Wednesday, August 31, 2011

San Francisco 07.11 (8) - Bushi Tei

We had dinner at Bushi-Tei, a modern Japanese and fusion (in a good way) restaurant.

The restaurant was spacious and beautiful.
There were beautiful and tasty food, dessert, and wine, and martini. As usual, my photo-taking skills could be improved while taking pictures of these beautiful food in the ambient restaurant, but looking at these photos now can still bring me back to that soft, lovely, relaxing, and beautiful evening.

Bushi Tei
1638 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 440-4959

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

shaun & daena's wedding

My dear friends Shaun and Daena got married this past weekend! We were invited to celebrate with them at their simple, yet beautiful wedding.

It was a casual wedding, where Shaun and Daena, along with their guests, wore jeans and t-shirts.

They did wear matching shoes!

What a great couple!

 Congrats guys!

Monday, August 29, 2011

a friend came to see me

My dear friend Marku came to see me this past weekend. We got together and had a great time with some of our mutual friends, who I only see when Marku comes in town.

Faustina, me, and Marku.

I've known Marku for over 15 years(!) and he's been like a wonderful big brother to me all these years, and for that I consider myself very fortunate.

Until next time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

san Francisco 07.11 (7) - Fun Treats at JapanTown

There were two places in JapanTown that I visited multiple times for delicious treats during our most recent trip. 

The first one was Andersen's Bakery inside JapanTown Mall. 

My favorite at Andersen's Bakery? Creamy French. These are little French bread slit length-wise and filled with creamy custard. OMG yumminess.

The other one was the little Japanese-dessert-drink-treat place (not sure if it had a name, but it's in the same building of JapanTown Mall as Sapporoya, in the center hall area.

John and I visited for quick and simple Ujikintoki Kakigori (matcha green tea-azuki bean-shaved ice dessert.)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

San Francisco 07.11 (6) - Sapporoya Ramen

John and I were walking inside JapanTown, and were wondering what we should have for lunch. There were plenty of shops to choose from, but I didn't see anything in particular that caught my eye... until I saw a sign that read "Sapporo-ya (Sapporo House)" and the word "ramen."

It was on the second floor of the farther side (from Kabuki) of JapanTown Mall, a small shop that got my attention. The exterior of the shop did not look particularly promising, but I thought of the fact that some of the best shops I had been to look nothing special, either. I would give it a try.

From what I knew,  Sapporo-style ramen focuses on its miso-flavor-base soup, which I had not tried much, so when we were deciding which ramens to try, we chose regular charshu and miso charshu ramen. We also got an order of homemade gyoza. 

The pickled cabbages that came first were fine, and the "salad" that came with the gyoza  were an interesting touch. The gyoza themselves were fresh and tasty.

And then the ramen came. Oh my goodness weren't they yummy. Sapporo-ya prides itself for it house-made noodles, and I totally agree with them, but boy oh boy, the char-shu pork was also cooked to perfection (and they give you plenty of it,) and the soups (both the regular soy and the miso ones) had great flavors and texture.

These were probably some of the best ramens I'd had since Japan.

Oh, and the noodle room at Sapporo-ya reminded me of this tiny soba place in Kyoto that John and I visited.

Monday, August 22, 2011

San Francisco 07.11 (5) - fun at de Young

What else did we do when we visited de Young Museum and Picasso? We had fun taking pictures with ourselves in art.

We also went up to the Hamon Observation Tower on top of the building, where we saw beautiful landscapes of Golden Gate Park and other panoramic views of San Francisco.

I was so relaxed and happy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

it's not my birthday today

... but it WAS my birthday last Friday, and John and I finally went to Franck's!

We finally found the restaurant, and as we pulled into the parking lot a young man stopped us and offered to valet our car. We saw some parking spaces right in front the restaurant, and figured we could park the car ourselves. "The parking lot is for valet parking only," the young man said, "If you want to park the car on your own you can park on the street."

I was surprised. I'd love to have valet services, but when the parking spaces are right in front of me (and that I don't have a valet key on me,) I really don't need the service.

We were budgeting a $200 dinner at the restaurant and a lovely evening, and then the "If you want to park the car on your own, you can park on the street" part shocked me a bit.

