Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas in the City - Festive displays around San Francisco

View from Twin Peaks - Downtown view by roland luistro, on FlickrThe Holiday Season is my favorite time of the year.

It started raining non-stop early in the season but it doesn't stop me from enjoying the sights and sounds of the Christmas Season in the city.

I welcome the rain as much as I love the Holidays!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Park in the City - Picturesque Views from Twin Peaks

View from Twin Peaks - Downtown view by roland luistro, on FlickrOn Saturday afternoon, Mijo and I had time to take my mom on a joy ride around the city. One of our stops was the closest to our neighborhood - Twin Peaks.

Even though it was a sunny day, it was windy that day so it was extra cold in Twin Peaks. The breathtaking panoramic views from there are unequalled.  A must see in San Francisco.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tea in the City - Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden - Main Gate by roland luistro, on FlickrIt has been years since the last time I was at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

I added a stop at the Japanese Tea Garden as part of my mom's site seeing itinerary because of selfish reasons.  I wanted to go back to the Japanese Tea Garden.  It was all good because my mom enjoyed our stop there.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Landmark in the City - Golden Gate Bridge views from Vista Point and Golden Gate Bridge Pavillon

Golden Gate Bridge - View from Vista Point by roland luistro, on FlickrOn my mom's third day in the City, I took a break from work around lunch time and drove my mom to the most beloved bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge.

Seeing the Bridge upclose never ceases to amaze me. Its sheer size and intense orange color with the most dramatic background make for a great photo op. My mom is a happy camper.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Concert at the Winery - Daryll Hall and John Oates

Hall and Oates - Mountain Winery by roland luistro, on FlickrGrowing up, I used to hurry home from school so I can make it on time for MTV.  MTV and the 80s music were a big part of my teenage years and Hall and Oates were part of that too. 

So when Mijo and I learned that Hall and Oates will be at the Mountain Winery, we didn't waste time and bought tickets. We had a great time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Landmark in the City - Cable Cars

Cable Car - Powell St by roland luistroAside from the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the cable cars are icons of San Francisco. When you see a cable car, you think of San Francisco.

This is why you see it in postcards, in fridge door magnets, key chains and holiday ornaments. Even though I've been a long time resident of the city, it is always a joy to ride the cable car.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pizzeria in the City - Gialina

Gialina by roland luistro, on FlickrGialina is becoming our default restaurant whenever Mijo and I have an evening show to go to.  It is not a secret that Gialina is one of our favorite pizzerias. 

We went to see a couple of Broadway shows within the past three weeks and guess where we went to get a quick bite to eat? Gialina!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Musical in the City - Motown the Musical

Motown The Musical - TicketA couple of friends at work saw Motown The Musical and they have nothing but praise for this production. I was skeptical at first but Mijo and I went to check it out eventually.

You know what? This is like watching a concert with all the Motown greats in it. This is probably one of the most entertaining Broadway shows I've seen it was like going to a music festival.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Everyday Coffee in the City - Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend

Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend - Whole Bean bagThis month, we went back to one of our favorite coffee brands and a favorite blend - Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend. 

Since we like this brand and blend, we decided to get a big bag from Costco. This coffee is great as a drip and also as espresso and taste so good with our breakfast, dessert and snacks.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Everyday Wine in the City - Castello Di Amorosa 2009 Sangiovese

Castello Di Amorosa - 2009 Sangiovese Napa ValleyTwo years ago, our friends Bren and Bob, Mijo and I went to Castello Di Amorosa to wine taste. This week, we opened our last bottle of Sangiovese that we bought during our wine tasting there. 

This wine is tasty and it went well with our home made meals and snacks. Maybe it is time to go back to Castello di Amorosa to replenish our stock.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Concert in Sonoma - Gipsy Kings at Weill Hall

Gipsy Kings At Weill Hall - Lawn view at nightEverytime I hear Flamenco music, my memories of my travels to Spain comes alive. This is probably why The Gipsy Kings is one of my favorite Flamenco groups. 

They were in the area just recently and Mijo was able to get us tickets to their concert at Sonoma State University's Weill Hall. While watching their concert, it felt like I was in Spain.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Festival in the City - Savor Filipino

Savor Filipino - StageFinally, the spotlight on Filipino cuisine. There is no better place to showcase the taste of the Philippines than the Bay Area. 

The weather was perfect, the location couldn't be any better, and the food was delicious. I hope Savor Filipino becomes an annual event in San Francisco.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Chocolate in the City - Dandelion Chocolates

Dandelion Chocolates - Tasting purchaseAfter our Ethiopian dinner, Mijo, JP and I were walking down Valencia St. looking for a place where we can have something sweet. We found this lively dessert place called Dandelion Chocolates.

