Kels & Kenz Take on the Bay: Part 1!

***Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any uncontrollable stomach grumbles you may experience nor are we responsible for any cravings that may occur upon reading this post. If you are pregnant, or suspect you may be pregnant, there may be sushi triggers. Enter at your own risk, and we highly recommend bringing a sandwich***

This summer is truly one for the books! One of my greatest friends from college, Kelsey, was able to visit & prance around the city with me for a few days last week. You may recognize her from our wedding, but sadly we haven’t been together much since (she went to Uganda our last semester of college!).

I have never done sooo much in a short period of time (Nor am I sure I have ever ate so much, lol). Kels and I set out to knock off things from both of our bucket lists (This was, after all, her first time in CALIFORNIA, y’all!)

It’s so easy hanging with this chica because she is sooo go with the flow, and down with anything & when we’re together it’s just non-stop laughs mixed with great conversation. My heart is full <3 And sooooo are our stomachs. We also have the exact same taste in food, so we split everything the whole weekend which helped cut down on costs a bunch and allowed us to try a variety of nibbles! (and by nibbles I mean large meals that we are are calling snacks- deal?!).

We made the most of every second, and although she was only here for five days- it may take at LEAST four or five blog posts to recap it all. So let’s get toooo itttt!

We haven’t seen each other since the summer of 2016! She landed at around 12:20 at the Oakland Airport on Friday, July 27th. After exchanging the biggest hugs ever, we drove toward downtown SF to get a week of all time started. (wish Deej could have joined, but he had a homestand basically the whole time she was here, I took notes so I can take him back to these places though!).


B Star, a Burmese inspired restaurant, was our first stop. People rave about this spot & swear it is a must try in SF. Their tea leaf salad has been on my foodie bucket list for a while. They also have a sister restaurant- Burma Superstar, that has a similar menu too.


It was a tucked away little place, but the inside was so cute.


We ordered the noodle salad, tea leaf salad, and samusa soup.

The noodle salad was light and refreshing- but nothing to write home about.


The tea leaf salad brought a flavor that we’d never experienced. It was good, but sooo salty. Like almost too salty to enjoy for me. We ended up mixing the noodle and tea leaf and that combo was delicious; they balanced each other well.


Now, the samusa soup was outstanding. This vegetarian soup has falafels, lentils, cabbage, potatoes, and jalapeños. This is, dare I say, the tastiest soup I have ever had. I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life. It was SO good. I am going to take DJ back just to try the soup!


Time to see the famous Painted Ladies!! Would ya jus look at um’! Lookin’ dapper as ever, my friends.


Everywhereeee you look, everywhere you go, there’s a heart, (there’s a heart)!!!! Ready to feel nostalgic?! You can peep these little ladies in the back of the intro here.




There is also a cute little park in Alamo Square if you have little ones.


I decided since we were so close I would take Kels through Haight-Ashbury. The houses lining the walk down are a sight to witness! The level of meticulous attention & love poured into these front steps is evident. This one was reminiscent of the 16th Avenue Steps we visited about a month ago.


Time to step back into the 60s!


This is too funny…


After Haight-Ashbury, we zoomed to Fishermans Wharf to be tourists doing touristy things.


We ventured through Fisherman Grotto’s area, passed the sea lions, then into Pier 39’s hub! Kels is left-handed, so I was excited to show her the Lefty store.


And what dooo you know? We were hungry again! Kels loves oysters, and I was trying to love oysters, so we looked up the best oysters in the area. The reviews for Sotto Mare were phenomenal, so we gave the joint a go.


They are known for their world famous cioppino, but we still had a dinner planned, and wanted just some light, refreshing oysters. (But if you do venture here, make sure to try their cioppino! It’s now on my bucket list).


