And, we ate. A lot.
(That's what you're here for, right? The food pics?)
We started out the first day right with a great breakfast and coffee at the Blue Bottle Cafe. Their website describes them as follows: "We craft delicious drinks, treat our guests with care and respect, and compost scrupulously." I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but my husband wanted to try their siphon coffee. I had a grilled cheese sandwich with grainy mustard that I devoured instantly, and Jeff had poached eggs with cornbread, salad and sausage. All of my favourite things!
Next, we met a friend for lunch at Hakkasan. The pomelo duck salad was scrumptious, but my favourite part of the meal was actually the desserts. I had black sesame and chocolate dumplings with yuzu and ginger tea. Jeff had coconut panna cotta with rum roasted pineapple and pistachio gelato.
When I booked the reservation, they asked if we had any dietary restrictions. I said that we prefer to avoid organ meats and that I don't like lamb.
After we were settled at the table, the server said to us: "I heard that you have an aversion to offal." The server then explained to us that most of the dishes use offal in some form or another. At this point, I decided to just throw caution to the wind and trust that they would not be serving us awful offal.
20+ courses and five hours later, we had learned three things.
#1: the garbage of the sea can be extremely tasty. Among other things, we ate (and enjoyed) abalone liver, sauce made from trout bones, vinegar made from fish heads, and sea cucumber skin and ribs. Each course was carefully and artistically prepared, and the meal is something that we'll remember for the rest of ourl ives.
#2: I still don't really like organ meats. There was a liver toffee made of milk, bread and beer with white chocolate that was ok. There was also a cookie made of wood pigeon liver with grilled pecan honey and powdered liver on top that was not.
#3: A small Asian girl who gets drunk after two Long Island iced teas cannot handle the wine pairing. The sommelier told us that each pairing would just be a splash, but they were actually more like half glasses. After the fifth course, my head was spinning. Jeff very gallantly offered to help me. I'm pretty sure he doesn't remember the last third of the meal.
|Happy to have survived 20+ courses and 20+ "splashes" of really amazing wine|
And there you have it. San Francisco... we came, we ate, we conquered.