Great Breakfast in La Jolla: The Cottage: San Diego


For all of you serious breakfast eaters, looking for great breakfast spots is critical. My boyfriend and I judge breakfast joints by their bacon. I also judge a breakfast joint by their pancakes and fresh fruit. The Cottage in La Jolla is one of the best breakfast spots in San Diego!

The Cottage in La Jolla

AMBIENCE:

By far, you cannot go wrong with this place. I honestly don’t think I have ever heard a single complaint about this place, except for the wait. I have been living in La Jolla for almost 8 years and this is my “GO TO” spot. It’s a cute cottage that has a Cape Code feel about it. There is outdoor patio seating and I would say that it seats about 40-60 customers if completely filled. There are booths,   2 tops and several 4 tops that can be combined for parties of 5 or more. When the weather is gorgeous outside like it has been this whole summer, it is bumping with business. Their portions are good sized and the ingredients are fresh. They usually have complimentary coffee, and some coffee cake for people who are eagerly waiting for a seat. There are a few benches in front of the restaurant to sit down and wait. If you are going to have breakfast here, after 9:00 A.M. you are most certainly going to wait and if the weather is great, you could wait for 30 minutes or more. If you are an early bird, come here at 7:30 A.M. when they open, you’ll get a table within seconds. Even by 8:00 A.M. you should have a prime seat. They have indoor seating if the weather is cold, rainy or if you just prefer to be indoors.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

I highly recommend their fruit bowl. It runs about $8.95 and is filled with luscious strawberries, fresh bananas, tangy blueberries, sweet pineapple, firm grapes and delicious creme fraiche. I swear I could drink the creme fraiche by itself it is so fantastic! The fruit bowl can be easily shared with 3 people. When my mom and I ordered the fruit bowl the other day, we asked for a to go box and took it to the beach with us for later.

Source: roadfood.com (This pic of the fruit bowl is missing the creme fraiche in the middle. Served in a ramikin)

Their iced tea is super refreshing. It’s more of a tropical iced tea if you are the traditionalist. Before I leave, I ask for an iced tea to go. They garnish them with oranges.

Source: http://www.dchowphotography.com (Refreshing Iced Tea at the Cottage)

Their french toast is a major talked about item on the menu. I have ordered it only a couple times because the portion is SO BIG! You can order a 1/2 portion, just ask your server. It’s a stuffed french toast and could literally feed an army! This is a perfect breakfast item to split with a hungry friend or loved one! Look at those luscious strawberries and fresh bananas!

Source: foodspotting.com

Of course, there is always my top recommendation, the fried egg sandwich! It was recommended to me by one of veteran servers at the Cottage. I was always in the habit of ordering the same thing. She broke me out of my mold and got me to order something different. Boy, was I glad I did! This fried egg sandwich has fresh arugula nestled within the sandwich and has thinly sliced red onion that gives it a zest in each bite. The Fried egg is either cooked over easy or over medium and oozes yellow yolk with each bite. Sounds kind of funny, but is SOOOOO GOOOOD! Also featured on this sandwich is lemon aioli, gruyere cheese and apple smoked bacon! The grilled sourdough crunch along with the running egg yolk is a taste of heaven.

    Source: www.yelp.com

Their benedicts and their omelettes are always a favorite with locals and tourists. I have tried their California benedict. When I’m not that hungry, I can order just one benedict and a side of something. It’s a perfect healthy breakfast for someone watching their calories. It never hurts to just ask the servers, who are SUPER NICE!

Source: livelaughnom.com  (Tuscan Omelette filled with brie, chicken, mushrooms & tomatoes)

If you are the Continental Breakfast type of eater, you can go for something like their pumpkin nut muffin, their delicious sugary crusted top scones, their king kong bran muffin or their delicious steel cut oatmeal with a topping of fruit.

Source: www.yelp.com (Steel cut oatmeal topped with walnuts & bananas)

Indulge, unwind and enjoy the beautiful setting of the Cottage while sipping on a crisp and tangy Mimosa! It will make your breakfast even more special.

