Restaurants tackled on the World’s Top 50 restaurants

World’s Top 50 resties — 2014

It took me about 5 years to build up this list.  The amount of work and attention to detail that these restaurants perform is incredible.  In the same trip, I ate at Geranium and Noma.  At the time, Geranium was #50 and Noma was #1.  The two were almost indistinguishable.  2 fave restaurant in the US: Per Se and Alinea.  Bravo to the chefs and staff.  My culinary journey was nothing short of a blessing.

The 2016 World’s Best Restaurants list and with my updated dining list from 2015-2016:

  • (6) Mirazur
  • (7) Mugaritz
  • (10) Asador Extebarri
  • (12) Quintonil
  • (16) Azurmendi
  • (17) Piazza Duomo
  • (21) Arzak
  • (25) Pujol
  • (31) Nihonryori RyuGin
  • (46) Combal Zero

Saturday, May 23 in SF

Caught the early morning flight out of SD and landed in SF around 8:30am.  It was super easy to catch the BART from the SFO airport to downtown SF.  Checked my bags into the Clift Hotel so I could start walking the city!

From Union Sq I headed out to the Fillmore district and stumbled upon Japan town!  I bet both of these places  are hopping more in the evening than the early morning!  It was quite a hike and there were some dicey areas along the way.

The purpose of the walk was to head to the area where lunch was going to be.  Lunch resie @ SPQR!  It was very small but had a cute open kitchen concept.  Great staff.  Yummy chicken liver mousse. Savory beef cheeks.  Decadent tiramisu.

After this heavy lunch, I decided I again needed to do some walking so caught the Muni out to the start of the Twin Peaks hike.  It wasn’t too bad.  Nice uphill walk with beautiful views of the city.  Too bad it was still pretty foggy — I can only imagine on a clear day that the sight would be spectacular!

The people I have met in San Francisco are incredibly nice.  People were telling me how to get to places and which buses to take (yes, even after looking at Google Maps…human clarity was needed!).  It’s a very different vibe from NYC — so I do truly believe that SF is more my vibe.  West coast is the best coast!

After walking about 7 miles (thanks Strava!) back to the hotel, I was pretty tired.  Curled up for a lil nap and then started getting ready for my dinner @ Quince.  Grabbed an Uber and headed over for my 9p dining experience.

It started with a wonderful welcome by the staff (and yes, they were able to accommodate me a bit early at 8:45p).  One of my biggest pet peeves is being late to a reservation.  They greeted me with a wonderful champagne and the evening meal commenced.

They started with several amuse bouches to get the palate going.  They were all so amazingly delicious!  Alaskan uni?!  Melted away on your tongue with that sweet and briny flavor that I’ve grown to love in my uni.

First course (middle left): Golden osetra caviar panna cotta with chive, egg yolk, and shallot paired with Delamotte, Blanc de Blancs, Brut, Champagne, France NV.  The wine pairing champagne that they brought out with the caviar was so lovely! It was floral and slightly sweet on the palate and effervescent.  I need to find a bottle!

Second course (middle right): California king salmon with Zuckerman farm green asparagus, buttermild, and dill paired with Lucien Crochet, “Le chene,” Sancerre, Loire Valley, France 2013.  Terrific pairing.  Salmon rare wrapped around a large tasty asparagus.  Excellent flavors.

Bread course: rye bread with buffalo milk butter.  I kept eating the butter! It was mixed with a yogurt for extra flavor — but it was so delicious!

Third course (bottom left): White asparagus with gulf crawfish, cardoon, and chervil paired with F.X. Pichler, Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, “Urgestein Terrassen,” Wachau, Austria 2012.  This was an exquisite dish! The broth under the asparagus with so smooth and comforting — almost making this dish feel ‘meaty’.  The wine itself was amazing.  Perhaps I need to grab a bottle of this as well.

Fourth course (bottom right): Tagliolini stuffed with big island abalone, garlic scape, and scallion paired with Domaine Theulot Juillot, “Champs Martins,” Mercurey Premier Cru, Burgundy, France 2006.  Delicious plate. I thought the course paired better with the wines from the 2nd and 3rd courses.  It was a 100% pinot noir from Burgundy.

Fifth course (top left of 2nd grouping): Casoncelli stuffed with phil paine’s squab, ruby beet, and borage paired with Fattoria di Felsina, “Berardenga,”  Chianti Classico Riserva, Tuscany, Italy 1995. The squab had a wonderful smoked flavor that was perfectly paired with the sweet beet and mellowed by the borage.  I really enjoyed this dish. Also very nice pairing with the 1995 Chianti.

Sixth course (top right): Watson farm spring lamb with artichoke, zucchini blossom stuffed with lamb sausage, and sunflower paired with Chateau Leoville-Barton, Saint Julien, Bordeaux, France 1978.  This dish was extremely tasty.  Lamb three ways.  The cube on the left was lamb with a nice 5 spice seasoning and glaze.  The main chop was served medium rare and the flavor was overwhelming delicious.  The squash blossom was stuffed with a lamb sausage.  Lastly on the right was the cubed shoulder that was tender.  Well executed dish.

Palate cleanser (middle left): shaved ice, wild strawberries, strawberry jam and 24k gold flakes/paper.  Wonderfully light yet sweet.  The strawberries were intense with flavor.

Bday surprise dessert (middle right): a mousse of some sort that was delightful and very rich

7th course (bottom left): Valrhona guanaja mousse with goat milk gelato, grapefruit, and rosemary paired with Graham’s, “20 year tawny,” Oporto, Portugal.  The goat milk gelato was incredible!

Overall excellent restaurant with wonderful flavor and staff.  They had several people on their staff from San Diego.  A really nice touch was that they would come greet me… all 3 of them and we’d chit chat about the city and dining scene.  They also gave me some great tips for checking out the Mission for Sunday.  Headed home via Uber — that’s a good thing bc after all that wine….I just wanted to zzzzzzzzz.