Category Archives: A Taste of San Francisco

Hog Island Oyster Co. Reopens in Ferry Building







Hog Island Oyster Co. just reopened their oyster bar in San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building after being closed for a few months for expansion. Hog Island was one of the opening tenants of the ferry building during its transformation as a food marketplace in 2003. It’s a very popular spot in SF for locals and tourists alike. Tomales Bay, on the coast of Northern California, is where they harvest and shuck the amazing, hand raised, sustainable oysters and shellfish.

The newly opened space has an expanded bar and much more seating. There is still a line outside, but don’t be intimated by it – it moves pretty quickly and it’s all worth the wait!  We were able to get one of the best seats – right at the oyster bar, overlooking the Bay Bridge and front row seats to watch their team shucking oysters.  We ordered the half dozen chef’s selection and an order of the grilled oysters, paired with their bloody mary and a glass of prosecco.  We will be back to indulge again at Hog Island over oysters and cocktails.

And since it was a Saturday, we wandered around the amazing farmer’s market and took home gorgeous purple and bright orange flowers that look perfect in the loft.


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Urban Hike + December Beach Day

IMG_3175We left our loft at 10 AM and started our urban hike down Folsom Street with the first stop on route being coffee! We approached 7th Street and made a sharp right turn to enter the beautiful independent coffee space.  We ordered a Cappuccino, a drip coffee and a chocolate croissant at Sightglass Coffee. A lot of their pastries are from Hookers Sweet Treats and are all really delicious.

IMG_3173 The chocolate croissant that is made with an orange dark chocolate.

IMG_3178Sipping a drip coffee.

IMG_3181Behind the scenes!

IMG_3183From SOMA, we continued up Folsom and then turned down 16th Street to make our way towards the Mission district. A sandwich was next on the list.  We headed for Bi-Rite Market to get a deli sandwich and ordered one of our favorites,  the Bahn Mi Tofu sandwich.  We took the sandwich to Dolores Park to enjoy the sunshine and city views.

IMG_3188From Dolores Park, we walked up and down a few hills towards our next destination – Kite Hill Park.

IMG_3189Headed up 20th Street and stumbled upon a beautiful, modern house with an outside living plant wall.

IMG_3190Only one of at least 10 sets of stairs on our journey.


And we made it to Kite Hill Park. Definitely a hidden gem of San Francisco. You get to the park and don’t know what to expect until you make your way up the final small hill and are greeted with one of the most beautiful panoramic views of lovely San Francisco.

IMG_3195Dolores Heights bordering Eureka Valley, SF.

IMG_3198City views from Kite Hill Park.

IMG_3203Taking a water break on the bench at the top of the park.  From here, we decided that we were already at least two-thirds of the way to Twin Peaks (which has been on our list of places to walk to for a very long time) so we decided to continue our journey to that destination.  And it didn’t hurt that it was 70+ degrees on the last day of November.

IMG_3211Houses, teal pots and cactus in Eureka Valley.


IMG_3215And after quite a few more hills and stairs later, we made it to the very top of Twin Peaks.  Such an incredible view of San Francisco from here and a whole new perspective on the city. Front and center you have the Bay Bridge and to the left, the Golden Gate Bridge. And a great view of Market Street cutting through the entire city leading all the way to the Ferry Building in the background.


IMG_3242December 1 was one of the most beautiful days in San Francisco (and we have been lucky to have many of these this year but in December?!) Quite amazing and kind of scary, too 🙂 It was again, over 70+ degrees. We drove out to Ocean Beach to have brunch at Outerlands.  You add your name to the list which the wait time varies between 30 minutes to two hours.  Luckily, you include your cell phone number next to your name and they text you when your table is getting close to being ready.  Oh – and Ocean Beach is two blocks away.  We had an amazing time strolling up and down the beach, feet in the sand and not a care in the world.


IMG_3254Nigel enjoying Ocean Beach.


IMG_3257After brunch, we walked two blocks in the other direction to end up at Golden Gate Park. We walked through a few different trails, going from the Lincoln side of the park to the Fulton side.


IMG_3271The squirrel that was loving any and all attention and up for anything!


IMG_3277And of course being in Ocean Beach, the surf shops!



IMG_3293The urban hike ended at the Sutro Baths and Lands End, one of my favorite places in San Francisco.  We kept commenting on how lucky we are to live within 20 minutes of a place like this.  After the journey back home, we had walked a total of 16 miles.


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Filed under A Taste of San Francisco, pretty stuff

Sunday Outfit + Brunch

Sunday outing_4 7 2013

Sweater: Zara; Blazer: Banana Republic; Scarf: Nordstrom; Sunglasses: Chanel; Purse: Marc Jacobs; Pants: H&M; Shoes: Steve Madden boots.

