San Francisco Treats.

Top Five Reasons to Spend Money in SF:

1. Michael Mina.

Why its fucking awesome:

At Michael Mina, food isn’t just served-its explored. The one at the Westin St. Francis Hotel is pricey, but its damn worth it. One of my favorite reasons why is because of the way they allow you to experience the different ways a food item can be prepared. Lets break it down.

           -meal item: Duck

           -cooking style: three different ways: ex:

Liberty Valley Duck ~ Foie Gras 

  • Breast, Parsnip Purée, Star Anise Jus 

  • Seared Foie Gras, Pink Lady Apples, Laird Brandy Gastrique 

  • Leg Rillettes, Apple Butter, Mixed Greens 

           -presentation: a tri-sectioned porcelain plate, each section filled with a version of the meal item. 

2. Barbambino

This little bistro in the Mission area will trump any other pasta you’ve had.. unless you’ve been to Italy. Also proof that taste doesn’t have to be complicated to be amazing. Three things:

          1.   Pasta Pomodoro.

Simply basil and the FRESHEST tomatoes ever. with angel hair pasta. don’t be jaded by the lack of ingredients… the fact that everything is freshly made makes it a memorable and savory meal. 

           2.  Sourdough toast with poached egg and freshly shaved parmesan

           3.  Eggplant Parmigiana balls.  

3. Bong Suk

Upscale Vietnamese cuisine. The menu is even organized by region. Interesting flavor combinations, and the rare experience of eating ginko nuts whole.

They make a persimmon and wild mushroom salad. And their spring rolls are served with mint and basil leaves, with a very different sweet and sour sauce… one of the few times I have actually wanted to eat pork. 

They also make this chicken dish using five spices, served with mashed plantains and fried rice pancakes. 

menu is changed daily, so each dining experience is unique.

4. Limon

I’ve only been twice, but the food here is still on my mind. Armenian style. Best Empanadas EVER.

5. Zuni

Famous for roasted chicken and bread salad. The chicken in particular takes 45 minutes to make, as it is slow roasted over the bread, so that the bread absorbs the chicken juice. 

Cookbook author Judy Rogers suggests that you save the leftovers from this particular dish, and use it in a risotto. 

I love meals that keep giving. Gives you more reason to pay a little more… its like meal grocery.

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