Monday, September 29, 2008

Yoyo's- Hole in the Wall Japanese

Eating lunch on downtown San Francisco can be a dicey expedition. Often places are over priced and crowded. I don't have the time or money to spend 2o minutes in a line for a $10 salad. So I almost always bring my lunch (and rarely post it because it is typically boring. There are plenty of blogs you can read that record every single turkey sandwich, green salad, yogurt, string cheese, apple, or handful of pistachios that one eats, but I think that I don't need to bring quite that much voyeurism into my everyday life. Plus it would get pretty boring. Ooh, leftovers again, or, and then I ate a banana.) But I chose to post about Yoyo's because I like it so much. The above meal, a half order of chicken teriyaki, was $3.50 (seriously) and it is so good. And they have seaweed salad for $1.50 or edamame for $1.75. You just run in and grab it form the counter, it really cannot be beat. So maybe it isn't the most nutritious choice out there, but sometimes it just hits the spot in the perfect way. And I ate my orange, so that helped me rid off scurvy for another day!

Wedding Food

Most weddings that I attend are great fun, you enjoy the time with friends and family and the food is an afterthought. I have always been okay with this. But at the wedding of my friends Allyson and Mike the food really struck me! Here is our salad course. The beets over shaved fennel were so bright and summery, as was the little Caprese salad. The beans added some texture and more vitamins to the plate, I was really impressed with this combination as opposed to the more typical "dinner salad" one usually gets.

For the main course I had requested the vegetarian entree. I know I've been dabbling but I still always ask for the vegetarian choice at these type of things because I do not want to be stuck with something I won't eat. So I was given a medium sized ramekin of lasagne. It was... amazing. One of the best lasagnas I have ever eaten. Seriously. It was light and fresh, there was a layer of pesto in there that a whole new dimension to the dish. It was so good that John kept ignoring his steak so as to take more bites of my dish. I think he ate about a quarter of it. I was wholly impressed though and I wish that I could bring this recipe to other caterers/restaurants who seem to think that a "vegetarian option" translates into poorly grilled zucchini and eggplant on top of a portobello mushroom cap."

The coconut cupcakes from Comfort's (San Anselmo) cemented this into the "best wedding food ever. And here are the two of us enjoying the lovely weather.

Taylor's Refresher- A New Staple

Of all the many things that St. Helena, Ca has to offer I believe that Taylor's Refresher might be one of the best! I am embarrassed to say that John and I ended up here on both days we were in St. Helena. On Friday night we drove up to the Napa Valley for (another) wedding. The rehearsal dinner at Tra Vigne was great, but the real treat was the next day when John and I drove over to Taylor's. Not only did we see Tommy Hilfiger and Pat Riley (apparently he's the coach for the Miami Heat, I think? I had no clue who he was, but John was excited. He also wanted to go over to Tommy Hilfiger and tell him that his pants don't fit him right and see if they can come to some solution, but I stopped him from that one). But we ate such good food. Above are the fish tacos. Not the best I have ever had but i think I am beginning to realize that I don't much like corn tortillas. Something about the texture, I don't know. But they always double wrap the tacos and I took a tortilla off each, which improved the prospect a bit.

The real hit of the lunch was the chili cheese fries. Now this would not be something that I would typically consume, but Taylor's is different, and I guess with the great ingredients they use they might be a teensy bit better for you than elsewhere. All that matters is that they were amazing. And this is the best chili I have ever had, and I don't really like chili. It was full of tomatoes and kidney beans, the flavor was incredible.

