Sunday, August 22, 2010

Post 30.2: San Francisco - Smorgasbord

Ahhh... to finish off the grubbin' in San Francisco, I've compiled a smorgasbord of all the remaining meals here and meals there into one post.  Meals such as dim sum didn't make it here because our stomachs were too hungry to wait for the picture-taking process.  Similar to my flashback of May 2009, here's a look at the weekend's smorgasbord in San Francisco:

Late-night grub @ Playground (SF: Japantown)

Playground is a Korean restaurant in the middle of Japantown.  Why it's there? I'm not quite sure.  But what I am sure about is that this restaurant-turned-bar/karaoke-house at night serves some damn good haemul pajeon.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Ohhhh... haemul pajeon, you are my faaavorite.

Add some OB or Hite into the mix, and I'm one happy camper.  There's nothing like grilled meat (we had some kalbi too), fried carbs, and spicy food (we had some dukbukgi too) to pair with beer on a late Friday night.  Nothing.

Afternoon snack @ Stelladoro (SF: Western Addition/NOPA)

After a romp around Haight & Ashbury for piercings and tattoos, we ventured down Divisadero St. to look for more piercing and tattoos.  And since piercing and tattoos aren't really for me, I went to look for something to munch on while the posse pondered about the proportions of their proposed permanent body paint.  Eek. 

Luckily, I found Stelladoro, a Chinese-owned pizza hole-in-the-wall, hidden in the midst of multi-colored (like purple, turquoise and pink) hippie houses and tattoo parlors.  Even luckier for me... a slice of pizza was about $2, and it was amazing-delicious.  Only in San Francisco would a Chinese man open a pizza shop, have good pizza, and have the shop continue standing through the years.  This perfect-size portion of pizza held me over until dinner.  Score.

Brunch @ Cafe Divine (SF: North Beach)

Sunday morning means Sunday brunch, so I suggested that we all meander down the Mason St. hill to one of my favorite spots to eat and peoplewatch.  Even if you aren't sitting on the patio (AKA the sidewalk), the large, square windows at the restaurant allow the bright sunshine to shine in, which means that peoplewatching is a piece of cake here.  (I've never encountered a foggy moment here).

Breakfast here never disappoints.  The quiches are good; their egg scrambles are the best.  Alex mentioned that he wished that they used smoked salmon rather than the cooked salmon in their Bennies from Heaven (eggs benedict).  I agree.  But no matter.  The water is served in wine bottles, and that is pretty cool.

Dessert @ Cavalli Cafe (SF: North Beach)

I was first introduced to Cavalli Cafe last summer when Connie made a pit-stop here for some free wi-fi.  While she plopped her laptop down and set up shop, the shopkeeper introduced me to Cavalli's tiramisu.  (He says he makes it himself everyday.)  My heart melted when I met the square block of sweet desset.  Well, hello, tiramisu, hello.

Ever since my first bite of that decadent dessert, I've had it on my mind.  And on my cell phone.  I've chosen it to be the screensaver on my cell phone just to remind me of the introduction to Italian incredibleness from just over a year ago.  Constantly seeing that slice of tiramisu on my cell means I can easily text the kids in SF with, "I want tiramisu from that place on Columbus next to BOAAAAA... NOOWWW..."

The layers are so light and airy that if you take a sniff close enough to the tiramisu, some of that dusty cocoa powder may just fly up into your nose. Wow, what heavenly crack. And the first layer of marscarpone is so creamy that... as your fork presses into the slice, you're tempted just to give the marscarpone a little swirl as you pick it up. Yesssss. Just because you can.  And the lady fingers... oh, the lady fingers.  What lady fingers? Too late.  All gone.  Mmmmm...

Fuck cannoli.  This tiramisu blows other desserts out of the water.

Playground, Divine, and Cavalli are all fast-becoming my regular places.  Or... as regular as I can be if I live in southern California.  But if I'm in SF, you'd better bet that at some point during my trip, I'm going to be at any one of these places.

I'm going on writing hiatus until my trip to New York over Labor Day weekend.  Keep cool in the summer heat.  And until next time, let's all get S.O.F.A.T.

ML - 20100825/20100723-25

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