The West Coast Food Diary

So late late November (yes, this posting is ridiculously late), I decided to go on a solo West Coast tour through the wondrous cities of Seattle, Portland, San Franciso, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Armed with a lot of paid vacation time, the soundtrack of Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid M.A.A.D. City”, a resourceful amount of Yelp! reviews, and a nice shiny debit card, I ended up having a pretty good time. I’ll spare from the typical travel stories — those are best told in person (ok, except for maybe the Golden Gate Bridge double-rainbow that I already blogged amount) — and instead show the journey through food. The West Coast had a ridiculous amount of culinary specialties and tastes that I simply did (slash do) not have access to in the suburbs of Washington D.C.

Here are the dishes and their stories.

First up was Paseo in Seattle. One of the more famous sandwich shops in Seattle.  It was a bit far away from my hostel in the Fremont district, so I bussed all the way up there. Internet rumors are the place gets so busy that they often end up selling out of rolls and have to shut down early.

I had the Sauteed Prawn sandwich. Came with some wonderful aioli and crisp bread. Absolutely delicious. The sauteed onions are just as good as they look–they were whipping out entire cast iron skillets of them at a time. So mouth watering.

For dinner, I stopped by at Hue Ky Mi Gia, a noodle house.

Deep fried tofu as an appetizer — perfect with the textures. Very crispy on the outside, soft and silken on the inside. Steaming hot as well.

I also ordered Vegetable and Tofu Vermicelli.

The first morning of seattle was the Crumpet Corner in Pike’s Place. Pictured here is the “Walrus” — a crumpet of ricotta cheese, walnuts, and honey — and a cappacino.

Lunch was Beecher’s Mariachi Mac and Cheese — had a nice kick to it. Wonderful balance of flavors!

Immediately after my half marathon, I set out to Top Pot Donuts, enjoying a completely guilt-free Apple Fritter.

Later that night for dinner I returned back to the International District for Chef Cafe,  a small Ethiopian joint. 

Pictured here is the veggie platter. I believe this cost about $7.50. It was huge! I had never had Ethiopian food before.

I came back to Pike’s Place and had  an orange and cardamom twist from Piroshka.

Americano from Bang Bang Cafe

Veggie Burrifo here with Veggie Sausage (forget what kind it was, but it was the most meat-tasting veggie sausage I’d ever had)

Lychee bubble tea for the road.

“Good Food Here” – one of the names of one of the food truck villages in Portland.

Can you really go wrong with a menu like this?


I had the Truffle Treasure. Mmmmm. Very unique taste and I could taste the truffle flavors.

Oh mannn if only I still ate meat! Pine State Biscuits had some of the yummiest looking fried chicken concoctions. I stuck to the “Regina” — eggs over easy, braised collard greens, and hot sauce within a huge homemade biscuits. The hash was perfectly cooked as well.

This was the best coffee drink I’ve ever had in my life. A caramel latte from Northwest Coffee House. It had a great balance of sweet and saltiness that I’ve stubbornly been trying to recreate at home. I had a smile on my face the whole time as I was sipping it.

$6 calamari from Built to Grill with fresh garlic aioli. VERY good stuff.

I stopped at the infamous Voodoo Donuts as well…

…and got the Ol’ Dirty Bastard. It’s a donut covered in crushed Oreos and drizzled in peanut butter.

I wanted to see what else Portland had to offer, so I stopped by Stumptown Roasters for a hazelnut latte.

I went for a run the next morning and stopped at the Waffle Window.

Iced tea and an egg and cheese bagel from Cafe Me in SF. Passionfruit iced tea as well. I think this was about $3?

La Taqueria in Mission. Two vegetarian tacos and chips and sals.

And thennn a massive shrimp

Excuse half bite photo…but there’s no other way to show off the goodness inside!

Red bean sesame ball and a moon cake from Wa Li Bakery.

THe YUMMIEST egg tart I’ve ever had from The Golden Gate Bakery. A paltry $1.25 as well. Soft, tender, yolky in taste.

PPQ Dungenesss Crab — roasted peppercorn crab, deep fried, and house garlic noodles. Probably the best dish I had all trip–or at least one of them.

New Orleans style iced coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee — very interesting flavor.

Of course, I smuggled some buns from Wa Li Bakery on the plane ride back.

Guac from La Puerta

Shrimp Ceviche from La Puerta

Brunch at Snooze in the Hillcrest District in SD.  Variety of pancakes including:

Sweet Potato Pancakes Our signature sweet potato buttermilk pancakes topped with homemade caramel, pecans and ginger butter.

“Coffee and Donuts” Pancakes Buttermilk pancake “donuts” glazed with maple icing & and topped with curshed pecans.  Sidekick cup o’ espresso cream.

Bobbin’ for Pancakes Dunk into a plate of buttermilk pancakes filled with caramelized gala apples and topped with brown butter, candied pecans and lemony whipped cream.

Marisco’s German Taco Truck (not German as in from Germany)

Another nominee for Best Thing I Ever Ate…octoopus taco, fish taco, and SMOKED MARLIN TACO. The Smoked Marlin taco had a color and consistency almost to that of pulled pork — except with an even richer flavor. It didn’t taste “fishy” at all. Just awesome. INcredibly cheap as well– believe it was $3 something?

Two $0.99 Fish Tacos at Rivas Mexican Food in Barrio Logan.

Gelato at Pappaleco in Little Italy.

Stracciatella again–not quite as good as in SF though.

A HUGE skillet from Hash House A Go Go. Fresh Mushroom, artichoke hearts, sundried tomato and fresh spinach skillet with a ginger limeade.

Massive pile of onion rings at Hodad’s.

Along with a veggie burger–which also had great flavor. Unfortunately, the service here was  terrible, so I don’t think I’d ever go back or recommend it to others.

Samosa from an unnamed vendor at the food market in Little Italy.

My first In-N-Out experience in Van Nuys!

Animal style fries and animal style grilled cheese. I kinda broke my pescatarianism here– apparently the onions are sauteed in the beef juices.

Almond latte from Balconi near UCLA.

Donuts from DH Doughnut House!

Thai iced coffee (MMMM soooo good!) and an “apple burrito”.

Of course, got an apple fritter as well.

The Griddle

MASSIVE pancakes — I got banana ones — I was only able to finish about 1/6th of them and took the rest home.

Iced mocha from Intelligentsia in Silverlake

Right near Intelligentsia–

Another wonderful fish taco.

Seafood pesto cream pasta at C&O Trattatoria in Venice Beach.

And that was all.

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