Restaurants & Bars 3

A Weekend in San Diego

jaydee | Feb 28, 200512:18 PM

the gurlfrend and I decided to escape LA for the weekend and head to San Diego. we booked a room at the W downtown - and settled in for a weekend to relax. i polled the boards for any recommendations in the SD area with a special caveat to consider - we gave up all forms of meat/fish/chicken for lent (well she only gave up all but fish). i decided to report back on a few places we went to this weekend....

Old Venice -
For dinner on Friday we went to Old Venice in the Point Loma area. Cool place, lighting and white walls really gave off a cool vibe for the place. Pretty packed so we made our way to the bar for a few drinks. We were then seated with our friends and we ordered the Caprese Salad and a small mushroom and tomato pizza. Caprese salad was rather lifeless - the buffalo mozzarella seemingly frozen and the beefsteak tomatoes lacking in any flavor. I prefer Roma tomatoes in this dish. Pizza was saucy, and I really enjoyed the crust. Good place, decent prices.

Old Venice
2910 Canon St
San Diego, CA 92106
Phone: (619) 222-5888

Saturday -
We left early from the hotel and cruised over to Hash House a Go-Go, to the recommendation of many friends and the hotel concierge. We beat the crowds (it was BARELY 9AM) and were seated at the bar. Looking back on it, i really should have ordered a bloody mary - but i instead opted for some Earl Grey. The GF ordered the griddled french toast and i opted for a mushroom, artichoke heart, and sun dried tomato hash. griddled french toast was massive (we were warned) and was pretty sweet - pecan syrup a nice touch. gurlfrend was not impressed - and she really has the sweet tooth out of both of us. i could not get any more details out of her why she didn't like it, but she said it was a disappointment. my hash was good - albeit a tad too "busy". i think the sun dried tomatoes were a bit too much, and took away from the dish. i really enjoyed looking at the sage fried chicken my bar neighbor ordered - perhaps the meat dishes are better here?

Hash House a Go Go
3628 5th Ave. San Diego (619) 298-4646

Lunch was at the Sheerwater Restaurant in the Hotel Del Coronado. Nothing spectacular to report here, we wanted to eat outside and look at the water. We ordered a margherita pizza - very oily - but crust was thin and good. These vegetarian pizzas are starting to get boring........

Sheerwater Restaurant
1500 Orange Ave. Coronado (619) 522-8866

We decided to break for tea and head to Extraordinary Desserts (again, at the rec of friends in the area). again, the GF has a major league sweet tooth. she went for the pecan chocolate scone. she stated that it was dry and unfulfilling (i thought scones were dry though? i didn't say anything so as not to risk having my eyes clawed out). at this point, she is 0 for 2 on the day - i start to feel bad. i get a slice of the viennesse - which is a walnut cake with a cheesecake filling. not too sweet, but it didn't bother me - i mean, i'm not into dessert too much anyhow. both of us were pretty unimpressed - but the earl grey was good.

Extraordinary Desserts (Hillcrest)
2929 Fifth Ave. San Diego (619) 294-2132

Snacked on some fries at the W Beach Bar. My GF and I argued that it is hard to mess up frites, but the trick is to really make a good one. These frites were double-fried and very good. very close rendition to a belgian frite. comes with "sexy sauce" - gotta love the brains behind the W - but really just a tangy ketchup, a nice chive aioli, and a undiscernable honey based sauce. all very good as we were hanging out on the makeshift sandbox with booze.

W Hotel
421 W B St. San Diego (619)-231-8220

Saturday night we went to Tapenade, at the rec of the california board and some reports. Now, my lenten promise has never been a source of scorn or regret - as I have always been able to make due at restaurants and have good meals without any meat/fish/chicken. However, at Tapenade, I had to pout a bit. everything looked/sounded delicious - but alas -I could not indulge in any of it. my GF and I were relatively young and slightly underdressed compared to the rest of the crowd (i guess i did not do the right amount of research on this place, i thought it was more casual of a french bistro) - but we were treated rather nice. the server was made aware of my dietary restrictions, and came back with a vegetarian menu. i opted for the risotto with wild mushrooms. gf had the john dory. JD was with a sauce that was SPECTACULAR, i was able to sneak a bite of some vegetables that had been in the sauce, and agreed with my GF. the risotto was light and perfectly prepared - good assortment of mushrooms - but looking at the party next to us with their wonderfully rare filets made me pretty jealous. next time i guess. we make up for the extraordinary dessert debacle with a chocolate fondant with passion fruit sauce and coconut ice cream. great place - next time i'm bringing the steak knife damnit.

tapenade -
7612 Fay Ave. La Jolla (858) 551-7500

we ended our trip with a casual lunch with friends at Amarin in hillcrest. basic thai fare - with a nice setting. cheesy elevator jazz music in the background. lionel richie's "hello", simon and garfunkles "sounds of silence", "up where we belong", and the carpenters' "it's yesterday once more" really added that missing je ne sais quoi to the whole thai food experience. drunken noodles were spicy, and they had additional chili pepper in case i really wanted to make the drive back up to LA an interesting one. i noticed they had a wine bar next door, VERY interesting.

Amarin Thai
3843 Richmond St. San Diego (619)296-6056

All in all - very fun. I really enjoyed Balboa Park, mass at Our Lady of thr Rosary in little italy, and the people in SD are really nice. i'll be back - this time ready to nosh on raw fish and steak.

thanks for reading.

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