Tag Archives: Restaurants

Pink Zebra Review

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I love secret restaurants where you have to walk through somewhere else to get to where you’re going – Beauty and Essex in NYC, Roe in Portland and Pink Zebra in SF. I think I basically made reservations at Pink Zebra because you have to walk into a weird fake Chinese restaurant store front to get there.

If you’re going to go to Pink Zebra, make reservations for the 5-person omakase bar. If you don’t know, omakase in Japanese is basically, “I’ll leave it to you” which means you get the chef’s tasting menu. If you’ve seen Jiro: Dreams of Sushi, it’s that sort of situation. They have an a la carte menu as well if that isn’t enough food (and it was for A and I and we both are pretty solid eaters) or if you don’t make a reservation at the omakase.

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Started out with goma tofu, which isn’t tofu at all – it’s made from sesame rather than soy beans.

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Our first fish was big-eyed tuna.

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A delicious fish that I don’t remember.

When you’re eating omakase, don’t dunk the nigiri or sashimi in soy sauce (just lightly brush it over soy sauce if necessary), don’t put a ton of wasabi in your soy sauce and it’s totally okay to eat it with your hands since it was traditionally Japanese street food. If you’re not at omakase, please use chop sticks, because nothing makes me want to stab a person with chop sticks more than seeing someone a) eat a roll and b) let alone eat it with their hands. (I’m a nigiri/sashimi the whole way kind of girl – I don’t need my fish junked up and a ton of rice).

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Miso-marinated tuna.

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Geoduck with dungeness crab and salmon roe (since it is typically served with shrimp roe but #allergycity.

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Masaba, or really high-quality mackerel.

The sushi chef at Pink Zebra is named Ryo. He tells you about each type of fish, where it is from and will chat with you throughout the meal. Pink Zebra is the passion project of Mission Chinese chef Jesse Koides. I still haven’t been to Mission Chinese but I’m dying to go – especially because they have MSG shakers at the table and the totally non-healthy, hip part of me is seriously into that.

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Poke with big-eye tuna, ocean trout and white sea bass.

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Squid moments.

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Ikura (salmon roe) – one of my faves!

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Fatty tuna… maybe?

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Sea urchin in a box.

The night we were there they had sea urchin, which raised the price a bit. Apparently it’s an acquired taste – I don’t know if I was fished-out by the point or if I just have the taste but I was fine with it. A absolutely hated it.

If you want actual good sushi and not shit you get at Nakama in Pittsburgh (#sorryimnotsorry) or somewhere equally as try-hard, go to Pink Zebra. But then again, what meal in SF is bad?

Chat with me:
Do you like sushi? What is your favorite type? Have you ever ate at the omakasae?  What food wouldn’t you try?

Lazy Bear Review

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It has been said the only way you 100% know a date won’t flake out on you in San Francisco is if you have tickets to Lazy Bear.

Lazy Bear is a former pop-up restaurant by lawyer-turned-chef David Barzelay that found a home in the Mission last fall. They use a lottery-ticket system to dole out reservations and tickets are non-refundable. You find out when tickets go on sale either via their e-mail list or Twitter account and you have to be FAST requesting tickets. Sometimes so many people get on to try and buy tickets that the server crashes. If you hesitate a moment, your tickets are gone (a la State Bird Reservations I once tried to make). So anyway, as soon as I found out the day and time the February tickets were going on sale, I set an alarm and was refreshing the Lazy Bear homepage at 11:58 a.m. like a crazy person, waiting for the noon open time.

And you’re reading this because I scored tickets to Lazy Bear. It was everything I hoped for and more. FOIE GRAS. I haven’t had foie gras in so long. Orange wine! Quail and escargot and beets with chocolate. 12+ courses. Luckily, there is a field guide so I wasn’t forced to remember what I ate because I surely wouldn’t ruin an experience by writing it down.

When you arrive, you’re shown upstairs for drinks and small bites. As I tried snapping iPhone photos in some serious bad lighting, my photographer boyfriend asked why I didn’t tell him I wanted to document it for AGIT and we would have brought a better camera and lighting (foreshadowing). Isn’t A the best? Girls, if your boyfriend isn’t supportive of everything you do, including your blog, you need to GTFO. There’s your PSA for the day.

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Whipped scrambled eggs and buttermilk panna cotta with caviar.

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Red seabream with almond milk and plum blossom salt… and a reflection of me taking an iPhone photo. I’m the worst.

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VEAL NUGGETS!!!

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Bone marrow and cheddar fondu with crudités and perigord truffle.

After you have a drink and the above apps, you head downstairs to two long communal tables and and the chefs all introduce themselves, invite you to come back to the kitchen and chat with them, and let you know that someone will come out and talk about each dish as it is served. The menu changes seasonally so dishes may vary from night to night and the menu changes completely month to month. I’m hoping my dad comes out for Easter so we can go to Lazy Bear again.

