Ahi Tartare Just Like Michael Mina

Ahi Tartare Just Like Michael Mina

One weekend LL and I spent the weekend in San Francisco to see Kiki and Herb at the A.C.T., but the show seemed sad and we were happy so we snuck out and walked down to the St. Francis where we went to sit at the bar at the Compass Rose but it was the new Michael Mina (which is the old Michael Mina now) and we were wowed by his tuna tartare.

It was one of those astonishing dishes, prepared table side – in our case, bar side – with gorgeous pink rich ahi and crisp sweet diced pears and salty pine nuts with the zing of garlic and the heat of jalapeño held together with quail eggs. It was a dish we had to recreate.

Great Food In San Francisco

Great Food In San Francisco

Back in the 1960s, San Francisco made it onto the television screens of nearly every home in America, accompanied by strains of “Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat.” While the ad campaign was a huge success, putting Rice-a-Roni on the map, it also did a huge disservice to San Francisco’s image as a gastronomic capital. Indeed, San Francisco has some of the most enticing foods and confections in North America, if not the world. It’s worth taking a trip there just to sample all the different cuisines that are on offer. Let’s start with chocolate. San Francisco is home to Ghirardelli, which has been making luxury chocolate products for more than 160 years. It was founded by Domingo Ghirardelli all the way back in 1852, who set up the company during the California Gold Rush. His genius lay in the realization that miners coming back from the gold fields were starved of luxury goods, and so he started to sell high-end chocolates to fill the need. So, if you are in San Francisco, why not drop in to the Original Ghirardelli Chocolate Manufactory in Ghirardelli Square and pick up a taste of heaven? For completely authentic Chinese fare, head up to San Francisco’s Chinatown, the largest and oldest Chinatown in the United States – in fact it has the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. Established in 1848, it continues to maintain its own unique identity, languages and customs, immersing the visitor in a world filled with herbal shops, pagodas, and dragon parades. To sample what Chinatown has on offer, drop in to one of the many excellent restaurants and...
Let the wild rumpus live on . . .

Let the wild rumpus live on . . .

I remember taking Kid One for his first weekend in San Francisco, a dozen years ago. LL had to spend a few days at Macworld, so he and I tagged along, leaving the baby with Grandma and Grandpa and setting out for some serious big kid adventures. We took a ferry ride to Sausalito in the fog and warmed up with big bowls of overpriced clam chowder next to the the bay, checked out our weight on Jupiter at the Exploratorium, and made it educational with a little California history at Fort Point. Nothing, though, compared to what we discovered at the Metreon: a bigger-than-life Where the Wild Things Are playground. We didn’t know about this, didn’t plan for it or seek it out. We just wandered into the Metreon – a very strangely conceived building with a movie theater, a small handful of retail stores, and lots and lots of empty space – while LL was working to find a snack. It was just across the street from our hotel. What a wonderful, odd, quirky find . . . this colorful, cool, and completely empty exhibit sprawled over the top floor. We spent the whole afternoon climbing around; in my chronicle of mom-memories, this day ranks pretty high. Thanks to Maurice Sendak today for all his wonderful words and images that have made reading to the boys so enjoyable. And be sure to watch his interview with Stephen Colbert to discover what a very funny, charming man he was in person:   The Colbert ReportGet More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive Let the wild rumpus...