And did taste like lychees (except towards the end when all I could taste was sweet, sweet sugar)! And was only $5! I was so excited eating my enormous fairy floss; like seriously, I would have been happy with half the size.

It was really nicely done too – a lot of places do fairy floss too dense but this was as light as air. Here I was about 30% of the way through: I know fairy floss is just sugar, and obviously I’ve had tastier desserts, but I’ve never been so delighted at a dessert before. I was just bubbling over with happiness for the 10 minutes or so it took me to eat it. Yeah it’s gimmicky and silly, but I’m positive that on my deathbed if I flash back to the great desserts I’ve had, this one will be on the list.

The whole meal was excellent – very expensive compared to regular Vietnamese food, but we really enjoyed it. Paul told us that he’d heard that per square foot, The Slanted Door is the most profitable restaurant in San Francisco. He also said that it used to be in the Tenderloin, where it used to have a slanted door, hence the name.

Afterwards we walked to the street car, but not before James found another sculpture he could climb:

Afterwards, on Bo’s emailed suggestion, we headed to the Folsom Street Fair. It’s a fair celebrating BDSM culture, and we figured it would be a very San Francisco thing to do. I was FAR too shy to take photos but you can Google Image Search it to get an idea of what it’s about.

It was interesting for the first few minutes, but then we got trapped in the crowd and it took several blocks to get out. =( So yeah, it was definitely a unique experience hoping that I wouldn’t accidentally brush up against some guy’s scrotum as I navigated the crowd. I felt similarly to the Kink tour: definitely not for me, but it’s nice that everyone is so happy.

Day 3

This was James’ first day at work (apparently his whole time there was spent in meetings with various people). I had a nice sleep in and headed towards the Tenderloin to get some salmonella buns. The place with the highest reviews was about a 10 minute walk, so I headed off, this time taking a route that went along the border of Lower Nob Hill and the Tenderloin (apparently that grey area is called the Tendernob).

They were $3.75 each and pretty good (especially the bread), but I thought the pickled carrot was a touch sweet; I prefer mine tangier like the places in Melbourne do it. Also I came back on the last day and tried the pork pate – ugh. Fanci pork was definitely my favourite, but I don’t think this place can touch Nhu Lan or Lee Lee’s in Melbourne. =(

Also on the way back to the hotel I passed a woman screaming at a man I assume was her pimp. The gist of the argument seemed to be that he thought she was letting herself go but she thought she still had it. Anyway, at this point the guy gestured towards me (trying very hard to mind my own business, walking as fast as I could) and said “look at that! You didn’t have that when you were eighteen!”

Eep. I totally hunched down and walked faster.

I chillaxed at the hotel for a bit and in the afternoon went for a jog. I ran along the Embarcadero then up a billion (I think actually like 400) steps towards Coit Tower, down the steps, back up and down, then back to the hotel. It was definitely a tough run – though I guess the killer views made up for it. I kept hoping to see the famous parrots of Telegraph Hill, but alas. =( I did catch this little cutie though: She was sitting on a fence accepting pats from random people. Every time I passed her I totally used her as an excuse to stop.

When James got back to the hotel we went to the Mission for dinner. It was a little hole in the wall place called Poc Chuc that has great reviews online. It’s supposed to be Mayan cuisine. I don’t really know what that is or how it differs from Mexican food, but it was delicious! Unfortunately I was full from my late lunch, but did gorge myself as much as I could.

We started off with the fried plantains ($6) which were bundled of fried, sweet, soft goodness: Then came a Mayan platter ($10) with a bunch of different things on them, all delicious.

Panucho: Hand made tortilla filled with black bean puree, slightly fried, topped with shredded turkey, lemon marinated cabbage, pickled red onions and avocado, sprinkled with ground black pepper

Salbute: Hand made tortilla puff, slightly fried, topped with shredded turkey, lemon marinated cabbage, pickled red onions and avocado, sprinkled with ground black pepper

Empanadas: Half folded hand made tortilla stuffed with ground pork, served on a bed of black bean puree and tomato/onion sauce

Tostada: Crisp corn tortilla topped with black bean puree and queso fresco

Kotzito: Crisp taco covered with tomato/onion sauce and queso fresco

Dude. $10! For some reason James ordered an extra beef taco (I can’t find it on the menu but I think it was $2 or $3): We also ordered the poc-chuc ($14) – James: “it’s eponymous!” – which was citrus marinated pork with vegetable bouillon rice, black bean puree with grilled tomatoes and onions. It came with a side of tortillas as well. Everything was great – the fact that the lady serving us was lovely and the food was dirt cheap was a bonus. If you’re in the area it’s definitely worth going.

