Today's Food 4or Thought

Aubergene at Carmel by the Sea

Been following chef Justin Cogley on Instagram quite a well and admired his amazing dishes virtually.  Finally made it there for an amazing meal at his restaurant in Carmel by the Sea

Attached to L Auberge Carmel Hotel, the restaurant features amazing food and wine pairings.  Michelin Guide hasn’t made it down to Carmel that I can see, but I would consider this restaurant to be on par with Atelier Crenn and Benu if you are looking for fine dining in that area.

  • kumamoto, osetra flavors of gazpacho milk, sea urchin
    Chardonnay - NV André Robert “Brut Réserve” - Le Mesnil Sur Oger, France
  • duck liver, mache, pickled vegetables
    Roussanne - “11 Big Basin Vineyards - Homestead Block Vineyard - Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
  • potato, nori, coastal herbs
    Chenin Blanc ’08 Raats - Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • monterey bay red abalone, hijiki, artichoke, tosaka 
    Albarino - ’12 La Marea - Kristy Vineyard - Monterey, CA
  • squab, turnip, turnip greens
    Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio - ’11 Romeo del Castelo “Allegracore” - Etna Rosso -  Sicily, Italy
  • roasted lamb loin, beet, pluot
    Syrah - ’12 Wind Gap - Nellessen Vineyard - Sonoma Coast, CA
  • hokkaido, huckleberries, sour shallots
    Syrah - ’11 Domaine Marc Sorrel- - Hermitage - Rhône, France
  • ossau-irraty, chanterelles, truffle, thai long pepper, preserved sorrel oil
    Chardonnay - ’10 Domaine Michel Gahier - Les Follasses - Arbois - Jura, France
  • sorrel, elderflower
  • peaches and cream
    Furmint - ‘07 Királyudvar - Cuvée Ilona - Tokaji, Hungary 
  • chocolate, raspberry, coffee
  • blackberry speculoos caramelia truffle

Chef · Justin Cogley
Maitre’D ∙ Nathaniel Muñoz
Pastry Chef ∙ Ron Mendoza
Sommelier ∙ Marin Nadalin

If you are in Carmel and into fine dining, definitely give this restaurant a go.  The photographs did not do the meal justice.  

Aubergine Carmel
Monte Verde at Seventh
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 93921

http://auberginecarmel.com/

 Chef · Justin Cogley Maitre’D ∙ Nathaniel Muñoz

 Pastry Chef ∙ Ron Mendoza Sommelier ∙ Marin Nadalin

Kama sushi in SOMA San Francisco

One of the neighborhood places in South of Market neighborhood that I enjoy stopping by when I am in the area near 9th Street where Nordstrom Rack and Costco is.  Popular among the local offices during the week and people living in the SOMA neighborhood, the place always deliver a solid meal for me.

  • Monkfish liver with egg yolk and ikura 
  • Sunset Strip roll
  • August 4th Roll -Unagi, avocado, tamago roll with torched soy salmon and ikura
  • Pyramid Roll - Hamachi, Salmon, Avocado roll topped with red and green tobiko

Parking is available on the streets.

Kama Sushi 

294 9th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
b/t Folsom St & Clementina St in SoMa

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kama-sushi-soma-san-francisco-4

Casual Dining at Cafe Rustica Carmel Valley 

Located in Carmel Valley away from the touristy areas, Cafe Rustica as its name implies delivers solid European continental food in a family restaurant setting.  

  • Heirloom Tomatoes Salad
  • Minestrone Soup
  • Hungarian Goluash on Egg nooles
  • Grilled Halibut
  • Blackberry with Cabanet grapes sorbet

The restaurant gets packed so reservation is definitely recommended.  There is outdoor seating that is quite popular.

Cafe Rustica Carmel Valley 

10 Delfino Pl
Carmel Valley, CA 93924

http://www.caferusticavillage.com/

Taco tasting at Guerrero taqueria at  Pacifica
Driven by this place a few times on my way to Rockaway Beach to either Nick’s or Moonraker, decided to stop in for a quick bite and do some taco sampling.
Fish 
Chili Verde
Lengua
Carnitas
All good.  There is plenty of parking.  There are two tables in the front and there is a hidden patio in the back with benches.  Service was efficient and it looks like burritos are very popular for dining in and to go based on the lines.

