Monday, October 14, 2013

San Francisco

Beautiful San Francisco. Amazing city with great people and of course great food. It's quickly becoming a destination for inventive culinary creations as well as traditional cooking.

Pier 1, Ferry Building Marketplace. Houses several unique restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. Definitely a must-see. Locals and tourists alike find themselves stopping by to grab a coffee before work, lunch and dinner with friends after.

Fishermans Wharf. Absolutely a tourist spot. No locals here, at lease I didn't notice any. Just visitors looking for a clam chowder and crab cakes. Good to stop by but I doubt it's the best place for local seafood.

Russian Hill takes some work to climb. When you get to the top you will be rewarded with an unbelievable view of the city.

Bakery on the The Embarcadero with sourdough creations. Yes, these are turtles and an alligator made out of bread.

Henry's Hunan Restaurant

Local Hunan restaurants have been dominant in the city for many years. This food is great, has to be experienced. This particular one was recommended by a local so it's our stop. 

Dumplings were yummy. Nothing inventive here, just very well prepared traditional dumplings that were oh so good. I love dumplings and these ones hit the spot.

Apparently Diana's Special Meat Pie is the thing to get here. No other like it anywhere. There's soft crust holding in a combination of beef and chopped lettuce. Very filling for sure, don't think it's possible for one person to finish this so it's definitely a shareable item. It was good, not necessarily life changing but worth a try.

Basic Sweet and Sour Chicken, not much else to it. Good combination of sweet and sour and very flavorful.

Henry's Special, not really sure what's in, it seems like everything. There's sausage, chicken, peppers, and I think shrimp as well. Special indeed. Not really sure what's so unique about it but I still found it a wonderful dish. Oh so filling as well, way too much food here. 

Modern space with very interesting local people watching. The crowd was surprisingly older than expected, not as many young and stylish people as I was hoping for, but then again dinner was on the earlier side so maybe it was too early.

The cocktails were decidedly a win. Bee's Knees was refreshing and light with a nice hint of honey. PiƱa Colada, which I was surprised to see on the menu it being a modern Vietnamese cuisine, was my favorite of the two. Not too sweet and just enough coconut made it the cocktail of the night. Surprisingly the garnish cherries were extremely delicious as well.

Grilled Mediterranean Octopus, cucumber, carrot, cherry tomato, petite herbs, lemongrass-thai chile fish sauce. Lots going on here, however, it didn't feel overwhelming. Cucumbers and cherries gave the soft octopus a great contrasting flavor and a bit or crunch. Very nice dish. 

Probably the favorite of the night were Teamed Banana Leaf Apioca Dumplings with shiitake mushrooms, pork and dried shrimp. So full of flavor and absolutely delicious. Combination of ingredients was just perfect. Actually was considering getting another order of these but alas, there was plenty more food to try. 

Stir Fried Wild Gulf Shrimp with bell farm shishito pepper, chili, and ginger were a bit overwhelming with all the different flavors, not in a bad way, just different. 

Wood Oven Roasted Niman Ranch Short Ribs in madras curry with thumbelina carrots, summer squash, and eggplant was not as soft as I was hoping for but still good. Didn't fall of the bone and yet was nicely delicate.

What's a trip to California without a visit to Napa Valley.

Ma(i)sonry "a winery collective and contemporary art gallery, featuring private boutique wine tastings in a beautiful wine country setting." One of my favorite stops in Napa located in a small city of Yountville, which is also the home of French Laundry. What a wonderful place this is for a glass of wine, or two, or three. Perfect place to enjoy good weather of the region.

I loved everything about San Francisco and Napa Valley with it's great food and wine. One of my favorite destinations. 

Henry's Hunan Restaurant 
110 Natoma Street 
San Francisco, CA 94105 
(415) 546-4999 

The Slanted Door 
1 Ferry Building Marketplace #3 
San Francisco, CA 94111 
(415) 861-8032

6711 Washington Street 
Yountville, CA 94599 
(707) 944-0889