I couldn’t have asked for a more delicious birthday. Here’s what was on the menu:
On Wednesday night a few co-workers and I sipped bubbly wine, nibbled on charcuterie, and viciously attacked some pizza at The Market. If you ever doubted that a grocery store would be a wonderful place to hang out, get yourself to this place immediately. And by immediately, I mean between the hours of 4pm and 7pm daily for the oyster happy hour of your dreams. Kumamotos for $1.50? I’ll take the lot!
Later that night, Harley and I had our first glasses of orange wine at Alta CA, a hip little restaurant with a wrap-around bar right on Market Street. Orange wine is my new favorite. The grapes are fermented with the skins on, making the wine refreshing and crisp like a white, but funky and musky like somethin’ else!
Birthday day started with a climbing session and a Blue Bottle cappuccino. That first sip of cappuccino is just about my favorite thing in the world. (And at about $0.50 a sip, it’d better be!)
The workday was sweet, especially because one of my restaurant partners, Guerilla Catering, came by to give us a churro bar. We’re talking fresh churros, hot dipping chocolate, dulce de leche, sprinkles, coconut flakes, walnuts…the works. Yum is right.
For happy hour, @barry_sandwich himself made egg white Bee’s Knees cocktails and Harley and Kate made all my cheesy dreams come true with a literal cheese cake! (see above)
That night, my spirit animal, Dan, cooked a Pantry Raid themed feast! We ate brown butter and rosemary gnocchi, Bacon’d Brussels, roasted squash and cauliflower, and pork belly. Kinda like me, the meal was mostlyvegetarian. For dessert, there was Bavarian Cream Cake from DeLessio Market & Bakery, which was basically just a giant cylinder of frosting and I’m not mad about it.
On Friday, my Dad came to San Francisco! We started the night with drinks at Terroir, which is a SoMa wine bar that feels kind of like your cool friend’s living room, but if your cool friend had even cooler more attractive live-in sommeliers to educate you about grapes but also offer you fine cheese and charcuterie. Are you on your way there yet?? Dad ordered an all-too-sippable Pinot and I was still on my orange wine kick and ended up with another dreamily funky pour.
Next stop was ICHI Sushi + Ni Bar, my all time favorite sushi spot in San Francisco. Tucked right on the border of Mission and Bernal Heights, you’d be surprised that it’s almost impossible to get a reservation here. Luckily, we scored a spot at the sushi bar with a front row view of our awesome sushi chef at work.
All night, we sampled fish I couldn’t possibly name now. My favorites though, were the ocean trout nigiri and uni taco (yes, uni taco!). There’s no soy sauce here – each piece of fish is scored and doused with its accompanying marinade or sauce. The experience is so fun and interactive without a sniff of pretension. Please don’t eat sushi anywhere else if you can help it. I’m serious!
The gluttony continued on Saturday at Mission Chinese – one of the restaurants I work with at Chewse with one of the coolest stories. This no-name Chinese restaurant partnered with chefs Danny Bowien and Anthony Myint for a pop-up. The two began churning out re-invented Chinese dishes (like Shmaltz Rice, Kung Pao Pastrami, etc.) until the place became so trendy that they were allowed to stay for the long haul. Mission Chinese has since become an SF (and NYC) food staple, and one I was excited to share with my Dad, since he’s recently become obsessed with New York’s Chinese food scene (shoutout Joe’s Shanghai!). We elected not to sprinkle our Mapo Tofu and 3x Cooked Bacon with the gratis MSG, but I’m sure we got our fill anyway. That said, I wouldn’t know…their food is so spicy that my taste buds have hardly recovered.
That night, we had a bonfire on Ocean Beach, but you can read about thathere.
Sunday afternoon was spent with family at my grandparent’s home, nestled between the quiet hills and deer-filled forest in Woodside.
Dessert was a winner – Banana Cream Pie from Mission Pie. That flaky crust, springy custard, and rich whipped cream make for a treat that’s both decadent and light at the same time. Science, man. How do they do it?