Hog Island Oyster Co
Oxbow Public Market
610 1st St
Napa, CA 94559
Dining date: 7/2/16
Hog Island Oyster Co. is based out of Tomales Bay, just north of San Francisco, with oyster bar locations in both San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Napa’s Oxbow Market. As its name implies, the restaurant serves up fresh oysters and other shellfish of all varieties, prepared very simply.
I’ve been to both the SF and Napa locations a couple of times. They’ve been very popular with both locals and tourists; lengthy waits are commonplace at this no-reservations spot especially on weekends. While spending the long holiday weekend in Napa, I stopped in for a lunch meal.
2065 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
Dining date: 7/1/16
Lord Stanley opened about a year ago and has garnered some high praise in its first year. It received a Michelin star in October and was added to Michael Bauer’s Top 100 Restaurants in the Bay Area list in April after getting 3 1/2 stars from him.
The food is from the husband/wife team of Carrie and Rupert Blease, formerly of Commonwealth and Central Kitchen. At Lord Stanley, they are cooking a refined cuisine described as modern European/Californian. A seven course tasting menu is available ($83), but we went a la carte on this evening.
Montage Beverly Hills
225 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 6/11/16
Georgie opened just a couple of weeks ago, a brand new concept at the Montage Beverly Hills. It takes the place of Scarpetta, and they’ve swapped one TV chef out for another in bringing Geoffrey Zakarian to prepare his modern American cuisine. This is Zakarian’s first west coast venture after opening up several restaurants in the northeast.
Most of the front and back of house Scarpetta staff has stayed on, as has executive chef Freddy Vargas. The restaurant is dinner-only right now, but will be expanding to all day service soon.
649 Jackson St
San Francisco, CA 94133
Dining date: 6/5/16
I’ve been to Great Eastern countless times. It’s been a staple for family gatherings on my dad’s side for decades, serving up banquet-style Chinese food. I don’t come here nearly as often since I’m no longer local, but squeezed in a meal on a recent trip.
The restaurant is best known for an impromptu takeout order by Barack Obama in 2012, which reliably brings Chinatown tourists through these doors. I’d like to think the food continues to draw locals into the restaurant too, though.
319 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 6/4/2016
I first dined at Simbal in February but recently returned for this second visit. Coincidentally, the restaurant celebrated its first anniversary this past week. The restaurant is still going strong serving up its modern southeast Asian-inspired cuisine.
We got seats at the kitchen counter again providing a view of the action. In terms of ordering, we opted to order entirely different things this time just to try more of the menu.
9041 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Dining date: 5/29/16
It’s been a little while since I’ve visited chef Kris Yenbamroong’s Night + Market. It’s still going strong – a third location is anticipated for Venice later this month. 2016 has been a big year for Yenbamroong after being named a semifinalist for a James Beard award (Best Chef: West) and named one of the best new chefs by Food & Wine.
Night + Market was the choice for a dinner to catch up with old friends. It would be the first time trying the restaurant for them.