Guerrero’s Taqueria164 Reina Del Mar AvePacifica, CA 94044
http://www.yelp.com/biz/guerreros-taqueria-pacifica

Taco tasting at Guerrero taqueria at  Pacifica

Driven by this place a few times on my way to Rockaway Beach to either Nick’s or Moonraker, decided to stop in for a quick bite and do some taco sampling.

  • Fish 
  • Chili Verde
  • Lengua
  • Carnitas

All good.  There is plenty of parking.  There are two tables in the front and there is a hidden patio in the back with benches.  Service was efficient and it looks like burritos are very popular for dining in and to go based on the lines.

Guerrero’s Taqueria
164 Reina Del Mar Ave
Pacifica, CA 94044

http://www.yelp.com/biz/guerreros-taqueria-pacifica

Return to kusakabe Sushi San Francisco

Another great meal at Kusakabe San Francisco (previous blog there

Another great leisurely meal and this time we were served by chef Kusakabe side of the table

  • Konbu Cha, kelp Tea
  • Zuke Chutoro, lightly seared bluefind medium fatty tuna cured in soy sauce
  • Halibut and smoked bonito sushi
  • Striped Jack sashimi nestled in shaved ice with Japanese tuber with two kinds of dipping sauce
  • Summer truffle miso soup with Erigi and Simeji mushrooms
  • BBQ Unagi eel with monaka rice cracker sushi
  • Zwwai Gani Crab, Crispy tofu topped with key lime with Hokkaido konbu dashi broth
  • Monkfish liver sushi 
  • Copper River wild king salmon
  • TToro - Bluefin fatty tuna
  • Grade A5 Wagyu strip loin
  • Moccha Creme Burlee
  • Tofu Ice cream with macha burlee

Parking is available on the street or nearby garages.

Look forward to the next time

Kusakabe

584 Washington Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
www.kusakabe-sf.com

Great view and food at Stillwater Restaurant at the Lodge at Pebble Beach

Went to Pebble beach the week after the famous car week and avoided the huge crowds.  From talking to the locals they were all recovering from a crazy (but profitable) week.  One of the regular stops for lunch when I get to Carmel is Still Water

Located at the Lodge at Pebble Beach and overlooks the 18th hole of the golf course, it is a perfect place to start a few days in the Carmel area.

  • Monterey Bay Crispy Calamari with Haricot Verts, Baby Artichokes, Meyer Lemons and Chipotle Aioli
  • Spinach Salad 
  • Side of French Fries
  • Crab Louis Salad
  • Chocolate lava cake

Pick a window seat and you have a great view of the golf course and beyond.  After the meal you can walk around and check out the course a little bit, a bit of high end shopping and walk around the corner to Stillwater Cove which is actually the place from where the restaurant is named from.

Stillwater Bar and Grill
The Lodge at Pebble Beach

http://www.pebblebeach.com/dining/the-lodge-at-pebble-beach/stillwater-bar-and-grill

Straits Santana row San Jose

Nice place for a corporate dinner.  Large tables in the back and function area for big groups.  Was there for a corporate function.

  • Seafood Crudo
  • Spicy Calamari
  • Crispy chicken Wings
  • Singapore Satay
  • Straits Risotto with Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, Laksa coconut curry and Arborio Rice

There are parking lots at Santana Row but gets filled up quickly.  Make sure you allow yourself time for parking and transit to restaurant

Straits Santana Row
333 Santana Row Suite 1100
San Jose, CA 95128

http://www.yelp.com/biz/straits-restaurant-san-jose

Estiatorio Milos Las Vegas at Cosmopolitan Hotel 

One of the best greek restaurants in Las Vegas with really fresh seafood and excellent food at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.  I personally find the lunch special there to be of excellent value for a great meal for a reasonable price at a nice atmosphere.  You can appetizer, main and dessert with options to upgrade the main.  

  • Grilled Octopus appetizer - Nice, tender grilled octopus in olive oil dressing
  • Tomato Salad - Very fresh and tasty
  • Lobster Pasta - This is an upgrade but well worth it in terms of the presentation and preparation
  • Lavraki - Grilled mini sea bass, fish is one of the specialties in this restaurant.  Nicely done
  • Yogurt Martini - Simple, delicious finish of yogurt made from goat’s milk

Reservations are recommended.  The view is very nice, food and service and wonderful.  Definitely one of my regular stops in Las Vegas.

 Estiatorio Milos

Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109

http://www.yelp.com/biz/estiatorio-milos-las-vegas