So I've back from a week in the Bay Area of California. My sister moved up there from LA last Spring, and a bunch of us decided to join her for Christmas. (A good thing too, as they're not terribly fond if the place, and are seriously thinking about move back to LA.)
There will be pictures forthcoming, as well as book reviews of what I read during the trip (which was actually mostly on the travel days themselves, as there was a great deal of hanging out with family.)
There was a whole bunch of fantastic food. My SIL is a major foody, so had already mapped out a morning trip to Tartine, for when we made it into San Francisco proper, which was fine with with me. Their frangipane croissants really are that good. (My sister and I also shared a really fantastic gourgere.) My niece had specifically wanted a cinnamon roll, and their morning buns did not disappoint. I will say, it's a good thing they have outdoor seating. Otherwise, we never would have been able to sit down.
We stayed in Milpatas (closer to where my sister actually lives), and therefore had some fantastic Vietnamese food in the strip mall closest to the house we rented. It just goes to prove - the best ethnic food really does come from strip malls. I had a pork vermicilli dish that had both barbequed pork and pork meatballs, in a sweet and sour sauce. The sauce was fantastic - definitely fish sauce based, and really good. We also had fantastic spring rolls and fried egg rolls.
Mexican was accomplished in our day trip to Santa Cruz, at El Palomar. It's a hotel banquet hall. I don't know how old it actually is, but it looks like it has some fantastic old mission style architecture, and the food was great. Really good Tex Mex, and a lot of different variety.
In Santa Cruz, we also stopped at Verve Coffee Roasters, which may now be my sister and M's favorite coffee place in the Bay area. They had really good lattes, and while the coffee was definitely on the pricy side, it's that good.