Around the Bay | San Francisco Bay Area


We stood facing the sunset with the soothing sounds of the ocean crashing against a coastline lit up in vibrant hues. It was everything I loved most about the California Coast: our strange but beautiful sense of the seasons (autumn at the end of November); the color tinting our succulents rather than deciduous trees; the spectacular beauty of nature; and a reminder that was all less than an hour away from the city.

In this third and final post of my “San Francisco staycation,” we pay a visit to Montara, dine at Manresa, make sourdough bread, visit a couple craft fairs, and celebrate Dan’s birthday at a new Oakland eatery. Come along!

Fields of red.

Jesse and his uncle who lives in Montara:

Our dining adventures never cease! Dinner for our six-month miniversary at Manresa in Los Gatos. And right as we walked in, Chef/Owner David Kinch walked by. In fact, we spotted him walking around in the restaurant throughout the night.

Taking pictures in the bathroom… where notable menus from a variety of famous restaurants are framed on the walls. Arzak in San Sebastian is definitely on my list!

Manresa’s menu has two options: one is a prix fixe with set courses, and the other is a tasting menu with courses improvised around certain seasonal ingredients. We went for the simpler prix fixe, which they’ll soon be eliminating as an option. Beautiful and delicious, of course.

We visited a couple different craft fairs– this one is the SF Center of the Book’s holiday fair with lots of letterpress goods on display.

On the right, a polaroid I found on the sidewalks of San Francisco.

On Sunday, we took a bread-making class for fun. It was held at a bakery in the Mission District of San Francisco. We learned all about wild yeast starter, how to feed it and take care of it, and how to make sourdough bread.

The art and science of baking.

In the short 2-hour timeframe of the class there isn’t enough time for the yeast to rise for a full loaf of bread, but we made flatbread instead.

Delicious! I topped mine with some sesame, poppy seeds, and arugula. Without scoring the bread, it comes out hollow on the inside just like pita pockets.

More craft fairs– this one in Oakland!

And finally, a birthday dinner with Dan for his birthday. We checked out Box and Bells, Oakland’s newest eating house by James Syhabout, the chef from Commis.

Around the San Francisco Bay Area:

Take in the beauty of the California Coast in Montara (or anywhere along Hwy 1).
Enjoy a 2-star Michelin dining experience at Manresa in Los Gatos.
Visit a craft fair in San Francisco or Oakland.
Take a sourdough bread-making class at Sour Flour in San Francisco.
Grab some drinks and a bite to eat at Box and Bells in Oakland.

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Find her on facebook for more daily adventures, and view more of her professional work at