After weeks of waiting for our next trip, we finally got out of the Bay and got a little taste of Southern California! This vacation was mainly for EJs birthday, but not just any birthday, his 30th Birthday! Yay for him =)
Honestly, this was a very last minute birthday trip he wanted and his criteria were 1) we would NOT spend too much on sights… aka Disneyland, 2) that we would not be held down to an itinerary (*ahem* me and my OCD planning), and 3) that we get to hang out with family and friends.
The first part of our trip was in San Diego. EJs cousin, Rhea, lives there and she was nice enough to let us stay at her humble abode. We hung around the house a lot, but no vacation would be complete to us without a Food Trip!
On the way to SD, I Googled the “best fish tacos in San Diego” and an article from the Huffington Post said this place had one of the best in the area we were in. I’m not a fish taco snob. I’ll gladly eat at Rubio’s on a Tuesday, but I don’t think these were “the perfect fish taco.” For the price of $1.49 each, I shouldn’t have expected much. I’ll admit it was good, but the experience wasn’t anything more than what I would feel eating one from Rubio’s.
The Broken Yolk
We ate breakfast here our first morning in SD. I found it on Yelp. It had a lot of reviews, and EJs request was “somewhere with omelets.” So off we went!
He got an omelet of course. We forget what it was called, but I got breakfast tacos. He liked his meal, I wasn’t too impressed with mine. What I SHOULD have ordered was the Tiki Toast. I saw it on the menu, but I wasn’t feeling a sweet entree at the time, so I got something I wouldn’t normally get. I should really stop doing that…
After SeaWorld, birthday boy wanted something sweet, but stumbled upon this little gem on Yelp. If you don’t know EJ, he lived on Guam for a couple years with his family, so he’s no stranger to Chamorro food. He’s actually been looking for a good place around the Bay for a while, but nothing is ever available when he’s craving it.
We both got the chicken kelaguen plates. Comes with chicken keleguen, two scoops red rice, and one scoop mac salad. At first I was thrown off because the chicken was cold, but EJ said that’s normal. You can also drizzle it with finadene (soy sauce mixed with onions, peppers, and maybe garlic. Not quite sure, but it was good!). I love finadene! My roommate used to make it a lot! It gave the chicken a salty kick! I would definitely come back here!
Oh, and can’t forget the Assam Black Tea! Also introduced to me by my roommates! EJ likes King Carr better, but I always choose Assam. (Click picture of menu to enlarge!)
After that delicious island food, I wanted something sweet and I found this place on Yelp. I’ve been trying to find a cool popsicle place here in California that was somewhat equivalent to People’s Pops in New York City. This place was it! And for only $3-3.50 each! I only wish that it were closer to the Bay.
EJ initially got Mango Orange Pineapple with agave and I initially got Mango Rose Tea with organic sugar. Both had no dairy. We thought they were a little too icy, if you get what I mean. The flavor combinations tasted amazing, no doubt, I just think there was too much crunch from the ice.
So we went back and got ones with dairy. He picked Chocolate Banana and I got Strawberry Balsamic with goat cheese. DEFINITELY BETTER! I thought mine was extremely tasty! I tasted the goat cheese, but it blended well with the strawberry and the hint of balsamic! Three ingredients which I really love. EJ said his tasted as is. He liked it, but I don’t think it was anything out of the ordinary.
This cool, hipster-like restaurant is located on the second floor of a building in Little Italy. We didn’t really know where to eat in that area, but the red glow of it vertical sign caught our eye from afar and we were just drawn in. I loved the decor and there were lots of things I wanted to take pictures of, but was a didn’t want to send off the “total tourist” vibe to all the patrons.
Specials of the day were mushroom soup and a flatbread pizza. Rhea and Iris ordered that. I got a taste and it was pretty good. Never thought of mushroom in a soup form, but I liked it! I ordered the Pasta Alla Norma and it seemed so fancy on the menu, but when I got it, it was basically a slightly spicy spaghetti made with penne pasta. Boo. EJ got a burger with a fried egg. Anytime he sees that on a menu, he’ll order it. It reminded me of Stella’s in Omaha. We would eat there often because he always wanted the fried egg option.
This place isn’t cheap either. I don’t remember how much the other plates were, but mine was priced at $19.95. I don’t think my food was worth that much, maybe only half. Not sure if I would return. Maybe if their Special of the Day sounded appetizing.
