3.20.2016

First Time February

2016 is off to a great start. I have successfully done something new in January and now in February. In February I went to three new restaurants and completed Yin Yoga training. You can read about Yin Yoga Training HERE.

The three new restaurants were kind of a bonus for February. For my birthday we had lunch at Saint Marc at Pacific City in Huntington Beach, CA. Pacific City is new and, in my opinion, still having some major birth pains. Parking is limited and the validation didn't work for any of the people in our party so everyone had to pay $8 to park for a 2 hour lunch. Lame. And while the idea of Sant Marc was fun, this place could also improve. We went in mid-February so maybe things did already improve but not when we were there. Things that need improvement:

Chef and waitstaff communication. We ordered a meat board that was supposed to be the "Chef's Selection". When the board arrived (like a cheese board) we asked what everything was and were told "It's the Chef's Selection". No kidding. But what did the chef decide to give us? They didn't know so we asked them to find out. No one ever did. To me, this was a bummer. There was a bacon sampler on our meat board but they didn't know what bacon it was, or what kind of salami we had. These items can be ordered a la carte, but if I don't know what I have, then I can't reorder it.
Prices on the menu items. Saint Marc has iPad menus that you use to order. Though a bit confusing at first, we got the hang of it. The thing that was not good about the iPad menu was that most items didn't have prices. That wasn't cool. The good thing about the iPad menus was that you could order anything you wanted without waiting for the waitstaff.

One other thing that was a bit of a bummer.... we went there for my birthday and our first waitress (we ended up having a few and I am not sure who we were assigned to) made a big deal out of this saying they had a great birthday dessert. Somewhere in the hustle and iPad menus, this got forgotten and the big birthday dessert never made it. Not a big deal, but something else that points to customer service that can be improved.

Things I liked about Sant Marc is that you can order wine by the ounce so you can taste as many wines as you want and it has a seating area that takes advantage of the great weather.
I might go back, but only once to give it one more try...

The next restaurant I tried was Fig and Olive in Newport Beach, CA. This one was fabulous! You can read about the Walt Pinot Noir 2013 Las Brisas HERE. I went with a friend for her birthday and it was amazing. Beautiful space, perfect waitstaff and amazing food. I was trying not to be that crazy photo person during lunch and only grabbed a photo of the roasted chicken. I can not wait to go back to this restaurant! It is excellent.

The third restaurant was Mastro near Southcoast Plaza. T and I went there for our anniversary and it was good, but not worth the price and not really our vibe. There was an undercurrent of a club atmosphere and the place seemed just a little over the top. We split everything and had an amazing "tomahawk ribeye" that went really well with the 2011 Stag's Leap Petie Sirah. I had some great wines in February! But at the end of the meal we agreed it wasn't worth the price and it was good to try it once, but we would probably not go back. No big deal.

I am liking the yearly theme. It helps me do new things, but also help me be more aware of the things that I do in my everyday life. March had some surprises and I will update you on those in the March report.

-elizabeth


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