american idol meets the french laundry

Oye. Another bout of absence. But I am not without reports.

My best friend and I drove from L.A. to San Fran and auditioned for American Idol. Yes… oh yes. It was some shenanigans. I can’t even begin….

But besides that shit storm, we had some great eats.

We highly recommend Fog City Diner.


After leaving my house at 5 a.m. Eastern time to be on a 5.5 hour flight, even at 6 p.m. Pacific time I was buzzing with excitement to see and eat and be a San Fran tourist.We googled a bit and found this trendy little joint just north of Fisherman’s Wharf. A refined, cozy, modern adaptation of a retro diner – not the greasy cheeseburger, humongous cobb salad and soggy monte cristo sandwiches diner. Lean hummus greek wraps, hefty wine list and white chef coats diner. Ooo la la! Too bad I didn’t pack any coats… San Fran was cold at night. News flash!

Highlights from Fog:

An iceberg wedge salad:

After registering for auditions, the next day we took the hour drive north (crossing over the Golden Gate! holla!) to Napa County and checked out one of the hundreds of wineries. After the ridiculously good looking drive, we arrived at Sterling Vineyards. Tram riiiiiiide! $25 for 4 tastings, self-guided tour, a tram ride, breathtaking views of the valley and a wine glass?! Thank you!


I can’t literally describe the scenery…. The only thing I can say is, if I can only be jealous of one certain persons on this earth, I am genuinely and sincerely jealous of all who work and live in that area. We had two tastings out on this terrace and soaked in the sunny, 75 degree day of perfection.

Even before going to school I wanted to visit Napa Valley. As we know, its an American culinary and viticulture mecca. Its so cliche to be a culinary student and want to go to Napa. Right? In all honesty, I didn’t think I would get to Napa anytime soon. Like anytime…soon. Like… yeah I might visit Napa after our kids are 30 and we have grandkids……
Parking. Oh yeah. So there.

I envisioned The French Laundry to be a tiny little french bistro-ish on the outside and modern almost hip dining restaurant inside. WRONG. But! We managed to pass it twice. We parked right in front of it, seriously, and then sat there on the shoulder of Washington Street, in the middle of the restaurant and Keller‘s herb garden. I finally turned to the left and yelled, “THERE IT IS!” Geez-us. It looks like a damn house…camouflaged.

Hello dream come true! My next venture before I turn 30 (6 years to go. O.M.G….) is to take my husband back to Napa and get us a rez. Hoping I’ll remember to book 3 months in advance… or is it 6?

We lurked around the property, hoping to sneak a peek at ..well, really, ANYTHING. We peered through windows and sniffed the air, savory smells wafting from the kitchen. So jealous. I don’t get jealous often but I was downright envious. Envious of those Keller worker bees in that kitchen.

Well, to a lame-o like myself this was a revelation. But onto our actual dinner in Napa Valley at Hurley’s:

Crazy tomato soup. So fresh and so clean, clean.

Shaved prosciutto…..mixed greens…..ugh:

A crazy, fresh spring vegetable risotto:

I couldn’t possibly go to California and NOT get In-N-Out Burger….3 times. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the “secret” In-N-Out menu…. its got all kinds of weird combos and add-ons and ways to make your burger.. I finally tried my burger protein style and I will never look back. It was brilliant:

I couldn’t have spent the week with a better foodie friend! She’s amazing, talented and she might like food just as much as I do, which makes eating with her a super awesome treat. Check out her musical blog, too. 🙂

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One thought on “american idol meets the french laundry

  1. Pingback: feliz año nuevo « c.my.food

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