Archives for category: Food

A friend’s GroupOn mishap resulted in an unexpectedly awesome father’s day gift for Paul this year: Surfing lessons. Admittedly, surfing lessons would not be the first thing I would think to get him, but it turned out to be fun and totally radical!

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The lessons were through Adventure Out and took place at Pacifica Beach. Although there was some fog in the morning, the setting was beautiful for both the passive observers/kid-runner-afters and participants. It is also a dog-friendly beach, as long as dog stays on leash, so Beast got to come along! At first it was a bit torturous for him as there were birds and water and kids and birds and kids with food all around him, but he settled down after a while.

The surfing lessons were, I’m told, a LOT of fun. Paul even got up and rode a couple of waves in! After a brief on-land lesson (they sat in a circle which reminded me of summer camp), they headed into the water.

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They stayed in the water for about 2-2.5 hours! This allowed them plenty of time to practice “reading” the waves and jumping up onto their boards. The instructors were very “zen-like” and very helpful with tips and getting the students onto a wave. You could just see them all picturing themselves as the next Kelly Slater. 😉

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good photos of people getting up on their boards, so you’ll just have to trust me that people really did get up! Paul said part of what made it enjoyable for him was just sitting on his board and looking at the beautiful scenery.
While Paul bopped around on his board in the Pacific, Monster, Beast, and I strolled along the beach and spent some time with a couple of friends of mine and their own monsters. The other little ones could walk and run on their own so their moms got a good work out chasing them around the beach and trying to stop them from eating all of the sand. I popped Monster in his Ergo carrier and was able to enjoy a relatively easy day at the beach. In fact, I’d say Beast required more of my attention and disciplining, as in “No! You will never catch that seagull! You don’t have wings!” (Yes, I do talk to my dog as if he can understand me. I know, it is endearing.)

After the lessons and the obligatory beer on the beach, we headed south on scenic Highway 1 for a late lunch at the Moss Beach Distillery. We enjoyed some delicious garlic fries, a creative and very Nor-Cal Salmon club which had salmon, avocado, and bacon, and some clam chowder. We were able to score some seats on the gorgeous deck and let the views of the Pacific take our minds off of less attractive things. Image

Oh, did I mention they have fire pits out there to ward off the chilly Nor-Cal summer air?
And, of course, they are dog friendly!

After all of this people time, we decided to take Beast to the dog beach at the Lighthouse Beach in Santa Cruz. He got to romp around with other dogs and finally chase whatever brave, or stupid, seagulls that were hanging around. All in all, a fun and memorable day! Now off to clean out the sand that has moved into Monster’s ears.

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I wouldn’t call myself a picky or difficult eater. I won’t turn my nose up at a box of mac ‘n cheese, and I’ve been known to tear into a bag of chips and consider that dinner. All this to say though, it’s not like I don’t know quality when it comes and slaps me in the face like Coi did with its all-dessert dinner menu. Some good friends and I went to check out this “dessiner”, if you will, a few days ago and, oh my silken-white-chocolate stars, it was GOOD!

So, when I say all-dessert dinner, I really mean ALL DESSERT. There were five courses and each of them was a dessert. You can check out a write-up on it from grubstreet here. The menu is a decent-for-San Francisco $45, but goes up to $65 with pairings, which I highly recommend. One thing that came up a few times during the conversation was how light we all felt, despite eating all dessert dishes for dinner. I think this is a testament to how well constructed the dishes were; these were not molten chocolate lava cakes and 14 scoops of ice cream. These were elegant, sophisticated, and innovative. I’ll do my best to briefly break it down:

Course 1: Frozen lime mashmallow – this was the favorite of the majority at the table. A perfectly toasted marshmallow on top of  a frozen lime meringue. I enjoyed the marshmallow a lot, which is saying something because I typically don’t like marshmallow. I was a little thrown by the room temperature marshmallow and the frozen lime meringue, but quickly got over it.

Course 2: Preserved lemon 7:13 – Tasty, but not as impressive as the marshmallow. Perhaps the more forgettable dish of the evening.

Course 3: Peaches & Coffee – this was among my favorites. I don’t see how you can go wrong with coffee and fruit, two of my favorite things. The coffee actually came in the form of a cream that had a subtle coffee flavor, which allowed the peaches to be more prominent.

Course 4: Grapefruit 2006 – again, fruit. The perfect dessert. This dish had some delightful rock sugar in it, which gave the grapefruit tang a nice pop. I really enjoyed it and thought it was refreshing. This dish also had some ginger in it, which I thought was a bold combination. After trying it though, I realized I should probably leave those decisions up to the professionals, because pastry chef Matt Tinder obviously has things under control. It is bold, but in a delightful way!

Course 5: Silken white chocolate – Let’s take a second here and just allow the name of the course to wash over us like…silken white chocolate. This was my favorite, albeit by a slim margin as peaches & coffee was not far behind. This dish included kiwis. Again, a combo I never would have put together on my own, but again, I’m no professional. This was AMAZING! I believe it was supposed to be a play on tofu and he nailed it. Allow me to allow you to be the proverbial fly on the wall when we all had our first bites of this dish.

Me: MMMMMMMMM

L: MMMMMMMM

M: MMMMMMMMM

K: OH!

That’s right! Chef Tinder got three MMMM’s and an OH out of us! That would translate into a perfect score. However, I should note that there was still talk of a tie between the silken white chocolate and the frozen lime marshmallow. For the record, my vote goes with the white silken chocolate.

You can check out the restaurant site here.