Tag: California

Dine LA Restaurant Week | January 18 to 31 Los Angeles

Dine LA Restaurant Week | January 18 to 31 Los Angeles

[image_with_animation image_url="16749" animation="Fade In" img_link_target="_self"] dineL.A. Restaurant Week is starting next Monday January 18 to Sunday January 31, 2016. The 14 day dining event takes place at over 300 restaurants throughout Los Angeles county. dineL.A. is partnering with OpenTable to donate $1 of every seated reservation [...]
Ghirardelli Chocolate San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf

Ghirardelli Chocolate San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf

  Ghirardelli Chocolate San Francisco is located by the Fisherman’s Wharf  on North Point Street by the water. It is one of the biggest San Francisco tourist attraction and a place for people to get souvenirs. We got some chocolates here for our friends back home. […]

San Francisco Vacation | What You Need To Know

San Francisco Vacation | What You Need To Know

San Francisco Vacation Travelers Guide Transportation Instanomss Nomss

San Francisco Vacation Traveller’s Guide: Accommodations

Let’s face it, San Francisco accommodations are not cheap. If you are looking for Financial District, Fisherman’s Wharf and other upscale locations, a night’s stay can run you anywhere USD$180+. During our San Francisco Vacation we were very particular about our stay. As you do too! We want CLEAN rooms, hot showers, working thermostats, in a safe area where we can go out for a run at night.

What’s the #1 hotel in San Francisco? After pricing a few hotels on Expedia or Hotels.com to save up to 50% on the hotel deal of the day! we were not able to find something we were comfortable with within our price range.

We did not want to pay an arm and a leg even after getting some EBATES cash back. If you haven’t heard of EBATES, it is fantastic! EBATES allows you to shop online and receive rebate cash back for your purchases. EBATES works with retailers both Canada and United States, as well as travel sites such as Expedia – up to 5% cash back!. Or you could be shopping on Rose Gold Nike Fuel Band and Nike Air Max 90 for that 6% cash back. After all, doesn’t everyone buy a cute outfit for vacation?

We also recommend cross-checking your hotel to see if there are any bed bug problems with Bed Bug Registry. Some San Francisco hotels we considered actually has had a few bed bug problems. Find today’s hotel deals in San Francisco on TripAdvisor!

 

My friend suggests that we try HomeAway and VRBO (sister company of HomeAway. VRBO stays for Vacation Rentals By Owners. There are vacation and travel insurance guarantees up to $10,000 for situations like double-booking, property wrongfully withohlding your security or home you rented being foreclosed! Yikes!

Also, if you have a travel credit card, it is best to pay with that. Your credit card typically has a set of fairly good travel insurances where you can claim in the even of such unfortunate happenings. Plus you can earn some travel points!

Anyways, initially I wanted to stay somewhere within the downtown core, but later decided to stay by the Marina / Cow Hollow area.

It is walkable by Crissy Field where there is a seawall just under the Golden Gates Bridge. Being a Vancourite, this was a mega bonus! Morning runs along the San Francisco seawall is exhilarating! We Run SF! It is also near by San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.

 

San Francisco VRBO

We found this cozy studio by the Marina for $145/night. It sleeps 2 and has 1 bath and kitchenette. It had a tiny communal garden. It a tiny round wood patio folding table that is shared with others in the complex. It is not a pet friendly apartment. But I respect that. Some people are allergic to pets. Here are some experiences of our stay.

 

VRBO PROS

  • Good price
  • Relatively clean
  • Linens and towels provided
  • Owners are easy to work with
  • WIFI and phone available
  • Safe location and new Union / Chestnut streets for shopping and dining
  • 3 part payments

 

 

VRBO CONS

 

  • Some don’t provide toiletries. Ours did not provide shampoo. That’s ok, we went to Walgreens around the block to buy our own.
  • Question cleanliness of towels etc given it is not industrial strength laundry facility
  • Some dusts behind bed and spider webs on lamp above dining table
  • Poor to no cell reception signals
  • Public transits: The MUNI pass is not compatible with all transit buses from here

 

 

San Francisco Vacation Travelers Guide Transportation Instanomss Nomss

San Francisco Transportation for Travellers

 

Then the next burning question we had was… Do we rent a car for the full duration of our trip? Or should we just transit by bus or trolley cable cars?

We purchased  3-Day Visitor Passport for $23. San Francisco Tourist please be careful because the Muni Pass does not include all bus transit routes. In the end we ended up paying almost $5 to 8 per person on some Downtown routes. Taxi rides were about $16. Plus, without a car it was much harder to get to cert places and shops.

