To feed your body and soul in San Diego and all over the world

seafood

Supernatural Sandwiches – The Lair

A few weeks ago, I grabbed a couple of coworkers to go with me to Supernatural Sandwiches new brick and mortar location on Miramar Road.  I was excited to go visit their store front since discovering that they were opening and pretty close to the office.

The restaurant is located pretty far in on the very, very long road and at least for now, there was no sign to indicate where it was.  With the directions in hand, we found a strip mall that had a “Grand Opening” banner over one door.  I just assumed that this was the place and as we drove closer, we could see their sign on the window – Bingo!

Talking with the cashier, all of the sandwiches on their menu can be made into salads too, but I want a sandwich!

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My choice for the first visit was their iconic sandwich – The Siren.  Six plump garlicky shrimps drizzled with aioli, on a little bed of cherry tomatoes, mixed greens, and shredded white cheddar, squeezed into a buttery toasted bun.  Man…this sandwich was good!  I know that as you read through what’s in the sandwich, you may think it would be heavy but it isn’t at all!  It’s light, buttery, a little spice kick to it and makes you lick your fingers after you’ve consumed it.  All sandwiches come with the shrimp chips you see here and those are my childhood addiction.

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In addition to my sandwich, I also got a side of the garlic shrimp fried rice.  It’s not listed on their website, but it’s on their “Sides” menu at the restaurant.  This packed a nice garlic kick and the rice wasn’t too sticky at all.  Although, if it was up to me, I wish there was some chili sauce to go with it to make it spicy.

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My friend opted for their surf n’ turf sandwich – the Chimera.  This sandwich has Korean steak BBQ and those plump shrimps!  Along with a sesame chili aioli and kimchi relish on a buttery toasted brioche bun.  My friend was loving the sandwich and had the same feeling as I did with mine – although it sounds filling, he said he didn’t feel overly stuffed after the decadent sandwich.

And the other coworker friend of mine that day got the Garuda in a salad form.  Unfortunately, I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a picture of her’s.  It was a generous salad portion topped with the Garuda’s Korean BBQ chicken.  She said the chicken was super moist and packed with flavor.

On my second visit with even more coworkers, majority got the Siren and Chimera since we were raving about them after we got back to work the first time.  So I decided to try another sandwich because honestly, I want to try at least 3/4 of the menu!

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On the table this time is the Kappa!  (By the way…I love the names of their sandwiches.)  This is basically a grilled cheese with spicy crab!  Now this time, maybe because it is melted cheese that it did feel a little heavier but still by no means, too stuffy.

I love this place and I just wish it was closer to one of the freeways on Miramar.  Even the workers there admit that although the location isn’t ideal, they want to spread the word out to let people know that they are there.  I really hope the word does get out and then maybe they can get a better (second?) location!

Supernatural Sandwiches
7094 Miramar Rd #105
San Diego, CA 92121

http://www.supernaturalsandwiches.com/


Another disappearing act, then tacos

I seem to be very good at doing this – going missing for months without a peep.  It may be only me, but there are times where I run into a rut and remain in there for some time unable to get up again.

When I was going through my archive of pictures, my mind was already mentally kicking me telling (more like yelling way too loud) that these were posts you were going to write.  This just makes me feel guilty and I burrow further into my ditch which I’ve dug myself into.

However, after almost a YEAR of hiding, I’m coming back and picking up the pen again.

Without further ado:

Oscar's Mexican Seafood

My current food craving (literally right now as I type this, this is what I am craving) is the taco.  Specifically a spicy shrimp taco with a crispy layer melted cheese on corn tortillas.  What you see here are two examples of that from Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, which have three locations.

One gorgeous afternoon, CP and I wanted to make a drive to the beach and grab lunch.  After much deliberation, I suggested we head back to Oscar’s for some tacos because what goes better than a nice, sunny day in San Diego in April?  Tacos of course!

I got two spicy shrimp and one smoked fish taco (un-pictured).  The amount of food that’s given to you is quite hefty and I left the shop lugging my happy stomach.

Each shrimp taco is filled with plump, juicy shrimps that have been marinaded and charred on the griddle.  While its vessel is being warmed up with a layer of cheese that crisps up so that you get a nice cheesy crunch.  Yes, that little bit of cabbage gives you that crunch too, but to compare cabbage to cripsy cheese sounds like an insult.

My tacos were then topped with a nice helping of habenaro salsa (me thinks they mix in some crema).  Oh man…

ALL BOARD THE FLAVOR TRAIN! IT’S PARTY TIME! CHOO CHOO!!!

Like I mentioned, they have three locations, so get your bum out to one of them, try those tacos if you haven’t already and get on this tasty party train!

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood

North PB
703 Turquoise Street
San Diego, CA 92109

Pacific Beach
746 Emerald Street
San Diego, CA 92109

Hillcrest
646 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103


Devilicious

Oh food trucks…how I love thee.  Let me count the ways that I love you:

Your food is cooked fresh to order.

You provide me good food without any unnecessary frills.

Most of the time you have me eating with my hands.