Source: http://www.facebook.com

Other pics to get you on that bicycle or car so that get to the Cottage sooner than ME! Have a great breakfast!

Source: 10best.com

Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/ (Benedict)

Source: lajollabluebook.com

Of course, after having breakfast, you have to make your way to the cove and check out the beautiful gem like colors of the ocean! Have a great time at the Cottage and in La Jolla!

Eclectic North Park: San Diego


My friend and I decided to go to North Park this morning for breakfast. If you are up for a little adventure and reconnaissance, give North Park a try. It feels like a mix of Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego all blended together.

Source: sandiegobuyersmarket.com

Mission #1: Get Breakfast

The Mission restaurant in North Park

Source: http://www.newtosandiego.com

Source: http://sandiegan.com/ (Famous French Toast)

Source: http://sandiegan.com/ (Breakfast Sandwich w/fruit)

Breakfast at the Mission is a must. There are 3 locations. Some of you may have been to “old school” Mission in Mission Beach. I’ve had my share of coffee cups and pastries back in my Bohemian days. The Mission in North Park feels like a restaurant in San Francisco. The restaurant easily holds about 110 people at capacity. The walls are a terra-cotta orange and there is a colorful chalk board above the kitchen area. If you browse around, you will see artwork from various artists displayed. Get there early, otherwise plan to wait a bit. There are many types of pancakes to fit your fancy ranging from naked pancakes to granola banana pancakes and strawberry banana pancakes. Their french toast looked amazing from what I saw. I swear I saw some swirls of cinnamon from a distance. If you are going for healthy, they have a bowl of fruit with granola that you can add low fat yogurt to. If you are feeling adventurous, give their Latino breakfasts a try, I did. I had the breakfast quesadilla and it hit the spot! There were 4 slices of breakfast quesadilla with cheese, scallions, bacon and salsa. You can add eggs if you want for additional. I almost tried the papas locos, but I will save that for next time.

TIP: Parking can also get crazy. I would arrive around 7-8:00 A.M. so that you don’t get stressed out. Park residential and make sure you look for signs. Some parts of the residential streets mention a 2 hour parking limit, other residential areas do not.  Mission #2: Shop PIGMENT: I love cute finds and this was definitely one of them! Tucked away between a couple buildings was a super cute boutique shop called Pigment.  I was attracted to this store immediately for the mini cactus plants they had hanging in the window in glass bowls.

Source: http://sunshineanddesign.files.wordpress.com

They open at 11:00 A.M. and I waited for 10 minutes to go into this store. There were a lot of succulents and other fun knick-knacks to look at. There are cute greeting cards, home decor books, jewelry and accessories, pillows and various pieces of furniture. Everyone in the store at the same time was “oohing and awwing”. One of the greatest features about this store was their colored sand station. There was a guy at the time that came in specifically asking for some colored sand to create a beautiful colored glass bowl. They have a large selection of sand.

Source: http://media.sdreader.com/

There was a small Chinese store somewhere in the middle of other shops that we passed by that carried all kinds of Chinese statues, bamboo plants, Chinese hats etc. Perhaps if you are making a garden and need some Buddha statues or some Asian decor, this place is worth dropping by. I can tell you that the prices will be a heck of a lot cheaper here than going to Restoration Hardware, Cedros District, Pottery Barn or some fancy design shop. I picked up a cactus plant here in a really nice jade colored pot for $10.00.

Source: apartmenttherapy.com

As we walked around the block through residential, we also spotted a Army Surplus store. They sold army boots, camping supplies, uniforms, camouflage jackets and pants, patches etc. I asked the guy working there how long they have been open. 51 YEARS!

Image_uncle-sams-army-navy-deals_grid_6

Mimi & Red is a small and cute boutique shop worth taking a look at for women’s apparel and accessories.

