I've been a city girl for as long as I can remember. My parents always took my brother and I on adventures there when we were younger, and I can confidently say that my fondest memories with them are from when we first visited Golden Gate Park, or when my dad took us on Lombard Street and drove around the twists and turns like a pro. I was in absolute awe. From those memories, to now, to forever I'm sure, I will always be in love with the city and the fact that there is always something new to see and experience every time I'm there. So with that said, the #electriluxeatz section of this blog wouldn't be complete without an SF feature. And, this is just the first of many more to come because there are so many places in the city that I want to share with you all, and have yet to explore myself.
I was finally able to stay at and explore The Palace Hotel on Montgomery. I'm pretty convinced that I want to get married at this place after falling in love with the interior. Definitely gave me Parisian vibes and reminded me of The Palace of Versailles from when I visited. I highly, highly recommend that you visit if you're in the city even if you don't stay there. The lobby itself is so dreamy - and you have the option of dining here without being a guest. I felt like I was on vacation in Europe.
This is what the entrance to my home is going to look like. Just wait on it.
The first spot that we visited after exploring around the hotel was a bar called Novela(www.novelasf.com) This place, was an absolute dream. In simpler terms, if I were a bar, I'd be this one. The entire place was rimmed with books that you could pull out and read while enjoying a drink and tapas. How perfect is that? It definitely was not like your typical loud bar. More of a place where you can relax and unwind. Basically a library for adults only - and they're definitely killin' the ambience game.
Endless shelves of books and alcohol all in one place? I should live here. Their cocktails are also inspired by famous classic movies such as The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Curious George, etc - and I love the creativity behind that. I'm a sucker for presentation and different concepts, and this place nailed it in terms of that.
Of course, I ended up picking the "Alice White" which was inspired by Alice in Wonderland. My favorite movie - and now my favorite drink. It was a delicious blend of gin, lemon, and their house watermelon tonic topped with impeccable presentation.
We also ordered their warm olives which were garnished with rosemary, orange, chili flakes, and garlic. An unusual, but whimsical blend of ingredients in my opinion. Writing down these details is making me crave them all over again. The perfect pairing with drinks. They have many more delicious items in the "bar bites" section of their menu. We tried their broccoli cheddar aranchinis, which are basically like hush puppies stuffed with rice, smoked bacon, and herb aioli - and their pepper mac and cheese. My favorites were the aranchinis and olives because I feel that they paired better with the drinks. Those dishes are not pictured because by the time they arrived, I was too impatient to stop and photograph first (which RARELY happens so I must have been pretty hungry) because ya girl always got time for pictures.
The next morning, the first thing we did was go back to our favorite brunch/lunch spot in the heart of the city called Blue Stem(www.bluestembrasserie.com) We had been to this place once before during their brunch hour and were so impressed - so we had to go back for lunch this time around, and it was even better. Not only is this place aesthetically Gur approved, but the quality of their food is to die for, and I love that they have a refined menu. Quality over quantity is their strongest asset and I'm livin' for it.
I opted to get tea instead of coffee for some reason - I know, how could I right? Doesn't even sound like me, but it was probably the best decision I made that day because it was the dreamiest english breakfast tea I have ever had. I kid you not. It was perfectly brewed and flavorful enough. Definitely put me in a relaxed mood after dealing with my god forsaken allergies earlier that day.
Warning: The spread that you're about to see below might just be heaven in the form of food, and once tried, you'll probably find yourself craving it again and again forever, but, who said that's a bad thing?
From left to right -
1.) Lamb meatballs with spiced tomato sauce, moroccan olives, and feta. 10/10, melts in your mouth, basically like pizza in a different form.
2.) Fresh baked Focaccia with burrata cheese and golden tomato jam. 20/10. This was my first time trying focaccia, which is a flat oven baked Italian bread, and I clearly wasn't living my life right until I tried it because it was quite possibly the best kind of bread I've ever had. The burrata and golden tomato jam concoction was the perfect pairing with this bread. Slightly sweet, creamy, and freshly prepared.
3.) Half dozen fresh oysters with rose mignonette. 10/10. You can't go wrong with oysters - and they were the perfect rush of "fresh" with the rest of our warm food.
I really can't praise this meal enough, but it left us speechless to say the least. I can't wait to go back and try their dinner menu next, and I shall keep you all posted on that once I do.
After this, we decided it was high time to take a break from the food and get in a little shopping. Maiden lane near Union Square is my favorite little street with all the high end stores I like to window shop at because my wallet doesn't agree with their price point...yet.
Whenever you're shopping at or near Union Square in the city, you can't pass up on taking a break at Nespresso (90 grant ave) which is probably the fanciest coffee spot I've ever been to - and that say's a lot because I've been to a few. The ambience and interior is very modern-chic and I can always imagine coming on business meetings here.
I'm usually not a sweet coffee kind of person, but their espresso shots mixed with ice cream and whip make me wish I could have one every day. Even though there's ice cream in it, the coffee is still prominent and the taste is perfectly balanced.
After coffee and a little more shopping, it was time to make the last stop before putting an end to this delicious foodie adventure and so of course, we had to take it back to the basics, and get some traditional bbq at Catheads BBQ(catheadsbbq.com) I've had this place bookmarked for some time and am so glad we tried it.
A foodie date in the city wouldn't be complete without going back to the basics and doing comfort food right - so this place was a delectable last stop complete with their mac n cheese, bbq beans, famous biscuit, and ribs. If you're into bbq and are looking for an authentic vibe/taste. this spot is definitely worth it. I'd suggest going on an off day because they get full quick and seating is scarce but I'd do it again in a heart beat.
If you got through this entire post, then I hope you enjoyed virtually exploring these spots through my camera lens and are inspired to visit some because I can vouch that they are all wonderful in their own unique ways. Trying new food and flavors is something that I began to do at a very young age and I'm thankful to my parents for instilling that quality in me and my brother. I feel that an explorative mentality wouldn't be complete without the ability to enjoy the foods that come with it. They go hand in hand. Heres to many more foodie adventures and #electriluxeatz posts!
Thank you for reading!