Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blue Plate Oysterette - Santa Monica, California

As part of my recent trip to LA for my big b-day/relaxation weekend, my friend N. brought me here. She'd mentioned a few places and after checking out the menus, BP Oysterette seemed like it would be a cool place. I am so glad we went with it.

Located right across the street from Santa Monica beach, this would be a great spot on a sunny day; I unfortunately wasn't quite that lucky. Oh well, the food was certainly worth it, overcast day or not.

For the record, the entire menu looked delish, but at the end of the day, I don't think you can go wrong with lobster. I had a lobster roll with warm butter (I hate mayo) and I was not at all disappointed! The lobster was sweet, tender and perfect. The brioche roll was heavenly and I think I detected the slightest hint of garlic which really put it over the top. I'm normally not a fan of non-skinny fries, but these were seasoned perfectly.

It ended up being a lovely afternoon with a great friend and great food. What could be better?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Best. Weekend. Ever.

I'll make some more in depth posts later, but I just have to say, that this weekend was truly one of the best I've had in a long time. I had the pleasure of meeting some of my favorite 'Twirlies' (aka Twitter girlies) and let me just say, they are all amazing women and I am so lucky to call them my friends.

In another update, I also had a birthday this past week. I am officially old... but luckily still young enough that no one thought to gift me a consult with a surgeon. Small blessings, right?

Life has remained crazy and overwhelming and at the same time, so very brilliant. I can't wait to share more... after I've had some sleep!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Royal Street Cafe - Park City, Utah

This restaurant was a real treat! The Royal Street Cafe is located at Deer Valley Resort and the surroundings are absolutely beautiful.

The blueberry mojito was certainly a standout and a cocktail I'd not had previously. It may be Utah, but RSC certainly didn't scrimp on the booze so kudos for that. I'm really not a big drinker, but I'll make an exception for this.

While the fish and chips were very good (they used salmon and it was cooked to perfections) I have to say that my favorite bite ended up being the tuna tartare with white truffle. I know that tuna tartare is no longer 'cool' for foodies, but this was extremely good. It was light and fresh and the perfect appetizer for a summer day.

My dining companion enjoyed the chicken quesadilla as well as tomato soup that came with a grilled cheese sandwich.

The end of the meal brought those homemade ice cream sandwiches and let me just say, I was not disappointed. Trust me, I seriously considered ordering a second plate of them, they were that good. This is definitely a restaurant to which I wouldn't hesitate to return. For the price, the quality of the food was top notch.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Where Have I Been?

A lot of changes going on in my life recently.

After 5 years with my company, I resigned in hopes of finding my next great adventure; I found it. I am now the director of PR and branding for a start up company. It is a bit of a gamble but I am truly looking forward to this new step. Being able to build something from the ground up is quite appealing and we've already got a pretty solid client list. The travel is going to be a bit rough, but you can't have it all, right?

So expect a few changes to this blog. I'll keep bringing the good San Francisco info, but I think you'll start to hear more about my travels and more pieces about my life. If you're still following, thank you. Hopefully I'll become more entertaining again in the coming weeks. ;)


Friday, June 11, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rotunda - Neiman Marcus, San Francisco

Rotunda is one of those restaurants that I simply love. Okay, full disclosure: it is very 'ladies who lunch'. In other words, this is where my mom takes me after we've been shopping. Even still, I love coming here on my own.

They always give you a tiny tea cup of chicken consomme as well as warm popovers with strawberry butter to start the meal. These two things are to die for. I could eat those popovers daily and never tire of them.

What I photographed above is a standard meal for me when I dine at Rotunda: the lobster club, fries and an absolutely killer bellini. Trust me, that sandwich is worth every bit of the $28 it will cost you to try one.

If you're shopping in the area, this a solid stop for lunch. If you're here around Christmas time, all the better. As for a table by the window, affording you a fantastic view of the decorations around Union Square.

Bouchon - Beverly Hills

I had the pleasure of dining at Bouchon for my whirlwind trip to LA this past March. WeezerMonkey ( agreed to be my date to an event in LA and we decided that we would go on a proper date afterwards. We poured over several choices before finally settling on Bouchon.

