Pacific Catch

 

I keep waiting until a time where we actually eat in at Pacific Catch instead of ordering out to take a good photo and tell you about it, but I've decided enough is enough and it's time to share!  Pacific Catch is by far our favorite take-out place...we order it in at least twice a month, which is saying a lot for us since we prefer to try new places and are rarely repeat customers!

So what's so great about Pacific Catch?  They have fantastically fresh seafood, great flavor combinations and super high-quality ingredients.  I order the same exact thing every time (which again, is crazy for me!)...not because the other bites I've had aren't delicious as well but because I genuinely crave this dish pictured above (it would be even prettier if not in a take-out container!).  So what is it?  It is the Japanese Wasabi Bowl with Poke and half brown rice/half salad (instead of the full white rice order it usually comes with).  So freaking good!  Ridiculously fresh Ahi, avocado, fresh ginger, micro greens, wakame salad, shredded nori all lightly dressed in a soy wasabi sauce.  Don't let the wasabi in the  name fool you, it's not super spicy.  Mix it all together sit back and eat some of the most guilt-free yet satisfying take-out you've ever had!  

SavoryGirl on Check, Please! Bay Area

KQED is re-airing the Check, Please! Bay Area Season 6 Opener featuring yours truly this weekend! The schedule for the re-airings is below (Friday, Saturday & Sunday!), but I've also included a link to the online episode in case you miss it.

So if you haven't seen "my" episode before, take a look and let me know what you think! Are you going to my restaurant recommendation, Saha ASAP?!  If you ever doubted my reviews before this should give you a bit more confidence...SavoryGirl knows good food!
Noodle Theory

I can't believe I haven't written about Noodle Theory yet.  I almost cried when the one in my neighborhood went out of business and now I have a hard time eating anywhere else when I find myself near the one location in Rockridge.  So to be clear, I LOVE Noodle Theory.  I think my love is two-fold.  First and foremost, I am kind of obsessed with noodles, especially when served in a soup.  I crave them at least weekly...particularly Udon, but really any noodle with an Asian-inspired broth will do.  Second, I don't like to feel guilty about my noodles.  So greasy noodles with poor quality meat or barely identifieable vegetables just won't do.  I like my noodles to be dressed up with high-class, respectable ingredients.



You would think in a city like San Francisco with such an deep Asian history and influence, noodles like this would be pretty easy to find.  But I tell you, that just isn't true.  I still haven't found a go-to place since the Noodle Theory in the Marina closed!  So my noodle craving often goes unsatisfied...unless I make them myself which still just isn't the same.
Chotto

Chotto, a Japanese Izakaya, is a relative newcomer to the Marina food scene having been around for only a little over a year.  But if you haven't discovered this gem yet, you're missing out.  Traditionally, an izakaya is a Japanese drinking establishment with samplings of food and small bites to go along.  Order a dish here and there along the way while you drink until you've had your fill ....both the menu and service are set up at Chotto to fit this traditional izakaya experience perfectly, allowing you to linger and socialize while satisfying your hunger at intervals that suit your fancy.

So, first things first for an izakaya....the drinks.  As expected, Chotto has a great sake menu.  If you're new to sake, the sampler is a perfect way to start off.  They give you enough to share between two people if you want to use it as a way to decide which larger sake to order for the table.  One of our favorites though, is the cold unfiltered Ozeki Nigori...cloudy in apperance with a deliciously complex flavor.  Somewhat nutty while also a bit sweet with a slightly creamy finish.  Divine and pairs so well with all of their food, especially from the raw portion of the menu.  While we don't typically venture into the cocktail portion of the menu, friends always seem pleased with their unique concoctions...all either shochu (distilled liquor, similar in taste to vodka) or beer/wine based.

Bar Bocce

I don't know if there's anywhere in the world I'd rather be during the Fall than in the Bay Area.  Fall in San Francisco is always spectacular, and this year has been no exception.  Bar Bocce, in Sausalito is one of the best places to experience this phenomenal weather.  Grab a glass of Prosecco from the bar and play a round of bocce on their water-front court while you wait for a seat on their great big outdoor patio and you have yourself an afternoon!

If you happen to get to Bar Bocce a bit later in the day or didn't hit it on one of our spectacular fall days have no fear...they have a great big fire pit and cozy fleece blankets for you to wrap around yourself while you stare wistfully at the shimmering water and idyllic house boats.

So...how's the food?  Well, Robert Price of Buckeye Roadhouse and Bungalow 44 is in charge of the kitchen so you're in good hands.  But like so many restaurants with amazing spaces and views, the food doesn't quite live up to the ambience.  It's good food, but not great food...but the spot is so fantastic that I do always find myself coming back for more.  Some of our recent samplings from the menu...

