Hello The San Franciscan!

Hello The San Franciscan!

Growing up in the South Bay; I had always seen this South Bay staple; The San Franciscan. Located in Torrance’s busy Sepulveda blvd is this restaurant. They’ve been there since 1963! From the street there are no windows and it always made me intrigued to see what this place was all about. Back in 2018; The San Franciscan even won The Daily Breeze’s “Hidden Gem of Torrance” award. They have also been voted in the South Bay as having the “Best Steak” for the past 20 years.

Just recently my boyfriend celebrated his birthday. Being both current Torrance locals; I thought it would be nice to support a Torrance restaurant and I chose to get takeout from here for his birthday dinner.

My boyfriend is a big salad fan and was happy to see The San Franscian have three different salads to choose from. They had a Chef’s Salad, a Shrimp Louie and a Charbroiled Chicken Salad. I chose The Chef’s Salad for us. It was one huge salad. It was a big spread of crisp greens that was topped julienne of turkey breast, ham, cheese, tomato and egg. The cheese itself consisted of cheddar and swiss! It was quite impressive as well as quite tasty. Needless to say my boyfriend who is a salad lover was quite happy.

For the appetizer; I got us the Eggplant Parmesan. If my boyfriend is a big salad fan; I am a big eggplant fan. Similar to the salad; they gave us quite a healthy portion for the Eggplant Parmesan. It consisted of several eggplant pieces smothered in delightful marinara sauce and topped with oozing layers of cheese. Though The San Franciscan is a popular steak house; they certainly could give Italian restaurants a run for their money.

Speak of steak; I definitely had to get us some prime rib here. Prime Rib is the meat that this steakhouse is famous for. Their prime rib is properly aged and slow roasted to seal in the natural juices. It is even hand carved to order. They’ve got three different cuts. They have a House Special (half pound), a Franciscan cut (three quarter pound) and the Diamond Jim (nineteen ounces). Each prime rib entree comes with warm sourdough bread, choice of soup or salad, and choice of baked potato, steak fries, fresh vegetables, or rice pilaf. I got us the Franciscan cut along with soup and rice pilaf. The soup changes daily and we ended up with Split Pea.

Overall the main entree was a winner. Our medium well prime rib was perfectly tender and juicy. The au jus was on point and perfect for the prime rib. I also quite enjoyed the rice pilaf. It was very flavorful and went well with the meat. The side soup and sourdough bread were also perfect pairs for one another. I loved that the thick broth of the split pea. It was great to dip the sourdough bread in. We were quite happy campers with this meal.

The San Franciscan is no longer a mystery to me. I am happy and pleased that I finally got to try this Torrance icon and will definitely be back. The food for here made for an awesome birthday dinner for my boyfriend!

For more smiles; please see my Yelp Review on The San Franciscan.

Hello Napa Rose Surprise Birthday Dinner!

Hello Napa Rose Surprise Birthday Dinner!

This year my birthday was a extra special as I got to celebrate at a very special place; Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.  For weeks my boyfriend keep this as a surprise and I did not know until the actual day of my birthday that this would be where I would be celebrating. It’s without a doubt I was so excited to find out I would be dining here.

Napa Rose is a flagship restaurant of Disney that has gotten many awards since it opened in 2001. Just this 2019 Napa Rose was honored their eight AAA Four Diamond award. Napa Rose has also been recognized by Wine Spectator, the Orange County Register and Southern California Restaurant Writers Guild. They are consistently recognized as a top food ranking Orange County restaurant.

Napa Rose consists of both a lounge and a main dining room. Both spots are quite lovely and I was fortunate enough to spend some time in both. We started off with at the lounge where we had some celebratory cocktails for my birthday. The lounge has a classic yet comfortable ambiance perfect for some summer cocktails. It is filled with mini wooden tables and comfortable chairs. The lounge is filled with Napa Rose’s staple rose.

Our choice of cocktails at the lounge were the Summer Kiss and Napa Passion.

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The Summer Kiss consists of Hendricks Gin, Combier, fresh Lemon Juice, St. Germain, and Absinthe Rinse while the Napa Passion had X Fusion, Parrot Bay Rum, Pineapple Juice, and Strawberry. Both drinks were refreshing and great for a summer evening.

Soon after we were off to the beautiful main dining room. Napa Rose pays tribute to California’s wine country as well as the rose that are in the vineyards of Napa. This was truly reflected in the main dining room. Each table in the restaurant has roses  and the image of the rose is seen in the restaurant’s carpeting, lighting, handrails, chairs and even the staff uniforms. In the main dining area there are murals with showing Napa’s vineyards. There is an amazing wine cellar with over 600 bottles and there is a wall adorned with signed, premium wines by winemakers and vineyard owners.