Bouchon was a short walk from the event venue and I made it... even though I was wearing heels that measure about 5". My ankles were killing me by the time we entered the restaurant and Weemz, ever the romantic, pulled out a chair for me. *Sigh*

The told us the wait would only be a few minutes and shortly after, they led us to a romantic table for two. Now, I know I've kind of joked about romance here and in my previous entries, but there is a reason for that. The whole set up was quite possibly one of the most romantic I've seen in quite a while. We were seated on a balcony under the stars with candles and a lovely heat lamp, just in case it was chilly. I'm sure if you give her a few days, Weemz will post a few of the photos and you'll see what I mean.

On to the food. It was a great meal. We decided to share the Beignets de Brandade de Morue (cod brandade with tomatoe confit & fried sage.) These were quite possibly the most delicious things ever. The fried sage was insane. It almost melted in your mouth. I have trouble describing how amazing this dish was. I was seriously tempted to order a second plate.

As a main, I ordered the Moules au Safran (mussels with white wine, mustard & saffron) which came with a heaping order of fries. The fries here? A-ma-zing. Weemz decided on the Magret de Canard (herb roasted duck breast) which she was kind enough to let me taste. It was also fantastic, nice and rare. Then again, you can't go wrong with duck. Add to this a side of mac & cheese and we were quite happy.

And dessert. Oh the dessert. I'm not a huge dessert person in general. It is pretty easy for me to decline the dessert menu, but I figured that given the whole trip, it was time to just go big or go home. So with that in mind, I was totally stoked to order dessert that night. I am a big fan of anything 'lemon' so the lemon tart was a no brainer. It was delicious, I'd order it again, however, Weemz choice put the meal over the top. She decided on the Ile Flottante which was meringue with vanilla creme anglaise, almond and caramel. Oh. My. God. The best way I can even begin to describe this was like eating a sweet, fluffy, cloud. It was so light and just utterly amazing. A must try.

When all was said and done, I think the damage was around $150. For the amount of food and the quality, I don't think you can go wrong at Bouchon. I'd absolutely eat here the next time I'm in LA... if we aren't heading over to CUT. ;)

Overall, I had a great time. The whole trip ranks as one of my best. A big thank you to Weezermonkey for the fantastic company.

PS I'll bet if you give her a few days, Weemz will post some photos and I guarantee, they're better than mine. DLSR v. P&S = no contest.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sometimes A Girl Just Needs A Ride

I just have to give a glowing review to GoSedan. I booked town car service through them on the recommendation of Weemz and let me just say, they were fantastic. My first driver was waiting to pick me up and he was very professional. He was attentive to the fact that I was on a very tight schedule and he was great at avoiding the parking lot that tends to be the LA freeway system.

My next driver was actually early picking me up from my hotel which was kind of surprising given the time of morning. This guy was the best. He even found an open Starbucks on the way to the airport without my asking him to do so. Just mentioned it as he neared, asking if I'd like him to stop. Now, here's the thing: if you follow me on Twitter, you know that Starbucks is my mothership. I guzzle that stuff like there is no tomorrow. This scored major points with me. I could have kissed him I was so excited.

If you're looking for car service in the LA area, I highly recommend GoSedan. I was very pleased with the prices, the drivers and the overall service. I will certainly use them the next time I'm in LA.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beverly Hills, That's Where I Want To Be...

The Mosaic Hotel - Beverly Hills, California - A Review

I had the absolute pleasure of traveling to LA for an event for one of my favorite tv shows and then as a real treat, I even got to go on a date (lol) with one of my favorite fellow bloggers, the absolutely amazing, hilarious and surprisingly romantic, WeezerMonkey.

Anyway, I tend to favor the Beverly Wilshire, but this trip was one hell of a whirlwind and since I was basically going to be in my room to sleep and not much else, I searched for a cheaper alternative. One of my main considerations was that it be close to the venue. I didn't really research the Mosaic too much before hand so I wasn't totally sure what to expect. I'm glad I gave it a chance.

The location is prime, within easy walking distance of some of the best shopping Beverly Hills has to offer. It is off on a smaller side street so it really feels quite residential.

The set up of the hotel was interesting. First and foremost, it is a boutique hotel. When you walk in, the "front desk" is right in your path. Unlike many hotels, however, this isn't a counter. It is more like a concierge desk with only one person working it. Check in itself was quick and welcoming. They put me in a room on the top floor which was insanely quiet. Frankly, this has been one of the quietest hotel rooms I've been in in some time. The room was on the smaller side compared to many but it was quite comfortable. The bath features products by Bvlgari which is a very nice touch. The room was absolutely immaculate.

