Friday Favorites: Coqueta, a brush and food

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.

Coqueta via A Lady Goes WestShown 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.

Clinique Sonic System via A Lady Goes WestIt’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.

LARABAR Pumpkin PieI guess the colors of this are a little more autumn than winter, but I’m still into 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.

TinkyadaI think I was drawn to this bag because of that little bunny on the packaging. Bunnies are so darn cute.

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:

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

If you’ve enjoyed browsing through this post, see below for previous editions or visit the the link-up hostesses, Heather, Clare and Katie

  1. A snack, a purse and a ritual
  2. A delivery, a bra and a guy
  3. A sweet, a wine and a read
  4. A drink, a gadget and a plan 
  5. A time, a bottle and a powder
  6. San Francisco edition
  7. Beauty edition
  8. Beach vacation edition
  9. Hidden meanings
  10. Kicks, a book and a bowl
  11. The very best sweatshirts
  12. Party hosting and froyo
  13. Fourth of July daytime activity
  14. Beauty basics edition
  15. Workplace edition
  16. Shopping, sales and a show
  17. The foods I always buy
  18. Sushi, a game and pants
  19. Fitness apps
  20. Delicious and healthy products
  21. Comfort, fitness and function
  22. Beauty, buddha and blog events
  23. Dining, the city and gift ideas
  24. POPSUGAR, sweets and such
  25. A bunch of fun stuff
  26. e-book, food, picnic and tunes
  27. A link, a superfood and a mask
  28. Pants, shoes, food and links
  29. Dining, protein and goodies
  30. Shopping, events and a book
  31. A gym bag, pumpkin and juices 
  32. Workout gear, a top and a massage
  33. prAna, a watch, tea and more
  34. Tasty stuff and gift sales
  35. Decor, bars, boots and a drink
  36. 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?

Ashley signature

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    1. Okay, so I checked in EXACTLY 24 hours out, and was already in boarding B-22. Not awful, but wow. hehhee. Happy Friday, Sara! I like the window too. πŸ™‚

  1. Coqueta looks awesome! Love discovering new places and next time I’m in San Fran, I’m calling you! I never developed a taste for Larabars. I know they have great flavors but the bars’ base just doesn’t appeal to me. Not sure if it’s the dates or textures or what but I ate a few and then never bought another box, although that pumpkin pie flavor is tempting since I love pumpkin pie. Have a great weekend and safe travels!

    1. Hi Diane, Yes, the texture is different, but I happen to love dates, so that works out for me with Larabars. And oh my gosh, it would be awesome if you visited SF, I would definitely show you all there is to see. Happy Friday!! πŸ™‚

  2. Girrrrl keep up the SF restaurant reviews, but that’s me being selfish haha. My SF restaurant is a mile long. I have friends visiting in Feb so I already have reservations at Pink Zebra and Frances but hoping to fit State Bird or Progress in at least πŸ™‚

  3. I love my Clairsonic brush. I got it a few years ago and it completely changed my face washing routine. Game changer I tell you. I love that brown rice pasta too, but I was a little disappointed in the Snickerdoodle Seasonal Larabar I tried. Maybe I would like the Pumpkin flavor better. Safe travels to Florida!

  4. Yeah… I’m not a huge fan of Southwest. Love their prices, but Scott ended up being stuck in Houston (and missing a game in Orlando!!!) for days because they over-boooked flights. It was crazy. Those Larabars look SO good! You know I love my pumpkin <3 Enjoy your trip to FL!

    1. Hi Heather, Yes the overbooking happens, and is not fun (luckily I haven’t been bumped yet — knock on wood). But I’ve been building up points with Southwest and both Dave and I have gotten free flights out of that, so we keep on trucking with them … πŸ™‚ Happy Friday!

  5. The cheese plate looks fantastic. The foodie scene is growing here in KC, which is exciting!

    I’m going to the other side of the state, St Louis, to visit my boyfriends family, it shall be an interesting weekend :). Excited for Christmas and a few days off work!

    1. Hi Jessie! Ohhhh visiting the boyfriend’s family? Have you been before? Hope you have a good time. And of course, hope you eat some good food too. πŸ™‚

      1. I have been once, but his dad spends a majority of the year out of the country… so it’s the first time I’m meeting his dad…eeek! Best of luck with your flights, sounds like you have enough snacks to get through without getting too hangry πŸ˜‰

  6. I love the sounds of that cleansing brush. I’ve been wanting something like that for awhile… Glad to hear you’ve had a positive experience with it!

    Mmmm, those pumpkin pie Larabars sound super tasty! I’ve been wanting to try the snickerdoodle one forever. The pumpkin pie sounds great too!

    Enjoy your weekend! xo

  7. I have one of those brushes. My Mom bought it for me a few years ago and it’s still sitting in the closet. Womp…womp…I should be better about my skin care too, but usually it’s wash and moisturize. That’s all. Nothing fancy.

  8. Have a great time in Florida ! I have been meaning to pick up some brown rice pasta from trader joes! So good to know it is as delicious as it sounds!