Umami Burger Arrives in San Francisco

Most of us living in the Bay Area know that there is a, shall we say, friendly little competition between those of us living in San Francisco and those living in L.A. Why? I'm not really sure. They're such different cities they're honestly hard to even compare but the back and forth continues. Which city is better? Nor Cal vs. So Cal? The prettier people? The smarter people? Which is better...having prettier people or smarter people? The best restaurants? It goes on and on. Silly really, but it's here to stay.

So when I heard that L.A. import, Umami Burger was opening it's first northern CA location in my neighborhood I was intrigued to say the least. So intrigued that Christian and I popped in for lunch on day 2, right in the middle of their soft launch. So not really fair to assess the restaurant in it's entirety so early but since we did check it out I thought I'd share:
Tantalizing Tomales Bay

Tomales Bay on the Pt. Reyes National Seashore is one of our favorite day trips.  We first discovered it when training for a 340 mile, 5-day bike ride from Eureka to San Francisco about 2 years ago and immediately fell in love.  It's only ~40 miles from San Francisco (although with all of the curvy, country roads it takes about 90 minutes to get there) but feels a lifetime away from the city life.  Amazingly beautiful scenery, relatively untouched wildlife and some of the best Bay Area gastronomic treats around!

 

Typically when we head to Tomales Bay, we pack an empty cooler and make our first stop in the town of Pt. Reyes Station...home of Cowgirl Creamery, Bovine Bakery, Marin Sun Farms and many other well-known Bay Area food treats.  This is the perfect place to pick up all of your picnic fixings to go along with those delicious Tomales Bay oysters you'll be adding to your bounty a bit further down the road.  If you haven't been to Pt. Reyes Station before, beware...you'll have a hard time making it out of this adorable town and onto your next stop!  

Atelier Crenn – Poetic Culinaria

Atelier Crenn is a relative newbie to the Cow Hollow end of Fillmore Street (in the old PlumpJack Cafe location) having only opened their doors in January of 2011.  While I don’t typically do restaurant reviews, Atelier Crenn is a unique enough experience that I thought I would share.

Atelier Crenn is the brainchild of Dominique Crenn (you may recognize the name from her Iron Chef win or her three Michelin Stars). Dominique spent her childhood in France and her French upbringing is certainly seen in her cooking.  The name of the restaurant references her father’s workshop Atelier Papa Crenn and his artwork can be found in the restaurant.  If you venture for a visit, be prepared, it’s an expensive night out even without alcohol.  The Chef’s 8-course tasting menu cost $115 (four-course menu is $72) with beer/wine pairings running you an extra $70. Since I was with two friends we opted to simply buy two bottles of wine instead (at roughly $60 each). So at the end of the evening the damage was about $180 including tip.  Each.  And to be perfectly honest, your not exactly full after 8-courses of “Poetic Culinaria.”  But it is a unique and entertaining evening that is different from most anywhere else I’ve been in San Francisco... consider it dinner and a show all wrapped up into one.
New! PieTisserie…pop-up pie shop in downtown Oakland

Who doesn’t love a Pop-up Pie Shop?  Seriously...what a great idea.  I have to admit, I’m definitely more a pie-gal than a cake-gal anyway, so the fact that PieTisserie has “popped-up” right around the corner from my work for the entire summer is dangerous.  Bikini season ain’t looking so good! PieTisserie’s owner, Oakland resident Jaynelle St. Jean, has been making pie for years...first starting out by staging a window of her mother’s home and giving away slices to friends of the neighborhood.  She must have quickly realized she was on to something as she soon set her mission to fill the need for unique and delicious pies, or, Random Acts of Sweetness as her tagline proclaims.
Smitten Ice Cream! The First Hayes Valley Proxy Project Shop

A friend of a friend recently opened up Smitten Ice Cream shop in Hayes Valley...the first shop to be opened in the much anticipated Proxy Project to be exact.  If you’re not familiar with the Proxy Project, it’s a temporary two-block construct with a focus on sustainable design intended to house retail, art galleries, gardens, community use spaces and of course restaurants.  Keep an eye on this project, folks, it’s sure to be a foodie focal point being right down the street from the original Blue Bottle, across from Millete and soon to be next door to planned Proxy inhabitants such as Suppenkuche’s Biergarten, Ritual Coffee (in Blue Bottle’s territory?  Neat!), Delfina Pizzeria, 4505 Meats and more!

But I digress...back to the first Proxy Project opening, Smitten Ice Cream.  While this is Smitten’s first “permanent” location the ice cream has been being sold by founder Robyn Sue Goldman via her Radio Flyer wagon and Kelvin (more on that in a minute!) since 2009.  Where?  Well, Robyn has been quite industrious in getting the word out and a following for Smitten Ice Cream while the details of a shop location were in the works.  From samplings on the streets of San Francisco to Bay Area festivals to corporate events, Robyn has been wowing ice cream enthusiasts everywhere with her fresh and innovative take on ice cream.