The hotel does have a small pool area which my room overlooked. It is very small (don't stay here if you're looking for a "scene") but they made great use of the space. Lots of pretty lights at night too.

Complimentary car service in the house Mercedes is available to guests within three miles of the hotel. I did take advantage of this and found the service to be very good. Another great touch.

While the Mosaic did lack the finesse of higher end properties, it truly was not a big deal and I was perfectly happy with my stay. If you want a nice place to stay in Beverly Hills without the high price tags of the Beverly Wilshire, Montage, etc... absolutely consider this one.

PS - Sorry about the crappy photos. They were taken at around 2:00 in the morning with my camera phone so they suck. My digital camera was dead by then as I hadn't charged it, but these are better than nothing. Well, maybe...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm Not Dead (Yet.)

I'm still alive. I know I've been MIA. That said, I'm coming back. Things have been crazy in the Blake household lately so blogging has taken a bit of a backseat. Thank you for sticking with me! New SF (and fashion!) entries to come. I hope 2010 has been treating you well thus far!

Friday, January 8, 2010

It Is All In the Shoes

So if you read this blog or know me a bit, you'll know that I love clothing and accessories. Fashion has always been something close to my heart. Well right now, we need to discuss ballet flats. So I've been hearing, "Why would you spend $____ for a pair of ballet flats?!" more and more frequently. I am a bit slow on the take away as to why this is the case. What is the difference between putting money in to a quality heel v. a pair of quality flats?

I will admit, finding flats that are truly comfortable has been far harder for me than finding heels. Obviously this contributes to my feelings on the matter. But you tell me: will you spend money on flats or is this an area where you choose to hold back? Can you answer the question above? What makes you want to spend more on heels?

These are very deep thoughts for 7:30 in the morning people!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Party Like A Rockstar

It is time to say goodbye to 2009. I can't believe it has been a decade since the panic that was Y2K. I don't know about you, but 2009 was quite good to me. I had a few great vacations, those closest to me have remained healthy... of course there were many more memories, but I can't complain. If 2009 has been a hard year for you, I hope next year will be a better one.

Again, thank you for reading. Now let us raise our glasses to 2010! Goodbye 2009, thank you for the memories.

Friday, December 25, 2009

And May All Your Christmases Be White

Christmas time is my favorite time of year. At least for me, there is still some of that childhood magic left in Christmas. I hope this will ring true throughout my life. So tonight, I wish all of you and your families a happy holiday season and a very merry Christmas. Thank you for following me, for being even the slightest bit interested in my life and for wanting to know more about one of the greatest cities in the world. I hope 2009 has been a great year for you and yours. If you have struggled this year, know that my thoughts are with you. Here is to an amazing 2010. Happy holidays.

Please excuse any typos. I'm mobile right now which means I'm sure to have screwed this up!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blondie's Pizza

So Blondie's is one of those places that I simply can't explain why I like. The place is a total dump, it probably should be condemned by the health department, there are always homeless people out front (to be fair, this is true of virtually everywhere in SF!) As for the food, the pizza objectively isn't that good. I'm sure you've had better. I know I have. Now after I've done such an amazing job of selling it and I'm sure you're booking flights/jumping in cars to come here in droves, I have to say, I like it. Some days when I'm just craving nasty, greasy hangover food and I'm out shopping, I come here. It seriously hits the spot.
So. There are better places to go, but if you just want a quick, cheap bite in between shopping at Sephora and heading to say, Barneys, and you like pizza, give it a go. As I said, I can't explain why I love it, but I do. I've been coming here for years. Just a good, greasy slice for very little cash. :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Christmas In San Francisco

Christmas is my favorite time of year. There are also about 8 million other photos I could have put in this post so I am using great restraint.
First up, was the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Union Square. On the day after Thanksgiving I slept late. No Black Friday sale madness here unless you factor in the damage I did on in the comfort of my bed. That evening I slipped in to the my favorite Burberry coat, which I got as as an amazing Black Friday score in 2008, and finally made my way downtown.

My first stop in an attempt to get some photo was the Holiday Ice Rink at the Embarcadero Center. Unfortunately, the settings on my digital camera were incorrect so my photos didn't turn out at all. I didn't even realize it until later so no photos of that.

I finally boarded the 21 Hayes to make my way to Union Square. The first display I got a photo of was the window at Louis Vuitton. A lot of color there! The crowds were already out in full force. I wanted to get a few shots of Neiman Marcus and their gigantic tree that spans multiple floors but I had to go reserve my spot.