We tried 3 East coast & 3 West coast oysters with the bloody mary mix shooters with an oyster in the bottom of the glass. So was it all up to the hype???????……






































^ That was a bit dramatic , huh? Remember when we used to do that in chain mail back in the day? Okay totally digressing…

I started thinking I might be fond of oysters at Sam’s Chowder House, and these even surpassed that! The pairing with the cocktail sauce was a perfect touch too. So…. your girl officially LOVES oysters! Now I just need to get DJ on board.


After slurpin’ down the half shell magic, we walked to Ghirardelli Square for our free samples of chocolate (yes, just go into the building and they are always handing out free samples), perused the niche boutiques, and drooled over the olive oil shop options.


Ricky was on to something!

No matter how many times I am here I can’t help but snag a shot of the Powell & Hyde cable car (you can also see it in the full house intro video if you watch closely 😉 ).


We found this interesting little street with books hanging from the wires too in North Beach. I had never noticed this before, and was curious behind the “why”…


I found that it is an art installation called Language of the Birds. The books actually light up at night. There are words on the sidewalk too. It’s pretty cool to see the pictures of it at night.. you can find them here!

In the evening, we did the hour trek back to San Jose area and had a hankerin’ for some Bay Area quality sushi. There are cravings, and then there are sushi cravings. And lucky for us, there is a new place that opened recently on Santana Row called Ozumo.

I prayed it would be up to par since we were both walking in blind & I wanted to make sure Kels got some dang yummy sush while she was here (considering it is also her favorite food group).


It looked brand spankin’ new! It had the chic, contemporary, Japanese restaurant vibes that are pretty popular in downtown SF, but I haven’t found any restaurants like it here… until now, of course!


We decided to sit right at the sushi bar so we could watch the sushi being made. When I say this was the best dining experience we have ever had, I mean it. The service was impeccable. The atmosphere was light, warm, and fun, but not stuffy (like many of the row restaurants can be), the staff was superbly friendly and attentive, and the sushi was the greatest sushi we have ever had.


The sushi chef gave us complimentary octopus to start our meal (yes complimentary, that was absolutely spectacular)…. we were being treated like royalty. I was like, “are they mistaking us for someone important?!” haha. Kels said that lately she has been on a streak for getting things for free, so we chalked it up to her being our good luck charm 😉


I was craving wakame, but they didn’t have plain wakame on the menu. We decided to be adventurous and try their personal take on a seaweed salad- the Kaiso Salad. This included the red & green tosaka seaweed, wood ear mushroom, green onion, sweet chili dressing. I am thankful they didn’t have plain wakame, because it would have been a shame to miss out on this dish! It was perfection. So tasty, so flavorful, and so light.


Then for the best part of the meal (which is saying a LOT), we had their shacho roll with tuna, salmon, scallop, crab salad, takuwan wrapped in soy paper, and lobster sauce. Umami flavors for dayyyyyyyyys.




And we also split the tremendous tuna tataki with thinly sliced seared black pepper encrusted tuna, truffle oil, ponzu, grated ginger, and micro cilantro. Heaven. Heaven straight on a plate. We ate our food soo slowly because we didn’t want it to end. Every single nibble was savored.


We tried the cheapest red on the menu, and it was a perfect accompaniment with the meal- although a bit too generous of a pour to finish it all up.


Happy Happy Camper with something in her teeth. (Sign of a fab meal- amiright?)


Final touches- the bill being presented in a Thank You card <3


Ozumo, we laud your restaurant & your food! Thank you for an unforgettable dining experience. We will be back!!

We walked around the row for about a couple hours. We even witnessed some random motorcycle show out of the blue.

We decided we weren’t quite ready to turn in for the night. There was one other place on my bucket list to knock off and believe it or not, we decided to do dinner number two at around 10 pm…. whoops! It’s not like we were starving, but we were like, “we could eat!” know what I meaaan?

Pizza Antica is always packed out the door, but since it was very late at this point, we were able to get a seat right away.