After dinner on the way to the bus stop we saw a guy get arrested! We’d stopped at the pedestrian lights and a police car went past us with its siren on, and then a few seconds later we saw it coming back in the other direction. I sort of snickered at the idea of the police getting lost, but then it stopped and another police car showed up, blocking the traffic. Four cops jumped out and some guy walked on the street held up his hands while they pushed him against the wall and handcuffed him. Pretty exciting!

Day 4

While James was at work I did some sprints on those awesome steep hills around Union Square. Delightfully vomitous. Here is James on the same hill last time we were in San Francisco: Fuck me that was a long hill. =/

Afterwards I rewarded myself with a sandwich from Bite. I ordered the Gouda Good, which was gouda, pepperhouse sauce and Bite’s famous rotisserie chicken on their equally famous dutch crunch bread. It came with a free lollipop!

The sandwich was pretty good (drippy, but good), but sandwiches always suffer a bit in comparison to salmonella buns. Salmonella buns will always be my perfect sandwich.

For dinner we met up with Paul and Jen for pre-dinner drinks at a bar and then a late dinner at Mason Pacific. No photos because it was one of those trendy dim-lighting kind of places – plus we had 2 bottles of wine between the 4 of us so I was super tipsy.

It was great catching up and getting information about San Francisco – just in case we ever decide to move there. =P The food in San Francisco blows Seattle’s out of the water, but housing is much more expensive, there are scary neighborhoods and it’s further from the snow. The main thing is James’ career though, and where he feels the most challenged and fulfilled – honestly I think we could be happy living anywhere, as long as we have each other and the cats (and the internet).

The actual dinner was excellent. We split some fried chicken (possibly the best non-Rose Garden fried chicken I’ve ever had) and feta with pumpkin and chesnuts (also one of the best fetas I’ve ever had).

James and I ordered burgers and Jen and Paul shared a 2-person steak. James had steak envy when he saw how cool their steak was – it came with a bunch of different mustards and salts and weird accompaniments like charred olive oil and pureed kim chi – but our burgers were fantastic. The buns in particular were amazing (I know that sounds like faint praise but it’s not – the buns were really great!).

For dessert we each ordered one of the dessert items (a kind of peanut butter/chocolate cake and three kinds of ice cream – creme fraiche, secret breakfast – which was basically bourbon and cornflakes – and Vietnamese coffee). A super satisfying way to end a great meal!

Day 5

After I checked out of the hotel (the doorman totally recognised me too! He was all like “not going for a run today?”) I took the bus to Japantown where I browsed the little stores there and headed to the Mission to get lunch.

I just went to the highest-rated place on Urbanspoon – it was called Taqueria, but it turned out almost all of the places there are called some variation of Taqueria because I’m guessing it basically means “place that sells tacos”. =P

I didn’t get a picture of it because by then I was a bit hangry (hungry/angry) but honestly it was nothing special. Poc Chuc was heaps better and I should have just gone there again. I picked up some food souvenirs for Mike (fancy local chocolates and bacon popcorn) as a thank you for checking up on the cats and grabbed some katsu curry for James and Dmitri. Right after they finished work we headed to the airport.

We definitely have to go back (again)! Once I get a reservation at French Laundry I want to spent a bit of time in Napa, plus we still need to do Alcatraz and the Exploratorium. One day …

James said that all the guys in the San Francisco office said the trip was really useful so that was good (and bodes well for possible future trips back). =) I do feel a bit silly that 3 out of 5 interstate trips so far have been to California, so maybe we’ll try to squeeze another state in between. It’s pretty cool that since we’re in the US we can visit places more thoroughly than if we went on a whirlwind trip from Australia and I’m definitely looking forward to eating my way through the rest of the US.

More Adventures in San Francisco! (PS: You MUST Eat at Lazy Bear)

5 Oct

Sorry for abandoning the blog! James and I went to San Francisco and I got sick as soon as we got back. =( But I’m feeling a bit better now – well enough to do a fun run tomorrow? Still undecided! But anyway, James had to meet with some people at the Amazon SF office and since his hotel room was already paid for I decided to tag along.

Day 1

We dropped our stuff off at the hotel and had brunch at Brenda’s, which was a 15 minute walk. Unfortunately it was right through the Tenderloin, which is probably the sketchiest area I’ve ever walked through. There was literal human shit on the footpath and the streets smelled like wee. Also on every stretch of street were people dealing crack, shooting up and begging for money. There isn’t anywhere in Melbourne or Seattle that even remotely compares, so that was a bit of a shock.

And then we turned the corner and saw Brenda’s, where people were clustered outside waiting for a seat.

“Man,” I thought. “This better be good.” We entered, put our names on the list and went outside to wait.

