Massive YUMMM and FUN in Half Moon Bay

Day TWO of time off:

Beautiful December 19th on the coast after a night of rain

Beautiful December 19th on the coast after a night of rain

I connected with my two favorite teaching Biologists today. Off we went to the Miramar Beach Restaurant for a lovely lunch and it was that and more!  We had a fantastic meal sharing the Artichoke Cakes appetizer–a delight!  I had the blackened Organic Scottish Salmon served with vegetables, rice pilaf & avocado mango salsa & raspberry vinaigrette. LK enjoyed the Halibut Veracruz: a simmered halibut filet with tomato, garlic, onion, jalapeno, capers, green olives & avocado served with vegetables & basmati rice. Susmita enjoyed the plentiful and delicious fish tacos. A perfectly chilly and crisp December wind accompanied our walk into the restaurant, making for a perfect day by the ocean. Miramar Beach Restaurant

By the time we got to dessert, sharing the most delicious BOMBA (that I will definitely return for) and a light and fluffy chocolate mousse, I recognized a famous educator and politician at the table behind my friends : Tom Torlakson, the California State Superintendent of Public Schools. Who was with his wife Mae Torlakson (running for State Assembly) who also currently manages the state Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program, helping educationally disadvantaged students pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Along with them was my fellow colleague Jim Torlakson who teaches Art at CCSF and is a HOOT! and their Mom who is a retired educator from SF’s Lowell High School.  As if the food and wonderful science faculty companions were not enough, we ended up with several more amazing educators and enjoyed wonderful conversation about upcoming MESA events and various state funded grants that CCSF has been participating in. Educators discuss education EVEN on holiday! The family of educators were quite warm and inviting. What a great way to spend the rest of our lunch!  All in all, it was a fantastic day by the ocean.  This short time away from work for a bit feels so good!

Lunch at Miramar Beach Restaurant with some famous educators!

Lunch at Miramar Beach Restaurant with some famous educators!


And OOOH, La Bomba dessert was perfect!


Major YUMMM in Berkeley, CA

DAY ONE of time off: LaNote_Berkeley_front

I awaken in time to shower and head out to catch up with my colleague Janey at one of my favorite places to eat breakfast in Berkeley. This is not my regular go-to spots, though it is a favorite nonetheless. Today reminded me why.  There is always a line, but it moves quickly because the service is outstanding as is the food.

It’s always crowded with interesting people. So, even though once you’re seated, the tables are so close that you feel like you’ve joined a party of 8 rather than the one other person you’re dining with; it’s still a great experience.

La Note Berkeley  The view from the left of my seat at La Note. You feel like you’re in a lovely Provencal kitchen in the heart of southern France.  Oh YEAH!

Check out this breakfast menu!  I ordered LES OEUFS MAISON  *With chicken apple sausage. Oh, Mon Dieu! The potatoes had no less than FOUR full cloves of roasted garlic, cooked through to perfection as were the potatoes. The over-easy eggs were tasty as was the sausage. Heaven on the first day off in a few difficult weeks since Thanksgiving.

La Note 2_Berkeley La Note server: vit vit

Janey and I had a wonderful time with food, discussions of our teaching, , podcasts we enjoy, and a bit of chatter about the best audio purchases she can make to create a fantastic podcast of her amazing teaching and work in Health Education. I look forward to subscribe!

After breakfast, I meandered further around downtown Berkeley to attend my church (AKA: Half Price Books in the Kress Building /Arts District). En route there, I couldn’t help but notice the plethora of food joints.  I already knew about the tasty Comal that I have dined at more than a few times. This is a MUST stop for dinner to anyone living in NorCal and if you’re visiting:  “Do Not Pass Go. Go Directly to Comal!”  comal112

I passed by another place I tasted recently with my pal Hugh. This, too, was an abundance of molecular wonder on my tastebuds:  Eureka!  Known for it’s EAT | AMERICAN | DRINK and the lovely natural wood interior with the crazy list of Whiskey and Bourbon (American, right?) Eureka_Berkeley_busy

One of my all-time best date-for-dinner spots is Revival. Yum, delish, hot (in the right way), and great libation creations (leading to the aforementioned adjectives). Comal is good for these as well, btw. Revivial Libation

More YUMMM than you’ll know what to do with and it’s all there in a 10-block radius for you.  Start with La Note for one meal in the morning, head to the new location of the Pacific Film Archives (opens Feb. 3 2016). Then go directly to Half Price Books for an hour or two before you need to  eat again at any of the above named restaurants or literally HUNDREDS more food joints in the neighborhood.  A work out at the Berkeley Y might be a good idea in between too!

OK. It’s 5:42p.  Time for…something!