Friday, May 31, 2013

Nibbling around the San Francisco Bay Area

This last trip back to San Francisco was pretty indulgent, a true eat-fest.

Here are pictures from the many other bites that I had during my two week trip.  It was filled with nostalgic eats (like the chicken wings by my alma mater), fun finds while catching up with old friends (which is the root to my love for bar food), and new bites which I can't wait to have again on my next trip (Smore's Pie at Bi-Rite!)

If you cant see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: SF Nibblings

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Umami Burger in Palo Alto

In the past, if you wanted to get the best burgers in the SF Bay Area, you'd have to drive up to the city for a quality gourmet burger.  These days, you can stay around the Peninsula.  Umami Burger in Palo Alto is serving up some of the best burgers south of the city.

It's so simple and so quality.  And that makes all the difference.  There are options to really dress the burger up with meats, truffles, the works.  For me, after tasting a few of the different selections, my favorite is the simplest - The Original.  It has all that umaminess that you'll fully appreciate every single bite.

If I were to move back to the Bay Area, this would be one of my go-to spots to eat too often.  This SoCal concept has brought some great burgers up to NorCal.

If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Umami

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hog & Rocks in San Francisco

Of all happy hours out there, the best value is the oyster happy hour.  Most run for $1 per oyster!  That's such a great deal compared to the full price which is normally $3+ per piece.

When my family and I arrived 5 minutes before the end of happy hour at Hog and Rocks in the Mission District we quickly ordered 18 oysters for the 3 of us.  Next time, we're getting at least 2 dozen.  Chilled, fresh oysters are one of my favorite bites to eat.

Aside from oysters (the rocks), there's also a good choice of hams (the hog).  This restaurant and bar has a great menu variety with fun modern twists on bar food.  The whiskey selection is really fun, too.  This is a fun, chill place in the Mission that serves great food with a casual vibe.

If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Hog and Rocks

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Charles Phan's The Slanted Door

San Francisco has many iconic restaurants that define the city and show the world how San Franciscans know what good food is about.  The Slanted Door is one of those restaurants.

From its roots in the Mission District to its rise of fame thanks to Bill and Chelsea Clinton, The Slanted Door has come a long way and continues to thrive with locals and tourists.  The Ferry Building is now the perfect setting for this world class restaurant.

The food is pricey, especially for Vietnamese food.  But, you get quality, presentation, atmosphere, service, and that Charles Phan branding.  And the food is so good and memorable, you'll want to go back.

While you're at the Ferry Building, check out his Out the Door operation and his little market place behind the restaurant.  I have huge respect and admiration for chefs that are also businessmen, and Phan has truly become a San Francisco success.

If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Slanted Door

Friday, May 17, 2013

Chris Cosentino's Incanto

Even though I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 18 years, I still have a growing list of new places to eat.  New York City and the Bay Area are my two favorite food destinations in the United States.

One of those restaurants on my bucket list has been Incanto.  From watching him on the Food Network and on Bravo, Chris Cosentino is one of my favorite chefs on television.  I had to eat at his place.  And reservations are not too bad if you don't mind dining early.

Food, wine, concept, and execution all met and tickled my senses.  What a fun and cool dining experience!  Incanto is about enjoying good, creative food with wine at a chill pace.  I'm still dazzled by some of the food combinations that Cosentino imagines and actually puts together.

If you're a fangirl or fanboy, too, I highly recommend to follow him in Instagram.

If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Incanto

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thomas Keller's Addendum

When Thomas Keller first opened Ad Hoc in Yountville, people could not stop talking about the Sunday fried chicken.  Reservations were hot and the weekend special was often the reason to go.  Fast forward a few years later, and with a great business concept, enter Addendum.

Located in the back parking lot of Ad Hoc, Addendum only serves two choices - Fried Chicken and a rotating special.  It's open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11am to 2pm.  Any of those days and during the whole 3 hours, the line is constant.

The setting is perfect for the wine country.  Outdoor eating on benches surrounded by a park-like setting.  It's perfect before and in-between wine tasting.  Plus, you can keep drinking with a choice selection of beers and wines that pair nicely with this American comfort food.

The verdict on the fried chicken?  Soo worth the hype.  Wow, the brine, the batter, and the fried execution is all worth the price, the wait, and the drive.  While critics say the price is steep, I argue that this is Thomas Keller quality that's worth paying for.  You're paying for the whole experience.

If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Addendum

Friday, May 10, 2013

Singapore's Sentosa Island

Singapore is a destination where you don't really need too many days to explore the whole city-state.  Once you've exhausted the city, or just want a change of pace, a day trip to Sentosa Island is a great option.

Sentosa Island is known for housing Resorts World, Universal Studios, pristine man-made beaches, and golf courses.  It's so easy to get there by cable car, MRT, or just to simply walk across the Boardwalk.

Once you're there, you can walk around the island or talk the free shuttle buses going around the island making stops along the various beaches.

For a getaway and a fun day to play, Sentosa Island definitely is the place to take in the sun or hide away in the casinos.

If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Singapore Sentosa

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Singapore River

In the center of Singapore lies the Singapore river.  A canal that cuts through the central business district.  Landmarks, hotels, and restaurants are among the notable tourist attractions along the river.

Clarke Quay is a fun around long the river that's full of restaurants and bars targeted towards tourists and expats.  Further down the river there are also more tourist catches full of restaurants with hosts and waiters flagging you down to try their cuisine.

If you're willing to pay a little more to enjoy dining al fresco by the water, this is a picturesque area for a meal.

If you can't see the slide show, check out my Flickr album: Singapore River

Friday, May 03, 2013

Satay by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay would not be a Singapore destination with out having a hawker stall.  It's a cool combination of outdoor-indoor.  This is a cleaner hawker centre with a great variety of food choices.

The setting is a nice break from walking around the Gardens.  There are many tables for all sizes and for all families.  If it's not too hot out, it's great to sit along the outdoor area, with the tiny chairs for kids, and enjoy the water scenery.

Find the longest lines and that's sure to be a winner.  In particular look for the longest satay line.  Those satay sticks were some of my most memorable bites of the whole trip.   It's definitely worth the wait!

If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Singapore Satay by the Bay