San Francisco: Food & Sightseeing
California, Food, San Francisco, Travel, United States Nov 12, 2018
San Francisco: Nov.9-11, 2018
This was a pretty spontaneous trip. I went to the Renegade Craft Fair show in Denver about a month ago in mid-October to meet with current and potential clients, and to conduct customer discovery interviews for my entrepreneurship class at SC. When I saw how many exhibitors were going to be the Renegade Craft Fair in SF, I couldn’t resist passing up the opportunity to source new and exciting clients while getting to spend more money than I should on awesome products 🙂
LAX -> SFO
I almost always travel with my dog Bella for work but since I was going to be at the show all day I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with her. So I brought her and Sophia so they could hang during the day while I went to work!
I’ve grown accustomed to showing up at the airport with very little time to spare. I always have TSA PRE, don’t have to wait, and Bella and I just walk on the plane. So I didn’t plan accordingly even though I knew that Sophia didn’t have the expedited security process (she got it the week after this trip due to this incident). This was BY FAR the closest I had ever come to missing a flight. We arrived at 5:15AM for our 6AM flight. While not great, this still would’ve been plenty of time except for the fact our plane was in a remote terminal we had to take a bus to. By the time we finally took the bus over, the gates were closed and it looked like we were going on perpetual standby for the rest of the day. Somehow, the gate agents were able to open the doors back up and get us on the flight!
By far the most stressful lead up to a flight I’ve ever had.
The California Fires
We didn’t realize how bad the air quality was going to be until we had landed. With an AQI of above 150, I was moody and sick by about 2PM, and left San Francisco on Sunday with a nasty sinus infection.
The thick smoke made visibility awful, we couldn’t even see the Golden Gate Bridge, and our sunset was definitely something we had never seen before.
San Francisco Food
One of my many flaws is a fundamental inability to just go with the flow. So, all 4 of our main meals over the weekend were booked a week out. I am a serial planner :).
For lunch our first day, Sophia was craving fish so we headed over to Sotto Mare where they serve the freshest fish and shellfish in town. A super cool location, the building that Sotto Mare is located in was built in 1919 and restored in 2003 to its original plan and configuration. During prohibition, it was a winery and cigar store.
The Sand Dabs were the highlight of this lunch. I had never even heard of Sand Dabs before. The waitress told me it was a very delicate fish that only Sotto Mare knew how to cook. I don’t have any other restaurants to compare it to, but damn it was good! Light and flaky with fresh squeezed lemon instead of sauce, the Sand Dabs were clean and refreshing.
Let me tell you how difficult it is being Italian while being lactose intolerant – it’s hell! Pizza is my weakness, and the flagship Golden Boy Pizza, the #1 pizza shop in all of San Francisco, being located right next to Sotto Mare was too much for me to pass up. Minus the extra bathroom trips, this was definitely worth it.
In 1978, at the age of 19, Peter Sodini took his vision of the perfect pizza, fresh baked focaccia with pizza toppings, to the next level. He opened up the first Golden Boy Pizza on Green Street in San Francisco’s North Beach. It quickly became one of the best on the West Coast and even the US!
I went with the Combo: Red Sauce, Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Sausage, Onion, Mushroom, Zucchini, & Tomato. The bottom of the focaccia crust was crispy while the inside of the crust was doughy and soft. It was the perfect combination, accented by the delicious toppings and of course some red pepper, oregano and parmesan sprinkled on top.
For dinner our first night, we decided to go to The House for some Asian food. Larry and Angela Tse opened this original location of The House in May of 1994 bringing their unique brand of Asian American food to San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood.
I hate waiting when I have a reservation. It’s just like any other business, if you set expectations that something is going to happen at X time then it should happen at X time! While I was scouring Yelp for another nearby option that actually had availability on a Friday night, we finally got seated 45 minutes after our reservation. But it was worth it. This was some killer asian fusion food.
While not the lightest food in the world, and my ordering definitely didn’t help, we enjoyed every dish. They successfully executed Asian American cross-fusion dishes without losing the original taste and flavor. I’m a big fan of overwhelming and complicated mixes of taste and The House did not disappoint. They even saved me the difficult choice of which appetizers to choose by bringing out the Deep Fried Salmon Roll as an apology for the wait 🙂
Seven Hills was started and run by Chef Anthony Florian. After graduating from the California Culinary academy in 2006 he decided that regional Italian fare would be his focus. His 10 month stage consisted of some of the greatest restaurants in the world in Italy. And boy did it show.
The restaurant was the quintessential date night spot. Small and intimate, with no more than 30 patrons, no one was rushed and the environment was relaxing. It was the perfect setting to really enjoy a food coma.
Per usual, we ordered way too much food, and with no fridge in the hotel room (I’m still pissed off about this), we had to leave our precious leftovers. But the highlight of the night was the Maccheroncelli: pasta with crushed tomato, chili, basil & housemade ricotta. This was by far the most simple item on the menu, but that’s what made it so delicious. The perfectly cooked pasta was accented perfectly by the crushed tomato & housemade ricotta. It’s delicate flavor wasn’t crushed by a heavy sauce or some type of meat. Simple & pure, they somehow managed to make pasta seem light and refreshing.Loading Likes...