The boys had burgers, which I took rather unappetizing photos of.
There was a bacon cheeseburger that John ate:

I had a bite and it was okay. Still only flirting with the red meat, which is fine by me. And Dylan had the Blue Ring Burger. Or something along those lines. It's a burger topped with blue cheese and onion rings. I was told it was epic.
All said, Taylor's was good, once again. And I think that it's a good thing I only eat at the one in St. Helena,even though there is one within a 10 minute walk from my office. Even their amazing Ahi Sandwich overfills me to discomfort. Oh well. I can't wait to go again! I guess it might start up next year, as wedding season has, finally, come to an end!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Homemade Peanut Sauce

I think I might have improved the original peanut sauce that I made last month. I didn't add any extra sugar to it. It could have used some fresh ginger, but oh well, I had ginger powder so I sprinkled that in. It was spicy and sweet and wonderful over the eggplant and chicken thighs. For the eggplant I sliced it into circles and roasted it in the oven after drizzling olive oil and salt and pepper over it. I flipped them all half way through. The chicken thighs were stuck in the oven with the eggplant and along with the marinade.
Then I stirfried the whole thing along with soba noodles. I should have topped it with the scallions instead of stirring them in for a bright color punch, but oh well, live and learn. I love this little meal in a bowl and can't wait to put new things in it. Last time I used tofu, so I might go back to that another time. But the vegetable possibilities are endless.

Taco Pie

I made a meal the other day that was very different than anything I usually make. I made an old fashioned taco pie. I sauteed ground turkey with mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes and taco seasoning, stuck it in a pie pan, and covered it with a mix of bisquick, eggs, milk, etc. When it was about 5 minutes from ready I layered grated cheddar and jack cheese over it. I thought it was pretty good, not sophisticated in any way, but it was fast and easy and made some good leftovers. Also, besides the cheese, it was fairly healthy. I buy the leanest ground turkey and sauteed it all in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

On the side was a bit of purple cabbage, salsa, scallions, and avocado slices. Yum!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bagels and Childhood Food Memories

This is my favorite way to eat a bagel. Just in case there is any curiosity out there in the world, I like it with lots of cream cheese and a sliced tomato on top, dusted with a touch of salt and pepper. I also love a bagel with cream cheese and lox. It reminds me of childhood for some reason, I think that was one of the meals my mom would make when my dad was out of town. There were definitely "Dad in Town" meals and then "Dad is Out of Town" meals.

When my father was in Southern California on business, which was about 2 weeks out of every month as a kid, we would have bratwurst, omelettes, tuna melts. Hmmm, what else, I know there is more. Actually, I remember the tuna melt dinner very clearly because one time my mom made them when my dad was around. It was probably my brother and my fifth tuna melt of the month (always on an english muffin mind you) and my dad says, "Kristine, this is delicious, you should make these more often." Of course my brother and I laughed and said, "Dad, she makes these all the time, you're just never around for them." Which then began a conversation about the different dinner choices we had.

Does anyone else have memories of different meals that surrounded different circumstances? Oooh, babysitting meals, that's another one. Boiled hot dogs was a favorite, as were those Celeste frozen pizzas. And fruit cocktail! The kind that came out the can with maraschino cherries and little balls of peaches and pears. I loved those, the canned mandarin oranges as well. Ok, enough nostalgia over here for the moment.

Caprese 2.0

I can't seem to get enough tomatoes this summer. I just want them at every single meal. This salad was another take on a Caprese. The main elements are there, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, but I also added some extra oomph to it. Underneath is a bed of spinach and field greens tossed with basil, Italian parsley, olive oil and a lovely balsamic vinegar I bought recently. This new bottle of vinegar is much more fruity and stronger than my previous bottle. I like it but it is such a distinct taste that I need to make sure I don't use in any recipes that just call for vinegar. I also have to learn how to temper the flavor. Maybe with a little sugar. Hmmm, I think I will start experimenting. I think it would be great with some garlic though. I usually do the simplest vinaigrettes, just olive oil and vinegar mixed with salt and pepper. But more recently I have been adding shallots and dijon mustard. Perhaps I should be less lazy and do this more often!

