Monday, July 25, 2011

San Diego Foodstravaganza

a few weeks ago Kim went to San Diego for a conference that her work sent her for. i joined her for a few days to take advantage of her free room at the Hard Rock Hotel. we are completely into food, so i turned it into a food trip. i mean, i'd been to SD many times in my life so there wasn't anything there that i really wanted to do. the SD zoo, Seaworld, La Jolla and beaches, etc. been there, done that. whenever Kim could break free from her conference, we'd go eat. and while Kim was busy during her conference, i went to go eat. haha.

day 1: at the new terminal 2 in SF they've got a bunch of great food options. there at 6am, with no intention of getting breakfast, i turned my head and noticed Tyler Florence's station. upon browsing their menu items, i couldn't help myself but to get a waffle. why did i do that? i wasn't even hungry. but the waffle was good. my only gripe is that i asked for some syrup to go and they gave me Smucker's sugar free syrup. sugar free??? i'm eating a freakin sugar laden waffle, why would i want sugar free anything on top of it? anyway, i ate less than a quarter of it because i knew the day ahead of me was going to be food filled.

i got to SD around 9am, checked in at the Hard Rock and immediately headed out for a walk to Hash House A GoGo. still, i wasn't very hungry, but this was the beginning of the foodstravaganza, so i had to! in no rush to get there, i decided to walk the 2.5 miles to get there. Kim had warned me about how massive their dishes were but i knew i had to go. people always talk about Hash House and i'd never been so i wanted to check it out.

i opted for the corned beef hash. this thing was insanely massive. even on those days when i feel like i could chew my own arm off, i don't think i could finish this. unfortunately the corned beef was a bit on the chewy side and the pieces were so big that i could never get corned beef and potato or egg in at the same time. i ate as much as i possibly could, which was only about 1/3 (on a not hungry stomach). 

i couldn't pass up the chance to try an iced banana creme brulee latte. this, too, was massive and had a nice subtle banana flavor. 

i trekked back to the Hard Rock on a full stomach to meet up with Kim, who had a break from her conference. she hadn't eaten yet, so we headed to La Puerta for her to get some tacos. we realized that La Puerta was known for their carne asada fries, so we got an order of that as well. not even slightly hungry, i still ate a third of the fries. they were good, but nothing amazing. i've had better carne asada fries from a little joint called Roberto's. 

carne asada fries. good, but no wow factor.

Kim headed back to her conference and i headed to a cupcake shop i noticed on my stroll around town. i went to Heavenly Cupcake and picked up a couple of cupcakes for us to try later in the day. 

lemon coconut and banana peanut butter

while Kim did her work thing, i hung around the hotel room watching tv and looking up things to eat for the remaining two days ahead of us. for dinner on our first night we had reservations at Nobu. Kim's always wanted to go so this was a must while in SD. we went a little early to take advantage of their happy hour menu. 

shiso peppers. flash fried and okay. i've had much better shiso peppers prepared by lightly battering and deep frying.

crab with crispy rice. 

the crispy rice was formed in blocks on skewers. i really liked this dish. the rice had a nice crunchy texture to oppose the mushiness of the crab salad. 

their famous hamachi(?) with jalapeno and ponzu. this was a good dish, however i feel like i've had even better versions of this (Morimoto Napa for sure!!). but Kim says that Nobu was the pioneer for dishes like this, so i guess i have to give them a little credit. 

beef skewers with some kind of sauce that i didn't love. it had waaaay too much paprika in it for my liking.

fish n chips. 

hiding under the delicious lightly fried fries was an equally lightly battered and fried bass that was really effing good.

the famous miso cod. buttery, seasoned and cooked perfectly. 

deliciously fatty toro, and some not delicious tomago. ugh. i don't even understand why anybody would want sweet eggs like that for sushi when they could have fish. but Kim says she judges whether a sushi chef is worthy based on their tomago so we ordered it. blah!

i forgot what they called this but essentially it ended up being just like a bananas foster. good, but not what we thought it was going to be. 

this was supposed to be a tiramisu mochi but it tasted like a whole lot of nothing. 

disappointed with dessert at Nobu and having rested for a little over half an hour, we decided to walk to Extraordinary Desserts to fix our sweet tooths. unbeknown to us, the walk was about a 1.4 miles away and took us through the more ghetto part of SD. there were homeless taking their nighttime whiz on the walls and sleeping bags lined the crevices between buildings. coming from SF, homeless people aren't a shocking sight, however we weren't prepared strut down a street laden with them. at least in SD where the homeless reside seems a lot more tame than 6th St. or the rest of the tenderloin. "these desserts better be extraordinary as them claim" rang through our heads as we walked holding our breaths to avoid the stench of homies (what i call homeless). 

chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and a vanilla custard brulee. very rich and good, however the brulee did not come through at all. 

coffee toffee ice cream. a tad icy. no coffee toffee will ever beat Bi-Rite's in SF. 

lemon ricotta cake with berries. light and moist. 