They sell chocolates in different forms and sizes. The chocolates are high quality and the service friendly. This place became an instant hit for us.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Cheese Tasting in Marin - Nicasio Valley Cheese Company

Nicasio Valley Cheese Company - SignThe day started clear and summer like that Saturday so we decided to drive up north. It was a spur of the moment.

The same with this cheese tasting. We went to Nicasio Valley Cheese Company on an impulse. We discovered a brand of cheese we haven't had and we loved what we sampled in their store on Nicasio Rd.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Art Exhibit in the City - Gorgeous at Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum - Gorgeous SignThe Asian Art Museum is open until 9pm on Thursdays. Mijo and I dropped by the museum after work on a Thursday to see their current exhibition called Gorgeous.

Gorgeous runs through September 14, 2014.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Festival in the City - San Francisco Street Food Festival

SF Street Food Festival - Adios MissionMijo and I went to the San Francisco Street Food Festival to eat lunch since we were in the area.  Lots of food vendors to choose from. 

This year, we were quick to decide and we were in and out of the festival in less than an hour. We think we did a pretty good job and ate good and tasty new and classic comfort food.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley - Rutherford Hill Winery

Rutherford Hill - SignRutheford Hill Winery was the third winery we visited. A quintessential Napa Valley winery, the place is perfect to bring out of town guests or local friends who enjoy beautiful wine venues. 

Rutherford has great ambience and good select wines for tasting.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley - Trefethen Family Vineyards

Trefethen Family Vineyards - SignOur second winery in our list was Trefethen Family Vineyards.  This winery has been in our list because I know at least two people who have been to this winery and they all loved it. 

Mijo, our friends B&B and I enjoyed this winery as well. They have elegant wines, knowledgeable wine educators and very friendly staff.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley - Silver Oak Cellars

Silver Oak Winery - Tasting RoomMijo and I took Thursday off and drove to Napa Valley to do some wine tasting. We wanted to go wine tasting on a Thursday to avoid the weekend crowd.

The first stop in our list was Silver Oak.  We sampled great Cabernet Sauvignons in their tasting menu while enjoying the beautiful landscape around the winery.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Free Acoustic Music in the City - Corazon Under The Dome

Free Live Acoustic Music in the City - Corazon Under The Dome signLast weekend, Mijo and I chanced upon a free live acoustic music. We were getting coffee and a snack at La Boulange Du Dome when we heard the soothing sounds of Corazon Under The Dome.

If you are around Westfield San Francisco Centre, do not forget to dropby the Dome to hear this good and free acoustic music. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Filipino Festival in the City - Pistahan 2014

Pistahan 2014 - Pistahan Parade and FestivalThe San Francisco Bay Area is home to people from different countries and Filipinos make up a large percentage of that. 

The Filipino community is a major ethnic group in Northern California and is well represented in major companies, local politics and government jobs.  This is evident in the annual Pistahan Parade and Festival where the Filipino food and culture are showcased.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sardinian Dinner in the City - La Ciccia

La Ciccia - FrontWe've always wanted to dine at La Ciccia. The restaurant serves food from the island of Sadegna or Sardinia.  It is that island on the Mediterranean Sea west of Italy and south of Corsica.

We made the reservations weeks ahead and we finally found a table on a Thursday evening.  The Sardinian dishes we ordered  were very delicious. This restaurant is definitely in our list.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Wine Tasting at Work - Sonoma in Foster City

Sonoma at Work - Wine glassesMiracle of miracles! Finally, a wine tasting at work! Select wineries from Sonoma County visited my company for an afternoon of wine tasting. It was held on the open air floor of the parking lot of the building one. 

I won't be revealing where I work but I will be mentioning the wineries since that is the relevant subject here.  I included in this blog select pictures of the wines I enjoyed tasting. Enjoy browsing!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Cocktails in the City - Brasserie S&P at The Mandarin Oriental

Brasserie S&P - SignFor our Happy Hour Thursday, we sampled the cocktails at the Brasserie S&P at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in downtown San Francisco.

This place has short list but great selections of mixed drinks and the service is topnotch. Perfect for catching up with friends.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Everyday Wine in the City - Merryvale 2010 Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch Estate Carneros

Merryvale 2010 Pinot Noir - labelA year ago, Mijo and I made it to the tasting cellars of  Merryvale Vineyards and brought home two bottles of Pinot Noir and a bottle of Carbernet Sauvignon. We opened a Pinot Noir two months afterward.

This week, we are sampling the second bottle of Pinot Noir from that visit. We knew we were going to love this bottle and we paired it with home cooked meals on Friday and Sunday.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Brunch in the City - Chef Michael Chiarello's Coqueta

Coqueta - SignDinah, Karen and I finally went to Coqueta. We had originally planned to go there a year ago but the date changed and then it was cancelled. On our third try, it finally happened. Third time's the charm!

