Metrocurean Heads West

I'm heading to California for the next few weeks to eat, drink and be merry. And while Metrocurean's coverage of D.C. restaurants may wane, I will post occasionally about various California food adventures (including a trip to The French Laundry!).

My hit list has grown long, but feel free to throw in any suggestions in the comments for San Francisco, Napa and Sonoma. There's always room for one more meal, after all.


JNo said...

I was there this past summer.
I had a great dinner at the Girl and Fig in Sonoma, Maya in Sonoma was also great and by all means go to Healdsburg, Cyrus is wonderful as is the Oakville market. Tons of tasting rooms in H'Burg too. Skip the town of Napa, it was a big dissapointment. Also, there is this really cool place called the Carneros Inn. Between Napa and Sonoma.

dcgent said...

Mayo Winery now does a 7-wine/food pairing in its tasting room for $20 that is very unusual. Also, a sidetrip to the coast for a sunset dinner at River's End is highly recommended--great food and wine list, amazing view of russian river emptying into ocean.

Demetrius said...

If you have the time, you should seriously consider a visit to the Behrens and Hitchcock Vineyard. http://www.behrensandhitchcock.com/

tommy said...

You should check out Piperade over on Telegraph Hill

Amanda said...

Great tips, keep 'em coming. I'll be staying at the Carneros Inn for a few days...glad to hear it's a cool spot.

jno said...

Yes, everyone at the wedding I was at was talkingabout the Mayo's pairings.

Anonymous said...

Barndiva in Healdsburg is a wonderful spot for lunch or dinner.

Natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

Hey Amanda,
I had dinner at John Ash's restaurant on Monday night and sad to say it was quite underwhelming... After all its hype I expected better fare... If its on your list, you may consider filling your evening (and belly) somewhere that lives up to its reputation...
Have fun! Sounds like a wonderful trip.
xo Natalie

Anonymous said...


Sarah said...

Hi Amanda,

I always make a point to visit Betlenut on Union Street when I visit San Francisco. It has a great atmosphere and fantastic asian tapas.

Have fun!


Eileen said...

I liked Cafe Gratitude (SF, 2400 Harrison Street, and other locations) and Millennium (580 Geary).

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just moved to DC after living 10 years in the Bay Area. I really miss the food there and I was so happy to discover a food blogger in DC.

I agree with Eileen -- Cafe Gratitude serves great raw food. It's creative, friendly (sometimes overly so -- you wonder what drug everyone's on), and absolutely delicious. I always crave their "I am Rapture" strawberry short cake which is made with a cashew nut whipped cream. It's the best raw food in the Bay Area.

I do not recommend Betelnut for food, but I think that's probably b/c I'm Asian and Betelnut is NOT quality Asian food. I came here with friends and the dumplings tasted like dumplings you could buy at Trader Joe's. The noodles we had were undersalted, but the duck dish was oversalted. Nothing came out right. Maybe it was an off night. But they do have good cocktails, the atmosphere is fun, and the people watching is good.

You should also consider visiting the Ferry Building, but resist the Slanted Door which is very very overrated -- you can get much, much better Vietnamese food in San Jose. Every time I've been there, I've been disappointed. The view is great, but the noise level is unbearable and the food is so-so.

Another rec is Zuni. It's a California institution. Try the roast chicken and the oysters. Everything is impeccably prepared and fresh.

Oh, and Gary Danko. If you're in SF, you have to visit Gary Danko. I have only been here once, but it was such a memorable food experience. The service is world-class. We did the 5 course meal. I was so full I could not walk at the end of the night, but it was so worth it.

Other recommendations:
-Bar Cesar in Berkeley for tapas. It's next to Chez Panisse which is also great for a classic CA experience, albeit overrated and not as exciting as newer restaurants.
-Paul K (understated)

Wow, I miss San Francisco.I can't wait to hear how your trip goes! Please write!

bilrus said...

Manresa was the most exciting meal I've had all year. It felt like people must have felt at French Laundry just as it was starting to get national attention. And Los Gatos is a quaint little town.

Try Chez Panisse Cafe for lunch. It will give you a sense of why Chez Panisse is what it is in the realm of US Restaurants. Every time I'm there, with the sunlight beaming through the shutters, I can't help but have a smile on my face.

Aziza in San Francisco is another fun experience. Refined, elegant Moroccan cooking. Don't let the drab neighborhood and outisde appearance fool you. It is a beautiful room with beautiful cooking on the inside.

the post girl in dc said...

I have to second Azizza. Going from the Richmond district/area/what have you to inside this restaurant is night and day. Very good service, great great food and I still remember/lust after the Lemon Basil martini I had. It's a pity none of the pictures I took from inside came out. Have fun!

Andrew said...


You have to hit up a few spots while you are out there:

Bocadillos in San Francisco
Vino Venue in San Francisco
Nectar Wine Lounge in San Francisco

And the must see in Napa (besides French Laundry)--Mustard's Grill on Rt 29 in Yountville

And if you want some amazing cream puffs--hit up Beard Papa's near the Moscone Convention Center in SF. Its a Japanese chain and while I was there in September, I totally thought of you.

OH and Supperclub SF is a little wild if you want a totally different dining experience while..um...laying in bed