The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

California Hedonizing – San Francisco Day 2

In my post about our first day in San Francisco, I pondered whether the city’s reputation as a foodie haven was justified.   There’s no doubt that the abundance of fresh and nearby ingredients automatically elevates the food, as evidenced by the sushi.  But what about the concepts/recipes/execution?   Our lunch at sushirrito was definitely a highlight of the trip, but the Thai food was a disappointment.   I was curious to see if what we ate on  Day 2 would decide it.

But first, some sightseeing…

It was the last day of vacation and everyone’s legs were about to fall off.  That and the rain meant that our idea of biking across the Golden Gate Bridge would have to be nixed.


That actually worked out really well as we drove up the hills to get some pictures that would’ve been impossible on bikes.


We hopped into the car and then went over to Japantown, where we ended up spending a few hours in a mall.  I know it sounds  lame, but it’s not like we were checking out the Gap and Forever 21.   There was a  Japanese arcade, a K-Pop cosmetic store, a ton of Ramen shops, and an anime shop that had a collection of the weirdest Japanese porn I’ve ever seen.  It takes a lot to shock me, and the second row from the bottom definitely did it….

(They wouldn’t let me take a picture and I was going to insert a pic from the internet here.   But I Googled “Japanese porn cover”  and couldn’t find anything that had the right gravitas to illustrate the situation.  But please let me know if you find one.)

But on to one of the coolest things I’ve eaten – literally  – Dragon’s Breath.  This is where they take what looks like fruit-flavored cereal and douse it in liquid nitrogen.   Here’s what happened when you ate it.


There were a bunch of ramen shops and ended up at Nande-Ya


Not bad, not great. 

We then drove up to the Ferry Building which was formerly a transportation hub but is now an artisan food market.


THIS was impressive.   We got there a little too late to do too much damage to the wallet, but is definitely a must-see for anyone into food.  Which I’m assuming YOU are because you’re reading this blog and I barely write about wine and I KNOW you didn’t come here for the humor.

For our final dinner in California, we went to a restaurant that The Sicilian strongly recommended – Terzo.

Roasted beets with labneh, dill, pomegranate molasses, & pickled onion

Arugula salad with Fuji apple, toasted walnuts, feta, & honey-cider vinaigrette

2015 Casamaro Verdejo, Rueda, Spain

Grilled Monterey Bay calamari with black Beluga lentils, chard, pimenton, & aioli

Fried egg bruschetta with braised Spigariello, mozzarella di Bufala, & Calabrian chiles

Hummus with housemade pita and Za’atar

Braised Niman ranch pork shoulder with Spatzle, braised cabbage, & grainy mustard butter

Honey-yogurt panna cotta with pistachios & candied citron and Flourless chocolate cake with cocoa nib toffee whipped cream


All excellent, especially the  pork shoulder.  The concepts, ingredients, execution, and seasoning were all top-quality.    But it certainly wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever had.  Not by a long shot.

I’d have to say that I was generally underwhelmed with San Francisco’s food scene.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not under any kind of delusion that Ann Arbor’s food scene is on par with San Francisco’s.  There are only a few really good restaurants so, on average, it’s not close.    And the best ones aren’t in the same league as the best ones in San Francisco.

But…   I have had meals in Ann Arbor, Miami, and Detroit that are equal to what we had in San Francisco.  And countless more in Chicago that were far superior.      Globalism and easy access to information has made the world smaller and I think that now includes food.  It’s probably time to shelve the notion that San Francisco is  the foodie capital of the United States.

Is San Francisco still a foodie haven?  Any others you can think of? 



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

3 comments on “California Hedonizing – San Francisco Day 2

  1. a2sicilian
    April 11, 2017

    I think you’d need a few weeks to really scratch the food scene in San Francisco.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      April 11, 2017

      You funding this and watching my dog?

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      April 11, 2017

      It’s a fair point, but who has that time? Based on all I’ve heard about the SF food scene, I fully expected magical meals. It might be an unfairly high bar, but that’s how much it was hyped.

      I try to stay away from the tourist areas for meals and try to eat where locals do. That way it’ll be a fairer indication of what overall scene is. Is Cow Hollow considered tourtisty? Seemed pretty residential.

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This entry was posted on April 11, 2017 by in Dining, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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