You satisfy my hunger and my soul.

Oh food trucks…thank you for completing my eating life in San Diego.

The food truck mania is not just some passing phase people.  It is a staple that San Diego has been long behind on and over the last 5 years, that side of the business has significantly grown.  One of the oldest food trucks in San Diego who also participated in the Food Network Great Food Truck Race – Devlicious, has been serving our great town for awhile now.  Their signature item is the Lobster Grilled Cheese sandwich.  So when a coworker and I found them parked just outside our office, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it for myself:

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The lobster grilled cheese comes with a side salad with balsamic vinegar.  The sandwich itself: butter poached lobster with melted jack and cheddar cheese and caramelized onions on sourdough.

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It is a rich and delicious sandwich. The cheese melted perfectly, nestling in the sweet onions and lobster itself all on two pieces of crispy, fresh bread.  I think if it was any other side, it would have been just too much for me to handle, but because it was a salad, it helped bring down the richness.  As for the lobster you may be wondering – fresh, soft, sweet, and was not overshadowed in the least.  And they gave you a good amount of lobster for the price of $12.

People may think this is “outrageously” expensive, yet a restaurant would have charged you $16-$18, and some places could get away with even charging up to $20 for this exact sandwich portion. Think about it people, how much would it cost you at a restaurant? These trucks have to not only pay for the food supply itself, but even with their bare minimum operations, there are still costs to run a food truck.  Have you not seen the show itself?  You need to charge every dish to cover your cost of food, overhead (eg. wages, truck maintenance), and still make a profit from every sale.

So come on San Diego!  Go out there and support your local food trucks!!!  There’s a great website that shows you all the food truck gatherings throughout San Diego called Curbside Bites and their calendar lists out everything.  Granted, always check with the truck’s twitter or webpage for any updates on their locations.

Devilicious

Throughout San Diego County (and sometimes beyond)


D Bar

My first time at D Bar was with two lovely ladies from my old job – KF and LT, when LT who had left SD several years back, was coming back to visit.  I had to catch up with two wonderful and extremely driven ladies.  We had a great afternoon catching up and just seeing what everyone was up to since we were all tied up in life itself.  That day, we had sampled several dishes to just get an idea of what D Bar could do – just desserts or food as well?

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On the left hand side, from top to bottom:

Crue Fries – their signature starter of garlic parmesan fries (perfectly fried), mac sauce, melted cheddar jack, bacon, ranch, and chives.  This appetizer is salty but so addictive!

Naan-Burguesa – kobe burger, grilled naan, black bean hummus, chipotle mayo, havarti, avocado, and a side of chips.  Since I don’t eat beef, KF and LT both were a little underwhelm by this  burger.  In part, the use of a grilled naan didn’t hold everything together so when you bit down, everything tends to slide out.

Tahini Grilled Salmon – on a bed of mixed greens, grilled baby bok choy, tossed in a ginger soy vinaigrette, and topped with toasted almond and edamame.  This salad was again only ok and slightly underwhelming.

Now the real reason why we were here: desserts!

Molten Cake Thingy That Everyone Has – just the name itself made us want to order it.  Plus the three of us have had really good molten cake thingies before, so we had to try it and see where D Bar’s stacked up.  Their version is comes with raspberry compote and Sicilian pistachio ice cream, but we wanted to try their salted caramel ice cream and so we requested the swap.  Well we can say that their cake thingy was quite good.  Was it the best?  We were all hard press to jump up and exclaim this was the best version we’ve had to-date, but it is a darn good contender!

Ch Ch Ch Churros! – Made. To. Order.  Those are the three words that almost always ensures that you are going to have a great churro.  And boy, D Bar knows their churros alright! It was the best freaking plate of churros ever!!! And it comes with a little dish of melted dark chocolate for dipping which was more for scooping out and eating straight.

On my second visit with two other wonder ladies – LA and JW, I knew there were two items I couldn’t go without: crue fries and churros.  Except this time, it was for dinner so ordered more items to try in hopes that it would turn out better, but first…some drinks!

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Normally, I don’t drink so I wouldn’t be posting about drinks, but my gals do and one drink intrigued us all – the Fresca Picante (martini glass one).  This was a strawberry jalapeno infused tequila with agave and lime.  I had taken a sip and the jalapeno is this after kick that happens a few seconds after drinking.  It was such an interesting taste and experience that it had all three of us just inspecting it as we waited for food.

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Oh these wonderful babies again…come to mama! NOM NOM NOM!!!

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Bacon Mac & Cheese – because we were all feeling like mac n’ cheese.  Don’t question us! We wanted this ooey, gooey bowl of melted goodness.  It’s a four cheese mac, with bacon and cheese nips and panko crumb top.  It was as decadent as it sounded, but good for sharing!

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Lobster Risotto – grilled lobster tail with rosemary butter, served with roasted poblano risotto and broccolini and pea tendrils.  The lobster was sweet and tender and I could have eaten several more of that tail!  So good…

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And since we were ordering so many rich dishes, I felt we needed at least one salad to help balance it out a little.  The Grilled Caesar salad, drizzled with balsamic glaze  and topped with shaved parm, it help give us that fresh crunch we needed.

