Summer 2017 was again USA on the road. This time focus was on California. We landed in Frisco and for about 10 days we visited the Bay area, Silicon Valley, Yosemite Park, then back to the cost (Carmel by the Sea, Pebble Beach, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara) and finally arrived to Santa Monica where we stayed 3-4 days enjoying L.A.
Unfortunately my plan to drive along the charming HWY 1 (Big Sur etc…) from Carmel to Santa Monica totally failed because the HWY 1 was closed for the massive slide that occurred this winter…to be honest from this perspective it wasn’t such a fortunate trip (also at Yosemite National Park one of the best attractions, Mariposa Grove, was closed for maintenance, sigh…), nevertheless we enjoyed a lot all the rest…and this is a nice excuse to come back!
As usual this is mainly a photographic journey, and I will also highlight my personal gastronomic take-aways. I hope you will enjoy it and find the food hints useful
Snapshots from San Francisco
Union Square and China Town
North Beach (Frisco’s Little Italy)
Up and Down
In the Cable Car!
The intriguing Grace Cathedral, with the Labyrinth…
…the altar made by Keith Haring…
…and a window dedicated to Albert Einstein!
Golden Gate Park
Foggy Golden Gate Bridge
Port of San Francisco
The Murales of Mission
Cable Car Turnaorund
Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 (with the Sea Lions)
Gastronomic take aways from San Francisco
Well, I think that Frisco is one of the best cities in the US as far as the food offer. Concentration of Michelin Stars restaurant is uncomparable with LA, and in general you can choose among a wide selection of great places.
I recommend to at least visit one among the following and be sure you don’t make it wrong.
- Saison of which I also wrote a review in this blog…3 Michelin Stars, ranked 37 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants popular list…in other words, the best you can find in town, but, more important, in a very relaxed and casual environment, nevertheless elegant.
- State Bird Provisions is a quite unique place. The restaurant format is very cool. Waiters pass by your table showing what they offer in that moment and tell you the price, you say yes they serve it to you, otherwise they go away and you wait for the next proposal. They call it “Dim Sum Style”, but you have similar experience also in popular churrascarias in Brazil, nevertheless the format is very cool. Selection is wide from halibut tartare with nori chips to pickled local anchovy-tomato toast. It is awarded 1 Michelin Star, unmissable experience and also price is more than reasonable.
- Barcino is a spanish restaurant, with great food and remarkable gin tonics. Deserves a visit. Unmissable is the “OU” , sunny-side-up egg with caviar, idiazabal crema, jamon iberico de bellota and potato chips. Delicious.
I cannot close this section without mentioning probably the most popular street food of the city. It’s a soup (typically clams soup, Clam Chowder, but you can find also tomato) in a sourdough bread bowl. The best in my opinion is at Boudin Bakery at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Snapshots from the Silicon Valley (the new touristic destinations!)
Infinite Loop…in other word Apple
Yosemite National Park
Our hotel was not far from the South Entrance of the Park at Bass Lake
Unfortunate day at Glacier Point…I imagine that in a clear day must be astonishing
Carmel by the Sea
Pebble Beach Golf Links
The Lone Cypress
Driving towards Santa Monica we stopped one night in this typical Californian city (long beach, surfers, relaxed atmosphere). One place is worth to mention: the Cracked Crab . The best definition is given in the website: Serving the finest seafood available, in a most casual style…and this is exactly the way it is. A quite cool restaurant where you can order three seafood of your choice and they serve them …in a bucket…literally dumped on your table! A true experience, unmissable for seafood lovers. We had an Alaskan Red King Crab, an Alaskan Dungeness Crab and Wild Gulf Shrimps. They come steamed with Old Bay, spicy Cajun Sausage, red skin potatoes and corn cobettes. You can also get mad with drawn butter and tequila or mustard sauce.
The Old Mission
Santa Monica, Malibù, Hollywood, Beverly Hills…or if you prefer just 2 letters: LA
Loews Hotel at Santa Monica
Zuma Beach – Malibu
Mali Country Mart
Walking in Santa Monica
I wonder what the President will think about his star in the Walk of Fame…
I am very proud of mine 🙂
and last but not least, gastronomic take aways from LA
I confirm the same recommendation I gave 3 years ago when I wrote about my Route 66 journey: the Ivy remains a must go…this time I also took the chance to try the irresistible Ivy Sundae (made of Vanilla & Praline ice cream with Hot Fudge & Hot Butterscotch Sauce with Freshly Whipped Cream & Roasted Almonds) and the French Rosé Champagne Sangria…fresh, amazing.
Another place that is absolutely worth mentioning is located in Santa Monica and is called Tar & Roses , very nice location and delicious food; they claim that everything is organic. Signature dish is the Ricotta Crostata…really good, but I found also the oxtail dumplings very good.