We split their fantastic margherita pizza. (Their bread is great too!).  I’ll be bringing DJ back to try this ‘za. He really loves a flatbread margherita. Since we were satisfied after about a piece.5 each, we had leftovers that would be perfect for nibblin’ the rest of the week.


And finally, after eating about seven full meals in one HALF day, we called it a night. Yes, that was all one day folks. I’m not sure whether to be proud or ashamed. I’m going proud, yes definitely proud. It’s an investment in the best of memories, ya know? 😉


Oysters- Yay or nay?

Did you watch Full House growing up?

xo <3


69 thoughts on “Kels & Kenz Take on the Bay: Part 1!

  1. I thought the thing in your teeth was on my monitor.

    I’ve never tried sushi. At this point, I’m just being stubborn. Everyone says, “YOU HAVE TO TRY IT!” No, I don’t. Haha.

    Oysters can go right where olives are. That’s a no.

    I think every kid my age watched Full House. 🙂

    1. Haha! Your comments always crack me up 🤣

      Okay I’m gonna be that person and say YOU HAVE TO TRY IT! Its just so good. But if you do try it, make sure it’s high quality stuff. And I suggest starting with a California roll or something tempura. Always use a dash of soy sauce too!

      Hahahh! Ok ok. I understand.

      And actually I thought the same thing but my husband didn’t! I was shocked when I found that out

  2. That sushi looks amazing!!! And I’m feeling all the Full House feels right now. I love how many meals you guys ate. I am the same way when I go somewhere with my friends. Breakfast….second breakfast….brunch….I love it all bahaha. Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures!

    1. Hi Rachel! Hehe yesssss you are speaking our language!!!! Thanks for stopping by and have an absolutely wonderful weekend 💕

  3. Im loving all this fun you’re having this summer! Food, family and friends. Thats what its all about <3 Also, That pizza looks amazing! It looks so authentic. Your skin is so beautiful and glowy! I need your skin care routine secrets!!

    1. Awww thanks for following along , Diam! It means a lot. And agreed – nothing is better.

      Okay you have no idea how much that means to hear! I had horribly skin growing up, so that is something I have not heard often! I swear by my face brightening cleanser called Visient. I have noticed allll the difference using it! Thanks for making my day 💕💕💕

  4. Mack, you are so bright and beautiful!! I love your dress!!

    Ozumo looks freaking amazing, please bring me there when I visit!!! & I totally get why you had second dinner haha boyfriend and I did the same when we were in San Diego – there’s just way too many foodie hot spots in Cali to eat dinner only once a night!

    I’ve told you before I think that I’m not a fan of raw oysters but I do like ’em boiled in hot water & yesss I watched Full House as a kid but barely because I wanted to. It was just always on the TV and I had to lol.

    1. Awwww! You are too sweeet to say that even though I have food in my teeth 😂

      YAS. GIRL! When you visit we will absolutely go to Ozumo.

      Yes yes you guys do it right! Especially San Diego- goodness we practically rolled out of there from how much we ate. We were actually just talking about that last night 😂 did you have a favorite place in SD?

      Hahah that’s so funny about full house. I was obsessed but watch episodes now and it’s so cheesy 😂

      Have a tremendous weekend girlie!

      1. Hahaha even in the one with food in your teeth. ;D

        We were only there for one night!! We ate dinner in Long Beach but ate a second Italian dinner in San Diego’s Gas Lamp Quarter and a fantastic breakfast at Mission Cafe [I think?] but that’s it!!

        <3 you too, babe!

      2. Loooove Gas Lamp!

        Oooo I think I have heard of Mission Cafe and have heard good things! I just signed up for their marathon in January- so I am gonna start making the lineup now for where to go! Woohoo! (I need to get good mexican next time we go because we missed out on that I think).

