MISSED CONNECTIONS IN SAN FRANCISCO



If you've met me in person, you'd know that I'm a very sociable person, sometimes to my own detriment.  My husband worries that one day I'll befriend the wrong person and I'll get into a whole heap of trouble for talking with strangers. But I shrug it off, I've met so many kind-hearted people along the way, many who have enriched my life experiences, and some who have become as important as close family members.



This past weekend, in addition to seeing my friend Gloria, I caught up with a couple of other good friends. This is Maile, who used to be my next door neighbor.
 

Maile belongs to Ted and Helen, who graciously welcomed us back with cheese and wine, and other great food.

 

Before we left for New York, I left one of my orchids with Helen, and to my surprise it bloomed again! Helen must have magical powers, I'm convinced that if I had kept it, the cymbidium wouldn't have bloomed for me.

 
 

We also visited Bob and Sherry, who have an amazing garden that grows apples, figs, persimmons, limes and meyer lemons that they generously share with the neighborhood.
 

We had a chance to catch up with them at one of our favorite casual hang outs, Fish, a local and sustainable seafood restaurant located on the harbor of Sausalito.
 
 

We started with roasted pequillos, smoky green chili peppers that look hotter than they actually taste.

 

Bob had the tuna salad ($29), which was a thick fillet of fresh tuna grilled perfectly, over a bed of baby lettuce. 


Stewart had the crab roll ($25), as you can see it is stuffed generously with crab meat on a crisped sourdough roll. We learned that this year's crab season is exceptional  because of the sweetness of the flesh and the number of crabs that were harvested.


Sherry had the crab cioppino ($29), which had a wonderful rich herb tomato broth that was easy sopped up with the sourdough French baguette. If you don't mind the mess of breaking your own crab claws, this dish is excellent.


And because I like Sherry's taste so much, I ordered the same dish.

 

It's rather funny to think that there are some people that I see more often now because I no longer live in San Francisco. It's one of those odd situations where there was never any urgency to get together since we lived in the same town, so nothing ever got scheduled and we ended up not hanging out with each other ever. But because I'm coming from out of town, and am here for only a finite amount of time, I'm seeing a handful of people more often than when I lived here. Nuts isn't it?


The following day, we met with a former co-worker of my husband's at Dosa, for an exciting culinary adventure of South Indian Cuisine. The nutty part is that this guy also lives in New York City and this is the first time I'm meeting him. Why have we never met in New York? What is that all about? I don't know, your guess is as good as mine. Maybe it was too close for us to meet. Perhaps we enjoy the excitement and concept of meeting at a place far away from home. Maybe we just like to make life harder.

 

Dosa is the name for an Indian crepe typically made from a combination of ground rice and lentils. Many of the dishes on the menu are dosa inspired with a broad sampling of additional South Indian dishes. We started with the dahi vada ($9), which are lentil dumplings topped with Straus organic yogurt, piped with tarmarind and mint sauce. It was almost too beautiful to eat, but we managed to dig in and it was probably the best dish we had all night.


Also almost too beautiful to eat was the persimmon and idiappam ($10) which is a salad made with lightly spiced rice noodles, pearl sago, a reduction of coconut milk and mint chutney. Those blooming rose bud shapes are made of shaved persimmons. It was good but probably nicer to look at.

 

We also had a masala uttapam ($11) which is a thicker pancake style variation of dosa made with peas, carrots, cabbage and onion, served with a coconut chutney and sambar. Everyone around the table enjoyed this dish for it's delicious hearty texture and combination of vegetable flavors.

 

The Tamil lamb curry ($16.50) was the only meat dish we ordered, and even though we shared the small bowl among four people, we didn't feel deprived at all, which is impressive given that everyone around the table loves to eat meat. I think it speaks to how satisfying and delicious these vegetarian entrees were. The lamb in the Tamil curry was succulent, tender and paired wonderfully in the spicy tomato caramelized onion sauce.


The channa bhatura ($14) is chick pea masala served with an oversized soft, puffy, wheat bread. We pricked the bread until it deflated, pulled off a piece and stuffed it with the chick pea masala, which was heavenly. The mixture of warm spices in the beans was simply delightful.

 
 

For dessert we all shared an order of gulab jamoon which are soft fried dough balls served in a warm, cardamon flavored syrup dusted with finely ground cashews. I would of probably skipped it because the syrup was excessively sweet and rather uni dimensional.

 

Next up will be a visit to the San Francisco farmer's market.

39 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

OMG! The whole post is full of delicacies! The crab dish is driving me crazy!!! I haven't had any crab since years! Just can't find them here :-(((((

Debinhawaii said...

Gorgeous photos--I am drooling over everything! ;-)

HippieMom said...

Great photos!
What a nice friends you have, share their harvest with the neighboors.
And love your orchids, Beautiful!
What a nice dish, this dahi vada!
XoXo.

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I love all your photos! All the food looks amazing...

And I can very much relate to you in terms of not seeing people who live close by on a regular basis...

I love that the orchid bloomed again! It's gorgeous. I have a couple orchids that just won't bloom again... Maybe I should give them away? :)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Wonderful! Such great photos and great food. So warm looking there too. We are in a deep freeze.. brrrrr.

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow great restaurants love the dosa one, you will have to come to India with us sometime !
love Rebecca

food with style said...

looks like you had a wonderful time and so darn good eats!

Amanda said...

Looks like you're having fun!

I could eat at Dosa every day. I love that restaurant. You've just made me really hungry.

lululu said...