This is an SD MUST DO. Anyone going to SD is told to come here. Their desserts are exactly that, EXTRAORDINARY. It’s dim-lit place that’s perfect for any occasion. EJ and I actually took our engagement pictures here a couple years ago!
(photos by Richwell Correa Photography)
On this trip, we came here mainly for dessert, but they offer entrees, coffees, and teas as well. We actually came here… wait for it… TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW!
For the first night, EJ and I shared a Coconut Macadamia Nut Cheesecake. MY NEW FAVORITE! Every time I come here, I will be lusting for this dessert. It reminded me of Hawaii and I love mac nuts. It’s not too sweet and the cheesecake mixed well with the whip cream. 5 stars! Rhea got the Napoleon. We sat at the bar, and our waitress was super cool. We told her it was EJs birthday and she brought him out two scoops of ice cream with a candle! The guy sitting next to EJ entertained us with a great Birthday Song before he blew out his candle! HAHA
Second time, I got the Passionfruit Ricotta Torte. I love passionfruit and that reminded me of Hawaii as well. It has a tangy kick with pieces of fruit in between the cake layers. I still liked my cheesecake from the night before more. EJ ordered from the specials menu, a Strawberry Tart with Strawberry Sorbet. His was good, but didn’t seem interesting enough for me. Sorry for the dark pictures, we were in a darker corner of the floor and couldn’t get better shots!
TIP: My friend told me that the desserts are rotated without notice, so your favorite might not be there when you go, so always have a backup! Which for me was the Passionfruit Ricotta Torte. There’s a display case in the front of the restaurant and they bring out whatever is created in the back. I’m assume randomly, but I may be wrong. Items in the display case are the only ones available to order.
Also, there’s a separate line for “To Go” orders and a line to get a number to sit-down inside the restaurant.
Had breakfast here after hiking Torrey Pines. Surprisingly, there was no line and we were seated upon walking in. Our friends said walk-ins are very rare at both locations, both usually with long lines. We ate at the La Jolla location.
Breakfast was amazing! I ordered the Spinach Crepes with hollandaise sauce on the side. They tasted good. EJ and our friend, Ate Ann, got the corn beef hash. Rhea ordered the German Pancakes and they were monstrous! The waitress showed us how to properly prepare them for eating! The Apple Pancakes were split between the four of us and was a great size for breakfast dessert… for FOUR PEOPLE! It was huge, so beware!
On those cool SD nights, there’s nothing better to eat than good, ole RAMEN! This restaurant was small and wait times can be longer for larger parties. This place seemed up to ramen standard. Most of us ordered the Original Tonkotsu Ramen.
(If you’re ever in Gardena, hit up Hakata Ramen Shinsengumi. It’s by far my FAVORITE ramen joint EVER!)
On Sunday morning after church, we initially planned to go to Opera Cafe. After finding out that place is closed on Sundays, we averted our attention to this little place. What drew me in was the Yelp reviews that talked about poutine! In SD? Yes!
But when we got there the waitress said it was a monthly special. Boo. So I settled for a delicious Chimichurri Steak Sandwich. I thought it was was great! A little difficult to eat because the steak pieces kept falling out, and the oil from the sauce was dripping down my arm, I had to settle for eating with a fork and knife.
EJ got the a scramble with steak. That was good, but I liked mine better haha. Steak sandwich wasn’t really what I had in mind for breakfast that morning, but I’m glad I ordered it!
The area is discreet, within a plaza of businesses. We weren’t sure the directions were correct, but once we got to the back, we found it. I also wish it was a little warmer so we could eat outside, but inside was adequate also. I want to some back here for poutine though!
Before heading to Long Beach, we stopped by this little joint in Escondido. We were looking for something on the way north and not too far off from the freeway. Greek was the meal of choice! This establishment is also next to a gas station in case someone needs to gas too.
Inside is not fancy at all. The definition of a “hole in the wall,” but the food was good. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a “bad” Greek restaurant. They usually have a standard. This food was up to par. We both got Gyro sandwiches, like a taco. There was a lot more meat then vegetables. We got more than what we paid for. I think I only finished half of my food. It was a lot! I would some back here if we were in the area, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.
Thank you San Diego for allowing us to be gluttonous and have another satisfied vacation!