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After feeding seagulls your pocket change in the currency of ice cream from Chantilly's in downtown Laguna Beach, drive north to Ruby's Shake Shack to get over it. This spawn of Ruby's Diner is primo in location, service (chrome-plated plastic cutlery?!!!) and classic American fast food. The shack is perched above the coastline with lots of benches and tables to enjoy the view.
The ice cream is great, but the anticipation to sink my teeth into the scoops before they melt away, even greater. After treating yourself to a cone here, DO NOT take stroll on the beach unless you want to feed the seagulls. They are ruthless attackers and after the shock of having my ice cream tower snatched by a kamikaze seagull, I was broken. The ice cream prices won't really make you replace your loss.
We grilled beef short ribs in Bulgogi marinade, pork belly to dust with sea salt, an octopus stew and more without limit, for a ridiculous steal at $20 per person. The Korean side dishes (also bottomless) were included. Soju sold separately. The restaurant is a carnivore's haven, a zoo open until midnight, and reservations a must. Also must have the fried rice -- sticky yet fluffy, the best of both worlds. Located in Irvine, near the Ranch 99.
This place has yet to disappoint me. Every time, it's been excellent food! All of it! Vegetarians can eat here without question. The salads are alive with unique mixes, but my favorite was the smoked wild trout with grapefruit and avocado. It's hard to share this salad, but with so many good things on the menu (terribly designed with leading too tight and all-cap serifed type, you nearly give up reading it!) you will order more to share. It's located on the hip Abbott Kinney. Make reservations for sure because the wait lost is merciless.
A cute, two-tiered cafe with lots of seating just begging to be bombarded by laptops, but it's in North Beach not near SF State. It sits on the crux of Italian town and China town. Cheesy Italian pop keeps a gentle volume — thank goodness! But this cafe isn't cheesy, it's cute enough to be bombarded by lovers. Good for dates requiring conversation. Espresso here is done perfectly and with love. Try the cannoli — crunchy blistered wafer tunnels piped freshly with ricotta cheese to order. Paired well with my Americano. And if you get the window seat or the two-top outside, you get a romantic view of Coit Tower. There are no savory bites here. Just pastries. Come here after dinner.
This is a cafe conducive to productivity. If you've got some laptop-ing to do, you aren't alone here. The free wifi doesn't chug, the soy milk hot chocolate is scrumdilious, and there lots of seating, inside and out.
My favorite coffee in the sea of gourmet 1-off drip coffee wars. Originally from San Francisco, I'm happy to find Philz franchised its way into Palo Alto on a Monday morning. It isn't a polished looking cafe. There's a lot of outdoor seating; tables and chairs of bohemian-whatever's-affordable and lots of sunshine. It echoes the style of San Francisco's Mission district — wear it to the ground and relax. The coffee menu is exhaustively appealing to every coffee preference. There are lots of pastries, baklava, and breakfast sandwiches, burritos and Chumpqua oats. My turkey sausage breakfast English muffin sandwich satisfies my breakfast craving without the grease. Great spot to read the morning paper alfresco. Dog- friendly.
I asked the server if the veggie burger was good for a non-vegetarian. This is an important question. She said she orders it all the time 'with bacon'. I thought, 'Genius!' The veggie burger patty is made with quinoa so you'll appreciate the grainy texture over the usual mash-n'-mush patties of its kind. Add bacon for perfection.
We ordered the feta spin-fins, crispy wonton parcels filled with spinach, feta, and red peppers – surprisingly good for someone like me. I'm a skeptic of anything in a fried wonton wrapper. Also awesome was the baby spinach salad topped with fresh blueberries and strawberries, candied pecans, and feta crumbles. We ordered it with seasoned shrimp. The service is remarkably caring and attentive. We felt like finishing with their chocolate chip cookies which were not $2.50, $1.99, or $1.79, but $1! When was the last time you had a 1-buck cookie? It was also... delicious.
Whether you're using the weekend to catch up on The Times, study for exams, or burn the candle from both ends working seven-day weeks... This local cafe will have you wired and fed the entire day. The breakfast bagel with scrambled egg, cheese, and ham is no joke and big enough to nibble from breakfast to lunch. The espresso drinks are also served large. It seems to be the local hangout for the golden ages, which can also mean you'll get what you need DONE.
Classic Mexican food plated with fiesta flair served on white table cloths. Need a quick business bite or weekday catchup lunch spot? Lunch specials satisfy foodies, picky appetites and those who eat to live. While the daily lunch menu has a page of offerings, ask the server for additional specials. The food is good from the moment chips and salsa hit the table. Service is as cheerful and attentive as the place is brightly lit with natural lighting.
The best way up and down Coit Tower is walking. One way to scale up is by walking east up Lombard Street and through Pioneer Park on the way up and around to Coit Tower. Great views of the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island and the east bay.
From the bottom to the top, Coit Tower is a historically beautiful sight with a magnificent view of the San Francisco Bay. Best way to experience it is to walk from Sansome Street and up the Filbert Street steps to the very top. Then wind your way down The hill into North Beach for meal.