Hello, Friday! Here’s hoping that by the time you’re reading this, I’ve already checked in online for my Southwest flight to Florida tomorrow. I’ve made the mistake of forgetting before. And I really don’t want Dave and I to end up in the “C” boarding group like we sometimes do and have middle seats for our first long flight, which doesn’t stop over until Atlanta. When flying Southwest, I love that bags fly free, but I don’t love the mild chaos that goes along with boarding.
Am I alone in thinking that this week has gone by in a blink? In fact, the three weeks since Thanksgiving have gone by in a blink. And even though it wasn’t that long ago that Dave and I got away to explore Southern California and Carmel, I’m in serious need of a change of scenery. Oh, and I’m also in need of some warmth and sunshine, so please don’t let me down Florida. Now, let’s get to today’s regularly scheduled fun, because it’s about that time for “Friday Favorites.”
My favorite recent dining experience: Coqueta
I haven’t been talking as much as I used to about the restaurants that Dave and I have been going to on the weekends. I certainly don’t want to bore those of you who live outside of the Bay Area with a bunch of opinions on food at places that you can’t go. Not to mention, those of you outside of San Francisco are likely a little less restaurant-obsessed than we are here anyways. But this one I’ve got for you today is worth sharing. In fact, I may consider updating my Top 25 Restaurants in San Francisco soon, now that I’ve got a few new ones to add, including an awesome experience at San Francisco’s House of Prime Rib for Dave’s birthday, which made it onto “Friday Favorites” a couple of months ago.
Shown above from top left to right: The view of Coqueta from the street, the menu, the “El Plat Cap de Queso,” or one of the best cheese plates ever, and the”Sunny Side up Huevo” a very tasty egg, shrimp and crispy potato dish. Not pictured: The “Ensalata de Kale” crispy salad and the mouth-watering “Albondigas a la Feria” meatballs.
Coqueta, which means “flirt” in Spanish, has been open for about a year, right on the Bay, or Embarcadero. This tiny place is always busy, maybe because its from the highly acclaimed chef Michael Chiarello. In fact, we’ve tried to get reservations weeks-in-advance and failed. Well, last Saturday night, Dave pulled up his OpenTable app at the right time, because we snuck in a reservation for that very same night. And our dining experience was excellent. Not only is this small and cozy restaurant well-decorated, but the service was perfect, and the food was very different and flavorful. It’s mostly tapas or small plates, with a few large dishes available. And yes, as always, it’s pricey, but no more so than all the other good San Francisco eateries out there. Dave and I each had two drinks and we shared a cheese plate and three small plates. After all that tasty food, we walked out feeling good, but not too stuffed. So of course, we followed it up by getting pecan pie and ice cream from our neighborhood market on the way home. If you live in the Bay Area, or if you plan to visit sometime soon, you should consider adding Coqueta to your list. Every single Spanish-inspired tapas bite was delicious, and the entire scene was just right. I can see why so many people rave about this spot.
My favorite new beauty tool: A cleansing brush
I’m not that fancy when it comes to my beauty routine. I wash my face, occasionally scrub it, sometimes throw on a mask and apply lotion here-and-there. I know I need to be a little better with it, and I’ve always planned to be one day. Well, the time is now, because the nice folks at Klout sent me this fancy Clinique brush to try out complimentary, and oh my goodness, what fun it is.
It’s like an at-home facial every time you wash your face with this Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush. No really, it’s not your average face-washing experience.
The brush charges on its base, then you can use it at the sink or even take it into the shower with you, which is what I did. There are different types of bristles on the brush, so you put the whole brush on your cheeks, then tip it to use the green bristles on the little areas of your face, like the sides of your nose. All you have to do is add your favorite face soap, turn the brush on and start cleansing. It gave this fun vibration against my skin and left me feeling super soft. I love it! I’m definitely making this part of my beauty routine.
