Jason and I went to Octane to discuss embedded computer vision. He tells me that it's rated one of the best coffee houses in the country. It certainly combines a very hip atmosphere and great coffee. The place has been crowded every time I've been there. The coffee has the usual touches like the artistic foam patterns. I've had the baked goods once or twice and they were fine. Parking could potentially be a problem but I've always managed to find a place.
Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.