It was maybe a 10-15 minute wait, which wasn’t too bad. We ordered a flight of beignets: plain, chocolate, apple/cinnamon and crayfish ($9.50). James’ favourite was the apple/cinnamon and mine was the crayfish. They were excellent: crispy, light as air and super filling.

The rest of the meal suffered a little in comparison. James had the po’boy (it was a special of the day – I think around $11?):

He said the first few bites were really good but then it was a bit much for him.

The po’boy was more interesting than my Hometown Fry: fried oyster, bacon and scallion scramble with hash and biscuit ($11)

I think I keep trying to like fried oysters but I don’t. =( Plus I was already really full – I had to triage and abandon the hash and biscuit. If I come back I think I’d get the crawfish beignets and some fried chicken. With some more beignets to take home. =D

Even though I didn’t super love my meal I think quality-wise it blows away any breakfast I’ve had in Seattle. If Brenda’s were in Seattle there would be hour-long lines for it. Those freaking beignets still haunt my dreams …

But anyway afterwards we still had a lot of time to kill before our hotel room was ready so we took the bus to Presidio and visited the yoda statue. He’s life-sized and comes with a miniature-sized James head.

We randomly walked around the waterfront area which was beautiful on such a clear day, especially with this view of the Golden Gate bridge.

There were lots of people jogging and if we’d planned it in advance we could have brought our running gear. James tried to do some l-sits:

And that was enough exercise for the day. =P

We got back to the hotel just in time to check in and decompress before Bo and Christine took us to Sausalito, which isn’t too far from San Francisco but is this affluent, touristy seaside area. It seriously could not have been more picturebook charming if it tried: there was even a guy at the waterfront making these zen rock sculptures:

He didn’t use any adhesives – it took him ages to stack a single rock (you can see him behind that last sculpture on the right).

Then we headed to the Mission, where we wandered around, visited Dolores Park (which was the best park ever, though the lack of pot-smell made me Seattle-wistful) and basically bummed around until our reservation at Lazy Bear.

OMG Lazy Bear.

Seriously, if you live in SF you need to enter the lottery for their dinner because it is incredible – one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Lazy Bear is an underground restaurant that only seats like 50 people a night (for a 3.5 hour dinner! Oh my!), and instead of allocating seats on a first come first served basis, they hold a lottery. I was sooo stoked that I got in on my first try!

The dinner is held at a constantly-changing location. This was ours:

Pretty much everyone would arrive at the door, poke their head in, look confused and ask their party “is this the place?”, then tentatively step in. Which is exactly what we did too. =P

The dining set up was two long banquet tables. We got there early, so chose prime positions at the end of the table:

And each table setting came with a menu:

Our menu:

Snacks (there were 3 or 4 large snacks but they weren’t listed on the menu – one was scrambled eggs made with bacon fat that was whipped into this light-as-air foam, another was a kind of tomato jelly with basil, another was a cronut – croissant/donut – I have a feeling there was another one but it’s not coming to mind)

Cauliflower smoked char roe, shin li pear, chrysanthemum

Matsutake abalone, pine nut agnolotti, matsutake broth

Octopus saffron, mussels, chorizo, mint

Hot Chicken pickles, little gems, potato salad

Veal Short Loin butter beans, kale, apple mostarda

Concord Grape creme fraiche, cucumber, dill, celery

Treats (a beard papa-like custard pastry, a little square of strawberry jelly and sous vide cookie dough)

I’m so sorry I don’t have photos but the lighting was no good. I was hoping they’d upload photos to the website but they haven’t – if I’d known I would have taken my crappy photos anyway. =( Because look at the other photos of their food! God, it’s like food art.

Everything was so interesting, and obviously so much thought had been put into every part of the meal. It was just light-years away from what you could make yourself at home. Honestly for $95 + tip it was a screaming good deal.

Each bite was like a party in my mouth that I never wanted to end – it was like “oh! This is what beans are supposed to taste like!” and there were flavour combos that I would never have thought of but were so amazing (grapes and pickles? Who would have thought!). Everyone brought their own booze and there was no corkage fee. Outstanding.

You could also go into the kitchen and ask questions.

Before every dish the head chef would come out and tell us about what inspired him, which made it into much more of an experience than a meal. Which I know sounds super wanky, but normally James doesn’t go in for this kind of thing and even he thought it was incredible.

It was also funny cos the chef was clearly getting progressively drunker as the night went on. =D But before we left he still came over and chatted with us, asking what our favourite and least favourite dishes were. It was hard not to gush. I gushed. =(

We had some amazing meals this trip but Lazy Bear was by far the highlight. If you live in San Francisco and love food there is NO EXCUSE for not trying this amazing restaurant. Do it. DO IT NOW.

I’m so jealous of you. =(