We were celebrating Karen's birthday this time. The weather nice, the company great and our dining experience at Coqueta wonderful! Happy Birthday Karen!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Arts at the Airport - Galleries and Wall Art at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

SFO- MuseumDuring my recent travel abroad, I had extra time between check-in and boarding time so I was able to do what I've always wanted to do at San Francisco International airport. 

That is, to check out the airport gallery and art displays dotting the Main Hall departure area. What I discovered is neat and tasteful  collection of wall art and artifacts.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Opera in the City - Show Boat

SF Opera Showboat - FacadeThe last time Mijo and I went to see a performance at the Opera was in 2010 and it was Madama Butterfly. It has been long overdue for us to see a performance by the San Francisco Opera.  

We saw a lot of pictures and ads about SF Opera's latest production called Show Boat. Mijo and I checked it out and we both enjoyed it. It was a different kind of opera but it was very entertaining.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Baseball in the City - The San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies

SF Giants - AT&T Park nightI love my employer. After almost two years that I haven't gotten tickets to a baseball game, the gods of free tickets granted my wish and allowed me another chance to two really good tickets.

The last time we were at AT&T, we were in the Premium Lower Box. This time it got better. We were in the Premium Field Club. Just two rows directly behind the Giants dugout!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Free Concert in the City - Smokey Robinson and Patti Smith at Stern Grove Festival

Stern Grove 2014 - Hand stampCan you believe that I saw Smokey Robinson and Patti Austin perform live and I didn't pay a single penny? This was possible thanks to the wonderful people and sponsors behind the Stern Grove Festival. 

I always look forward to this summer festival because it is good entertainment. Isn't summer in the city amazing? 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Museum in the City - The Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum - SignThis is a late post but I felt like my creativity got energized when I visited the Disney Family Museum. This is like visiting a very modest but very smart and innovative neighbor or friend.

I definitely recommend this museum to learn more about one of the most innovative and creative Americans who touched lots of lives through his Disney brand.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Everyday Wine in the City - Josh Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Josh Cellars - BottleMijo bought two bottles of Josh Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon with the plan of serving it to his relatives when we invited them over for a small barbeque. Let's just say the two bottles were left unopened.

So for two weeks, we've been pairing this wine with our home dinners. This wine is actually good and it even went well with our modest dinners.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Home Cooking in the City - Eggplant and Chinese Sausage

Eggplant Chinese Sausage - Wine pairing bwI haven't made this dish in a while. I remember I used to make this dish once a month after I learned how to make it. It is a simple dish with only six main ingredients.

The good thing about this dish is that it is very tasty at the same time easy to make. The preparation is easy and cooking is straightforward.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Everyday Coffee in the City - Philippine Civet Coffee

Philippines Civet Coffee - Coffee beans bwOne of the goodies I brought back from my latest trip to the Philippines was a small box of Philippine Civet Coffee. I only bought one box for sampling because it is quite pricey.

We have started sampling this coffee this week.  This coffee is not as earthy and smoked flavored as the other Philippine coffee I've sampled before. It is not as bitter as the other coffee I usually drink.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pâtisserie in the City - Craftsman and Wolves

Craftsman and Wolves - BoxesIt was my good friend Dinah who first mentioned about Craftsman and Wolves. As always, she's the first among my friends to know the current dining trends in the city.

So one Saturday, Dinah, Karen and I went to the Mission District to sample what this new pâtisserie has to offer. Mijo and I went during the week. I totally enjoyed overloading on carbs!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cocktails in the Peninsula - Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen and Pisco Bar

Cocktails in the City - Puerto 27 pisco sour classicoWe've been having great weather lately. When I say great weather, I mean no fog. Summer in San Francisco is normally cold because of the fog or the thick marine layer.

I came home from work one Wednesday evening and there was no fog. Mijo suggested that we don't cook that evening and go somewhere close to the water. We drove south to a nearby town of Pacifica and to a restaurant called Puerto 27. Happy Hour came early that week!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Park in the City - Glen Park Recreational Center

Glen Park Recreational Center - SignThe past weekend, we had glorious sunshine in the city and the temperature hovered around mid-70s.  This is what I call a perfect tennis weather. So my friend Edward and I met up and played tennis for 2 hours.

An added bonus was that the tennis courts are newly renovated. A playground was also added for the neighborhood kids. I totally love the park's new look!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Farmers Market in the City - Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and shopping for Sunday brunch ingredients

At Home - Sunday Brunch sweetsWe cooked brunch on Sunday and it was very good because the ingredients were fresh. We bought most of them at the farmers market the day before. 

