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As you may or may not know, I am a planner. A researcher. An Excel spreadsheet lover. Before I leave for a trip, I spend hours upon hours devouring every bit of information I can possibly find relating to food and drink in that particular city. I gather. I analyze. I make a list of pros and cons. I budget. I analyze some more.

Then it’s decision time. Only in San Francisco would I ever consider eating two dinners in one night. I swear. But once I had narrowed down our choices to four restaurants and realized that two of them were just a block from each other, I couldn’t resist. Lucky for me, the other girls were on board as well. We had a plan- at the first restaurant we would have our “starters” and the second we would split entrees or dessert, depending on how full we were.

Our first stop for the evening was Bar Crudo, a seafood lover’s paradise that came highly recommended by the locals on both Chowhound and yelp. The menu is split into “Raw”, “Cold” and “Hot” sections, and many dishes can easily be shared, which worked perfectly for our group.

We started with the Crudo Sampler, which included our choice of 4 from the “Raw” section of the menu:

Butterfish
salmorejo, quail egg, jamon
(pictured below in upper left corner)

Arctic Char
horseradish cream, wasabi toiko, dill
.
.
Hokkaido Scallops
sweet corn puree, piri piri peppers, spanish smoked salt
.

Tombo Tuna
avocado mousse, chili lime vinaigrette, peaches
.

and we couldn’t resist adding one more to the order:
Spicy Yellowfin Tuna
sriracha, soy sauce, ginger, green onion
.

All of the fish was so fresh, and the textures and flavors so interesting and different, that it’s hard for me to say that I enjoyed one more than the other. They were all delicious and the perfect light start to the long evening ahead.

Next, we moved on to the “soup and salad” course…
San Sebastian Salad
tuna confit, asparagus, roasted red peppers, nicoise olives, manchego, tomato bread
.

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How is it that the vegetables in the Bay Area taste so much better, brighter, cleaner, fresher, everything-er?!? This simple salad was, well, simply beautiful in both taste and appearance.
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Seafood Chowder
fish, mussels, shrimp, squid, potatoes, applewood smoked bacon

Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of this dish, which turned out to be one of the best things I tasted not only on this night, but during the entire trip. I’ll actually go so far as to say that it is definitely THE BEST seafood chowder I’ve ever had in my life. I’m pretty sure if you were to ask any one of my travel companions they would wholeheartedly agree, as we talked about the chowder at least once every day of the trip!

Bar Crudo
655 Divisadero Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

415.409.0679

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Next stop- Nopa! Here’s where our plan sort of started to fail. You see, we all woke up at 4 a.m. Central time that morning in order to catch our 6 a.m. flight. When we arrived at Nopa it was 9 p.m. Pacific time, which means to our bodies and our minds, it was 11 p.m. already and we had been up for 19 hours.

Nopa is known for their creative cocktails, so I was determined to enjoy one. Here’s the funny thing- I was so deliriously tired at that point that I now have no idea what I ordered. It was good though, I do remember that much!

Despite the fact that our heads were about to fall into our plates, we ordered a starter and entree to share.

Baked Giant White Beans
tomato, feta, oregano, breadcrumbs
.
Country Pork Chop
grilled peaches, green beans, and mustard seed vinaigrette
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It’s a shame that we didn’t have more energy for this meal, because the lively atmosphere made it the sort of place we would normally all like to hang. Not only that, I’ve heard their desserts are out of this world. Nopa, I’ll be back. And next time, I’ll be sure to take a nap before I come.
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560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
415.864.8643

5 Responses to “Only in San Francisco”

  1. 1

    Lesley — September 7, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

    I have a spreadsheet for our travels, too! I have even been asked to share my spreadsheets! The one for NYC even had subway routes indicated so we didn't have to waste any time doing any more planning. Though I have learned to build a bit of flexibility into my planning (which helped in Boulder when temps were higher than expected). I'm so meticulous, that I pencil in any changes to the itinerary each day as necessary. :)

  2. 2

    Beth — September 7, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    Oh my gosh, I do the same thing w my changes as we go! I also totally know where you're coming from about being flexible…I just want to at least have a plan (and a backup plan) so we don't waste time or money on anything foolish.
    You know, part of the reason I even started my blog was to share all of my trip planning with friends because they were constantly asking to borrow my spreadsheets and Word docs full of research for various cities.

  3. 3

    selftrainedchef — September 13, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

    Wow, your pictures are beautiful! San Francisco is also one of my favorite food cities – really enjoyed reading about your experience.

  4. 4

    Leah Lamphron — September 25, 2010 @ 9:18 am

    Anyone want to share their san fran/napa spreadsheet with me. My husband and I are going in 3 weeks….thanks

    Leah
    llamphron@gmail.com

  5. 5

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