Our apartment hunt has officially commenced. Miri and I have been spending the past few weekends looking at one and two-bedroom apartments in Alameda, an island in the San Francisco Bay adjacent to Oakland. I took Miri to Alameda for dinner the very first time he came to visit me in California in August 2012 and you can say he’s sort of fallen in love with this small but charming community ever since. The thought of leaving San Leandro to live in Alameda is more than exciting. Miri and I have been in San Leandro ever since we moved here from Austria (I returned to my hometown in July 2015 and he emigrated in October 2015). My mom moved to Mill Valley before Miri’s arrival, but she’s allowed us to live here on our own until we both found jobs (which, happily, we have) before she retires and rents the house. It’ll be strange to not have a home-base in San Leandro, but at this point there’s not much keeping us here. My mom is in Marin, my brother is in Walnut Creek, and my dad, who lived a block away from us, passed seven years ago. I am very grateful to my mom for having given us a place to live rent-free until we were able to stand on our own two (or four?) feet, but I will happily give it up to begin our next chapter (and join the real world) as husband and wife paying an extortionate amount to live in the Bay Area. The day documented below mostly consists of food, beginning with Sushi House in Alameda and ending with Lake Chalet, a renovated boathouse-turned-restaurant with a fantastic view of Oakland’s Lake Merritt, where we enjoyed a plentiful Easter dinner. Lake Merritt is one of my favorite places in the Bay Area. I grew up coming here a lot because Fairyland, a storybook theme park for children, is located within the park, but also because of the superior number of high-quality restaurants surrounding the Lake in contrast to San Leandro’s dismal dining choices.
Seaweed salad, a must-have when ordering sushi.
Vegetable maki (black mushroom, avocado, cucumber and lettuce).
The Super Prawn roll, consisting of shrimp tempura, cucumber, crab meat, lettuce, green onions, Ebi, avocado, special house sauce, kiwi sauce and black Tobiko. Yum.
The Lion King roll, my favorite “fatty’s delight” at any American sushi restaurant. The Lion King is your basic California roll, topped with baked salmon and the special house sauce. Drool. Side note: I’m a fake sushi fan because the only kind of sushi I really like are baked or cooked rolls, often topped with rich sauces. This is embarrassingly American, but, what can I say, it’s a texture thing.
Wandering around the Crab Cove Visitor Center and the Alameda shoreline where, fingers crossed, I will soon be enjoying my daily, er every-other-daily, run.
Lake Merritt/Downtown Oakland is just a short, 10-minute drive from Alameda.
We started with the Organic Mixed Greens salad at Lake Chalet. It is made up of local, organic farm greens, orange segments, Asian pears, Laura Chenel goat cheese and candied pumpkin seeds, dressed lightly with Sherry vinaigrette.
I ordered the Grand Seafood Linguini, which was superb. It is made up of Saffron pasta, Gulf shrimp, Bay scallops, mussels, clams, salmon, Monterey Bay calamari, tomatoes, and white wine.
Miri ordered the Herb-Marinated Flatiron Steak, topped with caramelized shallots and Porcini mushroom butter, along with a side of Potato Gratin.
My mom ordered the Key Lime Pie in a Jar for dessert, which I couldn’t resist photographing.
Miri and I decided on the Warm White Chocolate Bread Pudding, which was so good I almost regretted sharing it. It was topped with caramelized bananas, white chocolate Ganache, whipped Chantilly, and shaved dark chocolate.
Lastly, my cousin ordered the Gluten-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake, topped with chocolate sauce and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It’s hard to write about a dessert you never tried, but damn does it look good.
My favorite time of day to take pictures.