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Ingridents for life…

Over these last few weeks, I’ve been very contemplative about life. And I really hate it when I get like this especially when I cannot voice it to anyone and I tend to like to get more than my own perspective on things. I like being well-rounded. And thanks to my friends and I guess my chaotic mind, I’ve come to some conclusions (but not all). There are a few things in life that are definites:

  1. We need air to breathe.
  2. We crave and thus need human contact (no matter how hard we deny and/or resist it).
  3. We have emotions and when it hits, it hits hard.
  4. We cannot predict anything…we can only predict that we cannot know the future absolutely, no matter how well we try to plan it.
  5. We are to some degree insecure and maybe even scared of the unknown.
  6. And we all need food.

Yes, even you anorexics out there need food but you just deprive yourself of it. Which I cannot understand because even though I have a love-hate relationship with food, I cannot imagine a life without it…..Probably because I wouldn’t be around very long without it.

That was my 2 cents for the day. This will be a post that I should have done a LONG time ago but I’ve been running around like a crazy chicken doing everything. But these pictures have been sitting on my computer for too long.

I’ve been craving and needing a *good* scone for a long time. That is why for my first beach trip of the summer, I dragged my friends to Con Pane in Point Loma that was highly recommended by many Chowhounds, for a delicious start to the day. We had to make our beach trip an early one since everyone had work (except myself), so it was perfect. We could get to the bakery right when it opened, get some “fresh-out-of-the-oven” goods, head to the beach, and have a breakfast picnic! Perfect plan right? Well…

We hit our first bump in our plan as we were going to Con Pane. That morning, there was a race in the streets around the bakery. So the traffic was held up and there was no way around it. I was quite annoyed to say the least. I had not gotten enough sleep, it was cloudy, and I am by nurture an angry driver. However, I am happy to report that no one was hurt that morning (at least not by me).

When we finally got to Con Pane, I was instantly in my environment. Watching the bakers in the kitchen work with the dough, pulling trays of aromatic breads and pastries out of the oven, pushing the carts filled with deliciousness….I was home. Man I really miss working in a bakery….

They had a whole assortment of fresh loafs, focaccias, rolls, and breakfast pastries. It was carb-heaven! Whoever is still on that ridiculous No-Carb diet is in need of a serious knock over the head w/ a 2-day old baguette! C’mon, get with the program! Humans were meant to have carbs in their diets! What you need to do is take it in moderation, that’s all! Show some self-restraint and life can include carbs!…….And that was what I had to do: show some self-restraint….got to admit, it was hard.

My friend ‘M’ got their scone of the day: Almond Pear. 837386205_7acf771ecc.jpg

And after much debate, I finally chose the Apricot Spiced Scone and split a Hazelnut Raisin Loaf with ‘M.’

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Even though it was still cloudy when we got to Mission Beach – and it remained cloudy until about half an hour before we left – it could not hamper our dining experience. To start off, my scone was exactly what I look for when I sink my teeth into one. The scone was crusty on the outside, slightly soft on the inside, and the sugar crystals added even more *crunch* with every bit! It was just the right amount of sweetness, and although I’m not quite sure what “spices” they used, I would have to guess a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and definitely other spices. The apricot, I thought wouldn’t be that tasty since I’m not the biggest fan of it, actually gave the scone a better flavor. They were still chewy and not mushy thank goodness. This is why you use dried fruit, otherwise you’d end up with mushy fruit and your baked goods are ruined because there’s too much liquid.

The Hazelnut Raisin loaf was scrumptious! See…this is what REAL bread should be like. A nice crust on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside. And with the generous amount of raisins and hazelnuts through out the loaf, you would never find a slice without raisins or at least a hazelnut! This bread was still delicious for the next two days I was still munching on it (see? self-restraint…repeat that to yourself!). If you ever go to Con Pane, definitely try it!!

When I’m eating with my friends, they ALL know they will be sharing with me because I insist! I grew up sharing food with everyone so that has stuck with me to this day. So I offered to switch scones with ‘M’ after I had tasted mine. The almond pear scone was underbaked. I think they were trying to not burn the almonds that topped the scone, which they weren’t! But that left the scone underbaked and not that good unfortunately. Also, I don’t think the pear was a good choice for a scone because all you could taste was the buttermilk…not that it’s a bad thing but I would have liked to have tasted the pear.

That was one weekend morning. Now…I’m not quite sure if it was the same weekend or another, but one of the weekends, ‘L’ and Turtle wanted to head downtown and asked if I wanted to join. I didn’t have any plans so I took up the offer! I also brought my little sister along with us since I felt bad for her not being able to go out as much during the summer. We walked around Gaslamp, looking at the MANY restaurants dotting up and down 4th and 5th Ave. I mean, I’ve pretty much seen all of it, but for my little sister it was a new experience. I enjoy watching someone who’s taking in something for the first time ever in their life. Because I try and leech off that joy you get from seeing and experiencing something new.

