Food & Comedy in San Francisco

Day 1: Friday

That’s right. 12 balconies. The condo we recently stayed in while visiting San Francisco had 12 balconies in it and it was on the 21st floor of a building in the financial district!

When our friends Darin and Vanessa (also our monthly dinner friends) invited us to hang out for the weekend, we had no idea what was in store for us. Vanessa had stayed in this place before and didn’t let on any details. Which was kind of cool, because it was a lovely surprise.

Not only was the condo a-mazing, but the whole weekend trip was one of my favorite visits to the city. N’Gai and I were in the city for my 30th birthday 5 years ago and this recent trip was the week before my 35th. I’ve been back since for business trips but it was nice for us to take this trip together again. Everything we did was fun!

Tommaso's

Tommaso’s

We went to Tommaso’s Italian Restaurant in North Beach for dinner the first night. It was in walking distance from our condo, which except for Tipsy Pig (more on that later!) everything was! If you check Tommaso’s Yelp reviews you’ll see that they get 4.5 stars out of 5. And we agreed!

We ordered their spinach pizza that almost faked me into believing I was eating salad They make the pizza and then put fresh spinach on top right after it cooks so that when it arrives at the table, it’s just barely wilting but tastes fresh and slightly crunchy. So good! Of course I followed up that “salad” with a plate full of carbs and ordered their Macaroni w/Mushrooms, Olive Oil, Garlic, Parsley, & Sausage. Paleo what?

Tommaso's Spinach Pizza

Tommaso’s Spinach Pizza

Later that evening we went to Punch Line Comedy Club, also walked there from the condo. This walk was very necessary! There we saw Joe Klocek open for The Sklar Brothers. The Brothers were good, Joe was better. He was funnier, more natural and un-rehearsed, and killed it. I hope he comes to The Comedy Store in La Jolla so we can see him again.

Here are some additional pictures of our trip, posted to my Facebook.

Day 2: Saturday

I’ve never been to the San Francisco Ferry Building and felt especially fortunate that we got to experience the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. We have farmer’s market’s in San Diego, but they are nothing like this! In fact, the next time I plan a weekend trip to San Francisco, I’m going to make a point of visiting this market again.

From San Francisco's Farmer's Market

Grapes, Manchego, and Rosemary Bread from the Ferry Building’s Farmer’s Market

We had so much fun eating, looking at all of the vendor’s goods, and buying a few things to bring back to the condo. Namely, grapes that looked like they rode the truck to the city, straight from wine country, manchego cheese, and rosemary bread from Acme Bread. I want to live in San Francisco just to eat this as a snack every Saturday!

I also bought a bottle of olive oil from Stonehouse California Olive Oil. I liked the idea of buying semi-local olive oil. Plus, it’s good.

Since July was Darin and Vanessa’s turn to make our monthly dinner, they instead took us out to dinner at the Tipsy Pig in the Marina District. Wow! The food was SO good! As you can see from my Facebook album, it wasn’t exactly swimsuit food. But it was really great and we ordered a variety of items on the menu to try.

Overall, it was our most fun trip to the city and we thank Darin and Vanessa for inviting us along!

Pho Shizzle!

Vegetarian Pho

Vegetarian Pho

I am addicted to vegetarian Pho. I like to think I know a thing or two about it. Really, I don’t. I just know where to go to get a great steaming bowl of it. Pho Van in San Diego is my favorite place.

Pho is my go-to meal for when I’m sick, or if I feel even the slightest sense that a cold is brewing. That’s not the only time I eat it though. If I want something warm, fast, and healthy, it’s always a good choice.

Pretty soon, my husband is going to have us on the Paleo Diet. Or, what I refer to as the caveman diet. You can only eat fruit, vegetables, and protein. We are waiting for the book to arrive in the mail so we can get the full scoop on all the scoops we won’t be having.

But I realized that I can still have my Pho, sans noodles. Whew!

Anyhow, like I said, I don’t know much about what makes one bowl more authentic than another. But what I will say is that I enjoy it most just how it is pictured above: with lime, lots of Thai basil, jalapeño, mushrooms, carrots, bok choy, crunchy broccoli, plum sauce, and sriracha.

Hot Fudge Sundae

My husband and I enjoyed a night with my co-workers for my company’s annual holiday party. It was fun! They had casino night set up, raffle, etc. I won a bottle of ONEHOPE 2009 Sauvignon Blanc. I had it before so I wasn’t disappointed in my win!

Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy

Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy

Afterward, we went out with my work “brother” (we all have that co-worker who we affectionately refer to as a family member) and his fiancée. They live in Orange County so since they were out-of-town folk, we took them to Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy, San Diego.

My husband and I both said that the next time we go we are going to get the hot fudge sundae. And we did! The menu describes it as: Very Vanilla Bean ice cream, brownie chunks with nuts, warm housemade chocolate ganache, and whipped cream. It is SO good! And more than enough for two people.

I also had my favorite tea: Rooibos Bourbon. I can’t find the tea for sale on the Extraordinary Desserts online store but this is probably the same or very similar. It is such a smooth, luxurious tea! Love it!

If you live in San Diego, Extraordinary Desserts is a great place to go and if you have friends in town, take them here!

Nepalese November

Food from Nepal

Nepalese November

The first time we had Nepalese food, we were in Boulder, Colorado, one of my favorite places to visit. We were staying in Denver and drove up to Boulder to dine at a little two story restaurant called Nepal Cuisine. We were in a state of euphoria when we left. The food and service was something to remember.

When November rolled around for our monthly dinner night, it was our turn to cook. Nepalese food proved to be one of the most difficult dinners for us to carry out so we did just that – ordered carry out! Recipes online were hard to find so we broke the rules for November and ordered Nepalese food from a restaurant in La Mesa, CA. To find the place, I did what I always do and searched Yelp. That’s where I found a lovely little restaurant called Himalayan Cuisine, and my fellow Yelpers gave the restaurant 4.5 stars.

We ordered food that can be found on their menu and also added a few items of our own.

LIBATIONS

APPETIZERS

Alu Bhanta – Eggplant & potatoes cooked in Himalayan style curry sauce.

Vegetables Momo – Steamed dumplings filled with minced cabbage, spinach, mushroom, cashew nuts, paneer, onion, cilantro, green onion & spices, served with special Himalayan sauce.

Samosas – Crispy pastries stuffed with jalapeños, cheese, and potatoes. (I actually bought and made these from an Indian supermarket in San Diego called Ker Fresh.)

ENTRÉES

Chicken Makhani – Premium chicken cooked in the tandoor and then cooked in a butter sauce.

Mixed Tandoori – Tandoor chicken, Boti Kabab (lamb), shrimp tandoor and chicken tikka. Served with sautéed onions, carrots, bell pepper and cabbage.

DESSERT

Gulab Jamun – Juicy sweet milk balls. (I didn’t care for these and was glad I decided to serve the mango sorbet and fresh mint!)

Mango Sorbet topped with fresh mint. (I added this and was glad I did, it was a wonderful ending!)