Dine out on April 12th to help Marin County School Volunteers!

Here’s a chance to have some tasty food while supporting a great cause. Have a meal at one of the participating restaurants on Tuesday April 12th and a percentage of your check will go to support the fantastic work of Marin County School Volunteers, a group that matches volunteer tutors with Marin school kids. The list includes popular eateries such as Jason’s in Greenbrae and Pacific Catch in Corte Madera. For a full list visit the MCSV website. And if you’re looking for a regular way to give back to the community consider volunteering as a tutor!

Reservations are suggested and be sure to mention Marin County School Volunteers to make sure your meal will be counted as part of the event.

Add some warmth to your winter: Sorella Caffe in Fairfax

Sorella Caffe in Fairfax is one of our favorite local places to bring the whole family. The name means “sister” in Italian–appropriate as it’s owned by two sisters–and the food, ambiance and service are top notch. We eat here often and both sisters are always there to greet us. Using fresh, organic ingredients, the pasta and seafood dishes are excellent and you have to try the Mista salad with their homemade salad dressing–a secret recipe.

With a fireplace and live music on the weekends, the ambience is very relaxed and it’s a great place to bring the kids, who especially love the big block of parmesan cheese they bring to your table to start out your dinner and the big bowl of gummy bears and animal cookies they bring out for free after your meal. We’ve eaten here probably thirty times and the service has always been amazing.  This is one of our favorite restaurants in Marin. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Dine out to End Hunger in Marin – Benefit for Homeward Bound

Thinking of dining out this week?  Thursday, November 18th is a great night to do it for the 6th annual Dine Out to End Hunger which benefits Homeward Bound of Marin.  Homeward Bound is Marin County’s chief provider of shelter and residential services for homeless families and individuals, serving approximately 1,400 people per year in 14 inter-related residential programs.  97% of families and 83% of adults completing Homeward Bound’s programs go on to stable housing.

Tavern at Lark Creek, Larkspur, California

Supporting the event is easy.  Simply dine at one of the participating restaurants and twenty percent of your bill will be donated to Homeward Bound of Marin.  The restaurant list has some of my favorite local restaurants as well.

Participating Marin Restaurants

Corte Madera Restaurant Partners

Larkspur Restaurant Partner

Mill Valley Restaurant Partners

Novato Restaurant Partner

Point Reyes Station Restaurant Partner

San Anselmo Restaurant Partners:

San Rafael Restaurant Partner

Sol Food Expanding with San Rafael Bodega

Sol Food, San Rafael’s hip, ultra popular Puerto Rican restaurant is opening a bodega next door to its “Big Place” location at 901 Lincoln Ave. The bodega will carry Puerto Rican goods like coffee, salad dressing and homemade hot sauce, and it’ll be the spot where they manage all of their take-out and deliveries. It’s nice to see such a great Restaurant doing so well. If you haven’t eaten there yet it’s really yummy! I love the Camarones Criollos, large prawns sauteed with fresh garlic and onions in a tomatoey sauce, served over rice, with organic salad, avocado and fried plantain. If you like chicken try the Pollo al Horno combo. Excellente!

Sam’s Cafe on a Sunny Marin Day

Exploring by the Bay

Next stop:  Sam’s Cafe!

With a gorgeous spring day and 80 degree weather, this weekend seems like a great one to spend outdoors.  Looking to relax and enjoy the sunshine?  You don’t have to go far!  Visit downtown Tiburon and the landmark Sam’s Cafe along the Tiburon waterfront.  This is one of my favorite spots to relax, sip a spicy bloody mary, and take in the sparkling waters of the San Francisco Bay and fantastic views of the San Francisco skyline and Angel Island.  This place gets packed on a hot day with people coming over from San Francisco on the Tiburon ferry.  Arrive early in the day if you don’t want to wait.  The food isn’t Marin’s finest, but the awesome location and fantastic people watching make up for it.  This is really the perfect place for a lazy Marin afternoon in the sunshine.

You can check out a live view from their sunny deck on Sam’s webcam.

Marin’s Best Sushi- Sushi Ran


Sushi is one of my absolute favorite foods to eat.  We are so fortunate living in the Bay Area to have phenomenal sushi.  I often pick up sushi from my local favorite gourmet grocery store, Woodlands Market in Kentfield. 

When I am looking for fantastic sushi and a finer dining experience, I frequently head to one of my favorite Marin restaurants, Sushi Ran in Sausalito.  Sushi Ran is located on Bridgeway in downtown Sausalito.  The restaurant is pricey, but it is well worth the cost.  It is truly one of the Bay Area’s finest restaurants.  In October, Sushi Ran’s Executive Chef, Mitsunori Kusakabe, won the Sushi of the Year Award in London.  The exclusive restaurant has also been awarded the exclusive Michelin Star.

