This past weekend, I visited one of my favorite cities for a wedding. San Francisco to me is the west coast equivalent of NYC – creative, diverse, and pulsing with energy. If it weren’t for the fog, I’d move there in a heartbeat!
Highlights of our food adventures:
B Restaurant @ Yerba Buena Park:
We stumbled upon B Restaurant while looking for a fast power-brunch before the wedding. As the host seated us in the upper terrace overlooking the beautiful park, I immediately wished I had more time to spare – the atmosphere was comfortable and relaxing, like you’re perched on a rooftop watching the world go by as you enjoy market-fresh food.
The Spinach Benedict came with a mixed green salad that was seasoned with the right balance of delicate acidity. The eggs sat upon a French Toast, which lent a hint of sweetness to complement the savory. My Bloody Mary was deliciously seasoned with spices & herbs and a kick of heat. The waiter told us that the mix is actually prepared a day in advance so the flavors can develop in the tomato base. Finally, our order of mixed mediterranean olives did not disappoint. Green, black, or red – they were all plump and succulent.
All in all, a great meal – fresh, and nicely prepared.
The 4.5 stars on yelp convinced us to try this place out. There was someone who claimed that this was the “best meal they’ve ever had”. Even non-veggies raved. We were excited…
We had the 3 course prix fixe ($39)with wine pairing ($12)
First Course – Sesame Cornmeal Crusted Oyster Mushrooms with lemongrass-grapefruit-chile sambal, watermelon radish relish
To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. It tasted like fried mushrooms with a sweet & sour dip and pickled veggies on the side. It was adequate, but nothing special.
Entree: Pecan Crusted Tempeh with Creamy Grits, Collard Greens and Green Beans
I found the tempeh grainy (like a ho-hum veggie burger), and the sauce overly sweet. The best part of this dish was the creamy corn grits, which reminded me vaguely of my grandmother’s congee. It had a nice texture and mild savory flavor. I usually don’t like grits, but this was well-made.
Dessert: Blackberry Tiramisu, Chocolate Midnight Cake, and Almond Cake with Sorbet
I have yet to discover vegan desserts that truly “wow”, so the lack of luster I found in this trio of desserts should have been no surprise. To compensate for the lack of dairy, the desserts were oversweetened and over-flavored, making them hard for us to finish.
Overall, not too bad, but given my expectations, a bit disappointing. There are so many wonderful vegetarian restaurants serving both gourmet and casual fare, that to stand out, a restaurant really needs to pay close attention to all details.
I’ll conclude with some of my favorite veggie restaurants in NYC:
-Buddha Bodai (Chinese Dim-Sum in Chinatown)
-Happy Buddha (Also Dim-Sum in Flushing)
-Red Bamboo (Soul food in West Village)
-Blossom (Gourmet Vegetarian in Chelsea)
-Franchia (Korean Teahouse in Murray Hill)