  9. I guess living in a tiny apartment isn’t so bad when you have so many wonderful restaurants close by! When we lived in Texas, our apartment was less than 600 square feet and there were barely any vegetarian restaurants. Cooking in that tiny kitchen drove me nuts.

    I hope you have a safe trip back home! Hopefully you get to soak up some sunshine while you’re there!

    1. Hi Sarah! We’ve got you beat … we’re at 550 square feet right now. Granted, it’s really nice. But, it’s really small. Our kitchen has mini appliances hahah. Living in Nob Hill has many benefits, but the size of the unit is not one of them. Ohhhh how I would love to come enjoy your cooking one day! πŸ™‚ Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Hi Brittany! You wouldn’t miss it right now. We’re having terrible rain and grey weather. It’s not fun out there on the streets like this. But the rest of the year … yes, it’s the best! Hope all is well with you! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Hi Heather! I’ve only tried one thinkThin bar, but I can’t remember if I loved it or not. I will need to try again and look for that chocolate peppermint flavor. Thanks for the suggestion. Have a great weekend!

  10. I like Southwest a lot but I agree the chaos before boarding can be a little much. Especially when traveling with my husband and just hoping we will get seats together. Hope it works out for yall! It’s a beautiful 71 degree here in FL today πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Amy!! I want the weather to stay that way, but looks like there might be some rain while we are there. And yes, I also hope that my hubby and I can sit together. We ended up with B-22, so we’re not exactly first in line. Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

  11. I’ve been wanting to check out Coqueta myself, so no bored reader here! I might be biased though. Also, please send some sunshine to San Francisco from Florida!

    1. Hi Jane! Bad news, it’s looking like there might be rain the first few days of my Florida trip. And of course, it’s supposed to be dry here. But yes, Coqueta is awesome. What’s your favorite SF restaurant so far?

  12. What a nice place to have family and spend the holidays! Enjoy your time in Florida! That food looks amazing. I will definitely check out your top 25 list for San Fran. We get up there quite often. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    1. Hi Diane! Yes, I loved growing up in Florida and visiting frequently. Especially when it’s grey and miserable in SF, like it is right now. Let me know if you want any more SF recs, I’ve got a ton. Have a wonderful weekend and happy holidays to you too!

  13. What do you mean by the “C” boarding group? Does southwest let passengers choose their own seats while while walking onto the plane sort of deal?

    Scott & I tend to get screwed with that when flying with Alfie. We cannot do the online check-in before flying since they need to verify Alfie’s size/etc. Let’s hope at least we’ll get to sit together, which isn’t often the case πŸ™ Lol

    I have a similar face ‘brush’ I like to use – I have the Clarisonic… I don’t use it as often as I used to, but when I do use it.. my face feels so smooth after and sooo nice.

    Happy belated to Dave. Merry Christmas, and chat to ya in 2015!! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Nancy, So Southwest lets groups of passengers board at a time, and you line up in order of A B or C group. Then you get on an choose your seat. So the As get a better choice. We’re in B for tomorrow, so we’re right in the middle! That must be tough to fly with a furry friend. I still have to check a bag, so we always end up at the ticket counter anyways. Happy Friday!! πŸ™‚

  14. Woohoo for warmer temperatures! I often think I would love to go somewhere warm for Christmas… it never happens (but our Christmases are always white).

    That Coqueta restaurant looks and sounds amazing!

    I love Larabars but I’ve never tired (nor seen) the pumpkin ones. I love all things pumpkin!

    I use the Tinkyada lasagna noodles all the time. They are delightful. I haven’t tried the other pastas though… I’ll have to.

    You’ve shared a wealth of fun and awesome links here.

    Thanks for sharing and wishing you a wonderful holiday (as well as a very Merry Christmas)!

    1. Hi Jennifer! I’ve never had a white Christmas before. Between living in Florida and California – not a whole lot of snow in my life, so that sounds lovely to me. Instead, I’ll be beach BBQing with my family on Christmas Day. Thanks for the well wishes. I’m sending them back your way! πŸ™‚

  15. I actually tried the pumpkin pie Larabars last year when they premiered, and brought it to my extended family’s Thanksgiving party as my dessert while everyone got to cram true pumpkin pie in their face. I have to be GF, dairy and egg-free, so this was this perfect convenience food. And whudya know, it damn tastes like pumpkin pie!

    I scoured the globe for them this year, but to no avail. I saw them in box form at Target for a price that would leave me wiped for weeks, but I wanted to buy them singular at Whole Foods like I did last year. Poo.

    And brown rice pasta is the best. Gummy, chewy, delicious.

    1. Hi Eva! Guess they do make good GF single-serve desserts then. You must have to bring your own food a lot? I got my box on sale for just $5 at Target! Guess the sale wasn’t everywhere. Nonetheless, hope you have a great and gluten-free weekend! πŸ™‚

  16. So many yummy treats in one post! Coqueta has been on my shortlist for a while; definitely need to make a point of getting over there. And I must try both the brown rice pasta and that facial brush! Off to read your post on HOPR (House of Prime Rib)… Can’t believe I missed that after we talked about it the day of!

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