You are much better off renting a car than taking transit. The time and money wasted simply is not worth it. We do however recommend you try taking the cable car from Powell and Market up to Russian Hill to see the windiest street in San Francisco!

 

There are many must see San Francisco Tourist Attractions and Must Eat San Francisco restaurants. We have a few to recommend. Stay tune for our next article on San Francisco Vacation Traveler’s Guide: Tourist Attractions and San Francisco Vacation Traveler’s Guide: SF Must Eat Restaurants.

 

Pin the above image to your wanderlust / travel board to bookmark this page. We are so excited to share our adventures with you! If you are curious about MontrealHong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Mexico, stay tuned!

 

 

 

Delarosa San Francisco (Marina / Cow Hollow) | Italian Pizza

Delarosa San Francisco (Marina / Cow Hollow) | Italian Pizza

 Our trip to San Francisco was somewhat limited because we didn’t rent a car for the full duration of the trip. So our exploration proximity tend to be within where we stayed – Marina / Cow Hollow* area. The first afternoon after settling in we wanted to […]

Beringer Vineyards, Napa Valley (St Helena)

Beringer Vineyards, Napa Valley (St Helena)

  Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena, Napa Valley. The Beringer winery dates back to 1875 by two Germany brothers Jacob and Frederick Beringer. It is one of the larger winery in Napa Valley and the oldest continuously operating in Napa Valley. The tasting room is […]

Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at CIA,  Napa Valley (St Helena)

Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at CIA, Napa Valley (St Helena)

culinary institute of america napa

culinary institute of america napa

culinary institute of america napa

culinary institute of america napa

culinary institute of america napa

culinary institute of america napa

We left cloudy San Francisco to find our way to Napa Valley where the leaves were red, yellow, orange and gold. Though the skies turned from blue to grey, we arrived at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. This is a branch campus of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. The Greystone Winery dates back to 1889 as the largest stone winery in the world. Today, the CIA teaching kitchens are one of the finest professional culinary institutions in the world. So why wouldn’t you want to dine at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant in Culinary Institute of America? As a Napa Valley tourist attraction, will this be on your must eat San Francisco list? Or would you have wished you made a reservation at Bouchon instead?

 

 

culinary institute of america napa

culinary institute of america napa

culinary institute of america napa

 

Inside Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant is a grand space of pastry kitchen, appetizer stations and full scale kitchen surrounding the main dining area. The service is superb and prompt. We chose a semillon, saxon brown, cricket creek 2011 to accompany our lunch. This was a bright vino with pear, fig, apples and mellon notes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very memorable. Our neighbors diners, later running into them again at the CIA store, told us for a dollar more, we could have bought a full bottle. Suckers. At least that makes four of us.

 

culinary institute of america napa

culinary institute of america napa

 

Steamed clams and mussels 12: fennel sausage in caramelized onion broth. The server had the kitchen split this into two for us to share. The execution of the mussels were spot on. There were no stinkers. But the broth was overly salty. Strong flavors of the smokey sausage overshadowed the freshness of the mussels. It was an ok start.

 

 

culinary institute of america napa

 

Crispy skin ruby trout 28: the trout fish was filled with dungeness crab, blood orange and lima bean salad. Served with sweet pea shoots and pickled red onions on side. The fish was cooked perfectly but lacked seasoning. Lima beans itself were potato-like, grainy and really needed a something bright to liven the pods. Perhaps some mustard greens and cilantro?

 

 

culinary institute of america napa

 

Crispy creamy risotto 24: wild mushrooms and dinosaur kale. Served with a deep fried korokke and sauteed wild spores. This was the best dish of the meal with difference contrasting textures and flavors. I like the firm texture of black kale against creamy risotto and sponge like textures of wild mushrooms. The dish was very earthy and warm on a chilly autumn day.

 

Overall the meal at Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant was pleasant but really was not memorable. Execution was excellent but lacked flavor. Prices were fair but ideal. Because honestly, I can be in Bouchon Yountville and had Truite Poelee or Moules a la Basquaise for the same price.

 

 

culinary institute of america napa

 

After our meal at Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant we toured the campus of Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. There appeared to be a conference happening and some food demonstration. And we found that $10 bottle of wine our friendly neighbors so graciously pointed out. Yes, the irony. But it was a good experience. Alright on to the next winery we go!