      3. It was really awesome!! They were jam-packed but their service was quicker than ever!! You should totally hit it up in January. 😀 How long will you be there & how long is the marathon?! Is that how I ask? I am trying to ask how many miles you will be walking?? LOL…

        YES YES YES, I love Mexican food. I am even getting excited for you to go now because I wanna drool over the photos when you get back. ;D

      4. Haha! I’m not quite sure yet! We haven’t booked tickets yet, I just bought the marathon ticket- I’m gonna guess we will probably be there about 3 days, and the marathon is 26.2 ! I usually try not to walk, but I’ve been fighting some knee pain this year so we will see.

        Now I’m craving Mexican. It’s not quite taco tuesday, but I think I may make an exception lol

  5. Yay for Kels and Kenz! Yes yes yes to oysters- although I’m a fairly recent convert. I’m actually in the mood for caviar Don’t tell anyone but my younger son loved Full House. Glad you are having a great summer!

      1. Awww! I will pass on the hello 🙂 she is just a ball of fun, isn’t she?!

    1. Aunt Jean! Thank you so much. Okay we need to get oysters when you are out here. I think in one of your books you mentioned needing to try them 20 times before liking them or something? I concur! Except luckily I understood their magic after about 5 tries 😉
      I will NEVER forget how fantastic that caviar was we shared at Farallon. I still dream of it 🤤
      Full house was just such a classic. Have a great weekend!

  6. Warms my heart to see the 2 of you together. Friendships like yours are so very special and need to be nutured no matter where life takes you. Love you both ❤️

    1. Aw! Thank you, Aunt Terry ❤️❤️ I agree so much. No matter how much time has passed so easy to pick right back up 🙂

  7. The two of you are both stunning – and your friendship sounds so pure and lovely! Great post (although I definitely needed that sandwich… you’ve made me hungry!) <3

    1. Aww thanks, Mia!!! You are too sweet. And girl I hope you got some goood grub. Happy Friday! Have a tremendous weekend 🙂

  8. This sounds like such a fun way to start her visit!! You try so many foods that it makes this picky eater crazy lol. Oysters are a no for me but I like spicy sushi rolls! Mostly because the spice sauce/thing and the wasabi/soy sauce mixtures I make masks the fish taste hehe.

    I can’t even pick which meal looks the best! It all looks so good!! Also I’m definitely going to use that Ricky Gervais quote in my life – too good!

    1. hahaha. Oooo if you are good with sushi rolls you officially are good as an eater in my book! Those are the best. It definitely masks the fish if you put alll the good fixin’s on!

      Agreed- I don’t know if I have ever related to a quote more haha

  9. What an incredibly fun day! I am not an oysters fan, but I would try them again. That sushi sounds incredible! You both are such gorgeous girls. I can’t wait to read more of your recaps!

    1. Yes! That’s what I thought with the oysters. I think you have to try a wide variety before deciding and with different condiments! I love them with lemon and tobasco. Mmm mmm! You are too sweet. Thanks for stopping by! I can’t wait till this weekend settles to catch up on your happenins 🙂

  10. Holy cow girl so many delish noms! I don’t know how you do it but it’s certainly impressive to see all the food you eat. ha Your friend is so gorgeous and I loveeeee her hair! I love love love red hair.

    I don’t know if I like oysters! I don’t think I’ve ever tried them or if I have, it’s been so long ago I forgot. Did you ever watch It Takes Two with Mary-Kate and Ashley? It reminds me of the scene where she’s like “all this money and these people eat slugs?” hahahahahahaha

    Yes I did watch Full House! I never watched it start to finish but would catch episodes here and there and loved it. Of course now if I see a scene I’m blown away by just how corny and awful it is. lolz But it’s such a classic.

    1. Hey girlll! As I was writing this I was like howww did we eat all that in literally a half of a day 😂 haha. And I will pass on the sweet words to Kels- she’ll so appreciate that!

      And no I haven’t seen that but I did love the Mary kate and Ashley series! That is HILARIOUS Though and so true. 😂😂

      HAHA agreed! I actually mentioned that to someone else. I was like how did I think this was so good?! It was SO corny and cheesy. But yesssss a classic nonetheless. *sigh* lol.

