Tag Archives: seafood

Most Romantic Foodie Dates

17 Feb

My artichoke heart and hearts of palm V-Day dip

We are still in the month of February and love is still in the air. I have recently written about S.F’s Best Restaurants for a First Date and Eight Dishes to Get Your Valentine Thinking About Sex, so I guess that makes me an expert on food and love. One question: Why I am never fully satiated with either and still on the hunt for delicious food and a delicious lover? True Story:  I once had a guy work on a comic book for me called The Insatiables.

Let me steer men and women to foodgasms and orgasms alike, and hopefully polish myself off at the same time. In my experience, people that are passionate about food are passionate about love making. Foodies make the best lovers! So here are three different date ideas to indulge in some good food and land yourself a foodie.

Date #1: How about we…head to Tartine and share a banana cream tart.

Photo Credit: BrasilPo P. on Yelp

Tartine can be trite, there is always a line around the block, and since the New York Times deemed it the “Best Bakery in America” it is a top foodie destination. So, why am I recommending this place? First, it does give you some foodie street cred. Secondly, it is a damn good bakery and the dish that I am talking about is perfect. Bananas in cream, is just as sexy as it comes. Hot apple pie is for teenagers, banana cream pie is for lovers. Grab a fork for each of you, dig into the flaky crust, and go to town on the sweet creamy filling.

Date #2 How about we…sit at the Hog Island Oyster Co. bar and slurp oysters together.

Photo Credit: Katherine C. on Yelp

Anyway you shuck it or serve it, oysters are sexy. A well-known aphrodisiac that has reminded us of lady parts for centuries just happens to be the most elite of foods meant for the most refined of palates. If foodie was a religion, then the Ferry Building would be it’s Mecca. The Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Ferry Building is an institution in itself and is the perfect place to have a date. The guys will do the heavy shucking, you and your date just get to slurp away and let the slimy goodness work its magic.

Date #3 How about we…head to Tony’s and eat a meatball pizza pie, eh?

“When the moon hits your eye
Like a big-a pizza pie
That’s amore”

The two things we are talking about, food and romance, the Italians do very well. A date in San Francisco’s very own Little Italy, North Beach, is a date worth having. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is by far my favorite pizza in this city. I am a meatball girl (how am I still single?) and my favorite pizza is the Soprano with Tony’s famous meatballs on top, I also have them add on some ricotta. I think of Tony Soprano, my mouth experiences great things, I down a couple glasses of chianti, and even if my date happens to be lame I come out a winner. Between meatballs and a circular pie, I will be having a ball and so will you!

These three date options will charm the pants off of any foodie and if, for any reason, it doesn’t you will at the very least go home feeling that the food satisfied you!


Umi has some Ultra Yummy Options

12 Jan

One visit to True Sake in Hayes Valley and I left with a bottle of sake that drank like a Riesling and a restaurant name scribbled on a receipt. The restaurant was Umi and it was the recommendation of the worker who just moved from Japan. I felt as if I had a secret password that I just really wanted to try out, so the next day I headed to Portrero for a meal that has yet to been forgotten. I love Japanese food but it always seems like there is a bit of a sacrifice that I have to make. I either go to a place with awesome sashimi (Shimo in the Outer Richmond), an izakaya for small plates (Izakaya Sozai in the Inner Sunset), and then yet another place  for a perfect bowl of katsu don. At Umi it is a one stop shop; you can get all of these things and more with each item cooked or uncooked beautifully. The Broccoli Rabe ($4.50), which is blanched and then topped with Goma dressing is my favorite way to start off my meal at Umi.

Along with their regular menu you will receive another menu with their daily specials on it, including what fish has just been caught and is the freshest. I always order a large sampler (variety, folks) of the Sashimi Specials ($13.00-20.00) and am never disappointed. Amberjack, mackerel, and yellowtail, oh my! Even if it is unlisted on the special sashimi menu, I order Hotate Nigiri ($4.50) because a raw scallop is one of life’s greatest foods. I was once asked on a date what is something that really makes me sad and my answer was, “Cooked scallops and salmon. Why do people do that, don’t they know how good it is raw?” I got a look of bewilderment in response and I thought to myself about my favorite twitter hashtag #1stworldproblem.

Everyone is at a difference stage in their sushi development, so whether you are stuck on California Rolls or can’t eat shellfish, Umi has options. My former business partner had an unfortunate seafood allergy so she always stuck to porky goodness on our Japanese meal outings. She got me hooked on Katsu Donburi and, trust me, the version served up at Umi is perfection. A hot rice bowl with pork, onion, and egg on top is perfect on a cold day when you don’t feel like cold light sushi.

I am now passing the word onto you, Umi is the spot for all of your Japanese food needs. There is no sushi bar to sit at but there is either a patio area or indoor seating, talk about options.


