michael bauer's top 100 restaurant

every year i always review michael bauer's top 100 restaurant as a guide for restaurants to try. with so many great restaurants, we rarely go to the same restaurant twice...we always like to try a new place! having a toddler is difficult enough to dine out but going out for a couple of hours to enjoy a nice meal is even more difficult. however, we are very lucky that my parents are very close by and love watching aj so if we do need a break, we have great baby sitters. his new list should be coming out in a couple of months but it's still nice to look through the list and see what i've been to (31 and counting)! one of my favorite restaurant not on this list is andalu and after watching top chef masters, i really want to try hubert keller's fleur de lys

Ad Hoc (Yountville) really want to try this one!!
thomas keller, need i say more?
Bix was there years ago w/
colleagues for dine about town
Buckeye Roadhouse (Mill Valley) north bay…too far hahaa
Cafe La Haye
Chow (S.F., Lafayette, Danville) great casual restaurant;
not sure why it's a top 100 though
House of Prime Rib love…love their prime rib
and of course, the salad
One Market 10 yrs ago…
1st month at gap, boss took us here!
Range great interior…over priced
Town Hall down the street from my work - it's good
Wood Tavern (Oakland)

Betelnut overpriced asian food

Barbers Q (Napa)


Coi really want to try this one
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant (Forestville)
Flora (Oakland)
Jack Falstaff closed…victim of the recession
Manresa (Los Gatos)
Martini House had a beautiful lunch in their
outdoor patio
Murray Circle (Sausalito)
Redd (Yountville)
Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena)
Terra love love this rstaurant…
so romantic

Bistro Aix
Jardiniere when I 1st really
appreciated french food
Masa's enjoyed it…but way too loud!!

Picco/Pizzeria Picco (Larkspur)

O Chame (Berkeley)

Bar Jules
Bay Wolf (Oakland)
Camino (Oakland)
Chez Panisse (Berkeley) so delicious and awesome service
Coco500 yummy but again not sure
if it's really worthy of top 100
Cortez closed…victim of the recession
Foreign Cinema really enjoy this restaurant
The Moss Room
Nopa 1st meal after aj was
born w/ my girlfriends!
Rivoli (Berkeley)
Zuni Cafe

Koi Palace duh, I am chinese
Ton Kiang duh, I am chinese
Yank Sing duh, I am chinese

Contemporary American
Ame love this place!
Boulevard traumatized - found a piece
of hair in my crème brulee
Cyrus (Healdsburg)
French Laundry (Yountville) a gal can always dream?
Gary Danko FAVORITE restaurant…we
used to go every year for my bday!
Madrona Manor (Healdsburg)
Michael Mina
Spruce overrated

Bouchon (Yountville) LOVED IT…came here
the day after our wedding
Chez Papa Resto
The Dining Room going there in 5 weeks!!
at the Ritz-Carlton
La Folie

Aqua it's been years…but
really had a nice time

Kokkari Estiatorio awesome awesome restaurant

Indian umm…sorry, not a fan of indian food
Amber India won't be trying any of these
Vik's Chaat Corner (Berkeley)

Va de Vi (Walnut Creek)
Willi's Wine Bar (Santa Rosa)

Italian (including pizzerias)
A16 way too loud
Bar Bambino
Bistro Don Giovanni (Napa) awesome desserts!
came here a lot when s and
I were wedding planning
Bottega Napa Valley (Yountville) went there last month w/ s…
saw michael chiarello =)
Corso Trattoria (Berkeley)
Delfina heard great things…
tough parking area
Dopo (Oakland)
Marzano (Oakland)
Perbacco 1st meal out w/ friends after I found out I was pregnant…
my friend totally busted me bc I didn't order a glass of wine
Pizzaiolo (Oakland)
Poggio (Sausalito)
Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar (Santa Rosa)

Kaygetsu (Menlo Park)
Sushi Ran (Sausalito)
Yoshi's San Francisco high on my list as well…

Latin American
Fonda (Albany)



Hog Island Oyster Co. realized that I
actually loved oysters!
Nettie's Crab Shack
Nick's Cove (Marshall)
Sea Salt (Berkeley)
Swan Oyster Depot always so crowded…