Napa Rose’s menu changes seasonally and it’s entrees are made from the freshest ingredients of California. Currently their menu is for the Summer 2019 season in the Wine Country.

We started off our meal here with a complimentary bread basket.

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The bread basket included  sourdough, cheese bread, and cracker bread covered with parmesan cheese. My favorite was definitely the cheese bread. It was so soft and delightful.

For our appetizers we chose  the Zucchini Blossom.

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This was one amazing appetizer with golden fried zucchini filled with lemony ricotta cheese on top of zucchini pine nut relish. The litter batter was perfectly crisp and the ricotta would ooze our with each bite. It was a great way to kick off a a meal here.

For our main courses we tried the Pomegranate-glazed Veal Osso Bucco and the Quail Stuffed with Prosciutto Wrapped Summer Peach.

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The Pomegranate-glazed Veal Osso Bucco  was served with Apple-Orange Relish and Sautéed Gnocchi. The Quail Stuffed with Prosciutto Wrapped Summer Peach was complimented with Nectarine Relish and Cornbread Stuffing.

Both dishes were excellent and perfect with Pinot Noir. They were plated beautifully and wonderfully prepared. I loved the unique touches of each dish with their respective sweet relishes to compliment their meats. The quail which was stuffed with a peach slice was amazing. It was savory with a hint of sweet. It was also very light.

For dessert I was surprised with a very sweet treat via a Pineapple Streusel Crumble Crunch Bar.

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The Pineapple Streusel Crumble Crunch Bar had a coconut vanilla sorbet on top and a coconut creme on the bottom. It was very tropical and was a lovely way to end a wonderful meal here. I loved how it was not too sweet but yet had the nice hint of both pineapple and coconut. There were also some little bits of strawberry dollops on the side

Dinner at Napa Rose was everything I could ask for and it really made for one memorable birthday experience for me. The venue was beautiful, the food was of excellent quality and the memories made were priceless.  A very special thanks to my awesome boyfriend for planning this surprise! I’m so thankful and blessed to have had dinner at such special place for my birthday.

Hello Avenue Italy!

Hello Avenue Italy!

I recently a wonderful birthday dinner at Avenue Italy.

Located in Rancho Palos Verdes is Avenue Italy; a restaurant offering authentic and delicious Italian cuisine by  Chef Mario Zanetti. Chef Mario was previously Lead Chef for La Stada Restaurant in Los Angeles and now he heads up this wonderful restaurant. Avenue Italy is also the sister restaurant of another favorite South Bay place of mine, Yellow Vase.

Having my birthday dinner here was truly a wonderful experience. The place transports you right into the heart of Italy with its beautiful setup and decor as well as their amazing Italian cuisine.

We started off our meal here with  Caprese e melanzane.

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This starter came with three lovely tomatoes stacked with grilled eggplant and fresh mozzarella. It was then topped off with pesto. This simple Italian dish was a perfect first course. The grilled eggplant was nicely grilled and not charred. The spread of pesto was just right and not overwhelming. It gave the right amount of flavor to the dish.

Our second course consisted of the Beet salad

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This salad was one of my favorites of the night. It had mix greens topped with oven roasted beets, candied walnuts, dried cranberries and feta cheese. The dressing was a house balsamic vinaigrette. I am a big fan of beets but in many other restaurants, I have noticed beets tend to be large pieces that end up becoming the star of the plate. Here at Avenue Italy, they made their salad so that the beets would mix perfectly with the other ingredients. Small square beets were mixed in with the candied walnuts and dried cranberries and the feta cheese was sprinkled on top. Together these ingredients made of a sweet lovely salad.

For my main course, I chose to get the waiter’s recommendation, Pollo e prosciutto

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It was chicken rollatini with prosciutto and rosemary and vodka sauce. It was served with seasonal vegetables and roasted yukon potatoes. I originally was afraid that the prosciutto may overpower this dish but it did not at all! In fact there was just slight hint of prosciutto and the chicken was main star of the dish. It was tender and perfectly flavored with the rosemary and vodka sauce. I also loved their flavorful roasted yukon potatoes. This was great dish paired with their white chardonnay.

What’s a birthday without a birthday cake or dessert? Our last dish of the night was Avenue Italy’s tiramisu.

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Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert and here they really did this Italian delight justice. The coffee-flavoured Italian dessert was delightfully light. Wonderful flavor of cocoa with just the right hint of liqueur-spiked espresso and sweet mascarpone and whipped cream. This was truly a perfect ending to a wonderful birthday dinner.

Avenue Italy was simply lovely and I loved celebrating here.