#100in2015: Our Top Picks

I ate at 102 new restaurants last year! \^_^/

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First course at Itoh by Nobu (~#35)

I exceeded our goal of 100 and that feels great.  I’ve eaten great stuff, some fanciful entrees, others that tasted pretty normal. Some were fast food, others were carefully plated and well described in the menu. I think part of the excitement of our challenge was not knowing if we’d like the food. And even if we didn’t, I was glad to have reached out of my comfort zone and tried something new.

Below are my top recommendations from those 102 places I tried out for the first time in 2015, sorted by location, with a few tips and a link to more information.  I’m not sure of the # of some of them since I didn’t keep meticulous records– I mostly kept track on Yelp.  Let me know if you try any of these places too, and how you like them!

Hawaii

  • Maguro Brothers (~#12) I try to bring everyone here who likes poke. Their spicy ahi poke is everything.
  • Imanas Tei (~#8) Such fresh fish here.
  • Golden Pork Tonkatsu Bar (#45) Will hit the spot when you’re craving ramen.
  • Morimoto Waikiki (#16) Their gyoza (dumplings) with bacon cream foam set the standard for “fancy” in our book. We’d check later restaurants’ menus and ask, “Where’s the bacon foam?”
  • Sushi Murayama (#96) Brand new sushi place near Ala Moana.  Fresh as heck.
  • Fook Lam (#14) Super good dim sum– egg tarts and egg custard buns are to die for.
  • Ruth’s Chris (#100) I like how they don’t mess around. You came here for steak, so that’s what you’re getting. No sides included. Just steak. 🙂
  • Scratch (#92) This place makes me happy.
  • Fresh Garden Deli (#89) I think I’ll try to go here more– a great healthy alternative to the usual white rice/mac salad plate lunch routine.
  • Dagon (#37) Burmese food is great. I love Burma Superstar in San Francisco, and this was just as good!
  • Bread + Butter (#94) I had the best salad here– watermelon, feta and local greens! Also had a bite of the heavy kobe french dip pizza, which even with its crispy thin crust, is quite the endeavor to finish.

California

  • V. Sattui Winery (Napa) (#69) We still talk about their olive oil. Their wine and food pairing is the best, and you get to sit in the wine cellar and get more free refills than you can handle!
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant (Disneyland) (#74) House biscuits are like doughnut holes filled with cheese and bacon.

Mexico

  • Casa de la Langosta (Puerto Nuevo) (#78) We made the journey into Mexico for a half daytrip from San Diego essentially for the lobster.  So worth it. Affordable, excellent quality, prepared according to old family recipes, and you get the world’s best tortillas to go with it.

Japan

  • Calico Cat Cafe (Tokyo) (~#19) Omelette rice and milk tea are delicious and simple, but you’re served with a view of the cat playroom, which makes it amazing.
  • Anzukko (Kyoto) (~#29) Amazing gyoza (dumplings).
  • Itoh by Nobu (Gora, Hakone) (~#35) Harmony between courses, the best quality ingredients, unassuming elegance in presentation.  One of the top 3 meals of my life.

 

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