Source: blog.discoversd.com

Mission #4 Coffee Break

Claire De Lune: Coffee Lounge. They have a full coffee bar and pastries to enjoy. They also serve a small menu for breakfast and lunch and a light dinner. I have heard from my boyfriend that they do not have internet access. So this is a place to listen to music, work on papers, type on your laptop, chat with friends or read a book.

Source: newtosandiego.com

Ironically, Starbucks is right across the street to Claire De Lune Coffee Lounge. Please try and support your local coffee shops, but if you can’t budge from Starbucks, it is there with its corporate same old same old.

Desserts:

There is a great little dessert shop on the corner in North Park called Heaven Sent Desserts. This cute little patisserie is famous for making wedding cakes and beautiful desserts to indulge in. Sit down grab a cup of coffee and a dessert with a friend, loved one or family. I didn’t get the chance to taste one of these beauties, but I will be back.

Source: food.theplainjane.com

Source: heavensentdesserts.com

Mission #5: Dinner: 

Wangs:

If you are into ambience, go check out Wangs. The design concept is fresh for San Diego, not like Tao restaurant or anything, but sleek and modern Chinese. This restaurant would be a great date spot!

Source: quest4thebest.org

Casa De Luz:

Casa De Luz was an unexpected find. It has only been open for 5 months. The space is large, clean and has a very environmental and communal feel about it. The restaurant does have communal tables to encourage talking with others. A great place to meet new people. Their philosophy is to eat well and to live well. Everything here is organic and from farm to table. The menus change daily according to their ingredients for the day. I am definitely coming back here! You can come here for coffee and tea as well, so it functions like a cafe as well. I noticed that they make smoothies as well. The girl explained the restaurant for us and told us to go and look upstairs. They have yoga in the morning and they also had a community board that said they have cooking classes as well. It is truly a beautiful space. The table woodwork is amazing! It is a Vegan restaurant, so no meat here.

Source: gogobot.comSource: sandiegohealthnut.com

Source: blog.discoversd.com

Urban Solace & The Linkery are also staples to North Park. I’ve heard about brunch at Urban Solace. It seems to be the buzz. I heard that the Linkery is just a great all around hangout.

Source: rodzillareviews.com (Urban Solace)

Source: seriouseats.com (Grilled Cheese at Urban Solace)

The Linkery:

Source: http://theassembled.com (The Linkery)

Source: http://aht.seriouseats.com/ (The Linkery)

I have to mention Lefty’s Pizza (Deep Dish Chicago Style) and the Smoking Goat. If you are in the mood for really greasy, heavy feeling, artery clogging pizza, go check out Lefty’s. It is delicious! Smoking Goat is on the pricey side, but they cook with the finest ingredients and have a simple menu of about 5 main entrees, so don’t go there expecting a 3 page menu.

I enjoyed walking through North Park and finding all these beautiful stores and restaurants with my friend. Go out in North Park and adventure! I’m sure there is a lot more that I am leaving out, but that is for you to discover!

Parking in Old Town for Jury Duty in San Diego


You walk to your mailbox and BEHOLD…..da da da da……JURY DUTY. It’s that Jury Summons that everyone gets once a year. You won’t see people jumping up and down. You’ll hear rantings and large sighs and the infamous “CRAP!” But its something that we gotta do and here are a couple pieces of good advice to make jury duty more bearable (mostly about parking in San Diego)

If you live north of Old Town, this is for you:

Jury Duty reporting usually is pretty standard and it starts at 7:45 A.M. Factor in possible traffic so I gave myself an hour to play with. You are better off trying to find free parking, unless you like paying $15 or more at the standard parking lots like ACE or AMCO. It can get pricey. I parked at AMCO on the first day downtown located across the Westin and paid $15 for the early bird special. That’s a lunch folks! That would be a 1/2 sandwich, tropical iced tea, a little dollop of potato salad and a cup of soup a the Cottage in La Jolla!