insanely full from the whole days eats, we went back to the hotel room to get into our jammies with ever so appealing elastic waistbands. abdomens protruding, we climbed into our respective beds. but then i noticed that box of cupcakes that we hadn't touched. there was no way we could eat those the next day because they'd be dried out and it wouldn't be a fair assessment of their cupcake making skills. so we decided to take one bite from each cupcake. i took a bite of the lemon coconut first and upon the touch of my tongue my body instantly told me "NO!!! WTF are you doing? you've stored up enough energy to last you a week! why would you do this to me? no. more. food!!!" i physically could not chew/swallow that bite of cupcake. i had to spit it out. not because it didn't taste good, but because my body wasn't having any of it. now i couldn't not try the banana peanut butter one. but this time i knew what the reaction would be. i took a bite, intending on just tasting it and then spitting it out. and so i did. that seems like some kind of eating disorder, doesn't it? chewing to taste, then spitting it out to avoid calories. my god that was some kind of experience. my body was mad. haha!

day 2:  this day Kim had a short day at the conference so we decided to go to Disneyland!! while she was at the conference i made it a point to go to the gym and run five miles. all of that food energy had to go somewhere!! around noon we got a car, picked up some sandwiches from a place called Enoteca Style and headed off. one of the sandwiches were really good. salami, provolone, mortadella and a garlic aioli. i thoroughly enjoyed it but failed to take a picture of it as Disneyland was on my mind. 

just being a geek! excited to enter California Adventure. 

this was Kim's first time on the Tower of Terror!! Muuuaaahahahahaha!! 

i love this ride. so much fun! 

haha!! me looking over at Kim to make sure she was enjoying the ride as much as i was!! 

we had a limited amount of time at the happiest place on earth. we'd gotten there around 2pm and had dinner reservations back in SD at 9pm so we had to plan out our day and only go to the important rides. our plan at California Adventure was to tackle Tower of Terror, Screamin' and Soarin'. at Disneyland we wanted to check out the new Star Tours and ride Space Mountain (the best ride in life!). unfortunately we ran out of time and didn't make it to Space Mountain, however we somehow squeezed in the Little Mermaid ride. 

can i just say how much i love Disneyland? the second i step foot into the park that feeling of childish nostalgia overcomes me and i feel like i've been transported into a different world. with every other theme park, i still feel like my normal self ventured into a place with cool rides, but at Disneyland i feel like i've stepped into a cartoon and my normal life is a past time. it's not even the rides that get me, it's simply being surrounded by cobble stone streets, a magical castle and a parade of blinking lights. i don't know why i don't make it an annual thing to go to Disneyland. i really should. it's the ultimate awesome! 

our 9:30 reservations were at a restaurant called Searsucker. the chef is Brian Malarkey, who was on Top Chef Season 3 and has won many awards that boast he is the best chef in San Diego. the place is huge with high ceilings. it's bustling and alive with people. i loved being there. it was unpretentious and just a nice place to hang out at. 

gourgeres, or "cheddar puffs" at Searsucker. yum! light and creamy! <3

shrimp n grits. i loved this dish. i don't generally like grits, but when they are done well they can be fantastic. cheesy grits is the way to go!

raclette with blackberry. if you haven't had raclette, it's pretty much a cheese cooked in a pan so that it's melted and the bottom crisps up a bit. the cheese portion of this was really good with the bread, however i think the blackberry overwhelmed the cheese with too much sweet for my taste buds. 

oh my god! duck fat fries with proscuitto crumble and homemade ketchup. the heavens were with Malarkey when he made these. man was this a great dish! 

beef cheek with tongue and cactus. great dish. the cheek was incredibly soft and the texture was much like oxtail, and oxtail is my favorite meat. 

corn with jalapeno and bacon. just as you'd expect it to be. 

key lime pie. good, but we were so full we hardly touched it.

the Elvis sundae!!! peanut butter ice cream with bacon, banana, peanuts and caramel. i loved this. me and Elvis know what's up with food. 

us, with our stomachs wanting to explode.

day 3: Kim was pretty busy with the conference this day so i  set out to do my own thing. i ran another five miles to try and work off all of the crazy food i'd been eating and then roamed around town. i found a place called Neighborhood on Yelp and headed there for lunch. upon walking into the restaurant you are greeted with a big Jesus at the door. i opted to sit outside at the nice little area with faux grass.

small cobb. i needed to get some greens in me. the bacon in this was really good. not sure what made it special but it was tasty. and the onion rings were lightly fried. 

jalapeno mac n cheese. delightfully creamy and spicy!! 

i spent the rest of my day at a cafe called Lion. they served Lion brand coffee from Hawaii. i got an iced thai mocha which was espresso, chocolate powder and condensed milk. a tad sweet, but i still enjoyed it. i spent a good three hours or so sitting there reading The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. as a chinese girl with parents who immigrated from China/Hong Kong, i've got to say my life was very different from her children's lives.i think i turned out alright despite the fact that  i play no instruments nor was ever pressured by my parents to overachieve. haha!! 

thai mocha

i intended on leaving from SD on my 8:15pm flight, however it was delayed until 11:15pm. seriously? 3 hours??? i knew i could only blame SF for it's fogginess. with a few extra hours, i decided that rather than have my dinner at the airport i'd find something around town. again, via Yelp, i found The Kebab Shop. astonishingly, the food there was ca-razy good!! the saffron rice was seasoned well, the lamb and beef gyro was incredibly flavorful and the tabouleh was refreshingly good. i ate half and took the rest with me for the awesome time i was going to have sitting solo at the airport with nothing to do. 

good god this was yummy!!

and that is the end of the SD foodstravaganza. needless to say, the next few days consisted of fruit and light clean foods. and at the gym i still feel like i'm working off that Elvis sundae, but it was well worth it! 

1 comment:

  1. I am sooooo hungry now. The mac and cheese looks amazing!