 

culinary institute of america napa

culinary institute of america napa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

 

2555 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, United States
+1 707-967-1100

 

 

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Burma Superstar San Francisco | Burmese Tea Leaf Salad and Chili Lamb

Burma Superstar San Francisco | Burmese Tea Leaf Salad and Chili Lamb

Burma Superstar is one of the restaurants on our Must Eat San Francisco list. This ethnic Burmese restaurant is famous amongst San Franciscans and has over 4306 votes of 4 stars and above on Yelp. Burma Superstar may not be a San Francisco tourist attraction […]

Kokkari Estiatorio San Francisco | Greek Restaurant Financial District

Kokkari Estiatorio San Francisco | Greek Restaurant Financial District

[image_with_animation image_url="13315" animation="Fade In" img_link_target="_self"][image_with_animation image_url="13313" animation="Fade In" img_link_target="_self"] Kokkari Estiatorio is a modern Mediterranean Greek restaurant in the San Francisco Financial District. It is recommended MICHELIN Guide San Francisco 2013 as Bib Gourmand (Favorites for Good Value). Kokkari Estiatorio restaurant space is designed by  award-winning [...]
Bouchon Bakery Napa Valley | Yountville Macarons x Almond Croissant

Bouchon Bakery Napa Valley | Yountville Macarons x Almond Croissant

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How can one visit San Francisco and not take a trip down to Napa Valley? Any how can one go to Napa Valley and not visit Yountville? Afterall, this is where Thomas Keller’s famous restaurant The French Laundry, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, and Ad Hoc are located. Each within steps of one another.

Napa Valley is a gorgeous place much like SummerlandOkanagan, BC. The autumn crisp air and changing colored leaves are dreamy. It makes having an almond croissant and a coffee outside on the patio that much more enjoyable!

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Bouchon Bakery in Napa Valley Yountville is in the heart of California. This bakery started as a production facility to produce bread and pastries to Thomas Keller’s restaurants. It soon became a standalone French Style Bakery!

It produces some extraordinary confections: bread, baguettes, croissants, macarons, tarts, chocolate delicacies. I am seriously considering moving to Yountville!

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Have a seat in the garden patio next to Bouchon after deciding on what tasty treat to indulge in.

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Almond Croissant with almond cream: The croissant was super buttery and moist inside with many layers. It crunched and crackled with eat bite.

As Pierre Herme would have it, you “should hear the croissant suffer!” The almond cream had grainy bits. It is perfect for texture. The croissant was semi-sweet and was incredibly fragrant! I will have to get more for the road trip home!

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Macarons: Pistachio (left) and Lemon (right). These giant medallion sized macarons were much bigger than ones you would find at Ladurée, Thierry or any Thomas Haas. Not only were these twice the size, the skin was still smooth and cracked like an egg shell. The lemon was my favorite! Made with lemon curd and filled with buttercream. It has a bright, sweet-tart finishing.  No artificial flavoring. The Pistachio was more subtle yet equally fragrant.

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When you are done your afternoon tea / coffee break, hop over to Bouchon. Or stroll down beautiful Washington St to visit The French Laundry.

Remember, There is a 3 month wait. Making reservations on the Open Table is almost like winning the lottery! Good Luck!

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Click to add a blog post for Bouchon Bakery on Zomato

Bouchon Bakery
URL: http://www.thomaskeller.com/yountville-california/bouchon-bakery
Cuisine: Bakery, Desserts

Hours:
Mon 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Tue 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Wed 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Thu 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Fri 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sat 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sun 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, United States
+1 707-944-2253

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Brenda’s French Soul Food San Francisco | Tenderloin Catfish Po’boy

Brenda’s French Soul Food San Francisco | Tenderloin Catfish Po’boy

[image_with_animation image_url="13328" animation="Fade In" img_link_target="_self"] Mama’s on Washington Square and Brenda’s French Soul Food was on our “must-eat” list for San Francisco. Mama’s had ridiculously long line up like that to Jethro’s in Vancouver. Brenda’s French Soul Food on the other hand was accommodating and relaxed. Although it [...]
Xai Verandah Lounge California (Los Angeles) #WestHollywood | Patio Brunch Bliss

Xai Verandah Lounge California (Los Angeles) #WestHollywood | Patio Brunch Bliss

    Xai Verandah Lounge in LA, California. This beautiful place blends old world timeless Mediterranean elegance with contemporary chic. A relaxed mansion setting with lush gardens and canopy seating for outdoor dining; something Vancouver so desperately need (if only weather permitted). What Xai Verandah […]

333 Pacific Steak + Seafood Restaurant, San Diego (California)

333 Pacific Steak + Seafood Restaurant, San Diego (California)

333 Pacific Steak + Seafood Restaurant is located on the ocean side of Oceanside, separated from the ocean by Pacific Street and a pretty narrow Oceanside Pier. A romantic location for an upscale casual dining experience with 180 degree view of Southern California`s oceanfront. 333 Pacific is a Diners’ Choice Winner and is brought to you by the Cohn Restaurant Group.