PARK FREE: So by 7:15 A.M. I arrived at the Old Town Trolley Center. If there is something big going on in San Diego, you can bet that the spaces will be filled. But on a Friday at 7:15 A.M. I can honestly say that there were about 100 spaces open. The early commuters had already come for their spots. I wasn’t sure what parking would be like, so I arrived a LOT EARLIER. Make sure you lock up your car and don’t leave anything valuable in the car or leave anything that looks enticing. I’ve heard people getting their cars broken into around Old Town. From Old Town to American Plaza, it takes about 11 minutes. The Time Table for the Trolley to San Ysidro (Blue Line) has all the times for the week. The Blue Line to San Ysidro is the trolley to take and it appeared to run about every 15 minutes.

When you check in for Jury Duty on your first day, make sure you listen for the moment where they pass out the free MTS bus/trolley card, also known as a Compass Card. The Compass Card that gets handed to you in the Jury Waiting Lounge will be titled “Juror”. I used this Compass Card today. You must look for the small “Tap & Ride” stands located close to the pay machine for the Trolley. You literally place the Compass Card on the Compass Circle and on the left, it will tell you “activated”. Make sure it says “activated”, otherwise if you ride on the trolley and they audit, you might have a hefty fine. Was super easy to use & convenient.

Source: www.sdmts.com/

Picture of American Plaza 

Source: http://www.jurewitz.com

Make sure you get off at American Plaza. Walk on Broadway towards the Hall of Justice. About a 7-8 minute walk. Flash your Juror Badge and “You’re in!” Hope this saves a few people some $. Have fun at Jury Duty!

The information is below.

Station
Lines
Location
Parking
Old Town Transit Center  Blue
 Green
 Special Event
4009 Taylor St. 412 free spaces + 350 overflow spaces (additional parking at CalTrans at 4050 Taylor St.)

Izakaya Sakura in San Diego (Authentic Japanese Food)


Where do you go for authentic Japanese food? Izakaya Sakura in Convoy, San Diego! If you are looking for a sign outside for the restaurant, forget it, they don’t even have a sign on the awning. It’s a word of mouth place. It’s literally located in between the Military Recruiting Center and a Hookah Lounge (I think its called Mirage). It’s located in the parking lot of where the Original Pancake House is. WATCH OUT! Parking can be pretty terrible. They open for lunch at 11:30 A.M. If you are going for a quick lunch break, good luck. Timing is always important for going into this complex.

So what makes this place authentic? The servers are Japanese and the sushi chef is Japanese. It’s getting harder and harder to find Japanese sushi chefs. The food that comes out of here tastes just like something my Japanese Grandma or aunt would make. They have bento boxes, unagi (eel), sushi, real miso soup, tsukemono (pickled cabbage appetizer dish), curry rice etc….All the big hitter Japanese traditional dishes are here.

You’ll be greeted as you come in the door with an “irashaimase” which is another word for “welcome”.

Some tips that you will need to know before you go!

  1. If you are going solo, bring CASH. They need a minimum of $10.00 for a card. So if you are going with others, an ATM or Credit Card is not a problem.
  2. They DO NOT OFFER FREE REFILLS (Their iced green tea is not refillable, so drink sparingly)
  3. The place is not designed for ambience, it is designed to eat “good” Japanese food. There are a couple “tanuki” (raccoon dog) statues. Can’t remember if there is a maneki nekko (good luck fortune cat)
  4. Not 100% fast service (good food takes time) Not always consistent w/delivery of everyone’s dishes at the same time. Again, I don’t mind because I go there knowing this.
  5. Approved by my Japanese mom
  6. Go during lunch, because they have an extended menu. The lunch items DO NOT SHOW UP in the evening. The Evening is where the restaurant turns into a Japanese Pub (Izakaya) It’s all appetizer plates and sushi and the price goes WAY UP!
  7. Be ready for parking to be a possible problem
Source: taste.insominid.com
You can get great quality Japanese food at good prices. If you like to explore and try new things then go for their daily bento box. It will consist of some kind of protein, rice, side pickled dishes, possibly tempura. In the case of the bento below, you see things like an egg roll, umeboshi (pickled plum), a 1/2 of a boiled egg (yude tamago), a folded up egg that has a little seasoning of sugar (tamago yaki), Japanese meatloaf, konyaku (Japanese health food that has traces of potato), a croquette (a fried potato cake), some spaghetti noodles, etc…You can tell that it is very balanced and gives you a lot of different nutritional value.
I started going here several years ago because a Japanese teacher friend of mine showed me this place. When I ate this dish, I fell in love. Buta Shoga (Ginger Pork) has a special flavor that you don’t taste when eating a traditional pork chop. The pork that they use is sliced paper thin so it is super tender and juicy with ginger. If you do not like pungent tastes, and especially ginger, then try something different. All the fresh green scallions, bits of dancing ginger and savory pork make the flavors burst in your mouth. The salad accompanied to the side has a special yellow carrot/onion salad dressing that is super flavorful. The rice salad that has vinegar in it along with some spicy pepper is so delicious!
Their iced green tea is pretty popular here. I’m guessing that they use a top of the line green tea because there are no free refills. The tea pictured below is a very famous and top of the line green tea in Japan. My mom informed me about this one. Iyemon is what you ask for if you cannot read Japanese characters.
 
Coming into this restaurant, I know that it is a “mom and pop” shop so I am supporting a local. Also, I know that I will get a traditional Japanese balanced meal. I know that I can practice some Japanese. Also, I will see the majority of customers be Japanese which is a big statement in itself. I’ve been told that some of the Japanese baseball players come here for a bite to eat when in town. We’ve even brought some of our Japanese friends from Japan here when they need a taste of home. It’s definitely a a place that gives you a glimpse into the heart of Japanese cooking.
Here is their menu with prices. I have put a ♥ next to what you should try if you are still new to Japanese Food:
< Fish Combo> 
  • Broiled Salmon 9.00 ♥
  • Teriyaki Fish 8.50
  • Grilled Mackerel 8.00
  • Mackerel w/ Miso 8.00
  • Grilled Saury 8.00
  • Fried Fish w/ Mushroom Sauce 9.00
  • Cooked Yellowtail w/ Daikon Radish 8.50
  • Deep Fried Shrimp 9.00
  • Deep Fried Oyster  8.50

< Beef & Pork Combo>

  • Japanese Meatloaf w/ Ponzu Sauce 9.00 ♥
  • Japanese Meatloaf w/ Tomato Sauce(w/Egg) 9.00
  • Deep Fried Pork 9.00
  • Deep Fried Meatloaf 8.50
  • Ginger Pork 8.50 ♥
Chicken Combos
  • Karaage 8.50 ♥
  • Teriyaki Chicken 8.50
  • Chicken Saute w/ Garlic Sauce 8.50
  • Veg. Saute w/ Chicken Liver 8.50
  • Steamed Chicken w/ Onions & Jalapeno 8.50
  • Chicken Katsu 8.50 ♥
 < Donburi (Bowl) > 
  • Chicken Katsu Don (Chicken Cutlet Egg Bowl)  ♥ 9.00
  • Katsu Don (Pork Cutlet Egg Bowl) 9.00 ♥
  • Sukiyaki Don w/ Egg 9.00
  • Tempura Don (Shrimp, Vegetables & Egg) 9.50
  • BBQ Eel Don 9.50 ♥
  Omelet & Rice Combo
  • Omelet & Chicken Ketchup Rice 9.00
  • Omelet & Rice w/ Hashed Beef Sauce 9.00
  • Omelet & Rice w/ Curry Sauce 10.00
 Noodles
  • Hot/Cold Tempura Udon w/ a Rice Ball 8.50 ♥
  • Hot/Cold Tempura Soba w/ a Rice Ball 8.50 ♥
  • Nabeyaki Udon 9.00
  • Curry Udon 8.50
  • Chanpon 10.00
  • Sara Udon 10.00
  • Spaghetti w/ Sea Urchin 12.00
  • Spaghetti w/ Salmon & Scallop 13.00
  • Spaghetti w/ Clam & Mussel 13.00
  • Yakisoba 7.00 ♥
  • Cold Chinese Noodle (only summer) 8.50 ♥
  • Sakuramen 8.50
 Ground Beef Curry Combo
  • Curry & Rice 8.50 ♥
  • Curry & Rice w/ Eggplant 9.00
  • Curry & Rice w/ Deep Fried Chicken 9.50 ♥
  • Curry & Rice w/ Deep Fried Pork 9.50 ♥
  • Curry & Rice w/ Deep Fried Shrimp 10.00
 Sides:
  • Mix Tempura 9.00 ♥
  • Kimuchi Hot Pot 8.50
  • Veg Saute w/ Pork 8.50
  • Subula (Veg Saute & Pork Ball w/ Sweet Sour Sauce) 8.50
  • SUSHI
  • Tuna Don  12.50
  • Tuna, Natto & Green Onion Don 12.50
  • Spicy Tuna Don 12.50
  • Sea Urchin Don 18.00
  • Chirashi Don 20.00 ♥
  • Mix Sushi 20.00 ♥
  • California Roll 6.00
  • Spicy Tuna Roll 8.00
  • Shrimp Tempura Roll 10.00
  • Caterpillar Roll 10.00
  • Alaska Roll 12.00
  • Seared Albacore 8.00
  • Spicy Fish Salad 8.50Chirashi Bowl
  • Source: Alice Q. Foodie
 < Side Dishes> 
  • Karaage 3.50
  • Stuffed Cabbage 4.00
  • Gratine Croquette (2pc) 4.50 ♥
  • Grilled Mackerel 3.50
  • Cooked Mackerel w/ Miso 3.50
  • Fried Spanish Mackerel 3.50
  • Gyoza (5pc)  6.00 ♥
  • Potato Salad 3.50 ♥
  • Fried Tofu  3.50
  • Cold Tofu 2.50 ♥
  • Natto (Fermented Beans) 2.50
  • Mekabu(Seaweed) & Natto w/ Yam 6.00
  • Tonjiru (Pork& Veg. in Miso Soup) 6.00

Works Cited:

“Alice Q. Foodie: A Sunday on Convoy with Candice, Kirk and Friends – Nijiya, Izakaya Sakura and Sage French Cake.” Alice Q. Foodie. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://aliceqfoodie.blogspot.com/2008/03/sunday-on-convoy-nijiya-izakaya-sakura.html&gt;.

Foodie, Alice Q. “My Chirashi Platter at Izakaya Sakura.” Flickr. Yahoo!, 02 Mar. 2008. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/42323675@N00/2306319079/&gt;.

Izakaya Sakura. Digital image. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://www.google.com/imgres?q=izakaya+sakura&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1280&bih=639&tbm=isch&tbnid=Tt0rMkJ3c09V1M:&imgrefurl=http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2006/05/5_days_of_feast.html&docid=16-Do8sQ55J5jM&imgurl=http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/images/sakura01_1.jpg&w=350&h=262&ei=82qUT6qtH6vYiQKrke3WDw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=345&sig=114642171631475443088&page=1&tbnh=134&tbnw=193&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:69&tx=103&ty=41&gt;.

“Iyemon Cha.” Suntory. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://www.suntory.com/iyemon_cha/index.html&gt;.

Iyemon Green Tea. Digital image. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51b6-O%2B4Z7L._SL500_AA300_.jpg&gt;.

“Izakaya Sakura Menu – San Diego, CA 92184.” Izakaya Sakura Menu. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://izakayasakura.menutoeat.com/index.cfm&gt;.

Izakaya Sakura. Digital image. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://s3-media2.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/vda9FnOAELUIeESN1crK3g/l.jpg&gt;.

Izakaya Sakura Parking Lot. Digital image. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://media.photobucket.com/image/izakaya%20sakura%20parking/marleism/IMG_8780.jpg&gt;.

Smoking Goat in North Park, San Diego


Looking for a restaurant in San Diego that has character and GOOD FOOD! Wander in the path of the “Smoking Goat”. Nestled in North Park between a happening bar and the Mosaic Wine Bar, is the charming “Smoking Goat” The place is small and recommendations are definitely worth doing, especially on Thursday through Sunday evenings. Limited seating and people enjoying their food, means longer conversations over the fantastic food.

My boyfriend gets the credit for discovering this place. He wanted something different and “tasty”. He somehow found out that this place has a San Francisco-ish feel and boy was he right. The place opened up in 2010. We discovered it in 2011 and will continue to go there because of the quality of the food. Apparently they won an award from San Diego Home & Garden called the Silver Fork Award.  Talking to our server the other night, he mentioned that the chef was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in France, so he has a lot of experience with European food.

Photography Source: Nautical Stripes

Source: San Diego Reader

Source: Smoking Goat

They are a young bunch. Based on our experiences there, the guys have been super nice, super accommodating and very proud of what they serve. They are super knowledgable about the dishes and give great recommendations.

What We Have Eaten:

The Suzy’s Beet Salad is super healthy and comes out in a great presentation. It is stacked up arugula with luscious dark red beets, sprinklings of goat cheese, toasted walnuts and a champagne vinaigrette. I was so inspired by the taste that my boyfriend and I tried to re-create it the next evening for dinner. Of course it didn’t taste as luxurious as it did at the Smoking Goat, but it inspired us. I think the cost was around $11.00 for the salad. My boyfriend and I split this as an appetizer.  Looks something like this:

Source: Whole Food Markets

Apparently the Smoking Goat is famous for their Duck Fat Fries that have truffle oil on them. I’m not a fan of fries that have a lot of ingredients on them, especially garlic fries. However, I can say that they made these fries “heavenly” Of course you feel like you are sinning when you eat them because they do have truffle oil on them, but they don’t taste incredibly greasy like other fries that I have had. When I first heard “duck fat”, because I felt like I was going to overindulge. I felt like I had to go to confession (J/K) Totally worth splitting as an appetizer. If you do get the burger, don’t order the fries because they accompany the burger. Oh…and by the way the fries come with a mayo, dijon mustard aioli type sauce.

Source: Smoking Goat

“Keep Calm and Carry On”…..as the British say. Next, my boyfriend ordered the Cast Iron Duck Breast with mash, red cabbage and huckleberry sauce. “I’m your huckleberry” – Doc Holliday. Our server gloated and gleamed about his choice. When the duck went into the cast iron pan, he showed us the duck sizzling in the pan. We were sitting at the bar that allowed us to watch the cooks. It made us both more excited for our dinner. Mind you, the food was so fantastic that I didn’t want to ruin my dinner by taking pictures. This is the closest that I can represent it. The flavors all melted together in a “nirvana” type experience. The huckleberry was sweet and tart and perfectly complimented the duck. The huckleberry sauce swirled with delight into the mash and was a creamy decadent creation.

Source: Crave dfw

I ordered the Burger on Brioche. I ordered it medium and it was accompanied with duck fat fries. The burger was juicy and super filling.

I did go ahead and order some dessert, volcano chocolate flourless cake to be exact. It was super “gooey” and “chocolaty”, maybe a little more chocolatey than expected. It was topped with melting vanilla ice cream. I overindulged more than I could have, but couldn’t help it. Next time I go, I will take pics of the food and post them up.

I know that their pork chop is famous for its size. You may want to split that with someone else. Our bill ended up being around $89 with tip included (an ice tea, a full size Pellegrino Bulgari Water, duck fat fries, beet salad, burger on brioche, cast iron duck and a volcano flourless cake) We were absolutely stuffed. If we go again, we’ll probably keep it more simple which would put our bill at about 50$ or so. Worth it, YES! Great date spot, special occasion and you support a local shop rather than a huge commercial restaurant.

THEY ARE EXPANDING. They will be serving up to 90 people, so probably less of a wait. Will the service be as good, we’ll find out! STAY TUNED!

Critic Reviews on the Smoking Goat

  1. San Diego Union Tribune
  2. Uptown Food & Wine
  3. San Diego Magazine
  4. San Diego Reader Magazine (Expansion of the Restaurant)
  5. Design Sponge (Before & After)
  6. North Park Scene

Works Cited:

“A Visit With Farrari-Carano Winery at Marquee Grill.” Cravedfw. Web. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://cravedfw.com/2012/04/04/a-visit-with-farrari-carano-winery-at-marquee-grill/&gt;.

“Nautical Stripes.” Nautical Stripes. Web. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.nauticalstripes.com/&gt;.

“Roasted Beet Salad | WholeFoodsMarket.com.” WholeFoodsMarket.com. Web. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/657&gt;.

“San Diego Reader.” “The Smoking Goat Is Expanding Its Pasture” by Feast! Web. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/feast/2012/jan/31/the-smoking-goat-is-expanding-its-pasture/&gt;.

Smoking Goat Group. Digital image. Web. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://thesmokinggoatrestaurant.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/smoking-goat-group.jpg&gt;.

The Smoking Goat. Digital image. Nautical Stripes. Web. 21 Apr. 2012. <https://travelista1.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/smokinggoat_2044_hirez-1.jpg?w=300&gt;.

Climbing Torrey Pines in San Diego


Torrey Pines State Reserve in San Diego

This hiking trail is truly a GEM. The Romantic Poets would have loved to have escape and hike these beautiful trails. It’s a perfect place to REFLECT, PONDER in thought and to think about life. When I come here and hike, I take a deep breath and realize how majestic and thankful I am for living in San Diego. I get at least an hour or two to myself to walk and think. I then usually realize how hard I work and don’t get out. Others are climbing or trekking enthusiastically enjoying what nature holds. For me, I have to literally drag myself out, but when I do and when I climb the hill and see the view from above, it is BREATH TAKING!

I often overhear people talking and walking as if it was therapy. Can’t tell you how many conversations I have heard about “break ups” or “crazy relationships” or how “work is mundane” It just makes me realize that it is FREE NATURE THERAPY! Take a deep breath of fresh San Diego AIR and release…..OM……..OM…….Tranquility.

TIPS for TORREY PINES

If you are not from around here, if you go early in the morning, before 8:00, you can try to park on the free parking spaces on the Pacific Coast Highway. Otherwise, if you would like to help support California State Parks, it is a $10 fee that you can use all day until the park closes. http://www.torreypine.org/parks/basic-information.html#Fees

For Trail Map Information, click on the following link. http://www.torreypine.org/activities/hiking-trails.html

I have climbed at least 3 of them. One of the trails takes you to a cliff that overlooks all of Del Mar to La Jolla Beach. If you look carefully into the ocean, you can see dolphins swimming with the waves. On warmer days, you can watch the surfers flirt with waves. In the summertime, be careful for rattlesnakes.

If you enjoy touring Torrey Pines, drive a bit further towards UCSD and go check out the Gliderport where people have fun hang gliding! ENJOY SAN DIEGO!

PrepKitchen La Jolla


PREPKITCHEN, LA JOLLA

If you are touring around La Jolla, stop at PrepKitchen La Jolla for lunch or brunch. Pictured here is their lunch sandwich combo for $12.00. Fresh greens, home made chips, Tuscan Vegetable soup with a 1/2 sandwich (tuna melt roumelade) The sangria was on happy hour for $5 a glass. All local, fresh ingredients. PrepKitchen is a branch off of Whiskenladle. Prepare to spend a bit more, but the quality is top notch! http://prepkitchen.com/la-jolla