I Burst My Belt in San Francisco: Pixar, Foreign Cinema, Omnivore Books, Wise Sons, Knead, SPQR, State Bird Provisions, Bar Tartine, Zuni, Boulibar, Humphry Slocombe, Tosca and Sightglass Coffee

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People often ask, when they read posts like these, “How did you not explode eating all of that food?” Normally I answer, “Oh, I only took small bites” or “I burned it all off by walking a lot.” But the truth is, I did explode after our week, last week, in San Francisco. My hands are typing this, but my face is across the room, and you don’t want to know where my lower half is. But let me tell you, friends, it was totally worth it. We ate like kings (and queens, as the case may be) from Wednesday to Sunday and now you get to eat like kings and queens too–well, with your eyes–as I take you back through it.

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The Story of the Time That I Ate $4 Toast

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Welcome to San Francisco. Actually, we’re not in San Francisco anymore but we were there last week because Craig had the chance to screen his movie (The Skeleton Twins) at Pixar and the San Francisco Film Festival and Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig came along with us and it was a pretty incredible five days and I’ll tell you all about them in my next post. Let’s focus on the important stuff. On my first free day there, I beelined for a place called The Mill to experience the cultural phenomenon du jour: $4 toast. Everyone’s talking about it. Some people are angry about it. Me? I wanted to eat it.

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Gone to Greenville: Pomegranate, Swamp Rabbit Cafe, Makin’ Moonshine, Fried Green Tomatoes, Henry’s Smokehouse, Brewery 85 and High Cotton

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In case you were driving from Columbia, South Carolina to Greenville last Tuesday, that was me blasting the original Broadway cast recording of RENT and singing along at the top of my lungs. It was really a mismatched pairing of sound and scenery–gospel churches, religious bumper stickers–but that juxtaposition was what made it so delightful. And turns out that juxtaposition made perfect sense for my first stop when I arrived in Greenville: a Persian restaurant–yes, a Persian restaurant–called Pomegranate.

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Skipping Across South Carolina: Hominy Grill, Terra, City Roots and Southern Belly BBQ

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Last we spoke, I was living it up in Charleston, pigging out at FIG and Husk and Butcher and Bee. The next morning, I was supposed to leave right away for Columbia but felt the pull of the one place I hadn’t managed to squeeze in over the previous 48 hours: Hominy Grill. And Hominy Grill serves breakfast. Surely, I could race over there and shovel some food down my throat before leaving for Columbia? Reader, that’s exactly what I did.

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Our Skeleton Twins Sundance Adventure

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When I first laid eyes on Craig, it was in the spring of 2006 at Joe on Waverly and he was with a guy slightly shorter than him working on a screenplay. I didn’t know they were working on a screenplay; mostly, I wondered if they were a couple or just friends. When Craig went to get water, we made eye contact. A few weeks later, totally randomly, he looked at my Friendster profile (remember Friendster?) and I sent him an e-mail. We went on a date. And another date. And now we’ve been together for almost eight years. And that screenplay he was working on with his friend (who turned out to be Mark Heyman who’d later go on to write Black Swan and to marry my good friend Diana)? It became a movie–The Skeleton Twins–that just premiered to wild acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

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The Top Ten Dishes That I Ate in 2013

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The dish that you see above (Tiger Prawn Salami from Movida in Sydney, Australia) is not one of the Top Ten Dishes That I Ate in 2013. I put it there, though, to illustrate how well I ate this year and how difficult it was to narrow everything down to the ten best dishes. My year brought me to Birmingham, Alabama (the 7-layer pecan coconut cake from Bottega would be #11 on my list), Perth and Sydney Australia, New York, Washington, and all over the city I now call home, Los Angeles. In fact, you’ll notice that 6 of the 10 items on this list are to be found in L.A. and that’s not just because I live here. It’s because of all the cities that I visited this year, L.A. remains the most dynamic and exciting food-wise. Check out my list and see if you agree.

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48 Hours in Sydney

After spending a week in Perth, Australia for the Eat Drink Blog conference, I knew I’d be connecting back through Sydney and everyone in my life told me I’d be crazy not to spend some time there. As it happened, I had recently signed up for an American Express Starwood card that came with 25,000 points—or I’d earned them or something—and I could use those points to stay at the Westin in the Central Business District for three nights. So, in other words, I could stay in Sydney for three nights totally for free or just go straight back to America. Duh: I chose to see Sydney.

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Farewell To Perth: Hawker Markets, Eat Drink Blog, A Food Truck Party, Aisuru Sushi, Flipside Burgers & Taiwanese Dessert

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My sense of time is totally warped. I flew back from Sydney yesterday, leaving Thursday morning and arriving in L.A. on Thursday morning, five hours earlier than when I left. Today might be Friday but it also might not be Friday, I’m really not sure. All I know is that after visiting Fremantle last week, I had a few more days in Perth before going to Sydney on Monday (or was it really Monday?) This is an account of everything that I did in that time.

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