favorites of lately: San Francisco

20th century cafe5. 20th century cafe: a personality-driven cafe with the kind of old-timey pizzazz that effortlessly brightens the day. worth the trip, if only for coffee.

burma superstar4. burmese food (specifically Burma Superstar): how to have asian food while eating it too. nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom.

bar concepts3. incredibly devout bar concepts: Smuggler’s Cove, Trick Dog, and The Interval are active examples of Bay Area bars with extraordinary talent to back serious passion. each is driven towards a honed vision, be that tiki or a 10,000 year Texan clock, and furiously toils to provide a premium product for mostly oblivious guests. perhaps this is the utopian dream all san diego bartenders unite in sharing. dare to dream, SD. there are many hurdles ahead.

zuni cafe chicken2. Zuni‘s chicken: standard chicken dishes are usually on menu to satisfy an expected protein requirement, often subjected to a more humdrum treatment in order to meet the lowest common denominator’s interpretation of edible cuisine. thus, when the staff recommends chicken, it’s worth mindful consideration. if the chicken dish is renowned city-wide, despite the noted hour of preparation required, there should be zero hesitation. may as well order two, lest you bathe in regret as we did when the first bout of delicious chicken was inhaled without another set to follow. these are the great risks we take as modern eaters in foreign lands.

state bird provisions1. state bird provisions: contemporary american dinnertime dim-sum. the only michelin-starred restaurant that’s expeditious and filling while also self-tailored and extremely fun. i would never hesitate to go again. please, invite me. i promise to keep the conversation brief but buoyant. PLEASE.

BONUS:

delfina pizza
pizza: delfina. showed up mid-day, post-lunch, unenthused and ready to abandon ship but left giddy and delightfully overstuffed. the pizza is straightforward and delicious, just as pizza should be.

wine: half glasses at state bird (not pictured). as the food parade marched forward, all manner of extravagance was met with half-glass pours of whatever my whimsy saw fitting. extreme indulgence is especially exciting when the final tally doesn’t shock the wallet. experiences like these make me hungry for more. let’s go now. like now. guys, i mean now.

Advertisements

favorites of lately: NYC edition

nyc nomad cocktails5. cocktails at NoMad: the only place we returned for a second visit during our romp about New York City. each room had a new vibe and every cocktail thrilled in its own way.

nyc maison premiere

4. Maison Premiere: dollar oysters, Muscadet and hot buttered rum.

nyc booker and dax

3. Booker & Dax: the focal point of the entire cocktail tour. did it live up to the hype we’ve basted it in all these years? sure did. the drinks were unreal good and the bartender incredibly knowledgable, humble and welcoming.

nyc brooklyn fare 2

2. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare: the only three-star Michelin restaurant in Brooklyn. with zero pictures and only memories to look back on, what shines brightest are the first six courses, making up our favorite best bites of Japanese-style cuisine ever.

nyc emp 4

1. Eleven Madison Park: surprise: the top two favorites taken from New York are both sporting three Michelin stars. this one was truly memorable as an overall experience. we had many doubts about the reservations, spanning everything from receiving a lunchtime B-team to watching a restaurant flail as it desperately clings to many years of hype to being overexposure to rich tasting menus every day previous that we would be numb to their offerings. nope. it was incredible. arguably the best meal I’ve ever had.

special mentions:

Clover Club: as our first cocktail stop upon entering NYC, Clover Club set us up mentally for our new scene. the welcoming service found here proved to be the most incredible aspect of New York bar culture. they provided a killer introduction to the city, demonstrating what gracious hosts New York bartenders are.

Arturo’s: our favorite pizza out of the handful we tried.

Paper Plane cocktail: the best we’ve ever had and made by its inventor, one jovial Sam Ross, at our last cocktail bar stop, Attaboy. no better way to cheers goodbye to this amazing city.