Sushi Zo – 9/10/10

Sushi Zo
9824 National Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034

My mother prefers not to eat raw fish. This, combined with the fact that San Francisco’s sushi scene pales in comparison to LA’s (there’s no doubt), means my dad doesn’t get good sushi too often. So my dad and I planned a sushi weekend, and he came down to visit and eat!  We decided to start off with Sushi Zo (Friday), followed by Urasawa (Saturday) and ending with Asanebo (Sunday).

I first tried Sushi Zo last year and found it to be very good – enough to be the second best sushi restaurant I’ve been to in LA. You’d never expect as much from the outside, as it’s a really unassuming spot located in a strip mall with the likes of Vons and Rite Aid. It’s one of those places where, if you just stumbled in without reading up on anything, you’d probably leave thinking “what’s it doing there?”

The menu is omakase-only and, while not a set price, tends to run in the lower 100s. Don’t bother trying to order any cut rolls (especially a California roll!) because they won’t do it and will hate you for asking. Okay I’m not sure about that second part, but they’re very serious about their sushi, going so far as to post signs informing patrons of what constitutes good sushi etiquette.

We started off with a simple bowl of miso soup.

Plain and simple, and a good way to start the meal.

Kumamoto Oyster

I enjoy raw oysters, especially in Japanese preparations. This went down easy with its clean, fresh flavor.

Tuna Sashimi

Next were four slices of tuna sashimi served with soy and wasabi. The tuna was marvelously tender, and barely necessitated chewing. The flavors were great as well. These tender pieces of fish would foreshadow what was to come.

Baby Abalone

Baby abalone was next, sliced and served within its shell with yuzu kosho, a Japanese condiment made of peppers and yuzu. The abalone was rather chewy – a very interesting texture and consistency. However, it had a fairly mild ‘sea’ flavor, and I thought it went really well with a touch of soy and the yuzu kosho.

Squid with Uni

This was one of the more memorable dishes from my last visit, and it’s still excellent. The squid acts like noodles, with an al dente texture, and the uni is stirred up like a sauce…creating a pasta-like dish. Pretty unique, and the combination works very well.

What follows is the sushi – I won’t comment on each one individually at the risk of sounding repetitive, but the sushi was really, really good. I’ll say more after the pictures!

Halibut

Albacore


Spanish Mackerel


Scallop


Yellowtail


Medium-Fatty Tuna (Chutoro)


Pompano


Amberjack


Orange Clam


Butterfish seared with a mustard-like sauce


Yellow-Striped Jack


Monkfish Liver


Sweet Shrimp


Pike Fish


Giant Clam


Sardine

Golden Eye Snapper


Barramundi


Squid


Red Snapper


Sea Urchin and Salmon Egg


Halibut Fin


Sea Eel


Fatty Tuna (Toro) Hand Roll


Egg Omelette

I don’t say this very often, but everything was good. The first few pieces set the tone, being very tender, obviously fresh, with good flavor. That would continue throughout the courses, as all of the pieces of fish displayed clean flavors. The rice was consistently barely warm, and the fish at room temperature, which is perfect – I find temperatures are often overlooked at other restaurants.

I think it’s important to note that the sushi chefs will put whatever necessary on top of the sushi and give you instructions to either dip in soy or not to. I love it when they do this! The accompaniments never overshadowed the fish, but really melded well. However, the sushi pieces are on the small side – the fish slices are rather thin. You could say this gives you a chance to try more pieces. My favorites of the night would have to be the albacore, fatty tuna (always is, if prepared well), orange clam, monkfish liver, sweet shrimp, and halibut fin.

This completed our meal, and I’d have to say I was impressed. This was a step above my last trip here, and really solidified its position among the top sushi spots in the city. I think Sushi Zo provides some pretty good value as well, considering the quality of the fish. I will be back!

Sushi Zo provides no dessert options, so we went across town to Scoops to get some ice cream before they closed.

I got a scoop of the the hazelnut smoked porter, as well as the Earl Grey. The flavors are brilliant, though I always struggle with the temperature of the ice cream. I would love it to be a few degrees colder, as it begins to melt too quickly. I do think that one tastes the flavors more when it’s less cold, but I lose too much of the mouth-feel I enjoy.

Slanted Door – 8/30/10

The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

The Slanted Door was one of my favorite restaurants growing up in San Francisco. It’s been at its current location for a while now, in the Ferry Building Marketplace with great views of the San Francisco Bay.