To the salad I also added some sliced red onion for crunch and spice. I am not a huge fan of onions, but I like the essence of them. Often times I will make a salad with onions and simply not eat the actual pieces of it, the juices give me enough flavor. John and I sat on the couch and shared this large plate of goodness. Healthy, tons of flavor, I really can't ask for any more!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir- Wine Review

After a lovely dinner last night John and I ran out of the house to run an errand. Said errand brought us by Bar Johnny on Polk St and we decided to duck in and grab a glass of wine. Bar Johnny is this cool loungy restaurant/bar that is close by John's house and is more my style than the sports bar that we typically frequent, (not that I don't love Shanghai Kelly's, but a change is always nice). We ordered a bottle of the Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir. It was a 2007 from Australia and I loved it. It was a lovely wine, not too fruity or sweet, which is a quality I have been sensitive to in wines recently. I was just surprised by how much I liked it.
So I looked it up online today and it is reasonably priced online as well. Bar Johnny was selling it for $30/bottle, and I found it priced online for anywhere from $18.99-$26.99. Which was nice to know, that means that we didn't pay a hugely inflated price for our wine last night.
It comes with an interesting label with a twist off cap as well, which is my new favorite convenience.
So if anyone is looking for a nice, light Pinot Noir to enjoy, my money is on the Innocent Bystander. I might even buy a case today!

Becks & Posh & ... ME!

No, not THOSE Becks and Posh. THESE Becks&Posh
Sam was nice enough to add Muffin's Muffins to her blog! How excited am I! I love this blog and find it endlessly entertaining.
Check it out if you haven't already. Thanks Sam!

Why Much Chicken Muffin?

I made chicken another night last week as well. Why so much chicken does one ask? Hmm, there are a variety of reasons. First off, I am good at making chicken. I have a ton of recipes and I enjoy making them. Also, chicken is a compromise that John and I have. I prefer to eat mostly veggie meals, but I know that those won't really satisfy him. I still don't really make or enjoy red meat, a bite or two is really all I need, so we have a lot of chicken. I try my absolute best to buy free range/organic birds whenever possible. One way i save money is by buying chicken pieces with the bone in/skin on which are organic as opposed to the boneless skinless chicken breasts. It is a great way to save money and if you roast chicken, which is what I ordinarily do, they taste way better when cooked with the bones and skin.
This time I made a mustard chicken. I chopped up 2 shallots, some fresh rosemary and thyme, and mixed it with dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. I think I added a bit of white wine vinegar as well. Layer this all over the chicken in a roasting pan and you are pretty much done. I had some new potatoes and some red onions, so I chopped these up and stuck them on the side of the chicken. Roast at 425F for about an hour (check periodically) and you have a very tasty and nutritious dinner.
On the side I made green beans and mushrooms. Naturally I was so excited about eating I completely forgot to take any "after" photos. So these are all the "before" pics of the raw chicken. I will definitely make this again and remember to photograph it in all it's cooked glory!

My New Fave- Chicken Teriyaki

Now, I am not going to claim that this is my recipe. I stole it from a blog, and for the life of me I cannot remember which one, so I apologize. But this chicken is so good! You take a combo of soy sauce, honey, ground ginger and garlic, spicy chili sauce (I use Sriracha) and mix it all together over some chicken pieces (I love using thighs and drumsticks for this one. Eating a sticky drumstick reminds me of being a kid!) Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then bake it in the oven. The chicken comes out so tender and moist and the sauce is the perfect spicy/sweet combo. I could honestly make this every week, I think that John would be happy with that as well. I will post the real recipe tonight when I actually look at it. I suppose not everyone is as piecemeal as I am when it comes to throwing ingredients together!
Oooh, I also served this with the last of the summer corn and a salad. Perfection.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Omnivore's 100

I am finally doing this list. I have seen it a million times and here is my take on it.
Bold are items I have eaten. Starred* are ones that I would never try. The others are simply things I have yet to discover!