Reservations can be tough to get at the popular restaurant but it does take walk ins.  It is also generally easy to grab a table later in the evening on the weeknight.  My favorite spot to sit is on the walk-in side of the restaurant on the covered (and heated patio).  I love the warm, inviting atmosphere and the sushi is truly outstanding.  If you haven’t been there, check it out!

  • What:  Sushi Ran
  • Where:  107 Caledonia Street, Sausalito, CA 94965
  • Phone:  415-332-3620
  • More information: www.sushiran.com


Image courtesy of biskuit at Flickr.

Half Day Cafe -Kentfield Breakfast Hot Spot

I can’t believe I haven’t written about the Half Day Cafe in Kentfield before.  The Half Day Cafe is one of my absolute favorite spots to meet friends for breakfast, lunch or brunch.   Half  Day is located on College Avenue just across the street from the College of Marin.  It has been a Marin County staple for more than 20 years.  The restaurant is tucked into a charming brick building built in the 1930’s.  It was originally the Kentfield Garage.  Half Day is bright and cheery with tall ceilings and huge windows.  On a warm, sunny day, it has  a great outdoor patio for leisurely dining.


I have never had anything I didn’t like on the menu. Half Day Cafe has phenomenal omelettes, huevos rancheros, and french toast for breakfast.  Most of the breakfast options come with a choice of homemade pastry- their scones, cinnamon rolls and muffins are to die for!  For lunch, there are many options.  I typically go the lunch omelette route unless I am craving a burger and fries.  My lunch companions often enjoy delicious homemade soups and tasty salads.  Everything on the menu is fresh.  The service is always good, and they happily oblige my coffee addiction with frequent refills.  This restaurant is tops for me in terms of service and menu.

  • Where:  The Half Day Cafe
  • Address:  848 College Avenue, Kentfield, CA 94904
  • What:  Breakfast, Lunch & Brunch

Las Camelias Cocina Mexicana

Las-Camelias-San-Rafael-3One of my big complaints about Marin County is the lack of good, authentic Mexican food.  Being born and raised in Arizona, I was blessed with delicious Mexican food restaurants on every corner.  I decided I needed to stop complaining and branch out to some of the Mexican food restaurants here in Marin.  I stumbled upon Las Camelias in San Rafael.  The restaurant has actually been around for 27 years and has repeatedly won awards.  How I could live in Marin for this long and never hear about this place is beyond me!


My first impression was good.  Nice atmosphere – very clean and nice round tables.  The homemade chips- were my favorite type–thick and crispy. 

Las-Camelias-San-Rafael-2I am a margarita snob, yes I admit this.  I have a special recipe I make, so I am almost always disappointed at restaurant margaritas.  Since I knew I would be writing a review, I just had to try one.  While not in the realm of a “gingerita”, the margarita was actually quite good.  It was made with agave and not super sweet. 

For my dinner, I had the barbecued shredded beef crispy tacos, which were excellent.  The family owned restaurant uses good quality, organic ingredients.  I really enjoyed my dinner and look forward to going back to Las Camelias for some traditional Mexican food!

Map to Las Camelias:

View Larger Map

Greenbrae Surprise for Burgers and Fries


Looking for a great burger and fries in Marin? Fifi’s Diner in Greenbrae’s Bon Air Shopping Center is a great little find. The tiny restaurant is located near Peet’s Coffee and Mollie Stones in the Bon Air Shopping Center. I first started going there for frozen yogurt but soon found that it is a great spot for a burgers, chicken and even a great caesar salad. I have been told breakfast is excellent too.

The atmosphere is very casual and kid friendly. Seating inside is limited but there are ample tables and chairs outside- a great spot for lunch on a sunny day in Greenbrae! This is definitely a great neighborhood spot in Marin for casual fare.

This isn’t a healthy stop (more of a greasy spoon type place), but it sure tastes good!

Try it out:

Fifi’s Diner
284 Bon Air Shopping Center
Greenbrae, California

Marin Restaurants Rack Up Health Violations

I read a disturbing article in the Marin IJ this morning.  Seems 29 Marin restaurants have received three or more health visits in 2007.  I was shocked to find many of my normal spots on the list including Boudin SF, California Pizza Kitchen, Dipsea Cafe, Yankee Pier, E&O Trading Co, Left Bank, Marin Brew Co, Noonans, Sushi Ko and Yankee Pier.  Uggh.  I hope all of these Marin restaurants take these violations seriously and get them fixed.

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