Bay Area Eat-a-thon

As Little Miss pointed out, we had a friend in town from the east coast last week whose only request was that “tacos should account for roughly 50% of planned activities” during his visit. Since Yuan and Little Miss were busy during the week…something about jobs, I took it upon myself to accompany our friend as he explored the delicious delectables the bay area has to offer.After one day in Davis, where I acquired a pork shoulder from the awesome pork man at the Davis farmer’s market and experimented with my pressure cooker (mmm….carnitas), we headed west to Point Reyes. We saw some Tule elk (not for eating) and the beautiful California coastline. Admittedly, we were only in the park for 40 min before we had to leave to get to Marshall for some oysters. Hog Island oysters apparently sit in purified salt water tanks for cleansing in ultraviolet water so Yuan “trusts” them. With fifty oysters in the trunk, the super helpful Garmin told us that the best route to San Francisco was down Hwy 1. I guess technically it’s the shortest route, but we had to do some treacherous, twilight, no-fall zone, cliff driving for a hour after which the golden gate bridge was a welcome sight. We arrived at chez Yuan slightly green but recovered as soon as Yuan recreated his “trio of oysters” and we gorged ourselves with small sweetwater succulence. Yuan and Little Miss then made us a giant bowl of carbonara.

The next day, we stopped by the Mill Valley In-n-Out where I got my usual double double animal style and adventured in Muir Woods. We came back to meet up with Yuan and another friend at a great little Vietnamese restaurant in the Mission, Tao Cafe. It was a small, comfortable, and affordable restaurant which didn’t just serve your run of the mill Vietnamese food but served creative and pretty Vietnamese dishes with its distinctive French influences. Highlights of our meal included shrimp imperial rolls, “Saigon-Paris” duck confit with baby bok choy and the yummiest morsels of bass in a coconut curry sauce served in a clay pot.

Day three began with Taqueria Cancun in the Mission with some carnitas and carne asada tacos. They were delicious.

We explored San Francisco and visited the Sutro Baths, Golden Gate Park, Fort Point and took the boat to Alcatrez, then met up with Yuan at another great little restaurant in Little Miss’s neighborhood, Burma Superstar! Superstar is a crowded Richmond restaurant with lines going out the door but Little Miss knew that you can call ahead and put your name on their list. We didn’t have to wait at all and sat down immediately in the tightly packed establishment – this is not the place to bring your children who cannot remain in their seats. I never had Burmese food before, but it turns out it’s awesome! It is a wonderful mix of Indian, Chinese and Thai food. One of Burma Superstar’s specialties is their Tea Leaf salad prepared with smushy tea leaves imported from Burma, tomatoes, lettuce, dried shrimp, fried garlic, sesame seeds, peanuts, and split yellow pea. The waiter explains to you all the separate components before mixing it up tableside with lemon. The contrasting flavors and textures of the salad had us fighting for every last scrap. We also sampled some Burmese samusas (not unlike its Indian cousin samosa), fiery chicken and tofu, pork curry, and garlic duck noodles. A side order of coconut rice with hints of subtle coconut sweetness accompanied our meal and is apparently a frequent object of Little Miss’s dreams. Everything was flavorful, affordable, and fully enjoyable.

Yuan and Little Miss were able to join us for a day in Napa where we visited a couple wineries (yay Prager Port!!!), and enjoyed much of the Napa scenery thanks to Yuan’s questionable and increasingly drunken navigating.

We ended the day at Bistro Jeanty and stuffed ourselves silly with buttery bistro food. We each ordered an appetizer and an entree and spent most of the meal rotating plates so we can all get a bite of everything. Highlights were the tomato soup in puff pastry (thymey fragrance and wonderfully rich), smoked trout with potatoes (seriously, the best trout I’ve ever had – didn’t even know trout could taste like this), fried smelt (served in a cone like french fries… mmm…delicious small fried fishies), pork belly and foie gras (both were so soft and flavorful – Yuan ate the whole piece of foie gras and exclaimed, “wow! that pork belly is so soft!”), braised kobe short ribs, grilled ribeye with frites, and Yuan’s cassoulet which he ate approximately two bites of, took home and then was devoured by us later that night after getting back to Yuans.

My bay area eating adventure vacation ended with me and Little Miss making ourselves at home at Yuan’s ordering Chinese delivery and eating all of the leftovers in his fridge. Now…onto the holidays….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *