A Taste of SF: Michael Mina

A Taste Of, Uncategorized | January 9, 2015 | By

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Slow Cooked Pork Tortelloni

I’m a huge Michael Mina fan, and over this past Thanksgiving break I finally had the chance to try his signature restaurant in San Francisco named after himself, Michael Mina. My dad is a huge supporter of an organization in the SF Bay Area called Good Tidings, which predominately builds sports facilities for under privileged kids in the Bay Area. He purchased an auction item of a tasting menu donated by Michael Mina, and luckily waited until we were all home to enjoy it together. Unfortunately Michael Mina was not there in-person, but he graciously left signed menus for us to take home!

One of the first things I’ll point out that was really unique to this restaurant was the “make-your-own-drink” set-up. They had signature cocktails available, but also had a feature where you could explain to the waiter what kinds of alcohols and flavors you like, and they would come up with a new concoction. I’ve been really into moscow mules, so I asked for something similar to a mule but also a little fruity. My “fruity mule” was outrageously delicious.

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Another highlight was definitely the crusty bread with honey butter. We really couldn’t get enough, it was so good. The tasting menu the night we went had so many good options that I had a really hard time choosing. We had a group of six, so we were able to spread out our menu choices and have a taste of everything. The ahi tuna tartare turned out to be my favorite appetizer, one of the best I’ve ever had. The Nantucket bay scallops with creamy leek risotto was equally amazing. The only mistake I made was ordering the risotto as a main dish, because it ended up being risotto-overload!

The desserts were incredible, and the pastry chef even brought out an additional little tray of treats including homemade passion fruit caramels and pumpkin macaroons. Michael Mina 2

Michael Mina  $$$$

252 California St. San Francisco, CA 94111

What to Order: The menu is a rotating $95 tasting menu, but the Ahi Tuna Tartare is a signature that is a must-have if on the menu! Also make sure to make your own drink.

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Ahi Tuna Tartare

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Nantucket Bay Scallops

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Black Angus Ribeye

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Ocean Trout

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Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Muffins

Snacks | January 8, 2015 | By


A little over a month ago, I decided to change up my workout routine. With my work schedule and social life the way it is, I couldn’t always make it to the gym classes I liked, and I found that my regular cardio routine (read: a half-hearted two mile run/walk) was starting to not cut it anymore. So, I decided to start lifting weights. And, while I’m not sure I can say I see physical results just yet, I sure am hungry all the time!

That’s where these protein muffins come into the picture. They provide just the right amount of sweet, while still being the perfect pre-workout snack. The best part is, they are chock-full of protein.

I used the ceramic muffin pan that Marta got for me, and as you can see, was fully occupied with taking muffin photos … that is, until Sophie (my cat) crept into the picture.



Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Muffins (adapted from DailyBurn)

1 1/4 Cups and 3 Tbsp. of Whole Wheat flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. of Ground Flaxseeds

2 Tsp. of Baking Powder

1/8 Tsp. of Salt

2 Eggs

2 Bananas, mashed (*note: use ripe bananas, as they will help naturally sweeten the muffins)

1/2 Cup of Nonfat, Plain Greek Yogurt

1/4 Cup of Almond Milk

1 Tbsp. of Vanilla

1/4 Cup of Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (for homemade, click here)


Sift together the following dry ingredients: flour, flaxseeds, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Using another bowl, mix together the eggs, banana, Greek yogurt, almond milk and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, just until combined.

In a generously greased muffin tin, fill up cups half way. Drop in a large teaspoon-size dollop of chocolate hazelnut spread. Cover the chocolate hazelnut fully with more muffin batter. Bake for 17-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Eat immediately, or store in the fridge in an airtight container for two days.

Serves 6.





Acai Bowls

Breakfast | January 6, 2015 | By

Acai Bowl 3Being home for Christmas break, I couldn’t get enough of the fresh California produce. I forgot how lucky we were to have fairly good quality fruit all year round, which I don’t get to the same extent in New York. My sister and I went to downtown Palo Alto for a morning yoga class, and decided to try the new Acai Bowl joint, Bare Bowls, to top off a healthy day. Bare Bowls was fantastic and very refreshing, but man was it over-priced, as all Palo Alto spots tend to be. My sister and I decided to make our own Acai bowls the next day for breakfast!

I definitely took advantage of the fact that my parents own a Vitamix, which makes Acai bowls, or VERY thick smoothies, much easier to make. An Acai bowl is basically a smoothie so thick you have to eat it with a spoon, with acai, other fruit and typically some kind of nut butter. Acai bowls are then topped with more fresh fruit, granola, nuts, coconut shavings and any other topping of choice. We didn’t have acai berries, but used acai juice and added bananas, strawberries, blackberries and peanut butter to make the base. We topped it off with banana slices and granola for a refreshing, hearty breakfast.  Overall I was pleased with the results, and even more thrilled we were able to eat outside.

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Acai Bowls

2 Bananas

8 Strawberries

10 Blackberries

4 Tbsp Acai Juice

1 Heaping Tbsp Peanut or Almond Butter

8 Ice Cubes

Toppings: Banana slices, granola, other fruit


Mix all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth. (Note: the base of the acai bowl should be very thick. Some normal blenders, including my own, will not work well with such little liquid. I was fortunate enough to use my parents’ Vitamix while I was home which worked great. Feel free to add more acai juice in order to property blend). Top with banana slices, granola and other toppings of choice.

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