333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0014

Cohn Restaurant Group  is home to various terrific dining experiences in San Diego – Blue Point Coastal Cuisine, Corvette Diner, Gaslamp Strip Club (A Steak Place), the Prado at Balboa Park and many more.

 

 
333 Pacific - Steak + Sea on Urbanspoon
Cuisine: Steak, Seafood
Price/Entrée: $30-50

Out of 5… (1: Don’t bother —> 5: Excellent)
Food: 3
Service: 4
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 3.5

333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0003
333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0002

To continue my San Diego Oceanside dining experience from Georges at the Cove at La Jolla…  333 was the next pit stop. Unfortunately it started to rain and we opted out from seeing the crashing waves down the windy pier.

 
Upon arriving at 333 you are greeted with 2 high top bar tables well lit with blue lights with big screen TV continuously playing ocean scenes – playing upon your senses with meticulous details before your dining experience even begin. This bar area is perfect for drinks! To the left are tables and a patio; a perfect romantic getaway with an amazing view.

 

The menu has a wide selection of seafood (both raw and cooked), bar food such as oyster rockefellar, crab, shrimp and lobster nachos, to steak and chops!

Citrus shrimp & blue crab ceviche $11.95
Chopped pieces of scallop, albacore, shrimp, calamari – freshly acidic and firm in texture.

 

 

 

 

Seafood tower for 2 $29.95
333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0007  333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0019

Oysters, ceviche, king crab legs, cocktail shrimp, steamed clams & mussels. Served with mini tobasco bottles, side of horseradish and cocktail sauce. Nothing beats fresh seafood.

 

Sweet chili calamari $10.95
333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0015

Crispy calamari tossed in spicy chili sauce. Sauteed not deep fried. These baby squids are tender and succulent!

 

Crab, shrimp, lobster macaroni & cheese $23.95
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333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0021

Adult style comfort food to bring you back to nostalgic childhood made with brandy, gouda mornay sauce, orecchiette pasta, petite salad. Rich and creamy and completely captivates you.

 

Boullabaisse $32.95
333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0012
333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0020

A flavorful seafood broth filled calamari, shrimp, salmon, jumbo lump crab, lobster, mussels & clams, roasted tomatoes, fennel & saffron served with a side of rouille toast. Although flavorful of herbs and spices, this was nothing special and perhaps on the watery side.

 

Pepper seared albacore $26.50
333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0017

Seared albacore tuna was under-seasoned; however fresh and served with edamame bean succotash, sage butter, sweet potato frites did not please. Presentation was poor. Gordon Ramsay would be raising hell.

 

Steamed clams or mussels $14.95
333 Paciific Steak+ Seafood 0016

A simple broth filled garlic, white wine, leeks, butter and grilled ciabatta didn’t stand out at all. The clams were rather on the anorexic side (too small) and I’d much prefer the juicy plump Mejillones En Cerveza Mussles from El Barrio Restaurante in Vancouver (see picture below of the juicy fat juicy mussles!!).

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333 Pacific offers dynamic ambiance and an experience that will captivate you with their breathtaking décor; however, the food is slightly short of remarkable. Service is top notch and patrons are treated with care and compassion.

 

 

  • Diner’s Choice Winner
  • North San Diego “most booked” on Open Table
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Oceanside
  • Lunch, Dinner, Happy-Hour, Late Night
  • Executive Chef: Brian Hyre
  • Business Casual
  • Complementary garage parking beneath the Wyndham Hotel, curbside metered parking, no charge after 6pm and a pay lot located south of Pier View Way.
  • Tourist Attraction

333 N. Pacific Street
Oceanside, CA 92054
760.433.3333

 

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Old Town Mexican Cafe, San Diego (California)

Old Town Mexican Cafe, San Diego (California)

Old Town Mexican Café on 2489 San Diego Ave, located a short walk from Old Town San Diego (it is considered the ‘birthplace’ of California, Spaniards first permanent settlements). Old Town is a popular tourist attraction when visiting San Diego, California and the place to […]

Granny’s Apple Fries in Legoland California, San Diego (California)

Granny’s Apple Fries in Legoland California, San Diego (California)

Legoland California is one of the must see attractions if you ever visit San Diego. This park offers thrilling rides, water park, sea life aquarium, and miniland USA recreations of 7 areas of the US all constructed with 20+ million LEGO bricks on 1:20 scale! […]