Beacon is one of my new favorite neighborhood coffee shops. Finding great coffee in San Francisco is not hard but finding a good coffee shop to work in is a little more difficult. Some coffee shops want to emphasize social gathering and do not even offer free wifi. The biggest thing I noticed though about most of the coffee shops is the lack of plugs, which Beacon does so well. I really like the space here because it offers such great light with their giant windows, has plenty of seating, and great decor if you eyes ever get bored of working. Oh yeah, did I mention the coffee is great too? They serve Sightglass and offer a variety of plenty of options for your drink of choice.
Blessed. This is the only word I can use to describe this past week. I am truly lucky to have such amazing individuals in my life and can’t wait to continue to make lifelong memories with them. If this is what it means to get old, I can’t complain. A few friends traveled long and far just to celebrate my birthday this past weekend, and I could not have asked for anything more nor could I have asked for such amazing people. It makes me sad that they are so far away but also so humbled to know that they continue to keep in touch and would come all the way here just to see me.
After years of waiting, I finally got my first Uniform Wares watch. I was going to purchase the new 104 series soon, but my friends beat me to the punch. They surprised me at dinner with the new watch, and I was both surprised and excited as soon as they handed me the box.
Unboxing the watch was a dream come true. I would expect nothing less from the brand that I have followed and respected because of their great eye for detail and design. Everything from the perfect cut out that slides to reveal their logo, the textured box, and even the box scent were impressive. This all sounds a bit obsessive, but I know the Uniform Wares team obsessed over each of the details in packaging their beautiful product. I’ve shared some photos below to show you what I mean.
Getting a reservation at State Bird Provisions has been impossible for months. I read somewhere that people were hacking the system to automatically book as soon as a table was open. Anyway, I was so surprised my friend Jim was able to secure a reservation since the restaurant has been under construction due expansion.
For being Best New Restaurant in America and having just earned its first Michelin Star, my expectations were high. I have been wanting to come here for a few months after I heard this restaurant was dim sum style and allowed you to pick and choose dishes off carts. Even with all the hype, I enjoyed almost every single dish we ordered and can say this is in my top 5 meals I’ve had.
It is hard to really categorize the type of food, but I would call it Gourmet Californian with hints of Asian influence. Interesting pairings, balanced flavors, and rich textures make for some phenomenal dishes. Because the food is so good, we were confident any dish we saw was guaranteed to be good. In total, I think we only turned down 2 dishes and that was really only due to us having tried so many other plates. I’m very lucky to have shared a great meal with great company. Overall, I would recommend this place to anyone and am hoping I can come back to try some new dishes too.
Warning: You might get hungry after looking at these pictures
dim Sum Style carts where you can just pick anything that looks delicious
garlic bread with burrata
oyster with spicy kohlrabi kraut & sesame
smoked trout, egg & potato porridge (this one was one of my favorites)
duck liver mousse with almond biscuit (these biscuits were so freaking delicious)
rabbit with fontina cheese in the middle. So good.
mendocino sea urchin, ginger-scallion pancake with soy-lime glaze (absolute must)
state bird with provisions (quail is the state bird and what the restaurant is named after)
hamachi-avocado & seaweed cracker (this was Jim’s favorite)
can’t go wrong with bone marrow
Probably the best octopus I’ve tasted… charred octopus in tomato-chickpea salsa
our bottle for the night (great design)
amazing pork belly
chanterelle, persimmon & quinoa
BBQ rabbit (one of the only dishes I didn’t like that much but it had some interesting noodles)
1/2 dozen cast iron quail eggs, apple, sunchokes
I think this was the rabbit but can’t remember
pretty much the entire dessert menu… I highly recommend the birdseed bittersweet chocolate crunch
big thanks to these two for making an unforgettable meal
surprise gift on top of dinner… feel spoiled
Even though I live relatively close to Lombard Street, I have not visited since I was a kid. I have never drove down the street, but tourists are always crowding around as they marvel at how many curves this street contains. So many people not only stop to take a picture, but they even stop their cars in the middle of the road as they snap away… very dangerous. It is so amazing just watching the cars float downward back and forth from the top of the hill. I perched myself on an electricity box and almost froze my hands as the cold breeze continued.