      Have a WONDERFUL weekend, love!

  11. Haha that preemptive warning at the beginning was so good. You eat at so many great places you could start another blog on restaurant reviewing alone (and I would read it 😉 ) Great post as always lovely!

    1. AW! Oh my gosh, Jen, that’s SUCH a high compliment. Thanks so much 🙂 You just made my day. Hope you are having a great weekend, and thank you tons for stopping by.

  12. These photos of the scenic places here, as well as the food, are a feast to the eyes Mackenzie. With the gastronomical delights you have shared, we have all gained a few pounds.

  13. Thank you so much for the most wonderful walk down memory lane…my many road trips down to San Francisco were some of the best times…I’m looking forward to Part 2 & 3, Mackenzie!

    1. Hi Kimberlee!!! Isn’t there something just special about SF? I fall more in love with the city by the day. Thank you tons for stopping by- the next couple posts may continue to be nostalgic for you as well 🙂

  14. Hi Mackenzie!! I can’t believe how much you two packed into one day!! You really treated her to all the highlights! Don’t you love when old friends come to stay– it’s true, you have the best conversations and it’s so fun to show her your world. So glad you had the time together! — And we’ve been to Burma Superstar with our kids a couple times– even had the tea salad– and you’ve given me a few new places to try when we’re up in SF (Going next week to wait with my daughter for her baby!!). Fun post!! thanks! xox

    1. Hi Rhonda!!! Oooo that means a lot coming from someone who has frequented this area 🙂

      What do you like to get at Burma Superstar? I may need to try the tea leaf salad again- it was just so salty!

      Thanks for stopping by <3 Have such a beautiful weekend!

      1. Hi Mackenzie — to be honest it’s not my favorite place to eat. Favorite Asia place is a little small shop– Shanghai Dumpling King in the Richmond. Loved all your ideas!! You have really made the most of your new home!! So fun to read along… hugs!

      2. I have heard SUCH great things about Shanghai Dumpling King… okay adding that to the list too!!!!! I so appreciate you reading, I just love our conversations. 🙂

  15. Kelsey sounds like the perfect friend! Her smile is so joyous and radiant, it sounds like you two had a blast together. Even though it’s been a couple of years since you last saw her it’s wonderful you had this amazing time together, like no time had passed in between. Those are true friendships!
    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I just love your writing style so much! It’s brilliant! You’re so talented. Also could you be any more photogenic! Wow you’re gorgeous!
    That pizza looks so scrumptious 😍 you’ve seriously made me crave pizza now! And I love the sound of that restaurant which served the bill in a thank you card, what a sweet touch.
    I love those steps and buildings, so gorgeous. Also that Ricky Gervais quote. Haha! Perfect!
    Can’t wait to read the rest of your adventures! And to answer your questions. Oysters are a no! And I love Full House but only started watching it recently!

    1. She is seriously the best!!! I just love hanging with her. I am going to pass on the sweet words to her. She will so appreciate um’!

      Oh. my . goodness. You have no idea how much that means to me. Girl, you just brought a tear to my eye!!! Thank you, thank you. Goodness, I don’t even know what to say!! You’re the besttt!

      Thanks so much for following along and making my whole day, week, etc. XOXOO

      1. Do you have any plans to see her again soon? Aw good! Thanks hun!

        Aw you’re so welcome! It’s the truth! ❤️
        You’re welcome! I can’t wait to catch up with the rest of your trip 😀 xx

      2. No unfortunately 🙁 But maybe next time we visit the midwest for the holidays. It had been almost 2 full years since we’d seen each other last. So crazy.

        <3 <3

  16. Great pictures! All the food looked so good. I can’t wait to do something like this with my sister. I’ve never had oysters but I want to try them and I did watch Full House when I was little.