Eventually, we ended up deciding on RA Sushi for dinner. It was the first time any of us had been in there and like I said…I LOVE the feeling of something new. First, I love the ambiance and decor of RA. If I had a restaurant, I’d probably design something along the same color scheme: red, black, browns…but I would throw in some silver in there as well.

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To start off the evening, ‘L’ ordered herself a sake sangria. I had a sip of it and didn’t like it. I don’t like sake at all, but then later towards the end of our meal, when the ice had diluted the drink and we added a few more slices of oranges and lemons…it tasted a WHOLE lot better.

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I had a hankering for tempura thus, I ordered the mixed tempura for everyone to try. And I must say…it was one of the damn best tempuras…possibly ever! The batter was not greasy, it was light and airy, and it was just the right thickness. There were 4 prawns, zucchinis, asparagus, red and green bell peppers, onion rings, and sweet potato. It was my first time having asparagus and bell pepper tempura and I must say…other restaurants should consider doing it too! Oh man…after eating that, I had high hopes for this place despite some negative reviews I’ve heard. Then the sushi and noodles came.

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Spicy Teriyaki Udon with chicken: “stir fried Asian vegetables tossed with chili teriyaki glaze & udon noodles.” This was my little sister’s entree since she’s not really into sushi. And we both found that it SEVERELY lacked any flavor. I can’t stress enough how absolutely TASTELESS this dish was. It was as if the cook had forgot the salt, used teriyaki sauce that had more water than anything else, and just didn’t know it sucked that much. It is so NOT worth your money to even TRY it! But with some soysauce, I helped her make the dish edible. Still…disappointing.

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Atlantic Roll: “crab mix, cucumber & asparagus rolled & topped with salmon & king crab, served with an Asian pesto sauce.” This was Turtle’s roll and it was hands down, THE best thing I tasted that night. I saw this on the menu and contemplated on getting it, but I can’t remember why I didn’t. Without eating it, I already knew I would like it. Ugh! My camera does this roll NO justice! You should see how beautiful the salmon was…it was so gorgeous that it was wrong. And that king crab that garnished the whole thing was over the top! This was food porn at it’s best…I just wish I could’ve done a better job getting it on camera. Ok…but how did it taste you might be wondering….it was triple X-rated good. The flavors melded together so wonderfully and that pesto sauce! Oh. My. Gawd. I don’t know how they make their “asian” pesto, but Turtle and I have a theory that they might be using rice wine vinegar. We tried asking our waitress but she gave out nothing! Darn her!

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Crunchy Calamari Roll: “tempura calamari, crab mix & cream cheese rolled & topped with spinach tempura flakes & drizzled with a sweet eel sauce.” Ask anyone…I am one of those people who will literally put anything together, mix it up, and try it. I love experimenting flavor combinations and seeing what works, but something in me won’t let me accept the whole cream cheese thing in sushi (or wontons either)! I just can’t stand it…so whenever I see a roll I like that has cream cheese in it, I ask for a substitution of cucumber instead like I did for this roll. The calamari was delicious and as perfect as the tempura appetizer I ordered. What was really interesting with this roll was the spinach tempura flakes. I wonder if it really was spinach, yet somehow…I think it was really was just regular tempura flakes but with green food coloring. I’m not sure though. What I am sure of was that this was good roll…just not as good as Turtle’s.

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Tootsy Maki: “crab mix, shrimp & cucumber rolled & topped with crunchy tempura bits & drizzled with a sweet eel sauce.” This was ‘L’s’ roll and she always get any restaurant’s version of a crunchy roll. “A rose is a rose by any other name,” and RA’s crunchy roll is called Tootsy Maki. As far as crunchy rolls goes, the one place that does it better than any other restaurant in my opinion is Chopstix’s…

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Now THAT’S a crunchy roll! Chopstix’s crunchy roll is the best. They are always generous with the tempura flakes and sauces. And the roll is definitely NOT skimpy like most places. They pack a LOT in between the rice and you need a big mouth to get it all in one bite. Fortunately I was blessed with a big mouth….”all the better to eat with my dearrrr.”

So what have we learned today? (After this humongous post?) That life is complicated. It’s filled with bumps and obstacles. It can be surprising and exciting. It can be disappointing and dull. Life is so many things that it’s so hard to sort through it all in one sitting. That is why you accumulate stuff and regurgitate it back out every now and then to analyze it. Maybe by then or afterwards, you’ll gain a new perspective on everything…big or small, and come out feeling less burdened……………or just more fat and sleepy because you over did it.

Man…food’s life’s good.

Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe
1110 Rosecrans Street, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 224.4344
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RA Sushi
474 Broadway
San Diego, Ca 92101
(619) 321-0021
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Chopstix
4633 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 569-9171

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