140 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105
Dining date: 12/23/17
Mourad opened at the beginning of 2015, Mourad Lahlou’s follow up to Michelin-starred Aziza. Like Aziza, Mourad has also garnered a Michelin star for its Moroccan cuisine albeit in much more glamorous digs. The SoMa location features a large, open dining room and very high celings – it’s a beautiful space.
The impetus for this dinner was my grandmother’s birthday. An eight course tasting menu is available ($155) but we went the a la carte route for our party of six. Ordering a la carte allowed us to order a couple of the large format family-style plates that the restaurant has become known for.
8385 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Dining date: 12/13/18
Naruki Matsumoto was the longtime chef of Hirozen which served sushi on this mid-city corner for two decades. In 2016 the ownership of the restaurant changed hands to Matsumoto, who renamed the restaurant. The restaurant is small with just a few tables and a sushi bar seating about ten.
We went with a sushi omakase offering.
3799 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Dining date: 12/1/17
I’ve been to Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas a number of times over the years, but my last visit was all the way back in 2011. I was in Los Vegas for the weekend thanks to a spontaneous trip, and was able to squeeze in a late Friday night reservation here.
The restaurant still serves an extravagant, marathon degustation tasting menu ($445, 16+ courses) but does offer more abbreviated menus with selections for each course. We went with the third of four tiers available, six courses (plus extras) priced at $198 before supplements.
Dining date: 12/25/17
My family’s Christmas tradition of two meals, one on each side of the family, has spanned many years – I’ve lost count. This year was no different with lunch being spent on my mom’s side and dinner spent on my dad’s side. It’s certainly one of the most gluttonous days of the year for my family and I (along with Thanksgiving). Below is all of the food:
The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94111
Dining date: 11/25/17
The Slanted Door has been a staple in San Francisco for many years now. The restaurant still serves up some of the best bay views in the city, as well as reliably good high-end Vietnamese fare. My family and I have visited many times and stopped in for lunch over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
3416 19th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Dining date: 11/24/17
Lazy Bear is one of San Francisco’s most unique dining experiences. The restaurant began as an underground supper club in chef David Barzelay’s home; it was wildly successful and became one of the toughest seats in town. The success led to this brick-and-mortar location in 2014. Two Michelin stars later, the restaurant is still going strong.
The evening begins with cocktail hour on the second floor mezzanine. Guests are invited to mingle, sip on a cocktail, and enjoy a few small bites. After cocktail hour, dinner shifts downstairs where there are two large 40-seat communal tables. An open kitchen anchors one end of the tables, providing a close look at the food as it’s being prepared.
We managed to get tickets here for the day after Thanksgiving.