The chef is Charles Phan, who has arguably become the most famous chef of Vietnamese cuisine in the country. Serving upscale Vietnamese food, the restaurant’s been popular ever since it opened in the Mission District in San Francisco in 1995. It continues today as the restaurant was packed for a Monday lunch.

spicy ahi tuna tartare with english cucumber, ginger and toasted sesame

We started with this tuna tartare, which was fairly typical.  I thought the shrimp chips were a nice addition, being the main textural component in this dish.

wild california yellowtail with crispy shallots and Thai basil

I enjoyed the crispy shallots in this dish, adding a nice crunchy sensation to each bite. The Thai basil brightened up the flavors as well.

slanted door spring rolls with shrimp, pork, mint and peanut sauce

This is a classic dish – solid though nothing special. I would compare them to spring rolls you can get at a good Vietnamese restaurant, but these were rather steep at $9.

crispy imperial rolls with shrimp, pork, glass noodles and peanuts

I enjoyed these imperial rolls especially for their delightfully crispy exterior. The pork added a meatier flavor which I always enjoy.

vietnamese crepe with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts and onions

The crepe was thin and very crispy – perfect. Filled with pork and shrimp, I enjoyed this savory crepe. The fish sauce brought it all together.

pho bo vietnamese beef soup with prather ranch london broil and wide rice noodles

Considering Slanted Door’s prices are rather high, I was surprised to see a bowl of pho for $6. However, it all made sense when the bowl came out, as it was about four inches in diameter. Still, a well made pho with a deeply-flavored soup.

caramelized tiger prawns with garlic, onions and chili sauce

The shrimp were overcooked, making them a little mealy. The flavors were good though, with a sweet soy-based flavor and mild heat from the chili peppers.

hodo soy beanery yuba with glass noodles, parsnip, and pioppini mushrooms

I enjoyed these noodles, served warm. The glass noodles have a nice chewy texture to them. The dried beancurd (yuba) added to the lightness of this dish.

grass-fed estancia shaking beef cubed filet mignon, sausalito springs’ watercress, red onions and lime sauce

This is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. I’ve tried duplicating this at home using one of Phan’s published recipes, to no satisfaction.  I don’t think this was worth $32, as there isn’t really too much meat. The meat was cooked a medium-well, but with a fantastic crust. There wasn’t a ton of flavor in my opinion, though.

My meal at Slanted Door had its up-and-downs. For the most part, I thought the food was good and nothing was ‘bad.’ In time, I will likely return, but I’m not in a hurry. The Ferry Building Marketplace itself has so much to offer, and I plan to explore more of those stalls first.

LA Times Celebration of Food & Wine – 9/5/10

LA Times Celebration of Food & Wine
Paramount Pictures Studio Backlot
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

For me, the first LA Times Celebration of Food & Wine was a tale of two stories; one of the General Admission (GA) area and one of the VIP admission area. If I had gotten the GA ticket, I probably would have been completely unsatisfied. Luckily, I purchased a VIP ticket (discounted through Goldstar), and overall I had a good time.

In short, general admission allowed access to a variety of food trucks and food/drink vendors (of which, 90% you had to pay for) and various cooking demonstrations and wine/cooking panel discussions. Eight drink tickets were included to sample various wines and spirits. The VIP admission included all of that, and a separate VIP section, open at 3pm,  with unlimited food/drink tastings at more upscale restaurants and vendors. Ahead of the event, there was no indication that the VIP area was not going to be open until 3 – VIP ticket-holders were effectively a general admission participant until that time. There was very little food included in the price of admission in this area, and any free samples had extensive lines.

Clockwise from the top-left – the event covered a large area of the Paramount backlot; the VIP area was barely getting set up at the time of opening; there were a number of culinary demonstrations – here Mark Peel and Suzanne Goin discuss farm-to-table cooking; food trucks abound including Buttermilk, Border Grill and Nom Nom; discussion panels were a large part of the event – here Aarti Sequeira discusses starting a food blog.

From noon until 3pm, VIP attendees were free to browse the ‘general’ event until the VIP area opened up. This is about the time that everyone realized that the vast majority of food would cost money, even water. Considering the VIP ticket retail price of $125 (or even the $55 GA ticket), I don’t think a lot of people were happy about having to pay $5-10 at each truck/stand. One of the most popular stands throughout the afternoon was Kyochon Chicken.