Oh, wow, great food!!!!! I miss SF! SF is actually one of my favorite city, besides the good food, I also love its cultural and easy-going character.
About friends, I think I agree with you that dont worry too much about meeting bad people. You will know whom you can be friends with, just by gut-feeling. At least that's what I do!

KennyT said...

You're a kind hearted person yourself Christine, that's why you have many good friends, and that's why you have the luck to meet good people. ^^

Flour said...

Yum...puffy wheat bread! And those fried dough balls!!! I want some bread now. Lol
I admire your being socialable! It'd be nice to not feel completely nervous around people that I don't know for once. I suppose it may have something to do with upbringing. Notions of "Stranger Danger" have been placed in my head since elementary school...

Mimi said...

I know what you mean about seeing more of friends when you are just visiting. Thanks for the tour! It's nice to see SF from different eyes.
Mimi

Joanne said...

It's a good thing I'm having Indian food for lunch otherwise I might go crazy with cravings. Everything looks incredibly delicious!

Seems like you had a fun time in SF. And yes it is so weird how you see people more when live farther away from them than when you lived next door. There's something about the urgency about it. Either that or it's true that we always want what we can't have.

A Year on the Grill said...

wow.. what presentation... So jealous of your photo skills!

5 Star Foodie said...

Looks like you are having a nice time in SF! Great food!

El said...

Looks like you're seeing some great friends and having some fantastic food. That fish looks great!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

Everything looks so delicious! What wonderful Indian food!

Sarah said...

So many delicious options! The Sterling wine you featured is one of my favorites. I find my self inflicted with the same problem, I talk to just about anyone, people seem to seek me out, especially at the market and grocers?!

Belinda @zomppa said...

I hear ya about being too sociable...but that's how you meet the nicest people! That dish is too pretty to eat.

Pam said...

It's so much fun to reconnect with old friends. The crab cioppino looks amazing.

high low said...

You're definitely one of the nicest people I've met! Heard lots of good things about Dosa (the restaurant)...loved dosas (the food) while in India and usually get my fix in NYC from Dosa Man (the street cart in Washington Square Park)

Velva said...

Christine, it's wonderful to speak to strangers. Like you, my life has been so enriched as a result.

Besides NYC, San Francisco is my other favorite city.Did I tell you I really like Portland and Seattle too? :-)
Your post was really nice. You expressed in your photos and in your text about friendship, travel, food and new experiences. So many important things, expressed simply. As always, I love it.

Fresh Local and Best said...

High/Low - Thank you so much for your kind words!

Velva - Thanks for such a nice compliment!

Simply Life said...

WOW! Looks like a great trip filled with wonderful food and people!!!

Esme said...

Sounds like you are having a fun time and eating well.

Unplanned Cooking said...

Ha ha, you're like my husband. He is so friendly; he talks to everyone and anyone. It's actually nice, because I can take him anywhere and not only does he enjoy it but he thrives.

Romaine said...

You've got some great pictures in this post. Enjoyed them.

Maya said...

Great that you are able to visit your old peeps - they sounds like a wonderful bunch of people!

3 hungry tummies said...

Wow ! that is so much good food and good companies !!

TKW said...

I'm jealous of the fresh seafood and bread and great company.

I love dosa--I'd never make it myself, but I love to order it in restaurants. And I'm with you on gulab jamoon (or however you spell it)...gross! Actually, I think almost all Indian sweets are too cloying.

www.dhaleb.com said...

The first photo of Crooked Street looks beautiful! The road looks so brand new and shiny. Did they just redo it recently?

Fresh Local and Best said...

Dhale - Thanks for the compliment of the crooked street. It's shiny because it rained earlier that day. I don't think they've redone it recently.

The Diva on a Diet said...

My stars, what a delicious post! Everything looks magnificent, but those pequillo peppers are calling my name. Wow!

As for seeing friend in your own town ... I quite agree. My best friend moved to NYC 5 or 6 years ago and I think I see her LESS than when she lived in Boston. Its crazy!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

So glad you're enjoying yourself in San Fran!

Houstonwok said...

I loved San Francisco!HA i've been down the winding road before when i visited. This is a great episode,the food looks good, there is just something special about all the major metropolitan areas of California.*sigh* wish we could have joined you guys on this trip.
Cheers

The Duo Dishes said...

The lamb curry hits the spot! Wish that was on the menu for dinner tonight.

Mama Freemans' cafe' said...

I love the pictures that you take. Whenever I see a picture of Rockefeller Center now I think of you. We have an asian friend he is from Viet Nam and one year we were riding 4 wheelers doing some hunting and he spied some mushrooms on a tree that had fallen and was lying across a creek.He started whooping and hollering all excited.He shimmied across that fallen tree and cut off these strange white things growing from the tree. He told us they were osyster mushrooms and are pricey. There were so many of them, he took off his coat and tied them in it. Whenever I see any I call him and he drops everything and gets them. I have never eaten them I am going to have to ask his wife to show me how she prepares them.

Diana Bauman said...

What wonderful food Christine! I really wish I would have asked you about places to dine while I was in SF! Wonderful update:)

Heavenly Housewife said...

Just stopped by to say thanks on the tip on the marco polo jam daaaaahling. Will be in london this weekend and might make a stop at Harvey Nichols to look for it (on the way to harrods, of course ;)). So clever of you. I'll let you know if I find it.
*kisses* HH
p.s. love diptyque