I took an epic (well, super long) road trip along I-80 to northern California last week, and here's what I learned:
Drive through the Bonneville Salt Flats and stop to read about this totally weird place.
B.J. Bull Bakery has the best pasties and tart rhubarb pie, and the coffee even tastes like coffee.
Branding Iron Cafe in Bonanza Casino: the ranchero asada is a terrific steak, and the beer is cheap. No photo for this one, but I'm still washing the smoke and general sadness out of my clothes.
Kenwood, CA (Napa Valley):
Cafe Citti: Homestyle Italian & wine
Glen Ellen, CA (Napa Valley):
Jack London State Park: This guy was seriously fucked up, but he built a lovely farm. Some skinny redwoods on the upper hike.
Morgan's Lobster and Fish Shack has amazing chowder, but also great salads and California wines
And if you're into hostels, Redlight Lodge is very thoughtfully laid out, with a super funky bar up front. Also, cool naked man bathroom art. Mellow Fellow is a dive/townee bar with a great selection of taps.
Good Mong Kok: great dim sum
Sun Fat Seafood Company: oysters, smoked whole crab
Tourist crap: Yes, Golden Gate Park is worth visiting. Plan lots of time to wander. And outside of town, Muir Woods will provide your Redwood fix without driving almost to Oregon. And although it's touristy as hell, the Ferry Building Farmer's Market is a handy place to get dim sum, crab, French pastries, and much more. There's a Peet's (they make a mean matcha latee), and the marble eggs at Imperial Tea Court were amazing.