They passed out samples of their delicious fried chicken and, perhaps more importantly, handed out bags – a critical item in any festival! I lost count of how many times we were asked “where’d you get those bags from?”

Another venue serving free samples was Seedthee Thai – here we have a chicken curry, to be dipped with fresh warm crepes.

This was a nice variation with just the right amount of heat in the curry to keep things interesting.  Tantalum Restaurant offered up samples of a breaded and fried calamari.

This was arguably the best of the free dishes in the GA area with a very tender piece of calamari – the crunchy breading lent the dish a nice textural component.

This exhausted much of the free food we found offered in the GA area – many people started lining up early outside of the VIP area.

Once they opened up the gates, a whole new event unfolded! Food and drink (and water!) were unlimited here, with a much larger variety of restaurants. Our first stop was Water Grill, where exec. chef David LeFevre was shucking oysters all afternoon.

I was a little surprised to see LeFevre shucking these himself all day, but he seemed to really be enjoying himself and chatting it up with everyone that visited the booth. These oysters were quite good, and gave me a fresh, refreshing slurp on a hot summer day. This was definitely a return visit!

Next up was Xino, Chris Yeo’s (notably of Straits Cafe in San Francisco) venture into the new Santa Monica Place. Here he served ha gow and shumai dumplings, as well as chili spareribs.

My favorite here was by far the shumai, which was an excellent variation – densely packed with shrimp and pork. I found the sparerib to be really bony with just a little bit of meat, though the flavors were there.

Next stop was K-Zo, serving spicy salmon over crispy rice, and a “crispy hamachi” dish.

I thought the hamachi was quite good. The fish was fresh with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency. The spicy salmon was good as well, though there was a lot of crispy rice.

Public Kitchen & Bar was serving braised veal cheeks, something I was pretty excited about.

The meat was braised well and extremely tender. The salsa verde was a nice accompaniment.

The Peninsula Beverly Hills served a number of dishes including this salmon and caviar atop a scallion blini.

This was definitely one of the more “upscale” dishes served during the day, and I thought it was a good bite.

Grace served a shellfish ceviche, one of the best dishes of the day.

The pieces of clam, scallops, shrimp and calamari had a great texture to them – overall a delicious and refreshing dish, considering it was a summer afternoon.

Ivan Kane’s Cafe Was chef Alex Reznik, vilified on this season’s Top Chef, had an outstanding booth, presenting three tastes. Having a great sense of humor, he served a pea puree soup, bacon-wrapped dates filled with Roquefort cheese, and Kennebec potato chips.

All of these were very good – the highlight for me was actually the cold soup; Reznik definitely showed he could make a delicious pea puree on his own! It had a good, mild pea flavor with a delicious chunk of pork belly inside. The chips were wonderfully crisped, and the bacon-wrapped dates were very strong as well.

La Casita Mexicana served a chicken mole and a whitefish ceviche.

These were both pretty good. My favorite was the ceviche – bright, vibrant flavors were highlighted by the lime juice.

Susan Feniger’s Street served a Burmese Melon Salad, which was a pretty unique dish.

Melons, coconuts, peanuts, and onions were tossed in a sesame ginger dressing. It was not my favorite dish, but I thought it was a nice choice of dish on a summer afternoon.

Lago served a braised beef tongue in a parsley pesto and an interesting take on a caprese salad – heirloom tomato gelato, burrata cheese, and a basil foam.

The beef tongue was a bold dish to serve, and I liked that they were trying to expand people’s tastes. The tongue and pesto worked well; though the caprese was even better. The fresh burrata was delicious, and the tomato gelato and basil foam were good as well – loved the creativity here.

Next stop was Waterloo & City, serving up a chicken liver foie gras and pate.

Unfortunately I didn’t care too much for these dishes. They were a bit rich considering the weather, and the pate had a thicker consistency than I’m accustomed to.

Eva Restaurant served a potato puree with smoked salmon and chives.

I enjoyed this dish. The puree was creamy, with a slight smokiness from the smoked salmon.

Loteria Grill served, clockwise from top left, a guava empanada, a ceviche, and a corn tart with poblano chiles.

The empanada was interesting, but my favorite was the ceviche (see a trend?) Cool and refreshing, it was perfect for summer.