We pulled out "on to the street," where it was more like a dirt road if I may be honest. I was mad (you know how I am... I get mad over silly little things,) and I was about to call to cancel our reservation and head home, until John suggested that we did not let the parking issue ruin my birthday dinner.

So we parked in front of Franck's parking lot sign, on the dirt road, and walked into the restaurant.

And everything just got better and better after that.

The bread was crusty and aromatic, and the herb-ed butter was tasty, too.

Our appetizers, soups, main courses, and desserts, were all cooked to perfection and delicious. The wine selections were great, too (John studied Franck's wine lists prior to us arriving.) I couldn't take better photos of the food because of the lighting, but seriously, as I'm looking at these photos now I am thinking of my next opportunity to visit Franck's. It was so good.

I'm glad I didn't let the parking issue bother me all night. The food at Franck's is phenomenal, and it made my birthday celebration wonderful.

6263 South Holladay Boulevard
Holladay, UT 84121-5934
(801) 274-6264

Thursday, August 18, 2011

San Francisco 07.11 (4) - Picasso at de Young

One of my favorite things during our recent San Francisco trip was seeing the Picasso exhibit at de Young Museum.

de Young Museum is located at the Golden Gate Park, and we couldn't miss it on our way to the Japanese Tea Garden because of its unique landscapes and architecture.

Of course cameras were not allowed inside the exhibit. This was taken at the entrance.

Picasso is inspiring. I adore his work greatly. Every time I see a Picasso (in person, in books, or in exhibits,) I think of the days back in junior high and high school art classes where I would pretend I was Picasso, trying to imitate him, to get into his "mindset," and to come up with these silly paintings that was of course nowhere like Picasso's when I worked on my projects. That, for sure, is a totally different subject and may be worth of another post of its own.

Ahh. And as a side note, the one restroom I went in to at de Young had this beautiful Tiffany Blue that was just intriguing to me.

I was so glad I saw the Picasso exhibit. I left mesmerized and was totally in love.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

San Francisco 07.11 (3) - Japanese Tea Garden

Another "Japanese-y" thing we thought of doing while in San Francisco was to visit the Japanese Tea Garden.

I thought it was filled with tea trees (!) but it was a beautiful Japanese-style garden with all sorts of plantation domestic or foreign.

The garden was not huge, but there were plenty of beautiful things to see. One of my favorite was the Taiko Bashi (Taiko Bridge). It was simply stunning! The only sad thing was that I would really like to take a photo of the bridge all by itself, but as visitors climbed up there, some people chose to sit down and had a long chat, causing an occasional "traffic jam," and/or making my Taiko-Bashi-solo photo shoot impossible. Oh well. I still like the bridge greatly.

And that was a nice and peaceful morning in the Japanese Tea Garden.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

San Francisco 07.11 (2) - Range

Our anniversary dinner was spent at Range.

John made a reservation before we arrived in San Francisco. It was a lovely evening. I remember how crazy the cab driver was that night, and how the food was cooked to perfection, even though most of the photos I had taken inside the restaurant was either too dark, or too blurry.

Oh, and of course there were martinis and dessert. (The dessert photo came out ok because the staff at Range put a candle on the plate, which I assumed was for our anniversary.) Dessert - yum!

It was a very lovely evening.

Monday, August 15, 2011

San Francisco 07.11 (1) - Kabuki & JapanTown

For John and my 10th (!) anniversary we went to San Francisco. I was hoping that we could go to Northern Japan, but we couldn't really take too much time off at this time of the year, so I figured, "if we can't go to Japan right now, we can at least go to JapanTown in San Francisco!"

We stayed at Hotel Kabuki and it was a nice and relaxing stay. There were some silly things that happened at the beginning of our stay, but the staff and the general manager of the hotel took care of us well. I surely will return.

View of JapanTown from the hotel.

And what did we do when we were in JapanTown? Eat and do Japanese-y things! :D

We had some casual Japanese meals that reminded me of the little eateries at the train stations in Japan. (This one was taken at Mifune restaurant.)

The Peace Plaza was nice, too.

And yes we had to do tourist-y things as well. (Ok, ok. I made John pose for this one.)

One of the things that was really great during this trip was that the temperature in San Francisco was just about perfect for me. It was breezy and cool, and in the late afternoons there were fogs!

It was beautiful.