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding*
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans

25. Brawn, or head cheese*
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea

38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects*
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more

46. Fugu*
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer

55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal*
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads*
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst*
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe

74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill*
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers

89. Horse*
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam*
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake
Wow, I have tried a lot of things in my life. I think it is funny that one thing I have never had is a Big Mac, nor do I think I will ever had one. I have had cheeseburgers and hamburgers from McDonald's but I don't think I have ever actually tasted the Big Mac. I am fairly certain it is not a big loss!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Foodbuzz Went to Zuni

Where does a foodie website go when they want to celebrate and munch? Zuni Cafe of course. The whole gang geared up and went on the party bus over to Zuni. And what did we order? Well, everything! For the record, I did not consume everything in these photos. I shared the Little Gem salad and the Serrano Ham appetizers, then had a piece of pizza and some of the Chicken. Oops, and some shoestring fries.
Zuni's Classic Caesar

Serrano Ham and Figs

Little Gem Salad

Chicken for Two: My Favorite Pick from the whole menu. This just has the best flavors. The acidity of the vinegar in the bread salad, the sweetness of the currants, the juicy chicken. It's something that everyone should be able to experience just once. I think that if people shared this chicken it could mend wars. If Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin sat down and shared the bonding experience of this chicken maybe there would have been peace between Palestine and Israel. Ok, maybe not, but they would have been happily full by the end, that much I am sure of.
Classic Zuni Burger
Pizza with Ricotta Salata: so delicious. The tomatoes are sweet, the crust was chewy and perfection!
Shoestring Fries: Oh My!

Not pictured, the espresso granita. Not the best but then again I am not a huge dessert fan. It sort of tasted like a fresh coffee nip, does that make sense?
The meal was a success (how could it not be) and I think I will probably have a piece of fruit for dinner and call it a night!

Amy's Pizza- Good Stuff!

Here's a story many other have probably experienced. It's Sunday afternoon. You are tired (re: lazy) and hungry but don't feel like doing anything. And I mean anything. You are on your fourth episode of Bridezilla (just pretend, I know I would never watch it either) and then it occurs to you that a pizza might be in order. That said, pizza is sort of pricey right now and not that great for you. So, what does one do? They make an Amy's frozen pizza.
Now, I never eat frozen food. It's just not my thing. But if I ever do it is always Amy's brand. They are all natural, organic, and not filled with a bunch of preservatives and other crap. I actually couldn't help myself but had to add some fresh ingredients to the pizza. So I chopped up scallions and added some yummy Cow Girl Creamery cheese I had on hand. I added these about 3/4 of the way through the cooking process.
The pizza was surprisingly good. The sauce tasted fresh and the crust was not the crust one might expect when making a frozen pizza. I grew up with the Celeste pizzas that my mom would make when she was going out to dinner. I loved them as a kid, including that funny little silver plate that you would have to cook it on. I remember eating the frozen cheese that came out of the packet a well. But the crust really did taste a bit chalky and cardboardy and I think the only reason I like them is for the nostalgia factor.
My new purchase will always be Amy's from now on though. Actually, I picked up 2 at Whole Foods last night so I can be prepared for the next lazy Sunday. I got the personal Margarita to try as well! I'm excited. My friend Casey told me it's her go-to when her husband works late. I'll tell everyone about it when I eat it!

Another Day Another Lunch

Another day another lunch. This time I used a whole wheat tortilla and stuck in a laughing cow cheese, some turkey, a tomato, spinach, avocado and some mustard. Yum yum. Too bad this was consumed at about 10:30am. Oops!
I am improving my food photography I must say so myself. I am not about to quit my day job, but I think it's getting better. But it's easier to get better when you start out as poorly as I did!

