Category Archives: Mediterranean

San Francisco Outing

Enjoyed my last day of vacation by having a day out around Union Square. Virginia made lunch reservations at Campton Place since it’s Dine About Town time again. A group of 5 of us had their $21.95 3-course prix fixe menu.

The appetizer selection included a green salad, a mediterranean salad, or a mushroom soup. I had the mediterranean salad of chick peas, cucumbers, and squid. It had a bit of sourness and spiciness from the raw onions. Squid was nice and tender.

Main course selection included chicken, halibut, or gnocchi. I chose the halibut which was served with mussels, a cioppino. Fish was tender and fresh but mussels had a bit of a strong aftertaste of sea water. There were huge white beans which were good.

For dessert, strawberries with vanilla ice cream or lilikoi (passion fruit) chiffon. I chose the strawberries which also included thin slices of honeydew melon. Very refreshing!

After we were stuffed, we did a bit of shopping. My favorite find of the day was this dress from BCBG that is super long but so pretty that I had to get it, it was 50% off with an additional 30% off for friends & family… couldn’t resist!

I met up with Ron and friends for dinner at TK Noodle in Daly City. Apparently, our expert diner friend has been to this place often enough to know you can order extra bean sprouts and extra pork fat. This is the pork fat, seriously, fried fat, not bacon.

I had #1, a combination rice stick noodle. This is small and it was enough. I love rice stick noodles.

Ron had #5, the beef stew rice stick noodles. Beef really tender.

Lastly, we shared the fried rice cakes. It has egg all over it and some peanuts inside. By itself it’s a bit bland but with some sirachi and plum sauce, it tastes better. Although it is served with a vinegar-like soy sauce. It’s very filling too.

Although it didn’t seem like that much food, Ron and I were both really stuffed.

Sigh, back to work tomorrow. It was a good vacation.

Campton Place
(near Sutter/Stockton St)

TK Noodle
6917 Mission St
Daly City, CA

Bia’s Restaurant & Wine Bar

I hadn’t given Vicki her birthday gift yet so we met up for dinner tonight. I went on Opentable to find a restaurant since I prefer to have a reservation somewhere so that we wouldn’t have to wait. I also wanted to try somewhere new and I’ve generally had good luck with the restaurants on Opentable.

We met up at Bia’s Restaurant & Wine Bar on Haight Street. We ended up selecting items from the prix fixe menu. Lucky for us we had a reservation before 7pm, so the prix fixe was only $26 per person. The menu includes an appetizer, main course, dessert, and glass of wine.

For an appetizer I ordered the prushki which is a pastry kind of thing stuffed with chicken, onions, and carrots. Surrounding it seemed like a tangy kind of tomato sauce.

I had the Kofta for the main course which was like a big meatball stuffed with raisins, nuts, apricots, and other herbs. It was also served with broccoli and roasted potatoes. The roasted potatoes were really good, crispy and just the right amount of salt. The meat itself was quite filling and had an interesting texture with the chewy raisins and crunchy nuts.

Vicki ordered the penne made with vodka, tomatoes, chili flakes, arugula in a light cream sauce. The penne may have been a touch overdone, a bit soft, but I liked the amount of chili they used, nice and spicy!

For dessert, we ordered one of each: chocolate souffle and the creme brulee. The chocolate souffle was fresh and steaming hot, the cream on top was especially nice… best souffle I’ve ever had. The creme brulee was only so-so, the custard a bit runny and the sugar on top a bit too hard, you really had to crack it to break into it.

They have a good selection of wines and the two we chose went well with our meals.

The restaurant itself is very cozy. We had the seat by the front window seat, with a bunch of cushions as our seats. Very much like the window seat I would like in my future home. Since it was a Weds night, it wasn’t very crowded so it was an easy place to have conversation. My only complaint about the area is my phone has terrible reception. I have AT&T and couldn’t get a signal on the whole block. But I guess if you don’t want to be bothered, it’s a good place to go. If I had the chance, I’d probably go dine there again.

Bia’s Restaurant & Wine Bar
1640 Haight Street


We enjoyed a Friday night dinner with our friends Kat and Jon. They made reservations at a restaurant close to their apartment in Russian Hill, Frascati.

The atmosphere of the restaurant was bustling yet quaint and a good place for a romantic dinner or a small intimate group. We had a table upstairs which has a low ceiling but was nice as it seemed more private than downstairs.

For an appetizer, I ordered the Bison carpaccio. The meat was very thinly sliced albeit maybe a bit too thin. It was hard to pick up the slices as it would break apart very easily. A very nice presentation.

For the main course, I ordered the duck breast with herb spactzle, arugula, hearts of palm, scallions, and huckleberry sauce. Kat ordered the same thing and with first bite, we both tasted an odd “liver-like” flavor. We asked our waiter about how it was prepared and all he could tell us is that it was marinated in lemon juice for 2 days and would check with the chef. He came back telling us that there was no liver in the sauce… the chef probably thought we were crazy. The duck breast with the crispy skin on it was the best piece.

Ron had the striped bass. I only had a small bite and from what I tasted, I didn’t really enjoy it, it had the taste of the ocean still.

Although the restaurant has a nice atmosphere, the food wasn’t spectacular and a bit on the expensive side. It probably doesn’t help that it’s in Russian Hill and on the cable car line, so maybe a bit touristy. We shared one bottle of wine and it was $100 for each couple for dinner.

I’m glad we went though since we found a few other restaurants on the same street that we’d like to try. Plus there was a Swensen’s ice cream shop up the street where we bought some dessert.

Afterwards we went to their apartment for ice cream and brownies. Kat has a great way of making brownies in a cupcake/muffin pan so that they are individual servings AND the entire edge is crunchy and chewy! No need for me to buy that Edge Brownie Pan I keep on seeing on Amazon. She also puts a chocolate non pareil in the center of each brownie so the center comes out nice and gooey. Can’t wait to try this out for my next set of brownies….

1901 Hyde Street (at Green)


We had dinner at Kokkari sponsored by Merck, the speaker was HOPA’s past president, Jim Koeller. He was an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker. We enjoyed an excellent dinner during his talk.

Pikilia – Greek spreads of melitzanosalata, tzatziki, & taramosalata served with dolmathes & pita bread. The spreads were flavorful and very smooth.

Spanakotiropita – traditional filo pies of spinach, feta, leeks, & dill. The crust was oh so flakey…

Horiatiki – “classic Greek salad” of tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, oregano, olives & feta. Very refreshing.

Patates sto Furno – oven roasted potato with oregano & lemon.

Horta – braised wild greens with lemon.

Arnisia Paidakia – lamb chops with lemon & oregano.

Kotopoulo Souvlas – grilled, yogurt-marinated chicken skewer with peppers & onions.

Thalasina – pan roasted fillet of white fish with olive tapenade.

Sokolatina – flourless dark chocolate cake
Baklava – traditional walnut & honey baklava with vanilla ice cream

The items of the menu are a mouthful to say but were a wonderful mouthful to eat.

200 Jackson Street (at Front)