Westside Tavern served a lamb french dip.

This was excellent – the slices of lamb were tender and flavorful, with a little bit of horseradish for heat, and the roll was soft and yielding.

Mar’sel offered up an heirloom tomato gazpacho and a currant tomato and farro salad.

The highlight for me here was the gazpacho with its sweet tomato flavor contrasted by a little bit of yogurt.

RockSugar was serving BBQ lacquered ribs and a green mango and papaya salad.

The ribs were boneless and very tender. The sweet BBQ sauce added some great flavor to them; the salad was a nice accompaniment, considering its refreshing acidity.

Palate Food & Wine was serving a sardine banh mi with lamb heart, pickled melon, mint and a pistachio aillade.  Interesting.

The lamb heart was quite tender, and the sardines added a little bit of saltiness and fishiness. I thought this was a pretty good dish; my only problem was that this was a huge serving!

New restaurant Salt’s Cure offered house-cured yellowtail with pickled jalapeno and creme fraiche atop a crostini.

I’m not a big smoked fish fan, but I appreciated the smoky, tender fish and the textural interplay of the crusty crostini.

Josie Restaurant served truffle chips.

These were very good. The chips were very crispy and had a great parmesan and truffle flavor to them.

District served a zucchini bread dessert.

This cake-like dessert was pretty moist, with a distinctive yet subtle zucchini flavor. Delicious!

Sam’s by the Beach served an oven roasted pheasant with sour cream and a port wine sauce, accompanied by a carrot and red bell pepper souffle.

Another strong dish here. The pheasant had good flavor, and was not gamey at all. The carrot and bell pepper souffle was equally as strong, with the characteristic flavor of the bell pepper showing through.

I didn’t get many pictures of the vintners or spirits, but there was a pretty good selection. Notably, I was able to participate in tastings of Green River Valley Sake, Casa Noble Tequilas, and Bache-Gabrielsen cognacs. I felt so enlightened to learn and taste the differences between an XO and a VSOP cognac! VeeV Acai Liqueur was making custom-made cocktails with a variety of herbs and vegetables.

To close the night, the She & Him duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward performed.

I was pretty happy with the event, though this was largely attributable to the VIP area. As this was the first time for this event, it’s understandable there would be some issues. To me, the main problem was that it wasn’t explicit what exactly was included in the GA ticket versus the VIP ticket – I’m sure many people (myself included) figured there would be more food included in the $55 GA price tag; managing these expectations would be a critical element to customer satisfaction.  If the LA Times decides to bring this event back next year, I’m sure it will come back even stronger. If they don’t bring it back, there’s also the Taste of Beverly Hills…

LudoBites – 9/2/10

LudoBites 5.0 at Gram & Papa’s
227 E 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015

This would be my final visit to LudoBites 5.0, on its second-to-last night. Ludo likes to keep the menu constantly changing, so the menu has changed fairly significantly since my first visit on opening night. However, a lot of our favorites were still on the menu (including the wagyu beef over somen noodles and the potato mousseline). As a result, this would end up being my best LudoBites experience. Given the constant buzz and the fact that I’ve been here four times since May, I’m even surprised that I keep enjoying it more and more.

Similar to opening night, super-food writer Jonathan Gold was present – and was one of the last tables to leave. Ex-NFL star Warren Sapp dined as well; seemingly random, but I know that he is friends with the Lefebvres.

Warm Baguette, Seaweed Buckwheat Butter

The naan served earlier in 5.0 had gotten semi-mixed reviews, and here Ludo decided to bring back the baguette.  It’s a really good baguette, served warm and salted, complemented by a nice seaweed buckwheat butter.

Hot Miso Soup, Cherry Tomato, Uni Black Panini

This soup-and-sandwich pairing reminded me of a recent Hatchi meal with a “burger” and miso soup. The panini is a metamorphosis of the foie gras croque monsier – the uni is much more subtle, though I could still pick out the briny flavor in each bite. The miso soup was a strong variation; the tomatoes weren’t even necessary to make this soup good, but provided a really vibrant flavor.

King Salmon “a l’huile” Juniper Berries, Rainbow Carrot, Orange Ice, Pistachio

This was a totally new dish, and it was excellent. Slices of raw salmon were complemented well by acidity and coolness of the orange ice, and the pistachio and crunchy carrots provided some great texture.