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Brown butter brioche with cultured butter. They were all about the butter (that they make in house) that night.

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Sorrels with snails, garden herbs, spot prawn, geoduck clam and barley. The prawn was totally worth the cold-like symptoms I get from eating shrimp.

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Charred onion broth with country ham, egg yolk, apple and scallion… if I could figure out how to get a yolk into a soup my life would be made.

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Stelhead trout with cured roe, burnt cream, fingerling potato, rye and grapefruit. A said this was his favorite dish – and it was my third favorite.

You can either do a drink pairing or order a la carte. I love wine parings – I do – but I was concerned this would be too cocktail heavy and also I drink three drinks and I’m out for the night so I didn’t want to get wasted and not remember a seriously amazing meal (because yes, that has happened at some point in my life). Their sommelier is awesome though and introduced me to orange wines… what?! How could I have TAKEN A COLLEGE CLASS ON WINE and never knew these existed. Basically because they are just coming back in style but thank God I live in a city that cares about wine and I can probably track a bottle down at some point.

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Squab with pear, shallot, foie gras and chicory-almond brittle – my favorite dish of the night.

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Lamb with date, mustard, farro, blood orange, olive and garum. You were encouraged to chew on the bone after but we couldn’t get behind that viking-ish idea.

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The pastry chef at Lazy Bear is Maya Erikson. She’s super-famous in the food world and is younger than me. One of the chefs has been asking her to put cheesecake on the menu and this carrot, orange, fennel and cream cheese dish was her answer to that request.

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Beets with dark chocolate and burnt vanilla pistachio. This was my second favorite dish of the night and I now want chocolate beet everything.

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Right when you think you can’t stick one more morsel of food in your body, they bring out these treats – a macaron, two little guys I can’t remember, a s’more ice cream sandwich and some little cake thing that was A’s fave.

So Lazy Bear… did it live up to the hype? Yes. Every meal the rest of the week had to live up to Lazy Bear, which it could not. Except my avocado toast tried pretty hard.

Chat with me:
What makes your top five meals ever? Have you ever been to Lazy Bear… or another pop-up restaurant? What’s some foodie-related thing you’re dying to do?

San Francisco Staycation Recap

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I have so many good photos from A’s trip to SF which I promise I’ll be posting but I want to use them for Field Trip posts, etc. Also I have a lot of raw photos and I’m real lazy and don’t want to edit them and know if I keep putting of this post it won’t even be timely anymore so I just need to do it now.

Here are A BUNCH of iPhone photos from my San Francisco Staycation. It’s weird that I’ve traveled less in the past four months that I’ve been living here than basically ever but when there is so much to explore in your city, you never really need to leave. Plus it’s not like I have awful weather to escape. (But, rest assured – trips to Austin and Portland booked for the upcoming months – and likely an extended trip home.)

Thanks to the snow storm back east, A’s trip was extended by a couple days. We did a lot of my favorite SF runs – my daily Marina run, Golden Gate Park, Land’s End, ate at a lot of restaurants on my list – Lazy Bear, Pink Zebra, Nopa and Marlowe, and soaked up the California sun.

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Lazy Bear. Full recap coming tomorrow!

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After geeking out about how much I loved Scribe, we went back up on Thursday afternoon.

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Omakase Bar at Pink Zebra. This guy had salmon roe instead of shrimp roe because #death.

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The first time I ran at Land’s End I knew I wanted to bring A here to run.

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Forcing A to take selfies at Land’s End.

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End of the trail at Land’s End. Irony? Also I wear the dorkiest running socks ever because if not I get awful blood blisters. TMI? Probably.

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I’m not sure whether A came to see me or came to drink sour beer at The Rare Barrel but I’ll take it.

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The Rare Barrel – sour beers are my jam. If you live in the Bay and like beer or wine – go.

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You can tell I used to take behind the scenes photos on Instagram for a living.

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Nopalito. This guac is for you, Em.

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Starting Valentine’s Day with a run through the ‘hood.

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Every Saturday I think I’ll stop at the Philz Truck and this Saturday I actually did stop at the Philz Truck. Mint Mojito Iced Coffee.

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A is super into things in cans so we took canned wine hiking at Pt. Reyes. We did have to drive across town to find a wine store that carried this.

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One or both of us dropped lens caps off a dock. I don’t think we can blame the canned wine.

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Take-out Les Rois Thai after a long day of hiking, looking at elk and the ocean. Seedy Asian food on traditionally romantic holidays has become our thing. See also: New Year’s Eve.

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Being real life San Franciscans and standing in line for things, i.e. Bi-Rite Creamery. Which was my third ice cream trip of the week.

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His and hers Nikes waiting for an Uber to go to Barcade when I unexpectedly got A for a couple extra days thanks to the crappy weather back East.

Chat with me:
Do you like having visitors? What things would you take someone visiting you to do in your town? Have you ever been to do any of these things?