I had friends come in this weekend for some gluttony. Here's where we ate:
Thursday night: We went to Il Pollaio after they came in. They thought the sausage was good, but loved the grilled chicken. I hadn't been in a while, and had forgotten how good it was. The crispy skin is really the best part. We started drinking at Dalva, then hopped south. I had planned to end up at El Farolito, but we never made it that far...
Friday: We started at Y Ben House. The steam items were all good, even though my friends aren't big fans of dim sum for breakfast. The total bill for stuffing three people was 18 dollars. We stopped at Golden Gate Bakery on the way back. We couldn't get in more than half a tart each, but those first few bites were really good. After a visit to Golden Gate Park, we stopped at Tartine and shared some bread pudding and some macaroons. The bread pudding was amazing as usual, but the macaroons were a little too heavy for my taste. We met up with a bunch of other people at Pauline's. Even though I live nearby, this was embarassingly my first time there. The upstairs is set up with long tables ideal for large groups (we had 12 people). The pizza is really solid thin crust, I really liked the pesto and the vegetarian special, which featured sweet potatoes. I'd definitely go again if I had a lot of people. It's also within walking distance to Zeitgeist.
Saturday: We had brunch at Balompie Cafe. Everyone really like the pupusas, especially with loroco. The fried pork on top of the yuca was really good. I preferred the steamed yuca, but everyone else liked the fried. The fresh pineapple juice was incredible, but they ran out, so we couldn't get seconds. We moved to agua fresca, and that was amazing too, maybe the best I've ever had. For dinner we went to Firefly. They added an Austrian red wine to the list, which was really fresh and clean (we had it with fish) and a steal at $27 for a 1L bottle. We had the usual appetizers (brussel sprouts, potstickers), but the favorite starter was the pork empanadas. The fish entrees were all solid, but the pork osso bucco was the best dish. My wife had the white lasagna, which was very well done, but came with baby brocolli roasted in truffle oil, which was really good. For dessert, the semolina pudding was my favorite. I thought the cocoa bean panna cotta was a little bit disappointing; it was hard to discern any distinct flavors.
Sunday morning: We picked up banh mi at Saigon Sandwiches to eat at home. Everyone loves these. I like the pork, but the others thought the meatball sandwiches were equally good. There are incredible, especially for two dollars, but still inferior to the banh mi I remember eating in high school in San Jose.