    1. Thank you, Cadie!!! I hope you get the chance soon- oysters had to grow on me, but I love them now!

  17. FIRST I just died at your disclaimer….Legit died!
    Also I still hold you accountable because NOW I am hungry! :p But also this post gave me ALL the feels! I LOVE having a friend like that! (Sarah is definitely my Kels!) 
Also girl you are looking stunning! Seriously your hair and make-up and just general glow is on point!
    Also taking notes for when I go back to SF (which I have to do!)
    And also YOU should take photos for food and wine! Your pictures are stunning girl!
    Bwahaha oh snap! throwing shade at Starbucks! :p
    Ahhh I am getting SO nostalgic!
    Bwahahaha Girl I need to take a leaf out of your tree and do that instead of going, guys, guys, guys!
    And I LOVED the drama! 
And I NEED to go there! Bloody marys with oysters? YES please!
    Oh my word Ghirdidelli! YASSS please!
    I LOVE that art installation! I guess I need to go back now to see it!:)
    Yay for free food! Oh my gosh that sushi looks divine! The best? That is saying a lot coming from yoU! MUST. Go. There! Also you and Els really are Sarah and I, because we are ALL about the food! I am so proud of the foodie you are! And now I am going to down a pint of ice cream! <3

    1. Ahhhh hey, girl!!! I stopped commenting on your posts because they are all going to spam. Are they out now?! Anyways!

      So glad you enjoyed the disclaimer 😉 tehe. Awww! I love Sarah! Tell her I say hello next time y’all are together!

      Thank you for the loveeee!
      Hahah- I am stealing that one- “I’m taking a leaf out of your tree”. That’s amazing!

      I can’t believe I never noticed the hanging books till this last time we were there?! Seems pretty hard to miss haha.

      I am not kidding. it was easily the BEST. I would say it’s a must for anyone visiting SJ that likes sushi!! Haha- we definitely do our trips super similarly- workout in the morning and eat the whoooole rest of the day (with a tiny bit of sight seeing squeezed in between the food 😉 ). Hope you enjoyed that ice cream, Chica!

  18. How cool for your college friend to visit California! You are an awesome friend to show Kelsey around. You two look so cute in the pics! DJ will have fun visiting all the places you went when he gets some time off. The painted ladies are very pretty!! I do like the sweater dress you are wearing , it shows of your incredible figure! I didnt get to see full house growing up , but have seen some episodes since moving here. Oysters are a no for Me , I am so sorry Mackenzie! Thanks for part 1 , hugs, Terri xo.

    1. It was certainly special times! I am so thankful for her. I can’t wait to take DJ back to some of these fun spots- especially the sushi place! Thank you so much… I can’t tell you how much it brings a smile when you say I am wearing something nice. I look up to you as a fashionista 🙂 Tehe- it took me a looooooong time to come around to oysters so I totally understand!!! XO

  19. Omg so much food!! LOL This would be me if I had that much money to spare lmao
    And I love the places you took her to, I’d love to see the sea lions in person too and I think Ciel would love that too 😀
    I love how you guys were just like go, go, go! Those kinds of spontaneous, not-planned days turn out to be the best 🙂
    I’m still catching up on your blog, getting there LOL

    1. hahah girl, the food never ends. There was one point that I thought I was food-ed out, but that ended quickly lol. And let me tell you- we are penny pinching groceries right now after my little stint 😉

      Ahhh Ciel would LOVE pier 39 sea lions. They are so fun to watch- they are just such goofy creatures and push one another off the docks and make the funniest noises

      You are SOOO sweet to even try to catch up. I so do not expect you to, only if you really want, I know how busy you are haha, but I am loooving your comments!

      1. lol we’re the same as you guys. We splurged a bit too much over the weekend so we are seriously budgeting.
        I hope I get to go soon!!!!!
        And no worries, I really like your blog 💜

  20. Thank you for liking my post on what ifs. Love the pictures and the fact that you and your friend could get together. That’s always a beautiful thing. My friend and I go to Baltimore every year to see a Yankees and Orioles baseball game .

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