1328 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94107

(415) 355-1328

Boiling Crab: My Favorite Restaurant EVAH

28 Feb

B.C. is an abbreviation that to most stands for Before Christ. I have always been self-involved and have always used it to stand for “Before Carina.” In fact, whenever I am with a guy that I am dating I am normally am forced to ask, “B.C?” To make sure he isn’t talking about another girl after he has already met me. I will blame my youth on being so self-involved. I have always assumed that only when I have kids will I be truly humbled, as I have never been a strong believer in g-d. So at some point in the future I have thought that B.C. would stand for Before Children.  Life is a funny thing and B.C. has ended up taking on the abbreviation of something that I am a million times in awe of something that truly brings me to my knees. B.C. now refers to my favorite restaurant in the world, Boiling Crab. Everything about this place is brilliant and it has the richest story. It started in Texas with a Vietnamese-American husband and wife began serving Cajun food up in a town with only 2,000 people. Since that humble beginning in 2003 they now live in OC and have 5 location including my closest one in Alhambra and one only miles from where I was born in San Jose, CA. It is one of those amazing American stories that brings together love, different states, different cuisines, and creates something that is truly delicious.

I have been to Boiling Crab several times and every time the food is perfect and exactly what I expect it to be. If it was up to me I’d be going every week or so but alas my other UG 1/2 can’t eat shellfish and despite making it a New Years resolution every year I still can’t eat alone. Therefore, Boiling Crab is always a place that I have to wait to have either dates or friends to go with me. A month ago I was having lunch at C & S with Minty and her friend and I got the obligatory, “What’s your favorite restaurant?” question. I, of course, answered that it was B.C. Her friend had an upcoming birthday and was interested in trying it. I invited myself to the b-day dinner and we were joined by the climbing couple (CliminChiro and ClimbingDancer) that also share a B.C. love. B.C. always has a line and a strict rule that you can’t be seated unless everyone in the party is present. You can imagine how bad I felt being the last one to arrive, I may have been only 6 minutes late but when you walk in to this place and think about what you will soon be devouring it feels like a lifetime. I have been through most of the menu and now know exactly what to order. The beauty of this group is that they have also done the same search and we are all now on the exact same path. A little over a pound of shrimp a person whole sha-bang style, throw in some corn on the cob, and add sausage slices. If you are still hungry grab some fresh oysters and sweet potato fries. This group totally knew my drill and I was pleased to introduce them to the $3.00 apple/pear hard ciders that always complement the meal.

So what makes B.C. my favorite restaurant? Let me try to explain, in life I am a fairly lazy person. I like drive-thrus and being waited on and stomp my feet at establishments where I have to stand up to order and yet when it comes to eating my food I like to be involved. The more tactile the better. Crab and artichokes are probably my top two foods and I love picking at and eating it. Also, I am a food tearer (or terror) as I break apart pieces of any sandwich, burger, or pizza I eat and I constantly squish all my fries in search for a limp one (What can I say..I like my fries like I like my men. Or as VeronicainLA told me last night there is some Freudian thing about me liking limp fries) Anyway, this restaurant gives you no utensils, just a roll of paper towels, and a bib. They put the perfectly seasoned bag in front of you and you get to go to town. The whole sha-bang brings together the cajun, lemon pepper, and garlic butter seasonings all in to one and as you rip off your shrimps exterior you re-dip and enjoy. I have had all the shellfish at B.C. from crab to crawfish (or as I like to call it, lobster for poor and small people) but the work to reward ratio of the shrimp can simply not be matched. On this night we, 5 people, had 6lbs of shrimp, oysters, crab for the birthday girl and a lot of fun.

There are certain things that I know about B.C. First, you never wear cute clothes and always accept the bib. Two, at no point in the eating process should you touch your eyes or any sensitive area (read: wash hands before going to the bathroom). Three, the night after you go to Boiling Crab you will have a hard time sleeping because you won’t be able to stop sniffing your hands which smell like heaven and you will wake up dying of thirst from all the salt and not enough water. As much as I consider myself an expert, the other night I learned a great tip from those that are also part of the B.C. religion. I always end up going through a roll of paper towels but this time I was told by my table mates to not even try to clean off your hands till the end and to ask for lemon slices to squeeze on your hands before washing them. Great advice! Anyway, now you know about my favorite restaurant. I have probably already told you about this in person or on the blog but this is my first time with photographic evidence since I always dig in as soon as the food arrives and don’t let my filthy hands touch an expensive camera. Let me know if you’d like to try B.C. and I will be happy to be your religious teacher and come along for the ride. Also how could you not love a restaurant that has this as their dream:

Their dream – that The Boiling Crab have the “best tail in town” and be the biggest ass-pinching, head sucking venue, this side of Mississippi – has become a reality

The Boiling Crab
Cusine: Seafood, Cajun
Neighborhood: Alhambra
742 W Valley Boulevard
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 576-9368