The Matterhorn
Swiss Restaurant


Slanted Door my vote for best
asian fusion flavors…


everyone has an opinion...

it's interesting how once you are pregnant / have a child...advice and opinions come out of the woodworks! everyone has a point of view about parenting tips ... from feeding to sleeping to discipline. don't get me wrong...i'm open to listening to what people have to say but that's it. i personally don't do any research so i need to know what other people have read...hahaa. i like to be informed because there are tons of information out there but i don't necessarily like to be told that their way of doing something is the only way.

i've also learned that one can not judge another parent at all. i used to think, "oh i would never do this or that w/ my child" but oh, how i've learned. being a parent...you will learn that everyone and everything is different and you do what's best for your child and the situation. for example, i used to hear about kids who slept w/ their parents, how it became this bad habit and how it so tough to retrain your child. for the 1st 9 months, aj was the perfect sleeper. he fell asleep on his own and slept through the night in his own crib. i thought, yes, i'm not one of "those" parents. then at the 10 month mark, he started developing awful sleep routines and started waking up in the middle of the night. both s and i were too tired to soothe him in his room and we didn't want him to cry it out. so, what did we do? he started sleeping w/ us in our bed. it's come to the point now that when it's time for bed, he takes one of our hands and leads us straight to our bed hahaa. it's so cute!

who knows how much longer we'll let him sleep with us or when we'll try to "retrain" him but you know what? we all get a good night of sleep so i'm not complaining. well, okay, so he kicks quite a bit at night and is a bed hog, but i stay in bed all night. =)

my colleague says the opinions get worse as he gets older because then it's about schools or sports or extracurricular activities...great. that and opinions about difference in years between kids and why i'm not pregnant w/ our second child yet. and how many kids to have...it's just never-ending.


first haircut (kind of)...

aj's hair was getting quite long and out of control. the long hair was not a good look for him; poor kid looked like a total fob. aj's stylist aka daddy gave him his 1st buzzcut! we didn't take a before and after when s cut his hair but you can tell w/ these pictures.

before =(
after =)

my very own chair...

aj really enjoyed sitting in my nephew's chair so we decided to get one for him. just as a test, we took him to pottery barn kids to see if he would still like it. once he got in the store, he went straight for the chair and sat right down with a big smile! how could we say no then?? of course, s being a huge star wars fan had to get the r2d2 chair. here are some pics of him enjoying his new piece of furniture...

enjoying his bday present from the l family

adventures w/ daddy...

s had 2 weeks off during the holidays. he was very brave to do daddy daycare and aj had a great time at the zoo and children's museum w/ his pops.

1st trip to san jose children's museum

surprisingly, he was brave and touched the goat at the sf zoo


happy new year!

i can't believe another year has passed and we are now in a new decade! the holidays have been great w/ aj; his development has just been amazing these last couple of weeks. everyone in my family is already saying he is going to be a very stubborn child and boy does he have some attitude! as my mom so kindly reminds me, i was not the most angelic child growing up so she thinks this is payback.

in the last week or two, i've definitely noticed that he is very decisive about what he wants. he is very good about nodding his head no and is an expert pointer. i am still having some problems w/ what he is pointing to and what it really means. for example, if he points to the refrigerator or microwave, it actually means he wants some milk.

we've definitely noticed some growth spurt really from what he is able to reach now. he can reach all the door knobs and is "exploring" turning and opening doors. he actually opened my sister's front door the other day. he can reach things off our kitchen counters and dining table so we have to be careful about not putting anything close to the edge. he can nicely slide his body off our bed and land on his feet w/out falling on his butt. hahaa.

he loves going out now. he gets very excited when we get his jacket and is very willing to put it on. the cutest thing he does is get his shoes and bring it over to us. he'll then stick his foot out to put his shoe on.

the sweetest thing we've noticed is that he loves his baby nephew. whenever he sees j, he always smiles and makes his mischievous expressions. he probably loves him because he knows he can bully him since he's bigger.

we've been really bad about taking pictures but my sister has all the holiday pictures. i'll post some once i get them from her.