Wayfare Tavern

Chef Tyler Florence runs Wayfare Tavern in the Financial District of SF, so that was a necessary stop.  The meal started with a caesar salad that included some sardines and runny poached egg.  Each bite had a bit of rich saltiness with a touch of tang; this is how every salad should be balanced rather than just being drenched in dressing.  Next came the Kobe Tartare topped with an egg yolk and served with a side of a puff pastry topped with a pesto and cilantro sauce.  This is one of the best things I have ever eaten and nearly warranted an additional order.

The next two dishes of string beans and mushroom ravioli were good, but nothing to rave about.  The string beans were surprisingly good while the ravioli was a little too rich for my taste.  The coup de gras was the Poutine.  Each bite just melted in my mouth.  It reminded me of an amazing beef pot pie from my childhood and nearly brought tears to my eyes.  The fries just melded with the beef and sauce creating a perfect balance of salty and creamy.  The poutine and the kobe tartare are reason enough for me to return to SF.  The meal was finished off with some complimentary small bites of a coffee cake leaving me completely blown away.  The service was great, the atmosphere was relaxed, and Wayfare is just a great stop for some very good food.

Road Trip to Jocko's


Sometimes it's just nice to get away, but an extended trip just really isn't an option.  That's where road trips come into play.  So a while back my friend's visited Jocko's out in Nipomo.  It's out in the middle of nowhere.  After a few weeks of hearing them rave about how good the ribs are there, I threw out the idea of just driving out one weekend, eating, and driving back.  So this morning, I drove to LA and picked them up, and 3 hours later we were in Nipomo.

So unlike most Texas or Tennessee or Memphis style bbq, Jocko's isn't smoked for an entire day or rubbed down with a secret dry rub or basted with an intense bbq sauce.  The pit masters at Jocko's keep it simple.  Everything they have on them menu is grilled over a wood fire pit and seasoned with salt and pepper.  It's pretty mind blowing how amazing the meat comes out.

We ended up ordering an order of pork ribs, a 17oz steak, and an order of pork chops.  The steak was fatty and juice and full of smokey salty goodness.  It definitely wasn't a dry aged perfectly marbled cut of anything expensive, but it was simply delicious and completely satisfying.  The ribs, the main attraction, were finger licking good.  My first bite confused me a bit.  I found myself thinking, a nearly 7 hour round trip for this?  So I took another bite.  The smokiness starts settling in.  Okay so it's getting better.  Finally another bite, and i'm hooked.  The combination of smokey salty fall of the bone fattiness had me hooked.  They were amazing.

The pork chops were a bit dry, and the rest of the dishes (salad, baked potato, etc..) were pretty forgetful.  The biggest surprise of the meal was the Texas toast they serve.  Buttery cheesy goodness!  It was delicious and while i'm a bit regretful of filling up on free bread so much, it was definitely immensely satisfying.  So overall Jocko's has my seal of approval.  I'm still questioning the 7 hours and roughly 350mi of driving, but that's what road trips are all about.  Good company, good times, and good eats.  If you're ever passing through, make sure you drop by and check them out!

Jocko's Steak House
125 N Thompson Ave
Nipomo, CA 93444



X-E1 Snaps: Bludso's BBQ

Sometimes you just need to eat some meat, and a lot of it.  I've never really had a go to bbq spot, but now i've found it!  Bludso's BBQ on La Brea.  The bbq is smokey, moist, fatty, and just delicious.  There's tons of different methods of preparation  but to me it all begins with a good dry rub and smoke.  Bludso's dry rub recipe is an amazing mix of sweet and spicy and when mixed with their smoking style creates a ridiculously good flavor.  If you haven't had any good BBQ you owe it to yourself to check them out.  If you're a purist, definitely check out their Compton location as i've heard it's even better than the new spot on La Brea.

X-E1 Snaps: Taiwanese Breakfast, Coffee, & Ramen

One of my favorite Taiwanese restaurants happens to be in Monterey Park.  It also happens to have a very strange name.  It's called Huge Tree Pastry which i've nicknamed Happy Tree Time.  On occasion i'll find myself there with friends being sassed and harassed by the waitress and owner.  Definitely drop by if you want to try some authentic Taiwanese food.  It's good.  It's like my momma makes.  It's like Taiwan.

That day I also visited Coffee Commissary.  Beyond the see of hipsters and Apple products lies a small group of barristas that make some killer coffee.  I've had everything from Cappuccino to Cold brew there, and it's always been satisfying.  On occasion you'll also enjoy some random baked goods there that are always surprisingly good.

Last stop for this post is Shin-Sen-Gumi in Little Tokyo.  There are several types of ramen and each have their own place in my heart.  Shin-Sen-Gumi serves Hakata style ramen built to order.  The best part is an extra serving of noodles for $1 and orders of perfectly made runny eggs.  I still don't know how they do it, but it's too good to bother asking.