I did laugh out loud and possibly may have even done a chicken walk to the sound of Portland’s hottest restaurant, Pok Pok. Having discovered a very decisive and accurate listing of some of America’s best restaurants, Pok Pok had been on my radar and as it so happened that I had a friend who I was visiting in Portland, the opportunity was there for the taking. To bolster this decision, a couple of friendly diners with whom I struck up a foodie rapport at Red Farm in New York further mentioned Pok Pok’s claim to culinary fame as one of America’s finest Asian restaurants. Having won the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef, Northwest 2011, Andy Ricker’s brand of Northern Thai cuisine has no problems filling the rafters, with people constantly queueing to sample the fare. Luckily, being a table of two not opposed to sitting at the bar, we were let in almost immediately to start our feasting….
For all the many reputations and stories about San Francisco one has heard, there are none that quite do the city any justice – it truly is a magnificent place, whether wandering through the historical heart of music in Haight or along the bay, marvelling at the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset, delving into the literary intensity of the beatniks or just soaking in the vibrancy of it all. With its multi-faceted personality, comes too, a wide and glorious selection of food, but one place in particular that locals and visitors all are in unison about is The Slanted Door, Charles Phan’s temple of modern Vietnamese cooking that is perpetually full to the brim every single night and with good reason too!
I first met Angela at the Cinnamon Club Diwali dinner 2011, having had social media, namely Twitter, to thank for the initial vicarious introduction. However, it’s always nicer to meet someone and shake their hand and say hello, like us humans used to do in the last century, and that extra human touch got me an invitation to Angela’s cookery school open day.