I made my way over to Macy's, which was about half a block away and managed to score a spot at the front of the barricade. It was a good thing I got there when I did because it was packed. We waited. And waited. And waited. You can kind of make out the crowd in some of the photos. I am someone who is not in to crowds. I am really private, I am really low key so this really isn't my kind of evening, but this is one of my favorite activities of the year. Seriously. So finally they start the show, a bunch of songs were sung... someone from American Idol even sang a few. He was actually really good. I don't watch that show so the name meant nothing to me. I should have paid more attention solely for my blog post, but oh well. Just as we were counting down to the lighting, the 38 Express pulled right in front of those of us by Macy's and I thought the people next to me were going to push it over to get their camera shot. Luckily, the bus moved just in time and I was able to get my photo. : ) And that was it. All of the pushing, the crowds, the people for 5 seconds of glory. It was worth it.

The last photos are of some of the decorations at 101 California Street. These are some of my favorite in San Francisco. I love the huge ornaments. These things have got to be about six feet tall.

I have a few other Christmas decoration photos from around the city I'll try to post but I hope you enjoyed these. So, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. I want to thank all of my readers who have had such a positive response to this blog. I love doing it.

Happy Holidays!

Swensen's Ice Cream

I love Swensen's. This place has been here forever and it totally reminds me of making what seemed like a ridiculously long trek over here from my school in Pacific Heights with my friends to get some ice cream. Those days have long since past but I still enjoy coming here. Right now, they have egg nog, pumpkin and peppermint ice creams that are some of my favorite things ever. The peppermint (with hot fudge!) is pictured above... sorry, it was obviously dark when I took it. It is located right on the Hyde Street cable car line on Hyde St. @ Union. Get your ice cream and then take a walk. It is a nice area to explore.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Young's Cafe

Young's Cafe is one of those places that I've seen numerous times on my way to R&G Lounge which is just down the block. I finally wandered in here the other day because R&G was utterly packed and I was hungry as hell. I decided to try their version of salt & pepper squid, potstickers and an order of egg rolls. First, let me say I didn't think it was possibly for a restaurant to eff up egg rolls so badly that even I wouldn't eat them. I love egg rolls. Yes, I am such a white person. Anyway, those were horrible. I don't recommend them. That being said, the potstickers are some of my new favorite in the city. The skin is a bit thick, but they had a taste that I just loved... and continue to crave. The salt & pepper squid was absolutely delish and it was super spicy. Dare I say, their version of salt & pepper whatever is better than R&G? Another plus? Young's is quite inexpensive. I absolutely recommend it. It is a total hole in the wall and it certainly isn't in terms of decor, but the food was good.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Walking in San Francisco

So, if you live (or visit) SF, hills are a part of life. This is stating the obvious, I realize. Anyway, so I ate a bunch of junk over the last few days. Ice cream sundae, donuts, grilled cheese... things I love but rarely eat and even more rarely do I eat them so close together. So today after a bit of shopping on Union Street, I had to go pick something up at my parent's house. My parents live in Pacific Heights, so not too far from where I was. I decided to walk. The first gives you an idea of how steep the hill was. Try about 3 blocks of that. I'm in pretty good shape but those types of hills test me. lol It was a great workout. I also took a couple view photos because it was so nice. You'd never have guessed it was rainy and yucky, not all that much earlier.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This was how my day began. Well... at least in part. After a very um... long... night, my GH (gay husband) and I ended up at Fisherman's Wharf at Trish's Mini Donuts. These things are seriously the best hangover food ever. Yum. Well worth the trip to Pier 39 and they weren't even busy today so it was quite awesome. It was a nice day so we strolled down to Aquatic Park to eat and I took the above photos. A beautiful Thanksgiving in San Francisco indeed. And yeah, I'm trying to be more like Weemz and drag a camera every where so you'll get more pictures with my entries. See! I play tourist for you people. ;)
Once again, a very happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dynamo Donuts & Coffee

I'm kind of surprised it has taken me this long to post about this. The donuts here are BA-NANAS (said in my best Rachel Zoe voice.) I admit, the thought of a maple bacon donut, was at first, revolting. It is so good. Another favorite? The lemon huckleberry.
Now the bad news is, it is unlikely you'll be in the neighborhood it is located in unless you're hanging out at San Francisco General. But if you are out in the area for whatever reason, stop here. Then call me and we'll go run off the calories. ;)