My favorite new snack: Seasonal LARABARs
So many of you asked about the Limited-Edition Pumpkin Pie LARABAR that I pictured on my “What I Ate Wednesday” post that I figured I’d give some more details. Yes, these bars are seasonal. Yes, these bars taste like a mini dessert. And yes, these bars are so small that you only get a couple of bites out of them.
This box of LARABARs is on my favorites today, not only because I like the taste of the bars themselves, but also because I got the box on sale on Sunday at Target for just $5. I found this box, as well as other seasonal LARABARs, at the end of the vitamin aisle, go figure. I’ve always been a fan of the LARABAR as a packaged snack, because the ingredients are very clean. I’d like to heat one of these up and put some vanilla ice cream on top. That’d be good. But then again, I actually prefer a real piece of pumpkin pie when it comes time for a treat, so maybe not. And you can bet that these bars are stored in my carry-on for in-flight snacking tomorrow.
My favorite new dinner: Brown-rice pasta
For some reason this has yet to show up on my weekly “What I Ate Wednesday” posts, but I’ve been loving my latest discovery, brown-rice pasta. (I seem to eat it for dinner later in the week, yet always show pictures of my foods from Monday or Tuesday on the blog, so there’s a lot you don’t see.) I picked up this bag of Tinkyada Organic Brown-Rice Penne Pasta at Target of all places, a few weeks ago. This stuff is super tasty, in fact, I love it. The best part? The only ingredients are organic brown rice and water, so it’s natural and not processed.
I’ve said before that I could eat spaghetti squash in place of pasta for forever and be fine, but this brown rice variety has changed my mind. And yes, it cooks like regular pasta, but can also be cooked using an “energy-saving” method, in which you boil it for a couple minutes, then let it sit covered up. I’ve been using the regular method, and the pasta is ready in about 12 minutes. It’s got a nice texture and a slight brown-rice flavor, while still being pasta. Dave has yet to take a bite of it, so I can’t give you anyone else’s opinion on it, but I’m a fan.
My favorite links of the week
There’s always so much good stuff going on around the Internet. Here’s what I’m loving, most of which appeared right here on A Lady Goes West this week:
- A short workout to do at home — Awesome three-move workout and my fitness
- Some feel-good stuff and clothing — Ways to take care of yourself and some fashion
- Food, food and more food — Filling up on healthy food before the holiday
- Creativity and randomness — Turning memories into decor and my thoughts
- My guest post on another blog — Top five ways to stay active during the holiday season
Okay, guys, that’s that! This time tomorrow I’ll be in the air on the way to Florida for a whole week. Dave and I are going to visit our friends in Orlando for one night and then stay put at my parent’s house for the remainder of the visit. We have a lot of Scrabble, wine and relaxing on our agenda. I’ll be back on Monday as usual, so have a great weekend, and I’ll see you guys on the flip-side!
Read more Friday Favorites
- A snack, a purse and a ritual
- A delivery, a bra and a guy
- A sweet, a wine and a read
- A drink, a gadget and a plan
- A time, a bottle and a powder
- San Francisco edition
- Beauty edition
- Beach vacation edition
- Hidden meanings
- Kicks, a book and a bowl
- The very best sweatshirts
- Party hosting and froyo
- Fourth of July daytime activity
- Beauty basics edition
- Workplace edition
- Shopping, sales and a show
- The foods I always buy
- Sushi, a game and pants
- Fitness apps
- Delicious and healthy products
- Comfort, fitness and function
- Beauty, buddha and blog events
- Dining, the city and gift ideas
- POPSUGAR, sweets and such
- A bunch of fun stuff
- e-book, food, picnic and tunes
- A link, a superfood and a mask
- Pants, shoes, food and links
- Dining, protein and goodies
- Shopping, events and a book
- A gym bag, pumpkin and juices
- Workout gear, a top and a massage
- prAna, a watch, tea and more
- Tasty stuff and gift sales
- Decor, bars, boots and a drink
- Flowers, music and more
Questions of the day
Are you traveling for the holiday? What are you up to this weekend? Does anyone have any funny travel stories? What’s something you’re loving lately?