San Francisco has some of the best restaurants in the country! In this last post in the trilogy of my recent trip to California (see Sights - Part 1 and Wineries - Part 2), I wanted to spotlight some of the restaurants I enjoyed.
We did eat most of our meals at the house we had rented, but the top 3 restaurants I spotlight here were pretty much awesome and totally veggie friendly.
#3 - Pizza Orgasmica
Located in the center of San Francisco, just north of the Golden Gate Park, this pizza place was the perfect end to a long day of walking around with our luggage. Martin and I were exhausted when we finally arrived at the restaurant - so tired that we both forgot to take any photos!
It doesn’t have any outdoor seating, but it does has several different seating options. The bar has some seating, there are tables as well, but we chose to site in a room that could have been in a Japanese restaurant. The tables were low to the floor, and we sat on cushions and pillows instead of chairs. I almost took a nap!
They have lots of local beers on the menu; I can’t remember which one I ordered, but it hit the spot. We ordered the three-cheese pizza. Although it took about an hour to get our pizza (!), once we got it, we were very, very happy. The cheese was melted and gooey. The sauce was present but not overwhelming and the thin crust made the cheese shine. We devoured the whole thing.
I would love to try some of their other pizzas, but I would make sure to allow for slow movement from the kitchen.
#2 - The Plant Cafe Organic
|The Plant Cafe Organic had a delicious Plant "Burger" and fish tacos.|
Located at Pier 3 in San Francisco, The Plant Cafe Organic was Martin and my first meal on our trip and the perfect “Welcome to San Francisco” meal.
The small modern cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating; the outdoor seating even has clear plastic to protect from the wind on chilly days. We arrived just before the lunch rush on a Friday.
I was overwhelmed with their menu options. Most of the options were vegetarian; many of those options were vegan; and several options were gluten-free. Everything was organic and focused on healthful food.
All of their burgers were made from the Plant Burger, which is a vegan house-made burger made from lentils, mushrooms, and beets. I ordered a Plant Burger with cheese, aioli, and avocado. If avocado is on a menu, it will usually end up on my plate. The burger was bright purple! As with most veggie burgers, the texture was soft and the burger had a tendency to spew out of my whole wheat sourdough bread. The flavor was scrumptious. The aioli was very mild, and I would have preferred something stronger - even horseradish sauce. It was served with potato wedges and a light salad.
Overall, the meal was extremely satisfying, and I would eat here again in an instant to explore the rest of the menu.
#1 - Avatar’s
Avatar's has some of the best restaurant food I have ever had, but we almost didn’t go in! Located in Sausalito, the restaurant is near the water but not on the water. The outside of the restaurant is unassuming. Do not be fooled.
The restaurant proclaims it is a “confusion” restaurant. All dishes have an Indian influence, but the dishes start with Mexican or Italian roots.
Our waiter was quite the character! I lost count how many times he boasted about the fantastic food of the restaurant or how many times he mentioned that he will make anything you want - vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, whatever! Fun and overwhelming.
Our party of 5 started with vegetable samosas. Oh my. Crisp, deep fried breading with a blend of cooked vegetables inside sitting over various dipping sauces - yogurt, chutney, tamarind sauce. There are no words. Not spicy, but full of flavor and perfectly balanced.
|Mixed Vegetables over Rice; Mushroom Ravioli with Shrimp|
Everyone ordered a different entree, and no one was disappointed.
I decided to order a vegetarian version of the pumpkin enchilada, but instead our waiter told me that he would make me an enchilada and I would have to guess the mystery vegetable! Oh my. What have I gotten myself into? I was nervous, but mostly excited to try to guess my mystery vegetable.
My enchiladas were perfect. Sometimes I dislike enchiladas - the sauce sometimes has a weird aftertaste. But these enchiladas were smothered in the most delicious curry sauce. I wasn’t sure what the vegetable was inside my enchiladas. It was orange and since I had pumpkin on my mind - that's what I thought it was. But then, the chunks of the vegetable reminded me of a potato... After finishing my plate, the waiter told me it was taro root! Paprika had made it the color of carrots; even the chunks were taro root. I loved it. Now I’m curious to try to experiment with taro root myself.
Since it was my cousin’s birthday, we ordered dessert.
|Taro Root Enchiladas with Curried Enchilada Sauce|
The crust was a cocoa-based crumb, almost like a dry brownie, and the cake was frozen yogurt with pistachio topping. The cake was sitting in a mango puree. I wanted to lick my plate. The mango puree was so delicious. A perfect ending to a perfect meal.
If you are ever near Sausalito, be sure to eat here. This would be a regular haunt of mine if I lived closely.
Avatar's was a perfect end to a wonderful trip to San Francisco and Sonoma County. I still dream of the delicious wine and miss the good company of my cousin and new friends.
|My quirky cousin and I hanging out in Sausalito, CA.|
Have you been to San Francisco or Sonoma County? What memories do you have from your trip?
Labels: California, Pizza, Restaurants