Heirloom Tomato Salad, Mozzarella Ice Cream, Basil Crumble


Some really sweet and ripe tomatoes were presented here in an interesting version of a caprese salad. The mozzarella was in the form of an ice cream, and the basil in a crunchy crumble. I loved how Ludo brought these three ingredients together in different textural elements. All of the flavors were distinctive and excellent on their own, though the tomatoes were the star for me.

Raw Wagyu Beef, Somen Noodle, Peanut Vinaigrette, Watermelon

This was one of my favorites from opening night – our table ended up ordering four orders of this. The beef is tender and flavorful, and the watermelon adds some brightness to this dish. The peanuts added a nice crunch to the dish as well – stir this all up and you have a fantastic bite.

Poached Egg, Potato Mousseline, Chorizo Condiment

This was another favorite from last trip…and another that we ordered four dishes of. The mousseline was so smooth and went really well with the rich, runny egg yolk. The flowers here added some flavor as well, giving this dish a floral essence.

Sauteed Chanterelles, Peach, Black Garlic, Breadcrumbes & Parsley

This was another new dish for us. The chanterelles were quite tender, and the peaches added a nice sweetness and brightness to the dish.

Grilled Octopus, Oregano, Burnt Red Bell Pepper Polenta, Pineapple Aioli, Piment D’Espellette Gelee

The octopus was perfectly cooked, yielding very tender tentacles. The pineapple aioli added just the right amount of sweetness and acid, while the chili gelee added just a touch of heat.

Santa Barbara Prawn, Cinnamon Beurre Blanc, Beignet, Shrimp Powdered Sugar

The shrimp were nicely cooked and the cinnamon beurre blanc – sounds kind of weird, I know – does really work. The beignet, however, wasn’t as light as others I’ve had, and didn’t add too much to the dish.

Hot Foie Gras Dynamite, Raw Tuna, Lychee, Crackers

Love the colors on this dish. The foie gras was covered with Ludo’s “Dynamite” sauce. The heat was tempered by the lychee, as well as the cool tuna. I could’ve used a bigger piece of the foie gras though, as it didn’t stand out as much amongst the other ingredients.

John Dory, Saffron Risotto, Chanterelles Mousse Emulsion

John Dory is a firmer white fish, and here it was cooked perfectly. The saffron risotto was excellent as well, providing a sort of “seafood risotto.” The chanterelle foam adds a nice flavor to this as well. I loved this dish.

Confit Pork Belly, Raw Choucroute Thai Style, Mustard Ice Cream

This dish was similar to one we had on opening night. The pork belly was very tender and flavorful, and the Thai coleslaw added a refreshing contrast to the richness of the pork, with its slight acidity. The mustard ice cream added a little heat – not something I’d eat on a cone, but I thought it worked well in this application!

Roasted Sonoma Saddle of Lamb, Goat Cheese, Candied Black Olive, Artichoke Salad, Mint Pesto


The lamb was cooked well here, though it was a bit chewy – really not as tender as I expected. The goat cheese, with a marshmallow consistency, was not overwhelming but provided a good depth of flavor. I thought the artichoke salad was oversalted.

Marinated Steak (“Korean Style”), Pickled Vegetables, Grilled Baby Corn, Crispy Bacon


I think skirt steak was used here, and it was marinated and grilled “Korean style.” It was a really flavorful piece of meat, and the acidity from the pickled vegetables complemented the steak well.

Cheese Plate Saint-Nectaire (Cow) with Pear Kimchi Chutney; Epoisse (Cow) with Whole Grain Mustard, Honeycomb; Roncal (Sheep) with Apricots-Lavender Jam

As an intermezzo, we had the cheese plate. I’m not a big cheese person, and was saving room for dessert, so I passed on this. The rest of our party seemed to enjoy it though.

Chocolate Cake, Spicy Olive Oil

Onto the dessert! This was a new dish for me. The chocolate cake was not entirely special, but the spicy olive oil here really kicked things up.

“Sundae” Pistachio Ice Cream, Bing Cherries, Hot Chocolate Sauce, Salted Pistachio

Layers of pistachio ice cream, hot chocolate sauce, and bing cherries topped with whipped cream – how can you go wrong? You can’t. This dish seemed relatively simple for Ludo’s standards, and was excellent. I’m not really sure what it was, but the flavors were incredible together, and the salted pistachio bits on top added a very nice crunch to each bite.

