THE STINKING ROSE – San Francisco
San Francisco cuisine has long been imaginative, with a number of well-known food and drink items invented in the city, such as Green Goddess salad dressing in 1915 and Irish Coffee in 1952. Home to nearly 3,500 restaurants in 2009, according to the Visitors Bureau, San Francisco’s eateries continue to offer innovative food, like the garlicky fare at The Stinking Rose, as well as boasting creative concepts to entertain their diners, including independent movie screenings at Foreign Cinema.
The Stinking Rose Located in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, the lively and colorful restaurant The Stinking Rose emphasizes garlic in both food and decor, with garlic artifacts adorning the dining rooms. A small, mechanical garlic factory is on display, and the walls are the work of a local artist, with murals of garlic bulb characters engaged in San Francisco activities–such as visiting Golden Gate Park. The restaurant boasts its use of more than 3,000 pounds of garlic a month in their California/Italian food, with options like 40-clove garlic chicken, garlic-roasted prime rib and garlic steamed clams. Wine and draft beers are also available at the eatery. Commemorative t-shirts and the restaurant’s specialty garlic condiments are available in the gift shop. Featuring banquet facilities for private parties, The Stinking Rose is open for lunch and dinner daily.
The Stinking Rose 325 Columbus Avenue San Francisco, CA 94133 415-781-7673 http://www.thestinkingrose.com
OTOMISAN RESTAURANT – Los Angeles
2506 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Opened originally in 1956 when Boyle Heights had a thriving Japanese community. These days, Otomisan is the last standing Japanese restaurant in the area, and it’s a fun, cozy place to go to when you have a hankering for Japanese food. With the original counter, bar stools and booths, it almost feels like a throwback to the 1950s and 1960s. With the added Japanese artwork and tchotchkes displayed throughout the small restaurant, it has a very homey, comfortable feel.
Mrs. Hamada does a great job of service and constantly offering a friendly smile. Mr. Hamada does his best working solo in the kitchen preparing everything himself from sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, tempura and sukiyaki. As such, if the restaurant is busy, one of the things you will need is a bit of patience.
When the food is served, it is very good and hearty. What I had on this day was a nice bowl of sukiyaki. It was very tasty and chock full of sliced beef and vegetables. The only thing that was off was that it was a bit on a salty side. However, for a $10 meal, it ain’t bad!
Beware, this restaurant has only 3 booths of 4, and a counter with about 4 seats, so this place can easily fill up quickly during peak meal times. Also, only street parking is available. The parking meters are only an 1 Hour long, so be sure to keep an eye on your time. The restaurant is located about a block from the 1st/Soto St. Gold Line light rail station, so this might be the best way to get there during peak hours.