Brenda’s French Soul Food (San Francisco, CA)

Brenda’s French Soul Food
652 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dining date: 11/30/15

Exterior

Brenda’s is one of the city’s most popular brunch spots (although it is open for dinner too), serving up a mashup of southern soul food and American brunch standbys. That means gumbo, po’boys and beignets on the menu next to omelettes and French toast.

This was my first time to the restaurant; we were able to squeeze into the last two seats available during a busy Monday lunch rush. Breakfast is served until 3pm while lunch is served from 11am onwards, and we arrived right in that sweet spot where both menu options were available. We tried a couple of items from each.

Interior

Continue reading

Octavia (San Francisco, CA)

Octavia
1701 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94109
Dining date: 11/28/15

Exterior

Octavia is Melissa Perello’s second restaurant following the success of Michelin-starred Frances. Frances has been consistently popular since opening in 2009, so it was no surprise to hear Perello would open this sequel six years later. Opened in April, Octavia’s garnered mostly positive reviews including its very own Michelin star this year.

I stopped in for a late, rather spontaneous dinner over the Thanksgiving holiday. Pictures were taken with my phone for this post.

Interior

Continue reading

The Progress (San Francisco, CA)

The Progress
1525 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
Dining date: 11/29/15

Exterior

The Progress is Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s follow-up to uber popular State Bird Provisions. Opened for almost a year now, the restaurant is located just next door to State Bird and has also gained mostly positive reviews (though not quite to the same crazy hype as their first restaurant). I was able to dine in with the parents as the last meal in SF over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Interior

Continue reading

The Slanted Door (San Francisco, CA)

The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Bldg
San Francisco, CA 94111
Dining date: 11/28/15

exterior

It’s been five years since I’ve been to the Slanted Door, Charles Phan’s flagship Vietnamese restaurant in the Ferry Building. The restaurant is as popular as ever since opening eleven years ago, recently noted as the highest grossing independent restaurant in California last year. Given the announcement of the second Slanted Door location opening up in downtown Los Angeles, I thought it was a good time to revisit. I made a reservation pretty far in advance for a Saturday lunch while the Ferry Building farmers market would be open. Two birds, one stone.

interior

Continue reading

Petit Crenn (San Francisco, CA)

Petit Crenn
609 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dining date: 11/27/15

Petit Crenn

Petit Crenn is Dominique Crenn’s follow-up to her two Michelin starred Atelier Crenn. This restaurant is very different from the Atelier’s haute multi-course tasting menus; Petite Crenn is a small neighborhood restaurant serving a daily family-style menu inspired by Crenn’s childhood in Brittany, France. The food is seafood and vegetable-focused and is priced at a relatively reasonable $79pp for five courses (inclusive of service).

We dined at the Chef’s Table on this evening, which contrary to my assumption, was neither in the kitchen nor had much of a view of the kitchen. It’s a six-top in a secluded corner of the main dining room serving an ‘enhanced’ version of that night’s menu (upgraded ingredients and extra courses). For the privilege, these seats were $120pp inclusive of service.

Kitchen

Continue reading

Ad Lib (Yountville, CA)

Ad Lib
Silverado Resort
1600 Atlas Peak Rd
Napa, CA 94558
Dining date: 8/30/15

Silverado

When The French Laundry closed this past winter for a remodel, Thomas Keller partnered with Napa’s Silverado Resort to open up a temporary restaurant on the grounds. The primary reason was to keep the TFL team employed while the restaurant was closed, which was only supposed to be about 3-4 months. The French Laundry did reopen in April, but Ad Lib’s run has been extended through October when the resort will host a PGA Tour event.

While I am a huge Thomas Keller fan, I was a little apprehensive about trying Ad Lib. The restaurant had received somewhat mixed reviews and The French Laundry staff had already departed in April back to their home restaurant. Furthermore, one of the most popular dishes from the original run, a short rib beef wellington, was no longer on the menu. However, I figured I might as well give the restaurant a try during its limited run.

Interior1

Interior2

Temporarily situated inside the resort’s Royal Oak restaurant, Ad Lib was one of the dimmest restaurants in recent memory. The focus of the decor was primarily on the large windows peering out onto the resort grounds and its golf course. While it was dark by the time of our reservation, we observed a striking moonrise over the mountains.

Continue reading