Father's Office (Santa Monica, CA)

Father's Office
1018 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310 393 BEER (2337)

Father's Office is renowned for having the best burger in town. The popular Office Burger does not allow substitutions nor can you ask them to remove and/or add additional ingredients. This "gourmet burger" is not on your typical bun, but on a fresh baguette with arugula, bacon, caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese and bleu cheese. Cooked to perfection.

We also order the crispy yam fries a la cart with a side of Cabreles Bleu Cheese aioli


Lucques (West Hollywood)

8474 Melrose, Los Angeles
Chef and Owner: Suzanne Goin

"Weathered brick, exposed wood beams, a prominent, wood-burning fireplace, a cozy bar and a lovely canvas-draped patio all create a homey, upscale vibe." (LA Citysearch)

We sat in the cozy canvas-draped patio of the restaurant with free-standing trees and vines growing along the walls. Our meal began with crusty Italian bread, salty Tuscan olives with coarse salt for dippingThe "Sunday Supper" Menu:
Here is the dandelion and kabocha squash salad w/ roasted dates, bacon, and spiced pepitas
I had the baked local swordfish with couscous, green harissa, pomegranate, and pine nut tarator

Tony had the grilled lamb skewers (which was a rosemary stem...good tip for cooking!) with swiss chard bread pudding, goat cheese, black olives and fried chickpeas For dessert, we each had the yogurt sherbert with persimmon compote and sesame brittle. It was a bit too sweet for us, but still delicious!


Icebergs (Bondi Beach, Australia)

Set on a cliff overlooking the waves of Bondi Beach, Tony and I had the opportunity to experience this beautiful panoramic view by ourselves at the bar in Icebergs.

The bar area of Icebergs...

Our 3 cheeses plate with dried figs...accompanied with a Riesling and Lime Bitters Drink.


Bill's Restaurant (Sydney, Australia)

433 Liverpool St
This cafe is popular for ricotta hotcakes with fresh bananas and honeycomb butter...The hotcakes were very light and fluffy.. Just melted in my mouth!
We also had the scrambled organic eggs with organic sourdough toast.


Aziza (San Francisco)

5800 geary blvd @ 22nd ave
san francisco, ca 94121
phone: 415 752 2222
Chef Mourad Lahlou

We heard that Aziza is the best Moroccan food that San Francisco has to offer. Walking into this restaurant, I immediately felt the North African ambience with its candlelit rooms and alcoves, colored in midnight blue and earthly warm tones. The walls were lined with plush couches and pillows. The chef here uses organic and locally produced ingredients to create unique Moroccan cuisine. But before wetting our palates with Moroccan flavors, our server first brought out a pitcher of rose water for us to rinse our hands.

Lamb shank with barley and spiced prunes - Aziza's trademark dish. The tender meat was falling off the bone, accompanied by a sweet and vinegary sauce, soaked up by a side of barley.
Rabbit with paprika, carrots, parsnip, and dried cherries -I was a bit hesitant in ordering rabbit for the first time but I thought, "when will be the next time I will really try rabbit..." The meat was pretty tender and the taste and texture resembled chicken.
Goat cheese with tomato jam, pistachio and argan oil

We will probably visit Aziza again just to try the other interesting items on the menu. The restaurant is hip and inviting, but not at all pretentious. I hear the cocktails are delicious too! We met a local later on that day and casually asked him what restaurants he recommends. His first rec was....Aziza!


Opus Restaurant (Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

3760 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90010

For our 8th year anniversary, we went to Opus in Mid-Wilshire area in LA, right next to the Wiltern Theatre. We had their 3-course tasting menus with some surprises in between.

For the amuse bouche, we had fennel seed "pudding" with some sort of sweet potato panna cotta and topped with green poppy-like seeds.For our first course, I had the hamachi and fried fish fritter on a stick w/ tomato caraway sauce. Tony had the golden beets salad.
In between the courses, the waitress brought a nice poached egg, with creme fraiche, chives, and bacon. This was wonderful! It was like a breakfast meal in an egg.
For our second course, I had the garlic cream and hazelnut broth w/ scallop and foie gras (seared scallop) and grapes. (The soup was so good that I ate it all before taking a picture!)
Our main course was the milk-fed roasted chicken atop butternut squash, shitake mushrooms, and green beans.

For dessert, we had peanut butter chocolate brownie with watermelon sorbet. Yum!