June 3, 2010

California Noms - Food from our California Vacation

The Hubs and I went on our first big vacation. I have 2 blogs about this, but this is the food portion, the other will detail my brother's wedding and our sightseeing!

First thing is the Hubs and I found Piedmont Avenue...we love it!! I had a headache from our flight debacle and maybe not enough sleep but he was like "We are walking around." My dad told us about the street behind my brother's apt. and there were shops and cafes and what not, so we went there. Fell in love! They have this place called L'Amyx Tea Bar, and that did it. I had 3 good cups of their Jasmine Dragon Pearls Green Tea and my headache was gone and I was feeling much better. Hubsie got a Mango Iced Green Tea, he loved it! This place was awesome! They give you handmade tea cups, that I am sure you could find on Etsy and a little wrought iron tea pot, so cute and festive...I want to live there! I mean $3.25 and you get your tea pot refilled over and over and over, amazing.

Jasmin Dragon Pearls Tea
Loved the handmade cup and small iron tea pot!

We had lunch at Holly Mandarin's. Dan, my hubsie, got General Tso's Chicken, cause that's all he ever gets except...this was the best damn General Tso's Chicken EVER!! The Chinese food here, in Ohio, sucks compared to this stuff!! We were spoiled there to say the least. I got what the called the "Bird's Nest" it was shrimp and chicken with vegetables in a light sauce served in a bird's nest of noodles. I think I went more for the visual appeal, but it was still good, but I really wanted what Dan got. Also I got brown rice on the side with mine, which was really good, and I was glad they had brown rice as an option. It was delicious. It came with a bowl of Miso soup...but yeah, we didn't like it, but Miso soup is weird anyway.

General Tso's Chicken and Bird's Nest @ Holly Mandarin's Oakland, CA

Friday night, after the rehearsal dinner we went back to the Hotel Shattuck in Berekley and had some drinks at their restaurant/bar Five. I first had a great Hemingway Daiquiri, it was rum and grapefruit and it was ultra smooth and very light. Then the bartender offered to make me his own Cosmopolitan, which again, so good, and very smooth. The make everything from scratch, no pre-made sour mix or anything. And lastly I had a Lemon Drop cocktail, it tasted exactly like a lemonhead candy, it was amazing.

After drinks, my brother said "We're getting tacos." It was quite random but we were kinda tipsy and tacos sounded amazing. He took us out to East Oakland to a taco truck, Tacos Mi Rancho. Now let me tell you....I was SO excited to go to a taco truck!! I just see these random food stands on Food Network and stuff, I have never been to one, so I was so excited! The tacos were amazing. I got Asada tacos (steak), the Hubs got chicken and my bro got Carnitas (pork). They are more traditional tacos so they were on 2 really small soft tortillas and spiced just right and were really delicious.

Saturday was the wedding. In the morning we went over to Piedmont again...we seriously had an addiction, and we got breakfast at The Posh Bagel and then got some coffee at Peet's Coffee and Tea. We also stopped by this great Italian market/deli called A. G. Ferrari to pick up lunch for us girl's that would be getting ready at the hotel later on. I got a great Prosciutto di Parma sandwich with some kind of soft cheese and spring mix lettuce on foccacia , it was quite good. And the sandwiches were huge!

For the wedding dinner they did one table of Filipino fare and one of Italian fare to represent the bride and grooms nationalities. It was really cool, cause each side got to maybe taste foods they have not had before. And they had a whole roast pig!
I took a picture of my plate....but it didn't look very appealing. It was just a mish-mosh of food, and didn't look very good...but it tasted amazing! Everything was good!

L'Amyx Tea Bar - Piedmont Avenue Oakland, CA

Sunday, our last day there, we ended up on Piedmont again in the morning. We stopped for tea (this time Hubs got a tea smoothie, Mango Jazz, Mango, Passionfruit Green Tea blended) and then we were hungry and we were wasting time before my brother and his new wifey got back so we could go sightseeing. We ended up having lunch at Barney's Gourmet Burgers. My stomach was feeling kinda iffy that day so I got a plain Turkey burger, it was pretty good, I wish I could have gotten something more exciting but I wasn't feeling all that well. The hubs got a Blackened Burger that had a Louisiana Cajun dust and pepper jack cheese, he said it was awesome. I forgot to take pictures, so...oops!
We went sightseeing and the traffic going over the Golden Gate Bridge going back would have been dreadful so my brother decided we would have dinner in Sausalito and we ended up at Fish. This restaurant was great. First I had a nice bowl of Clam Chowder. It was really yummy, with big chunks of potato and fresh clams and it had a nice bacon flavor.

Claw Chowder at Fish.

Also I tried my first raw, fresh oyster. It was delicious! I didn't try it with the mignoette sauce or cocktail sauce, just with a nice squeeze of lemon over the top. It was fresh and tender, and very good! And as you can see in the picture, we ate them all before I got a picture of them...haha :)

Chilled and Shucked Fresh Oysters

For my main entree I choose from the "Your Daily Fish." Menu. I got the fresh Monterey Calamari and you can choose to have it over salad greens, pasta or as a sammich. I got mine over pasta and it. was. so. good. I mean I wasn't feeling well that day, but I kept wanting to take more bites even though I was full and feeling queasy. There wasn't a sauce or anything over the pasta and seafood, they just go with the natural juices and fresh lemon they used to cook the calamari. It was great and really fresh!

Fresh Monterey Calamari over Pasta

The Hubs got Fish. and Chips. Doesn't that look amazing?! You could choose between fresh Alaskan Halibut or local Miyagi Oysters, but then that would be oysters and chips, not fish and chips. It was a serving of 3 or 4 pieces of beer battered Halibut over potato wedges with a homemade tartar sauce. I, of course, had to try a bite and you coudl really taste the beer batter and it was just delicious.

Fish and Chips (Fresh Alaskan Halibut)

That is the last of our California Nomming. It was such a great trip full of great food, family love and happy memories. I can't wait to go on another trip...it was over far too quickly!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry...and go on a great food vacation!!


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