: views from the Hill

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Monday's walkabout: along the GGNRA Coastal Trail: dinner at the Cliff House (12 Mar 2007)

Monday, his nibs wanted to go do something and the weather was fine. We decided to walk the newly furbished Golden Gate National Recreation Area Coastal Trail from China Beach down to Ocean Beach and see what we could see.

Walked down to Washington Square Park and caught the 30-Stockton to Union Square where we transferred to the 38-Geary and rode it all the way to 33rd, where the bus turns south off Geary onto 33rd. We walked across Geary and up the hill past the Lincoln Park Golf Course

Lincoln Park Golf Course

to the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

Legion of Honor

Sure, we could've waited and transferred to the 18, but decided to take the walk instead.

From the Palace, you walk past the Holocaust Memorial and turn east, walking down the drive on the far side past the Peace Memorial and further until you get almost to China Beach, where you see the signage for the Coastal Walk. There you begin.

We had a great walk. Beautiful views. Wonderful smells. Lovely day.

We stopped for a while at Mile Rock Beach and admired the balanced stone piles people had made,

stone piles

watched the waves crashing

waves CRASH!

and checked out the container ships coming into port.

Hanjin and Mile Rock light

We arrived in mid-afternoon at the ruins of the Sutro Baths and stopped off at the Cliff House to use the facilities and check out the gift shop.

Didn't buy anything, but we did see a stack of FINDING FAULT IN CALIFORNIA, written by our favorite geophysicist.


His nibs was talking about sticking around until dinner time and eating at the Cliff House, but it seemed too early for dinner, so we walked down to Ocean Beach

view from the Cliff House

and over to the Safeway to make sure we knew where we could catch a homeward bound bus after dinner.

We headed on to the Park Chalet for a Chalet-brewed beer.

Imagine our delight to discover that beers are $1/each from 3p-closing on Mondays. Our lucky day! We sat on the steps outside in the sun and took advantage of the Monday offer.

Later, we headed back to the Cliff House and scored a table in the Sutro dining room. The place was busy but not crushingly so.

The food was delish. The staff was capable and friendly and gave good pretence of enjoying their jobs, if indeed they didn't.

(me) Dungeness Crab "Sutro" roll (4 pcs) with unagi and avocado
(his nibs) Crab Cake "Louis" (2 cakes) with butter lettuce and Louis sauce

Both were excellent. We swopped halfway through.

(me) Applewood Bacon crusted wild Salmon with Truffled Potatoes, Bloomsdale Spinach, Calvados Broth, and verrry thinly sliced apples.
(his nibs) Swordfish with a yummy sauce, sliced new potatoes, spinach

Again, both were excellent. We kept saying to each other, "Who would've guessed the food here would be this good?" There's the old standard warning: if the view is great, don't expect the food to be too. We were delighted to find out the Cliff House not only had a view, but great food too.

We had a Calera Chardonnay with dinner, in honor of the Calera winemaker's dinner we'd been to at Pres a Vi in the Presidio last Wednesday.

I took at least half of my salmon home and made a meal of it yesterday. Portion sizes are generous.

Caution: After the sun sets there's nothing to see outside. Wander along the beach and watch the sunset and then eat, or ask for a table that allows you a view of the sunset at dinner.

For dessert his nibs had the custard trio: Butterscotch Parfait, Pistachio Crème Brulee & Tangerine Crème Caramel. We shared that along with a glass of Bonny Doon Vin de Glaciere Moscato, one of my favorite dessert wines.

After dinner, with my little box of salmon in tow, we walked down the hill and caught the 38-Geary back to Market & 3rd, where we caught the 30-Stockton and home-again home-again riggety jig.

Note to self: remember the $1 beer Mondays at the Park Chalet and the relative ease of public transit over to the delish food at Sutro's.

The complete set of shots from Monday's walk is here.