At the very end is my dinner at Benu, now one of my very favorite restaurants. All the photos below were taken from my iPhone, which makes blogging convenient, for I can send them wirelessly to my computer.
But lunch comes first, and as the Le Meridien is only about two blocks from Tadich Grill, that was my choice:
I had an incredible combination of grilled salmon, blue cheese and romaine with a glass of Chardonnay:
There was so much cheese that I had to have a Bristol Cream to finish the meal. When I showed up at 11:15 I walked to my seat. Finishing at noon, the whole place was packed and the din was overwhelming. The restaurant began when John Tadich bought a coffee stand and made it a grill in 1887, but it's only been at the present California Street address since 1967. I don't remember ever going to any Tadich when I was student at Stanford.
I then took a walk towards the pier and noticed this scene from Battery Street:
I've been looking at Coit Tower for more than half a century and never went up before. So, why not? I found out this is the Lillian Coit Memorial Tower, built in 1933 through her bequest of $118,000, a portion which was also used for a statue of perhaps her being carried by firefighters, for she was the matron saint of them in SFO. It's coincidental, but Coit Tower looks like a fire hose nozzle. The walk was arduous but filled with flowers:
A statue of Christopher Columbus fronts the tower:
I would say the ordeal of climbing those steps just to get to this stage was the equivalent of hiking up to the peak of Diamond Head. Then, a $7 elevator ride and a few more steps--around 500 in all from Battery--to the top. Here is the Bay Bridge:
Ladera Cabernet and Demon Slayer junmai daiginjo from Wakatake, Shizuoka in Riedel glasses, and was served:
A tofu appetizer:
The second course was an abalone grenobloise (basically, a brown butter sauce) with cauliflower:
It had the right chewiness and taste. The Iberico ham with black truffle was exceptional:
While a nice fusion of Spanish and Italian, the French truffles made the whole dish, for they imparted a piquant and distinctive bouquet. The final course featured chocolates: