Trip to the Bay: Day 3-4: San Francisco & Berkeley

Trip to the Bay: Day 3-4: San Francisco & Berkeley

I’m finally getting around to posting the last bit of our Bay Area trip from almost a month ago. Our final full day was our actual anniversary, so we indulged in many foods and sentimental sites.

We walked across the street from our hotel to Rick & Ann’s for breakfast. I’ve been to many a breakfast joints in my somewhat adventurous life, but I would say that Rick & Ann’s is one of my favorites, if not my favorite. The location is charming, somewhat hidden in a neighborhood block, and on an early Monday morning, you will find locals walking their dogs, sipping coffee from Peet’s and munching on a pastry from Fournée Bakery while reading the newspaper (yes, newspaper) or a book seated on a bench. On weekends, I imagine a crowded and hectic space, but our Monday morning was peaceful and we were seated immediately at the restaurant. Everything on their menu is fresh and so good.

DSC07378cDSC07381cDSC07384cDSC07386c

Then we headed into the city. Our first stop was City Lights Bookstore. It was one of our engagement photoshoot locations and I wanted to find a place to walk off our breakfast stomachs. Back when I was into beatnik poetry and literature, which sprouted from my fascination with Jack Kerouac’s writing style, I used to visit the bookstore and neighborhood thinking how cool it was to be stepping into part of American literature and history.  I soon realized my naïveté about their whole movement so I grew out of it quickly, but the bookstore holds a meticulous collection of poetry and it’s sometimes fun to open a book of poems and read some profound nonsense. ;)

We wanted Elaine to have fun too, so we had her run around and play at Mission Dolores Park. On the way there, we made a quick stop by our wedding church. We couldn’t find a leisurely pedestrian to take a photo of us, so Elaine obliged and did her best to capture a photo of Mommy and Daddy.

Elaine had so much fun at the park she didn’t want to leave. When we convinced her by bribing her with some ice cream at Bi-Rite, she wanted to go back to the park to play as soon as she finished her ice cream.

By this point it was mid-afternoon and we hadn’t eaten lunch. Our stomachs were still full from ice cream and Elaine was getting crankier by the minute. We needed to find a quiet space so that Elaine could nap while ate something light. Tartine was nearby and it turned out to be the perfect location. While waiting for a table, I browsed through Heath Ceramics next door and it was a good thing our table was ready quickly because I might have purchased dinnerware sets that would’ve taken money out of our savings. haha. My one of many weaknesses: kitchen/tableware.

DSC07732c_smallDSC07735c_smallDSC07736c_smallDSC07737c_smallDSC07740c_smallDSC07742c_smallDSC07744c_small

We then drove to Embarcadero, walked around, I bought a jar of jam, Y had Blue Bottle iced coffee, as always, and we still had time before our dinner reservation.

Dinner was Sotto Mare, which was supposedly where Y took me on a date once (I didn’t remember). Since we had some time before our reservation, we walked around the neighborhood and found another one of our engagement photoshoot locations: 101 Music. We took photos, walked through the basement with over 50,000 LPs, regretting that I didn’t buy one, (why didn’t I think of Nina Simone!), btw, I don’t even have a record player, so only a little regret.

Sotto Mare’s cioppino, though. My other weakness: good seafood.

While we were at Bi-Rite, I bought Elaine a souvenir coloring book of S.F. Most of the places we visited were in the coloring book and I thought our last stop before heading back to the hotel should be another landmark.

Our little one was cranky by this point and all she wanted to do was go back to the hotel and play, which was why she wouldn’t look at the camera for photos. The unabashed moods of a toddler! Never a compromise.

Well, that’s it. The next morning, I grabbed several pastries and a loaf of corn grits and seeds bread from Fournée Bakery to take home as my other food souvenir, we met with my siblings for breakfast at La Note, and we ended our trip with a long drive home. Some time in-between roaming the city over the weekend, we managed to fit in two visits to Boba Guys. It well-exceeded our expectations: Y loved the muscat oolong iced tea so much that he ordered it on both visits, and Elaine had her very first boba experience with strawberry rice milk. So spoiled; her first boba experience was Boba Guys.

(So happy Tartine is coming to L.A. and Boba Guys can also be found in Culver City)

Breakfast Breakdown

The other night at the dinner table, we were discussing favorite foods and my husband said my favorite food would be brunch. “It wouldn’t be a food. It would be brunch,” he said. And he was half right. I love breakfast foods, but I also love noodles, pasta, and bread (i.e., carbs).

Here is a breakdown of my everyday breakfast:

  1. Gather a handful of frozen vegetables and berries. I steam broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage every other week and store them in the freezer. I buy frozen berries from Costco; the organic frozen berries are so cheap compared to ones from the grocery store.
  2. Pour ~1 cup of my mom’s recipe of brewed roots and berries: a 4-5 hour endeavor of brewing milk thistle and licorice roots, then seeping dried goji and schisandra berries for another 5 hours.
  3. Add the frozen vegetables and berries into the liquid, then add half an apple and a steamed beet. I buy steamed beets from Trader Joe’s; they sell them packs of 5 in air-tight bags and you can find them in the salad section. I’ve seen steamed beets in Sprouts and Vons, so other grocery stores carry them as well. It’s convenient because beets are messy and prices are comparable (buying fresh beets vs. steamed beets).

4. Blend everything together and it will produce about 2 tall glasses (~4 cups). I drink one and store the other in the fridge to drink the next day.

Processed with VSCO with 4 preset

5. Make toast. I recently bought a loaf of pumpkin and black sesame seed bread from Paris Baguette and it’s soft and somewhat healthy.

Processed with VSCO with 6 preset

6. While I wait for my toast in the toaster oven, I brew a cup of English breakfast tea. My sister recently brought a fancy one from her quick trip to England, so I’ve been drinking this when I feel fancy. When it’s finished brewing, I add a scoop of the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (a huge canister I found at Costco) and some almond milk.

Processed with VSCO with 6 presetProcessed with VSCO with 6 preset

7. Spread the toast with some chunky almond butter and boysenberry jam.

That’s it!  I also change things up by eating eggs on toast or avocado on toast, and I also usually eat them on whole grain breads, but in any variation, I gotta have my toast. ;)

Processed with VSCO with 6 presetProcessed with VSCO with 6 preset

Processed with VSCO with 6 preset
Processed with VSCO with 6 preset

Birthday Breakfast at République

I turned something-something years old in the beginning of the year. My sister was in town and my husband said he could watch the baby, so we took the baby-free opportunity to visit République, a place that is not so baby-friendly. On Saturday morning, the place bustled with locals, tourists, hipsters, foodies, young and old. The interior looked like a wide foyer filled with tables and chairs–unconventional, but it worked.  You walk through the doors to face a countertop layered with an assortment of pastries, every one of which you want to taste and take home. We ultimately chose the puff pastries to accompany our coffees, then ordered our own breakfast preferences. My sister’s dish had a bacon slice that was an inch thick–melt-in-your-mouth goodness but heart-attack inducing. So good. I saw others who ordered kimchi fried rice, but we’re Korean and we don’t pay for that kind of stuff, especially when it’s $16!  Everything is a bit pricey. Overall, I liked the restaurant for its ambiance–a nice place to hang out and talk with friends over coffee.  A nice place to spend your birthday morning with your sister (Thanks, Hen-nahhh~ :)).

DSC04889_c DSC04892_c DSC04898_c DSC04901_c DSC04905_c DSC04910_c DSC04922_c DSC04938_c DSC04946_c DSC04925_c