May was a good eating month for us, and we got to host our first guests! We had a lot of repeats that week, as we had to take them to our favorite spots. We also marked off quite a few restaurants that have been on our to-try list for a while. I realized putting together this post, we got out a lot more than I thought!
Ken’s Sushi Workshop
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Finally I got my sushi fix!! I happened upon this recommendation by interjecting into the conversation of this table beside me when I was waiting on a friend for brunch. Anyway, the guy recommended this place as one of his top picks for restaurants in San Diego, and it did not disappoint. This was my special birthday dinner, so we splurged for the Omakase. It was an amazing dinner. I could not catch what each of the dishes contained, but they were all extremely tasty. The sashimi platter had a raw prawn as part of it, and I was a bit worried trying it, but it was shockingly good. The texture was not off putting at all, which is what I was worried about. We had a lot of firsts this meal: the raw prawn, fried prawn-head, tuna belly and salmon belly. This meal was very unique and adventurous. The whole experience was wonderful. Service was great, very welcoming and friendly. I highly recommend you try it out and make reservations.
This place is near our house, but this was the first time we have made it up there. It has great reviews on Yelp. Overall it was pretty tasty. The ordering area is tiny, like two people at most inside. If you see a line out the door there may be only a few people ahead of you in line. There is not a whole lot of descriptors on the menu of what is what. If you are really picky you may want to decide before you go.
Sea & Smoke
This one has been on our list for a while now. It’s part of the Urban Solace group of restaurants and we love Urban Solace. The food was surprisingly good. This is hands-down the best shrimp and grits I’ve had in San Diego, better than a lot of places in NC too 🙂 Much better than the shrimp and grits at Urban Solace. The benedict was really good too, I loved the mustard hollandaise. The location is blah, it’s in a very busy shopping center and parking is a bit of a mess. The inside is nice but pretty loud, even our waitress made a crack about the volume level. Their hostess needs some major training. She was a disaster and had a hard time getting it together. Luckily we had a reservation, though we still waited about 15 minutes to be seated (and not because our table wasn’t ready). The food and our waitress made up for the other inconveniences.
Soda & Swine
Another one that has been on the list to try forever (like before we moved). It was very good! I think you need to be in the mood for a very meat heavy lunch/dinner, which is why it took us so long to finally get around to trying it. We want to go back to try the burger! The sliders were excellent, my favorite was the Bahn Mi and the chipotle bbq sauce on the Swine was amazing. The fries were good too. We will certainly be back. A word to the wise, if the weather is not it’s normal sunny self you may want grab a drink and order from the Polite Provision side. The interior has an open roof on the Soda & Swine side.
South Park Brewing
This is a newly (a few months) opened brewery and restaurant in the South Park area (surprised right). Their IPAs are really good. P and I went previously and tried a saison I did not care for. We had waited to try the food, as we heard they were working some kinks out. I was impressed with what we ordered; except for the hushpuppies those you should skip. The clams had some of the best broth I’ve had in a while. Nice and spicy, and as you can tell from the picture it came out steaming. P’s fish sandwich was really tasty too, very well seasoned and I loved the aioli. We will definitely go back for another meal.
Craft & Commerce
This was technically not our first time here, we tried it for brunch during out house hunting trip, and have been back, but only for cocktails. We finally made it back for a lunch this month. I have nothing but good things to say about it. Every time we have been we have had very friendly servers, both at the bar or from the waitstaff. They have a great selection of beer and cocktails. The sandwiches hit the spot! I wasn’t overly impressed with the sweet potato fries, they were cooked well, but needed some seasoning. This place gets busy in the evenings so arrive early to grab a table or go for lunch.
Antique Row Cafe
This place ALWAYS has a line on the weekends, and we have been wanting to see what the fuss is about. P and I decided to take advantage of the road being blocked for the Rock-N-Roll marathon and walk up to beat the normal crowd. OMG guys do you see that biscuit, it was huge and so good. My brother once quipped that there are no good biscuits on the west coast, but we’ve found them. That biscuit was spot one. Classic diner fare, very tasty and filling. This will be our go to biscuit fix.
P and I have been wanting to try soup dumplings for ages now. We finally made it up to Conway to have our first soup dumpling experience. It was ok. I felt like the soup dumplings lacked flavor. We tried the soup dumplings, beef curry dumplings, egg flower soup, and wonton soup. My favorite dish was the egg flower soup. The place was packed, and we went in around 2:00 (they close at 3:00), we got the last table before a wait started. Parking is a mess, we parked on the street.
This is one we pass all the time, but have never stumbled in to give it a try. Crazee Burger is one of those places that show up on many San Diego lists, and was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. The best onion rings I’ve had in a long time. The outside was nice and crunchy, and the onion sweet and tender. So yummy! The burgers were good, we just went plain jane (well organic plain jane), but they offer a variety of exotic meat choices beyond beef. I think we will add this to our take-out rotation.
I loved this place, it was such a cute brewery and was very inviting. Plenty of space. The bartender was extremely welcoming and pleasant. They were out of a number of beers, but the ones we tried would warrant a return trip. Great spot to hang out with friends.
Meh. They didn’t have anything on draft that I couldn’t find at the store. I was disappointed with the seasonal offers, one IPA and then six variations of their Speedway. When I go to a brewery I want to sample beers I can’t find other places. The tasting room was small and crowded, overall not impressed.
Loved this place. Great, wide selection of beers, knowledgeable staff, and neat space. How cool are those hop lights!?! Their beers were all really good, P and I both got a few tasters and I like all of them, which is pretty rare.
A neat little brewery in La Mesa. Beautiful outdoor space, in fact it’s mostly outdoor space, so pick a nice day to go. When we arrived they even had live music, very backyard party feel. No food truck though 🙁 The beers were really good, very impressed with the Pilsner and English Bitter we tried in particular. The parking here is almost non-existent, we got lucky and grabbed one of the four spots out front. There is very limited street parking, I’m assuming some people are just risking it and parking in one of the other business lots. We would not have, as all those places had tow signs. They really need to strike a deal with some of their neighbors to allow parking during non-business hours.
I can’t recommend it. I didn’t like any of their beers, they just were not good. They either have an infection in their system or fermentation issues. The space is nicely decorated, and I loved the chalkboard. Someone drew Schroeder’s cat theory on the board. They might know their physics, but maybe a chemistry class or two are in order.
Paella & Wine Festival
I was lucky enough to get to be Shannon’s plus one to this event. It was such a fun day! They certainly didn’t skimp on the food portions, we were asking them to only give us one scoop of paella. So much food. Most of the wine at the event was from Mexico. I have never had or seen a wine from Mexico prior to this event. Some of them were quite good, some not to my taste. The event was nicely done, and not overly crowded (though sold out). It was a great way to spend an afternoon.
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Here are a few pictures I took when we took our guests to enjoy the views from the gliderport after we walked along the La Jolla cove. I had fun snapping pictures of the gliders. When P and I were here before we didn’t see any guilders, so that was neat.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
We finally made it on a hike the last day of the month. I’m actually going to share pictures next week and do a stand alone post. I want to share all the pictures 🙂 It was a beautiful and fun hike! Check back next Tuesday to see the awesomeness!
How is your summer kicking-off? What was your favorite thing you did in May?
P.S. San Diego where is the sun? I’m ready for summer.