Farley’s and Hazel’s

farleys&hazels

Farley’s and Hazel’s Kitchen have become my usual San Francisco Sunday morning spot for a one-two punch of caffeine and breakfast burrito.  Farley’s is a coffee shop, and Hazel’s is a tiny deli/takeout joint.  They are located right next door to each other in in Potrero Hill.  You can order food to-go from Hazel’s and eat at Farley’s or when the weather is nice, they have tables outside on the street.  As a creature of habit, I always order the breakfast burrito with tofu at Hazel’s, so I can’t comment on the other food, but the other stuff looks good too.  Everything is fresh and homemade.  Farley’s is an shabby-chic anti-Starbucks, with hip and friendly baristas and an awesome selection of magazines for sale (including my favorite, Monocle).

Farley’s
1315 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
415.648.1545

Hazel’s Kitchen
1319 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
415.647.7941

Yamo

yamo1

I had dinner at Yamo, a hole-in-the-wall Burmese place in the Mission tonight.  When I say hole-in-the-wall, I really mean it, it’s just 10 seats along a long, narrow counter looking on to the kitchen area with three Cantonese ladies engaging in a frantic ballet of taking orders, cooking, pouring water and collecting money.  I had the fish chowder noodles (above), which consist of rice noodles in a velvety turmeric-spiced broth with shredded fish, and topped with crunchy fried lentils.  The noodles, like most of Yamo’s entrees, were only $5.25.  CASH ONLY!

I also recommend the fried rice.  They don’t serve alcohol, but if you want more than water, I suggest the fresh young coconut, which is literally a whole coconut that they cut open with a cleaver in front of you.

As far as Burmese food goes, Yamo is not as good as Mandalay in the Richmond, but it’s much closer to home and the prices can’t be beat.

yamo2

Yamo
3406 18th St
(between Mission St & San Carlos St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
415.553.8911

Young Ivy Alumni Mixer and Cordon Bleu

universityClubSanFrancisco

After work on Friday, I headed to the University Club of San Francisco in Nob Hill for a Young Ivy Alumni Mixer.  It was my first time in Nob Hill, and it was cool to check out the neighborhood’s historic ritzy grandeur.  I’m glad the University Club of SF doesn’t have a strict dress code like the University Club of NYC (one of the venues for last summer’s HRW Council Summit), so I could just show up as my normal casual self (after living out of a suitcase for an entire summer, I’m almost ready to burn my wardrobe and start all over agin).  I enjoyed talking to other young alumni in the University Club’s gorgeous 4th floor lounge with sweeping views of downtown SF, and got to practice my Creative Commons talking points when addressing the inevitable question of  “what do you do?”.

I spotted this piece of decoration/obsolete technology (photo below) at the University Club.  Anybody have any idea what it is?  It resembles a faucet and sink, but with a wooden box with upholstery inside instead of a sink.  Weird.

Lamson

cordonBleu

After the mixer, I walked down California to my bus stop on Polk St.  I was feeling a bit peckish after three Sierra Nevadas and a bit of cheese an crackers, so I stopped into Cordon Bleu (a Vietnamese restaurant with a French name and Cantonese-speaking chef-servers) for dinner.  Cordon Bleu is the sort of the Vietnamese equivalent of a greasy spoon.  It’s a tiny restaurant with a counter around the open kitchen where two Cantonese/Vietnamese ladies cook your meal.  I had the “number 1,” which consisted of a few pieces of grilled pork, a fried imperial roll, cole-slaw like “house salad,” and “meat sauce” on rice.  The meat sauce closely resembled my aunt’s Taiwanese “spaghetti sauce,” a slightly sweet, perhaps ketchup-based bastardized (in the best sense of the word) Bolognese with meat and onions.  Perfect guilty pleasure gut bomb to cap off my Friday night.

Live Sushi Bar

thelivesushi

Live Sushi Bar
2001 17th St (at Kansas St in Potrero Hill)
San Francisco, CA 94103-5012
(415) 861-8610‎

On Sunday, After spending the whole day outside watching the San Francisco Pride parade and checking out the festival in front of City Hall, I went back to the tranquility of Potrero Hill and treated myself to a nice sushi dinner at Live Sushi Bar.  I ordered the Live Sushi Combo – 6 pieces of nigiri, 4 pieces of sashimi and 6 pieces of spicy tuna roll for $16.95 and the sake tasting sampler ($9.50).  They kind of have a weird name and a logo that looks like the Jesus fish, but they are close to my summer crash pad, so it’s become a good place for the occasional splurge.  Last time I had dinner here, I had the grilled shio saba (salted mackerel) and tempura, which were decent, but nothing mind blowing.  This time, my decision to actually order sushi paid off.  The sushi rice was perfectly prepared and the fish tasted very fresh and clean.  I’m not sure what is going on with the Pepto-Bismol-colored salad dressing, but it didn’t taste bad.

sake

Above: Sakes in the intended sampling order from right to left (click on image to view enlarged version)

Masumi “Okuden Kantsukuri” – 真澄 奥伝寒造り (Junmai – 純米)

Dewazakura “Oka” – でわざくら 桜花 (Ginjo – 吟醸)

Hoyo “Kura no Hana” – 鳳陽 蔵の華 (Daiginjo – 大吟醸)

The Masumi tasted like a pretty standard junmai to me, a good starter sake.  The Dewazakura, with a seductive floral bouquet, was definitely my favorite.  My white wine taste tends towards Rieslings and Gewurztraminers, so it’s no surprise that I like the fruity floral sake.  The Hoyo had a strong star anise taste in it’s flavor profile, which I would expect from sake.  It went really well with the earthy spiciness of the spicy tuna rolls, and I bet it would

One of Adam’s friends suggested that I check out another sushi place called Umi, which is also in Potrero Hill.  I will definitely be there to check it out soon!

Pizzeria Bianco

pizzeriabiancobuilding

Pizzeria Bianco
623 E Adams St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 258-8300

Ok, this is my last restaurant review for the day.  I’ve finally caught up with my backlog of blog posts.

This place hardly needs another review, but let’s just say that it is one of the first places I go for dinner whenever I am back home in Arizona.

pizzeriabiancooven

This place is the ultimate in slow food.  Every pizza is handmade by chef-owner Chris Bianco and baked in a wood-fired oven.  The restaurant is in an old “historic” building (ok 1920’s counts as historic in Phoenix).  But come prepared to wait.  They don’t take reservations for parties of less than 6, so show up an get in line at 3 or 4 pm for opening time at 5.

caprese

Start out with the antipasto plate ($12) or a Caprese salad (above – $9 -Americanized as “handmade mozzarella, local tomato and basil with extra virgin olive oil” on the menu).

rosa_at_Pizzeria_Bianco

For the main event, my two favorite pizzas are the Rosa (above – $11) and the Wiseguy (below – $14).  The Rosa has red onions, Parmigiano Reggiano, rosemary, and AZ pistachios, and is bursting with vegetarian umami goodness.  The Wiseguy is a meat-lover’s delight with wood roasted onion, house smoked mozzarella, and plenty of fennel sausage.

TheWiseguy_at_Pizzeria_Bianco