What an eventful yet relaxing weekend! My husband and I had a nice Sunday walk to North Beach to enjoy brunch at Cotogna.  Cotogna is owned by Chef Michael Tusk (also owner of neighbor, Quince). The restaurant is rustic Italian with a beautiful, casual environment. It’s very warm and welcoming, with exposed brick and a partial open kitchen where you see things from cauliflower to pork belly cooking on the spit to housemade bacon being made on the grill and a wood-oven for the pizza.  We started with a Blood Orange & Cocchi Americano Mimosa and a Dry Farmed Tomato Bloody Mary with Aceto Balsamico & Espelette Pepper (both really unique and delicious). It was a really hard choice – everything sounded amazing (and we’ll have to go back). On this visit we had the Smoked Trout with Zuckerman Farm Asparagus, Rye and Sauce Gribiche and the Heritage Pork Shoulder Hash with English Peas, Cipollini Onion, and Baked Egg.  The trout was very fresh and great with the rye. The hash was served in a cast iron pan and the baked egg was great with the pork (cooked perfectly). And while waiting for our dishes, you MUST request the bread. They bring out a skinny slab on fresh, warm foccacia bread that is worth the trip in itself! Cotogna is located in one of my favorite San Francisco neighborhoods – Jackson Historic District. My first PR job was in this area. The narrow streets are lined with brick buildings that range from antique shops to art gallery’s to high-end fashion boutiques.


The blood orange mimosa and simple, rustic plating.


The smoked trout served on a bright orange plate.


And the pork shoulder hash served in the cast iron on a wood board and rye toast on the side.




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Filed under A Taste of San Francisco, Fashion Week/end, Food

Sunday Brunch

Boulettes Larder in the San Francisco Ferry Building has one of the most beautiful open kitchens and is a very unique culinary experience.  The restaurant has been there since 2004 with chef amaryll schwertner. There is one big communal table that seats 11 people located right in the heart of the kitchen. You can watch the chefs do everything from prep, to toasting the housemade bread, to plating. The table is rustic and simple – wood with paper placemats and a runner and there was a beautiful holiday bouquet in the center with my favorite holiday berries.

The menu changes daily. For brunch, we started with french pressed blue bottle coffee and hand squeezed orange juice. The boulettes larder beignets are a must. They come out hot and melt in your mouth.  We ordered the scrambled eggs with spicy purple broccoli and the poached eggs over greens and yogurt. The scrambled eggs was a pretty simple dish but with so much flavor. The contrast in flavors from the spicy broccoli to the eggs with a creamy sauce and feta cheese was perfect.  The poached eggs reminded us of Indian food from the flavors that were in the greens and the yogurt.


bouletteslarder2Boulettes Larder beignets.

bouletteslarder3View of the open kitchen from the communal table.

bouletteslarder4Scrambled eggs with spicy purple broccoli.


bouletteslarderPoached eggs on top of greens and yogurt.

bouletteslarder5The beautiful rustic table.



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DailyBuzz Food Blogger Festival @CityView San Francisco

Yesterday kicked-off the 2012 DailyBuzz Food Blogger Festival in San Francisco! A great way to meet a lot of food bloggers and local vendors! Today was the Tasting at City View in The Metreon – a beautiful space with amazing views of the city and SFMOMA. We arrived at 1pm when the event started and were given a great reusable bag to start filling with goodies!

Our lovely Food blogger reusable bag! I’m already a huge fan of 18 Rabbits – my favorite granola bar is the Funky Fig & Cherries and I always buy the Gracious Granola with coconut. We were lucky to get a sample of the Cheeky Cherry Chocolate granola bar – can’t wait to try it!

Of course you can never go wrong with Ghiradelli chocolate and there wasn’t a shortage! They were so kind to giveaway full chocolate bars of the Intense Dark Cabernet Matinee that’s infused with a hint of blackberry and Cabernet flavors! They also had samples of the Sea Salt Soiree, Twilight Delight and Midnight Reverie all paired with Cupcake Vineyards. Another one of my favorites in the goodie bag was the bars by Clif Bar – KIT’S ORGANIC. Lots of different flavors and they are gluten-free!

Toot Sweet had cute boxes filled with samples of their artisan caramel – a pistachio rosemary and a salted honey. Really sweet and delicious!

I was so excited to see Biscuit Bender at the food festival today.  I saw their new kiosk that opened recently at the Ferry Building and have been anxious to try their biscuits.  We tried the classic and the double bacon – both delicious and perfectly made!

Three twins ice cream was another one of my favorites. They were serving 4 different flavors of their ice cream and we went for the cardamom because it was the most unique! It was very flavorful. The ice cream factory is in Petaluma and you can find it at Whole Foods and various other markets, as well as the Berkeley Farmer’s Market.

Alaska Seafood had a long table setup with beautiful whole fish! We sampled a halibut in a Thai curry sauce that was perfectly cooked and an Alaskan snowcrab cake. Very fresh fish and natural and sustainable.


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SF in the evening

san francisco bay bridge along the embarcadero at folsom street.

walking along the embarcadero with a view of coit tower and telegraph hill.

pier 23 on the embarcadero. live music, straw hats provided on the deck on sunny days and amazing calamari and margaritas.



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Banana Republic – “Love the Present”

Banana Republic just released The Holiday 2010 Collection! Cozy sweaters, cashmere and shiny accessories!!

Banana Republic also put together a “Love the Present” Video and you can watch it here!

A great collection of Winter stylish chic outfits! And aside from the fashion, the Holiday music in the video gets me excited for Winter and the upcoming  Holidays! Enjoy.


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Filed under A Taste of San Francisco, Fashion Trends