Chowing Down San Diego

My my have I been the ever so naughty blogger.  I've been neglecting this blog and my many thoughts that fly through my notepad, brain and camera.  As of late I've been spending much time with family, catching up on work and yes showing the family the wonderful things that San Diego has to offer.  In truth when I heard that I would be entertaining visitors, I nearly froze in fear because I had no idea what to do, where to go and what to show, when it came to my home town and where I live, aside from my beloved Chargers and our ghetto dirty stadium.

That's when I realized that I dedicate a good amount of written thoughts toward my favorite places in other cities that I frequently travel to, but nothing for the city in which I travel within daily.  Showing family around has actually helped me to re-discover this city I live in and fall in love with it all over again.  So below is my comprehensive list of things to do, places to eat and things to discover while in Sunny San Diego, from a snobby semi-local perspective.   **as a note of disclaimer, I'm sure that there are plenty of locals that will say there are better places to go, but again this is MY LIST and where I will take visitor and more importantly where I frequent. :D

Starting with the most important, to noms!  For those of you that follow my twitter or facebook you'll know that above all things else in life, my one true love is NOMS! In other words food.  In fact I have sworn an oath to noms to not just eat for sake of living but actually living to enjoy noms.  So as I present you with my list of places I frequent, it's because they use quality ingredients, actually LOVE food and most importantly offer something unique on their menu that is different and worth eating.

In no particular order

Westgate Hotel Sunday Brunch

I mulled over the first place to list for quite some time and although very few San Diegans frequent the Westgate hotel for brunch, it's a great place start.  From savory polenta squares topped with seared ahi tuna to wonderfully flaky pastries, the Westgate for Sunday Brunch, offers a variety of flavors to awaken the palette.

Lucha Libre taco shop
If you're going to visit San Diego or southern Cali for that matter, you have to have Mexican food.  In fact I refuse to have Mexican food anywhere else that is distant from the border.  While there are a horde of places in which you can have decent Mexican food, Lucha Libre offers a throwback theme to wrestling and serves up an amazing $1.50 TJ (Tijuana) Taco that is quite undeniably tasty and is a bit safer than the "Danger Dogs" that you may get from an oven pan roasted one over a propane tank from L.A.

Tajima 2 Japanese Cuisine

Yes yes, this place has 3.5 stars on yelp and yes yes it has mixed reviews compared to the other Tajima on convoy but they offer things that are undeniably priceless, Football on 5 TVs and impeccable Halibut Carpaccio.   Tajima is known for their ramen but whenever I go, there are a list of things, including beer, that I refuse to leave without.  1) Ramen (Tajima original, thick cut) 2) Halibut Carpaccio 3) Geso Karage (squid or glorified calamari which is oh so good w/ garlic paste) 4) Spicy Tuna on crispy rice 5) Sashimi combo platter 6) Tuna Takaki.

Everyone adores this place and they have wonderful Sushi so it would be a travesty not to mention Harney Sushi, but again this is about places I FREQUENT so moving on....

Bar Basic 
I've been told once that "aint no pizza like an east coast pizza, b/c an east coast pizza don't suck...." well I will say this, I've had an east coast pizza and for a west coast pizza, Bar Basic delivers quality ingredients on a savory sauce with a thin crust beautifully!  Again not to mention they show sports and serve beer :D

The Mission Coffee Cup
If you searched on Yelp, "Breakfast, La Jolla CA" this place would show up highest rated.  Given it there is always a line and it's a small type cafe but the breakfast is pretty damned good.  My favorites? The Tamales, rosemary potatoes, pancakes and coffee!


Dear, man.. wow, what is it I love more than food? Probably fashion.  While most people would tell you that Fashion Valley is our central mall with the best shopping, I'm going to offer a different selection.  While Fashion Valley may offer an Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Carolina Herrera, you can purchase from any of those brands via the net or any major city.  My favorite shops offer not only specials but also a unique shopping experience.

Encore La Jolla
Located in the heart of the ritzy neighborhood of La Jolla, this shop offers new/used/vintage pieces from everything from Chanel to Valentino.  All of their items are in new condition, they purchase limited edition items, offer great prices and best of all the staff really know about the merchandise.

Ny Moda
Ok perhaps I'm slightly biased because it is my friend's shop but tucked away in a secret spot in the Asia town of San Diego is this wonderful store that has items that not even Bloomingdales has.  While this shop may be next to the popular ramen shop Chopstix, he sells limited edition luxury items from Rock & Republic, Custo Barcelona, the recently popular Laguna Beach Jean Co., True Religion and more  My personal favorite is his collection from Superdry Japan, the nearest location to which I've seen opening with a collection of items is in San Francisco.

Deep Fling
 Located in the north area of San Diego, they import and sell quality artistic jewelry made by brands such as Pilgrim, Kum Kum, Odd Molly, Chamilia and more. 

Hanging out!
Ok, so the typical suggested San Diego tourist spots include Balboa Park, Seaworld, our famous Zoo, Fashion Valley (again), Wild Animal Park and of course the beach or Mexico.  While all of those are beautiful places to spend the day, take pictures and say you've been, I strongly suggest the beaches (La Jolla Cove), artsy foodie areas (North Park, Hillcrest), Gaslamp Downtown (because our downtown actually has character), The Harbor (take a cruise), Coronado, Julian (a quaint small town out east) and honestly just driving around getting lost to see the city for all it's bumps, blocks, freeways and scenes. 

There's no denying that I adore shopping/walking in San Francisco, eating and partying around L.A, enjoying the seafood in Seattle or the Beef in Alberta but when it comes down to it, San Diego has that city life with a slower pace and less traffic that I adore.  Not to mention the wonderful weather. 

I could list a million more places that you've probably seen on my twitter, but that's it for now.  Till next time <3 you all and you bet I'll be posting picks for this weekend's UFC!

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