We totally enjoyed not just the brunch but also the process involved in shopping for the necessities for the brunch. We always love going to the Ferry Building Farmers Market. It is one of the hundred reasons we love living in San Francisco.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Everyday Wine in the City - Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve - 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma CountyA week before we left for our vacation in the Philippines and Indonesia, we opened a bottle we got from our last wine tasting trip to Kendall-Jackson.

We paired the bottle of cab with cheeses from Cow Girl Creamery and pizza and pasta from Goat Hill Pizza. The pairings went really well.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Brunch south of the City - Good Bites Cafe

Good Bites Cafe - FrontThere are so many restaurants in the City so why drive down to the Peninsula to try out a brunch place, right? While there is some truth to that, I was rewarded once again by being open minded.

My friends Caloy and Rey truly enjoyed the brunch at Good Bites Cafe in Belmont. This place serves what probably is the best Champorado, ever! :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day Trip from the City - Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea

Monterey Cannery Row - SignSpring time in California promises sunny weather at the same time comfortably cool temperature. Mijo and I spent a day one Saturday in the beautiful Monterey, a little over 100 miles south of San Francisco. We also dropped by Carmel since it is just around the corner.

We always have a good and relaxing time whenever we go to Monterey and Carmel.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Cocktails in the City - Happy Hour at El Techo de Lolinda

El Techo de Lolinda - SignWe've slowed down on happy hour recently because of work schedule related reasons. And when we do go to happy hour, the places we've been to did not have anything new in terms of drinks or overall experience except when we went to El Techo de Lolinda.

Drinks are good.  Food is good. The city views are good.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Brunch in Napa Valley - Brix Restaurant and Gardens

Brix - SignSpring is lovely in Northern California. It is still cool enough with the right amount of sunshine.

Mijo and I decided to pay mijo's sister Claudia a visit and we all went to brunch at Brix. Let's just say we were celebrating something. A blessing, so to speak.

Relaxing weekend, great company and great food. Life is good.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sculptures in the City - Mark Di Suvero in Crissy Field

Mark Di Suvero - Dreamcatcher northwestviewEight compelling steel sculptures by artist Mark Di Suvero are currently on display in Crissy Field as part of an art exhibition by the SFMoMA.

The exhibition is outdoors and for free in Crissy Field. If you are in town, these sculptures will be on display until May 26, 2014.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Juicing in the City - Grapefruit gift in the neighborhood

Ruby Reds - Grapefruit giftThe other week, I finally found time to take care of the crate full of ruby red grapefruit that one of our neighbors gave us. Thank you so much!  

The fruits were so plump and huge. I didn't know a faster way to consume these fresh goodies other than to juice them. I have to admit that I had an enjoyable time juicing.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Science Museum in the City - Listening Vessels at the Exploratorium (and Pause on Market Street)

Exploratorium - Embarcadero StThe Exploratorium re-opened on Embarcadero St last year but I only went for the first time on Monday which was the President's Day holiday.  Huge mistake! The place was a zoo.

I was able to see a couple of exhibits before I waved the white flag and surrendered to the kids and their parents inundating the place that day. As a consolation, I saw the Listening Vessel which is very similar to a public exhibit on Market St. called Pause.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Breakfast in the City - La Boulange de Sutter

La Boulange - Sutter StIt was Friday. Mijo, though late, decided to go to the office. He thought he'd be more productive in the office than working from home.  I, on the otherhand, was working from home.  What's more productive than working and doing laundry during breaks, I thought to myself.

I have an appointment in the morning so we decided to have a sit down breakfast. We haven't had a slow sit down breakfast on a Friday in a long while. There we were. Talking, eating slow and sharing plates amid the busy downtown crowd. It was like a scene from a romantic movie.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Cirque in the City - Amaluña by Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil - AmalunaI first saw a brief 15 minute performance of Cirque du Soleil's Amaluña when a couple of Cirque performers visited our company headquarters in December. It was short but it was a good preview of the story. A love story.

Mijo and I found tickets on the last week of their performance in San Francisco. As always, we loved it. Like any Cirque show, it was suspenseful, entertaining and fun.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dumpling in the City - Kingdom of Dumpling

Kingdom of Dumpling - StorefrontMijo and I seldom go to Taraval St. in the Sunset neighborhood of the city to eat. Though we like dimsum, we seldom eat dumplings.

The stars and planets were somehow aligned one night last week and we decided to go Kingdom of Dumpling  on Taraval St. to sample, what else, dumplings.  We truly enjoyed it!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Musical in the City - The Book of Mormon

Book Of Mormom - PosterMijo and I were lucky to find limited view seats tickets to The Book of Mormon at the Orpheum Theatre last month amid the Holiday rush.

We missed seeing the musical the last time it was in San Francisco a few years ago so we made sure and prayed hard that we find tickets to this show. And we did and we liked the music, acting and energy of the production.