Caramel Souffle, Grapefruit Gelee, Fleur De Sel Ice Cream

We had been looking forward to this all night. Ludo makes a terrific souffle. It was so light and airy, with a good caramel flavor. It was served piping hot, and when combined with the cold, salty ice cream, became a really delicious combination.

Service was excellent, something that I don’t always see at “pop-up” restaurants. In all, this was probably my favorite LudoBites experience of all of the five times I’ve been able to experience it. Ludo is able to wield creative and interesting flavor combinations together that, most importantly, work. I’m a little sad to see LudoBites 5.0 come to an end, but I’m already looking forward to 6.0 later this year.

Tartine, Pizzeria Delfina, Bi-Rite – 8/29/10

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Pizzeria Delfina
3611 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

It’s hard for me to think of another city block that has such a diverse selection of good food than this San Francisco block of 18th Street, between Guerrero and Dolores. On one corner you have Tartine Bakery, one of the best bakeries in the city. A few doors down is Pizzeria Delfina, home to some of the best pizza in the city, and its sister restaurant, Delfina, which is notable for rustic, upscale Italian food. Just a few storefronts down is Bi-Rite Market, a neighborhood market home to fresh, organic produce from its own farms. And across the street from that is Bi-Rite Creamery, a nationally recognized ice cream shop, which happens to be my favorite. I’ve always said you could make a helluva day having breakfast at Tartine, grabbing lunch at Pizzeria Delfina, having dinner at Delfina, and enjoying dessert at Bi-Rite – without leaving the block.

I tested this hypothesis in a nutshell by turning this into a three-stop lunch.

Tartine Bakery

Tartine always seems to be packed, with a line reaching far out the door. I’ve heard people rave about all sorts of pastries at Tartine, from the bread pudding to the croissants to the cakes, but I come for one thing – the morning bun.

I like to describe this pastry as some sort of half-cinnamon roll, half-croissant hybrid. It can be one of the hardest things to get at Tartine, typically selling out long before noon (maybe what’s why they call it a morning bun?). Just my luck, I was able to get one around noon on this Sunday.

Best when fresh out of the oven (what isn’t), it’s flaky on the outside, with a really buttery, moist interior. Caramelized orange rind is dispersed throughout, giving the pastry a little bit of candied chew and fresh orange flavor. Remarkable.

Pizzeria Delfina

Maybe ten feet down is Pizzeria Delfina, where we had the bulk of our lunch. Created by Craig and Anne Stoll of Delfina, this place was set out to be a more casual restaurant serving pizzas and various Italian specialties.

Crazy Melon watermelon, feta cheese, olive oil, chili flake

I thought this was a pretty interesting dish and perfect for the summer. The watermelon was tasty and juicy, though I thought there were too many chili flakes. There was nothing to temper the heat, and it overwhelmed the more mild flavors of the melon.

Oxtails alla Pizzaiolo braised in red wine, crispy potatoes

The oxtail was quite tender and braised well, though I wouldn’t say it was particularly memorable. However, the potatoes were – half french fry, half potato chip, with a nice crispy exterior and just a little bit of a fluffy interior. Excellent.

Margherita Pizza tomato, fior di latte mozzarella, basil

The Margherita is something almost every pizzeria has, making it easy to compare one pizza at a number of places. At Pizzeria Delfina, it’s reliably good with a fantastic, chewy crust. The flavors of the tomato, mozzarella, and basil are individually distinctive, yet work well together.

Bi-Rite Creamery

I’ve been to Bi-Rite numerous times, and I have to say it’s probably my favorite ice cream shop. They have a number of creative, interesting flavors (though not quite as unusual as Humphry Slocombe) such as honey lavender, ginger, roasted banana, and balsamic strawberry. In addition, they have some “comfortable” favorites like vanilla, chocolate, mint chip and cookies & cream.

I opted for my go-to: honey lavender. It’s hard to describe. It’s not overwhelmingly sweet, nor overwhelmingly of lavender..you’ll just have to try it yourself. I had commented that Ludo’s honey lavender butter of LudoBites 4.0 was eerily similar in flavor, so if you’ve had that, you’re on the right track.

If you’re in San Francisco, I definitely recommend checking out some of the places on this block. There’s something for everyone, and I think you’ll be able to find something (or many things) to enjoy!