I also had some corn. Cold and plain, the best kind. It's just so sweet and good! I wish there were no seasons and corn and heirloom tomatoes never went out of the stores.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Salmon Salad Leftovers

I didn;t finish my dinner last night so I stuck it in a tupperware for lunch the next day. I love cold salmon and veggies on a salad. It has been so warm here that it is really refreshing to eat a cold lunch. I have to say I love salad. I know it seems like too much of a cliche, but I really do.
I also had a juicy peach!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Food Information Abounds

It is amazing to me just the sheer volume of articles and information there is out there on food, eating, health, dining etc. Major newspapers have incredible food sections that push out articles daily on what to eat, from whether or not we really need more protein, to answering if grass-fed beef is actually superior to grain-fed. The idea that there is still a national ignorance regarding fast food and if it really makes you fat is incredible to me. Now, I will preface this with the fact that I have a desk job, which means I am online all the time. And a small part of said job is really keeping up with what is going on in the food world. (I work for, check it out if you haven't). But I cannot imagine that people do not know what it takes to keep themselves healthy. That said, I read and hear the most amazing things that people believe.

Recently a friend told me that she stopped eating cooked spinach because someone told her that toxins are released during the cooking process. Um?! Ok, so I did some research and found this:
Spinach is one of the vegetables which may accumulate appreciable amounts of nitrate from the soil during the growing season. Nitrate is not harmful for our health. If raw spinach is cut and left for a long period of time or if cooked spinach is stored, nitrate is converted into toxic nitrite by bacterial activity. While the concentration of nitrite in re-heated spinach does not pose any problem for adults, babies and toddlers are much more sensitive to nitrite. Therefore, small children should not be fed cooked spinach that has been stored and reheated. Sterilized spinach filled in small glass jars as baby food should be used up directly after opening the jar.
Basically during WWII people, especially in the military, were reusing cooked spinach over and over again, thus creating the nitrates which people deemed as dangerous. But why would someone take tat information and not do the necessary research to see that it is not something to worry about? I have no idea.

Americans seem to be scared of more and more foods these days, carbohydrates, fats, wheat, gluten, etc. But unless you happen to suffer from Celiac disease and cannot eat gluten, there is no reason to be frightened. I am much more scared about the 45 ingredients in a Snackwell's reduced fat cookie than I am about the butter that I will add to my homemade cookies.

So why are Americans still in the dark about good nutrition? And are we or are we simply too stuck in our ways to put energy into making good choices?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My Favorite Salmon

After going to the gym and running along Crissy Field at 8:00pm last night I was hungry for a nice dinner. I love salmon because it is so easy, good for you, and takes very little time to cook. What I do, while I am preheating the oven, is make some large slits in the filet with a butcher's knife and drizzle honey and soy sauce into the slits and onto the salmon. Add a dash of cracked black pepper and you are good to go! Once the oven is around 425F, or 450F stick her in for about 12 minutes. My oven is so old that I never know how warm it actually is. It has that ancient dial, so I turn it on, wait 15 minutes, and hope for the best. I don't bake too often so most of the food I make is easy to adapt whether it is 15 degrees too cool or what have you. You just have to keep an eye on it. Actually I took the salmon out after about 9 minutes, drizzled some of the marinade over it that had fallen to the sides, and then finished the cooking.
On the side I added a few vegetables. I steamed some broccoli and yellow squash, and I roasted cauliflower at the same time as cooking the salmon. I put the cauliflower in before the salmon, as it takes about 20-25 minutes. Roasted cauliflower is one of my all time favorites. It is amazing how the taste becomes so much more interesting which a bit of charring on the edges. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some lemon or lime juice and it is just the best. Yum!
A side salad completed this healthy meal. Just some spinach and romaine, bell pepper, radishes, cabbage, cucumber and tomatoes. A great meal.
I even had enough left on my plate to add to my salad for lunch the next day!

Pesto Farfalle with Peas

I made pesto last week. Why do you ask? Well, I had a ton of basil and thought I could make it and freeze it for the winter, so I went ahead and did it. I rarely follow recipes when it comes to something like pesto. I know the basic ingredients, basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, olive oil, and then I usually add some lemon juice and lemon zest, which I did. I think that the lemon freshens the dish and you cannot really taste the actual flavor of the citrus, just the brightness. (Damn, now I am talking like Rachael Ray again with her ridiculous food descriptions. Parsley is verdant, um, well yes, it is a green herb, and therefore it is verdant. Or she could just say, "parsley tastes like parsley.")

