Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Local: Mission Eatery, Mission

Local: Mission Eatery has been sitting in my "places to eat" list ever since I tried the baked goods from Knead Patisserie.  I got to try it this weekend with a couple of  girlfriends, and it completely exceeded my expectations. I love when that happens.

The menu is broken up into "bites" and dinner. The dinner choices all come in two sizes, small and large. We started with a couple of the bites.  These dishes set the tone for the meal - just a few ingredients, but those ingredients really pack a punch.  

I love how pretty this is. They poured the soup table side. This wasn't a hit with my friends, but I really liked it. I love cucumber soup in the "summer" (summer in quotes because I live in San Francisco).

The entrees were also great. Simple foods prepared really well. I loved the flavor combinations in all the dishes. I kept saying "wait, what is that?"

One of the things that really appealed to me about this place was that all of the dishes, even though they were pretty simple, felt like that had been prepared with tons of attention and care.  Clearly there is a lot of effort placed on high quality ingredients, and what's even cooler is that all of the ingredients are local (hence the name). 

Even when I really like a place, I find that it usually takes me awhile to go back - not because I don't want to, but because there are so many restaurants in San Francisco that I want to try. I need to start a new list, restaurants to make sure to go back to - "go to" restaurants. This place would top that list.

Monday, June 20, 2011

NOPA, revisited

Finally. Finally!! We made it back to Nopa, this time for dinner - and it really was worth the wait.

We got there a little bit before our reservations, so we were able to sit at the bar and get a drink. Just as our drinks were served, our friends showed up and our table was ready. Once again, we got seated on the mezzanine level, overlooking the kitchen, which in my opinion is the best seat in the house. I spent a lot of time peeking down there to see what was happening.

We took a long time looking over the menu. I wanted to eat everything - and I feel like I did eat everything, considering that as I write this 12+ hours after dinner, I am still full.

We finally decided on four appetizers. 

I looooooved the warm goat cheese crostini. The goat cheese was incredibly creamy and spread on the crostini almost liked whipped cream and the pluot was tart and sweet and the perfect companion to the goat cheese.  It was a perfect "summer is nearly here" dish.

We had been to the Farmers' Market earlier that morning, and had seen lots of beautiful squash blossoms, which was what inspired us to order that dish. I think I didn't pay enough attention to the description on the menu though - I wasn't expecting the whole thing to be fried. It was good - but certainly not my favorite. With all the fresh produce right now, I haven't been wanting much fried stuff.

The roasted onions were more my speed - they had that same feeling of summer. We really liked the pea sprouts that were part of it too.

The last appetizer was the arugula salad. Clearly I was going to like this no matter what. And it had fresh strawberries. Delicious.

At this point I was 1) licking the goat cheese out of the dish and 2) ridiculously full and overwhelmed when my dinner arrived.

I ordered the seared duck, which was recommended to me by the bartender. The fact that it had grilled nectarines also sold it for me. It was fantastic and I had never had orach before, which kinda tasted a little bit like kale. I got about half way through and hit a wall - I could not eat another thing. The rest will be for dinner tomorrow.

Mark got the pork chop, which also could probably feed two. I had a bite and it was tender and juicy. I can imagine that next time I might order this myself.

Kev got the burger, which made me happy because I really wanted to try it. Like the pork chop, it was really juicy. He thought it had a bit of a bacon taste to it too, which was appreciated.  On the way home he commented that it was one of the best burgers he's ever had.

Britt got the homemade fettuccine with clams, tomatoes and peas. I took a bite and it was great. I love fresh made pasta.

All of us were way too full for dessert, which is disappointing because I would have loved to try it. I guess I'll have to save that for next time.

Lastly, because this is my 100th post (!) and because we had seats overlooking the kitchen, I'm including a little video (in case you want to see what the kitchen is like for yourself).  Hopefully the chef doesn't mind that I was sneakily filming him. Enjoy!

560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, California 94117
(415) 864-8643

Monday, June 13, 2011

Flora, Oakland

I've been a delinquent blogger. I meant to do a whole bunch of photo editing this weekend, but didn't get the chance. And so - I will leave you instead with a few images from my iPhone from a recent breakfast at Flora. I love the style of that place - check out that wallpaper.

We did order a bunch more food, but I got caught up in the conversation and forgot to take photos. I highly recommend the "donettes" though, which are served with jam and chocolate. 

Great breakfast place, there's pretty much no wait for a table and if you're coming from SF, it's very close to BART.

1900 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612-2202
(510) 286-0100
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