So if you are like me you know that traveling is about experiencing different aspects of someplace new. It's the location, it's the hotel, the service, the amenities, the fluffy robes and really, first and foremost we are talking about the food. Food is that key component in any culture, anywhere in the world. It's what brings people together. It's the simplicity, the commonality, the slow down, sit down, and savor. Where ever we may go, near or far, there is one thing that will always be paramount to our travels and that is the flavor.
Today we are talking about San Francisco. A place I like to visit as often as possible. Why? So many great reasons. First of all I love the people, I love how big and how small the city can feel all at once, and truly I love the food. From the corner coffee shops, to China town's odd sights and smells, to the Michelin Star stand outs and everywhere in between.
One of my favorite cozy and delicious neighborhood spots: NOPA
It's not everyday, at least not where I'm from that you find a place with the right amount of casual ambiance, a perfectly balanced wine list, and an open kitchen that serves the real deal til 1am. This is the kind of place you can go with a big group, a date, or alone and have an equally fabulous time.
Now for the flavors. I have been here a handful of times and never have I ever been disappointed. My last visit was no exception. With four of us dining we were able to try a variety of different things, which is usually why I will invite you to dinner. We cleansed and prepared our pallets with a bottle of Rose from France. Our first dish was an Avocado Salad. An avocado salad that was dressed up and ready to surprise your taste buds. They seasoned this California fruit with the dressings of your traditional Hawaiian style Ahi Poke, minus the tuna. They did however include the fish eggs on top which added that perfect salty-mysterious flavor of the sea. The brussel sprouts we shared next were done just right. And to finish we shared burgers and fries. It's my personal belief you should always judge a restaurant not by it's most complicated extravagant dish, but by the pure simplicity of say the french fry. Let's just reassure you that our table was completely silent for about two to three minutes as we dove into the juiciest burger and perfectly paired fries I've experienced in quite a while.
NOPA, I can not wait to see you again.
Oh and did I mention the owner Jeff Hanak has collaborated with Urban Bee SF to create a hive project on the roof? This honey will showcase itself on both the food and cocktail list. Impressive.