The curves of Lombard Street
My seat on the electric box. It was a nice spot that didn’t have many tourists walk by.
Close up of the sketch.
Imagine enjoying your favorite cup of coffee and witnessing some girl unleash her supernatural telekinetic powers… Insane! This is probably one of the best pranks and promotions I have seen and applaud the production team that put this together. The reactions are hilarious and the setup was just perfect. After doing a little more research, I found out that the Thinkmodo team specializes in creating “viral” videos like this. Check out the videos below
Coffee Shop Surprise promoting the movie Carrie:
Man that lives in the Astor Place Cube
Flying people in New York to promote the movie Chronicle
This past Saturday, I decided to stay in the neighborhood and sketch the city skyline. The good news is that there are wonderful views of the city just outside my apartment, but the only downside is that they come at the price of climbing some insanely steep hills. After trekking up the hills, I stumbled upon Ina Coolbrith Park, which offers some of the best views of the city accompanied by trees and benches. I have to admit, I have walked by this park so many times and did not realize it had such a perfect walkway and viewing area. I am definitely coming back here the next time I need somewhere to think.
Fun Fact: Ina Coolbrith Park is named after the first California Poet Laureate.
The bench I was lucky enough to enjoy alone in peace
Just to give you an idea how clear the view is
You can see from Coit Tower all the way to the high rises in Downtown
Close up of the sketch
1760 has been open for less than a month and has made it clear that it’s here to stay. The restaurant offers quality food but is intended to be a more modern and casual alternative to its sister restaurant, Acquerello. I did not have a reservation but was lucky enough to grab a seat at the bar with my friend J after a long day at Ocean Beach. Every single dish was perfect and offered an interesting pairing of flavors and textures. I personally look for textures in my food and was blown away by the attention to detail they put in everything, even down to the dessert. Even for being a new restaurant, the staff was so friendly and helpful in making this dining experience flawless.
I will try to rate these longer food adventures with the following criteria out of 5.
Lobster Ceviche (caramelized coconut, pineapple, coriander)
Pan-fried duck egg (Skuna Bay salmon, meyer lemon crème fraiche). I am a sucker for egg dishes and Friend J thought they made this dish specifically for me.
Basil-Mezcal Sour (basil, kaffir lime, egg white, mescal). Note pictured: Friend J had the Yuzu-Shiso which was very refreshing
Fried Duck Sandwich (slaw, pickles, spicy aioli). We were hesitant at first but were glad our server recommended this one
Crispy Octopus (roasted peanuts, avocado, potatoes). Never had octopus prepared this well.
Grilled Pork Belly (gigante bean, radicchio slaw, carrots). Definitely never had pork belly quite like this.
Peanut Butter Panna Cotta (berry jam, milk crumb). This is more modern/gourmet PBJ as a dessert. I don’t even like PBJ and have to say exceeded my expectations.
Milk Chocolate Ganache (hickory ice cream, bourbon caramel, marshmallow). This was a modern/gourmet take on smores and was my absolute favorite dish of the night. The colors, textures and flavors could not have been more on point.
Every Monday, I will try to post a weekly sketch that is part of my Moleskine Monday Project. This week’s sketch is of the Golden Gate Bridge from Lands End. After deciding to explore Sutro Baths on Saturday, I stumbled upon a perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge from a little tree stump in the shade. No matter how many times I see it and even when the sun isn’t out, I still think the bridge looks beautiful.
The tree stump is on the very right before the slope starts to dip
Close up of my sketch
It is finally summer time here in San Francisco and that means sunshine and warm weather for a few weeks. I’ve been to Ocean Beach a few times and every single time there has been freezing cold winds and thick fog… until this weekend. Not a cloud in sight and breathtaking views of the sunset made for a perfect trip to the beach.
(Thanks J for the first pic. iPhone 5s can pack some great photos)
Lucky to have friend J come explore with me
View of the Cliff House and Sutro Baths on the left
The water is still freezing
The colors of a sunset are one of my favorite things to see
Father and Son (my favorite shot of the day that I barely managed to capture in time)