With a dash of salt and pepper I must say that my pesto was good enough to eat with a spoon, which I had to do numerous times to make sure it tasted right. I froze the sucker up and didn't think about it. But on Monday night John and I were starving and I really didn't feel like going to the store. This is when the pantry comes in handy. I always have a ton of pasta on hand (he got to choose between whole wheat linguine, spaghetti, farfalle (bowties), rigatoni, and orzo) and I also wanted to add some extra nutrition and texture, so I remembered a bag of frozen peas in the freezer. Frozen peas remind me of being a kid, and I usually have them so I can make my favorite green pea vicchysoisse without running to the market.

The peas went into the boiling water for the last minute with the pasta. I stuck it back in the pan with some of the defrosted pesto and shook a few red pepper flakes on top, as well as a bit of basil chiffonade. A plate of goodness I tell you. The peas were really good. I think that pesto peas could be a side dish all on its own one of these days.

Steak with Black Beans and Tomatillo Salsa

I read this recipe on some food blog I can not remember the name of and I decided to wing it the other night. I bought some buffalo steaks (supposedly lower in fat and much healthier than beef) and went to town. I grilled the steaks on my grill pan and while those were heating up I added a rinsed can of black beans to a pan with some olive oil. Then I added about half a jar of tomatillo salsa. This was heating to perfection while I sliced up an avocado.
For the plating I placed the warm and spicy beans on the bottom of a shallow bowl, placed the buffalo on top, and then the avocado, sprinkled with sea salt, and some scallions. The picture is not the best and honestly it didn't look the best. The color of the meat with the beans is too similar. Perhaps if I had made it with steak and then sliced the steak so the red juicy innards were exposed it would have had a more interesting look. Oh well, I am not a food stylist so I suppose it doesn't matter. I ate all of my beans and avocado, which was delicious, and maybe half the meat. I don't really enjoy consuming too much of the stuff. Oh well, better luck next time. Actually I think that this would be really nice with some sliced flank steak on top. Hmmm...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

HUGE Portions in Laguna Beach

This past weekend I went down to Orange County for a wedding and to see my dad. On Friday we went to lunch at the Montage Resort, this super fancy place on the beach right off PCH (Pacific Coast Highway-1). We sat outside on the patio at their restaurant Mosaic and enjoyed a lovely, and pricey, lunch.

I ordered the gazpacho with crab and my dad and I shared the fish tacos. The most incredible part of this meal was the huge and completely bizarre, in my opinion, choice of dishes the restaurant used. My gazpacho came in a bowl that was nestled in another larger bowl filled with ice.
The gazpacho was good but missing something. Perhaps a little acid, or a little zing. My dad on the other hand made the right order. He got their clam chowder which was absolutely incredible. I mean, the best clam chowder I've ever had.
It was full of chunks and not too heavy or fake cream tasting. I think that there is so much bad clam chowder out there that I don't even consider ordering it anymore. I figure it's not worth the calories, and the prospective belly ache for the lactose intolerant me. But I changed my mind with one, or ten, sorry Dad, bites of this.
We also shared fish tacos.

One for each of us. These were delicious as well, I thought I would miss out on the salsa, but the flavors of the beans and guacamole really made the taco. The meal was a success I would say, but I cannot imagine ever spending $75 on lunch again. Yes, the restaurant's lunch options were more expensive than most places' dinner entrees. Welcome to touristville. And the bowls were ridiculous. You can't see the size vey well in the pictures, but I do not enjoy eating at a restaurant where I am embarrassed by my portion size. Chevy's always does this as well, they lay out this huge platter and you feel a bit sheepish at the amount of food that you might consume. I suppose this is the American way though.
Another photo of Laguna.

I am So Excited For This!
I can't wait to watch this show! I am not sure how to attach a movie to my blog, but here is the link so you can watch the sneak preview.
Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Claudia someone another, a Spanish actress, go on a road trip through Spain eating. Awesome. I am so jealous because that sounds amazing!