The Speakeasy. San Francisco. California. 11.18.2016.

My friend Mary who works at Live 105 goes to a lot of shows, even more than I do if you can imagine that. She told me about this show called The Speakeasy that she stumbled upon years ago when they had a run in town and she said that it was the best thing she has ever seen in San Francisco. Hilariously, I was inquiring about this business' hidden speakeasy when I was in their store one day and the salesclerk told me to check out The Speakeasy as they would be held there. I put the two and two together and convinced a few of my friends to come to The Speakeasy with me. Especially since I didn't make it to Sleep No More on this night although I had tickets with Florence...

The Speakeasy is an immersive theatre set in 1923 during the prohibition era that takes place at a speakeasy. You can start at the cabaret, bar or casino. Pending where you begin and how you wander throughout the duration of the show, you will have a very different experience than others attending that evening. Formal dress is required and period dress is encouraged as you can blend in better with the performers for a better experience. Tickets start at $120 but I highly recommend you checking this show out for yourself. Please make sure to check your credit card afterwards for the charges to your tab in case they've made a mistake as it does happen.


Chinatown. San Francisco. California. 11.23.2016.

I have lived near Chinatown almost the entire 16 years I have lived in San Francisco. I never get sick of it and I do love the view. It reminds me of home (Hong Kong) sometimes. I can go to the east/west cafes and get my lemon iced tea or milk tea, along with congee and noodle soups. I also know all the hole in the walls for great rice and noodle plates. I also really love walking in Chinatown when it's quiet early in the morning and late at night.

A photo posted by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on


Oubliette. San Francisco. California. 10.27.2016.

The descent beckons the ascent beckoned...
-William Carlos Williams

Here is collaboration #2 between Rachel and I. This was a test shoot in gearing up for the big shoot at the moment. Enjoy. Collaboration #1 here.

All photos of me below by Feather Weight.


Queen! Smart Bar. Chicago. Illinois. 11.12.2016.

This is the most Chicago thing you can do: close down Queen! with Derrick Carter. That man taught me to give more than 150% always. So much love for Uncle D!

Smart Bar
3730 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60613

Alinea Kitchen Table. Chicago. Illinois. 11.12.2016.

It was in 2006 when I really fine tuned my palate and that was what essentially made me into the food "consultant" that I have become. It was also in 2006 when I had a reservation to Alinea. Sadly, life happened for me in a big way in 2006 and that was also why I did not make it to Chicago. Since the Bay Area food scene has kept me plenty entertained, I had completely forgotten about my desire to dine at Alinea until I watched Chef's Table Season 2 Episode 1 this summer. That was when I decided that I will go this year before I forgot again. Immediately I texted Derrick Carter to make plans for my Chicago trip and for this meal.

If you cannot let go of your preconceived notion of how food should function, react, taste or look, you will only set yourself up for disappointment for this meal. Much like some of modern art, I think this fine art dining may go over a lot of people's heads. You need to be able let go and enjoy this Le Cirque des Rêves of a meal, as it is simultaneously "whoa," "intriguing," "WTF," and "mildly disturbing." *quotes directly taken from comments in my social media posts for two dishes.

We opted for The Kitchen Table experience as I tend to go big or stay home. For the record, I am home 90% of the time. After all, how many times in your life will you be dining at Alinea? We also opted for the white truffle addition and the wine pairing.

1723 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614

In truth, Chandresh prefers not to know all the ingredients, not to understand each technique. He claims such ignorance gives each dish life, makes it more than the sum of its parts.
-The Night Circus

Please make sure you have the sound on for this video as it's choreographed. Enjoy!

A video posted by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on

The Second City. Chicago. Illinois. 11.12.2016.

The Second City is some of the best improv you will see. They have also produced many SNL performers. Thankfully I remembered to get tickets to this for this trip and we went to this before our dinner at Alinea. It was hilarious as you may suspect.

The Second City Theater
1616 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60614

Dusk. 360 Chicago. Chicago. Illinois. 11.11.2016.

360 Chicago
875 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago. Illinois. 11.11.2016.

I try not to post too many pictures of artwork on this blog in general as pictures never do the pieces any justice. Also, I would much rather you go see it for yourself. The Art institute of Chicago is an excellent museum; their impressionist collection is exceptional. I actually ended up having dinner with someone who teaches there this past Monday and we discussed very thoroughly this collection. I hope that you will have the chance to see this space and collection for yourself some time.

Art Institute of Chicago
111 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

Cloud Gate. Millenium Park. Chicago. Illinois. 11.11.2016.

I just finished reading The Lost Symbol and for some reason that made me look at Cloud Gate in a very different way than most people. Somehow it all clicked for me when I walked under and looked up. Simply magical.

Cloud Gate. Thank you @anishkapoor for this.

A photo posted by Amy Yvonne Yu (@amyyvonneyu) on


Preview dinner. Tartine Manufactory. San Francisco. California. 11.2.2016.

At long last, Tartine Manufactory is gearing up for dinner service. I went to the first night of preview dinners and I can report that it does not disappoint. They start dinner service to the public on 11.9.2016, so make your reservations. Be sure to try their drinks made with a variety of shrubs. Enjoy!

Tartine Manufactory
585 Alabama Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Lower Manhattan
amaro, vermouth, root beer shrub, bitters

aperitif, vermouth, smoked orange shrub

Tartine bread service & accompaniments

Housemade ricotta, beets, Serrano chile, rye crisps

Beef heart & hanger steak tartare, black trumpet mushrooms, fried shallot, nasturtium crackers

Salt-baked petrale sole, preserved lemon-caper salsa

Roasted baby carrots, Castelvetrano olive-herb salsa

Fior di latte ice cream, orange brûlée , citrus gastrique


Fall. Sonoma & Petaluma. California 10.22.2016.

The desire to escape from the city has been strong with me, so I have been exploring as much as possible lately. I do love fall colors.

Maria and I tried to go to The Fremont Diner for brunch. Sadly, it was very busy and had an hour wait. So we decided to come back for dinner instead as we were getting rather hungry. I do recommend going very early if you can. Get the fried chicken.

The Fremont Diner

2698 Fremont Dr
Sonoma, CA 95476

Images of me below courtesy of Maria Evangelista Spencer.

Along the way I asked this guy for directions.

Once in downtown of Sonoma, we decided to eat at The Girl and the Fig.

The Girl and the Fig
Sonoma Hotel
110 W Spain St
Sonoma, CA 95476

Quiche Lorraine
fall salad, matchstick frites

Sonoma Mountain Beef Burger
grilled onions, house-made pickles, frites


Once happily fed, we headed to Pronzini Pumpkin Patch in Petaluma.

But first, I bought some persimmons.

Pronzini Pumpkin Patch
3795 Old Adobe Rd
Petaluma, CA 94954

Then we went onward to the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch because it has a corn maze and I had never done one in my life. We got very lost in it...

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch
450 Stony Point Rd
Petaluma, CA 94952

Then at golden hour we drove back to The Fremont Diner for dinner. We were greeted with this spectacular sunset.

The Fremont Diner
2698 Fremont Dr
Sonoma, CA 95476