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Oh the desserts…delicious, delicious desserts…I pretty much dictated this order:

Chocolate Souffle – 65% chocolate souffle, nutella filled beignets with chocolate sauce, and praline ice cream.  The souffle was not as airy as I’ve had in some places, but still delicious and fluffy.  The beignets were too thick and not fluffy enough.  Beignets are suppose to be little pockets of fried heaven (as I have experienced before in NOLA), so I was a little sadden to eat these little guys here.  As for the chocolate, we learned from our waiter that they “pay more for the chocolate per pound than we do for the steak”.  Now that’s something to be proud of! If I do say so myself!

And those churros, I ordered it knowing what I would get, but my friends were both skeptical.  I told them that I swear by them and upon their first bites, I just ruined their ideas of churros forever.  LA was just peeved at me for making her taste a damn good churro and now other churros will never be the same.  Job. Well. Done.

D Bar as a whole, I love – from the food, atmosphere, venue and the people working there.  It’s a great place to gather, enjoy a few dishes and drinks.  Although I did not have pictures of my take out desserts from D Bar, I did try their macarons and chocolates.  The macarons were much too dry!  I was quite disappointed, but at least their chocolates were superb!  I really hope the restaurant will continue to do well, so that I may keep coming back and try everything on the menu (but always with the churros).

D Bar
3930 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103


Day trip to Mexico

On a seemingly cloudy start to a Saturday, a group of nine ventured across the U.S. and Mexican border for a foodie adventure.  What I am about to share in words and pictures, cannot fully explain or describe the experience and food we had.  It is something to be enjoyed first-hand and then one can appreciate it fully.

The day started early in Tijuana at Marisco el Mazatenos.  Now this place has been highly recommended by coworkers for the past couple of years and I finally got to taste it myself.

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They start with providing chips and salsa, along with a seafood consommé.  This consommé is your preview to the amazing food that one is about to partake.  The broth is rich with flavors of shrimp, tomato, garlic and spices we could not pin point.  With a little shredded lettuce, a squeeze of lime, you had yourself a cup of delicious soup to warm your belly.

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Our first indulgence was their ceviche.  It was refreshing, tart, sweet, and tangy and the appetizer to continue to excite the palate.

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The main attractions and the reason why we were all there for: the La Mazatena tacos!  Plump shrimp with garlic, tomato, peppers, and again probably with spices the restaurant will keep guarded.  Melted on the tortilla itself, was a layer of cheese to make it more tantalizing.

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All that was left was for us to dress them up with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, crema/white sauce, and a spicy green sauce (their “secret” sauce that even when asked by my coworkers on different occasions, no one knew since it was a made by the owner in secret).  With a squeeze of lime, we were taken into taco heaven.

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I’ve had my fair share of seafood tacos, but it was the complete package that took me to a food bliss that no other taco has ever taken me.  Maybe I am over exaggerating, but from coworkers who have visited this restaurant on multiple occasions will proclaim again and again that this is the best seafood taco you will ever have.

That day, we had not only the shrimp tacos, but also the marlin and the octopus.  The octopus was amazingly tender and melted in your mouth.  There was no need to chew repeatedly on the meat in attempt to swallow it because it fell apart in your mouth.  (Sorry, we only had a fuzzy picture of it sadly…we were all a little busy eating and given it was our first meal of the day, we were quite hungry.)

Breakfast was delicious, the service was friendly, and with our tummies full, we headed south.

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The beautiful and off-season Rosarito beach is so relaxing.  We came the weekend right after the colleges’ spring break, so we pretty much had the beach to ourselves along with locals and the few vacationers.  The day was just absolutely perfect to just lounge around, play ball or kicking the ball around.  The was way too cold to swim; I tried putting my feet in the water and my muscles immediately cramped up from the cold.

Well after spending a few hours on the beach, we were all getting pretty hungry so we headed off to Puerto Nuevo.  However, along the way we did make a pit stop to get a snack:

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I forgot what this was called, but it translates to “coconut shrimp”.  As you can see, it’s not the fried coconut shrimp you would think.  This is literally a shelled out coconut, filled with cooked shrimp and cucumbers. Refreshing, sweet and tangy, a perfect little snack on our way to our meal.  (Actually, we also bought some tamales too along the way, but we ate those up so quickly that no one remember to take pictures sadly =(…they were quite delicious though!)

We arrived to the port town of Puerto Nuevo and for such a small town, there was no end in our choices for dining.  However, our intended destination was La Casa de la Langosta:

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And if it was not obvious what we were here for by just the name of the restaurant…

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Delicious, delicious lobsters!  At La Casa, you have 3 lobster options that they’ll either steam or fry (aka “Pueto Nuevo” style).  There is the large, medium, and smaller lobsters and rule of thumb from what I found is the smaller the fish or crustacean, or anything from the sea in general, tends to be sweeter and tastier.  Everyone went for the smaller, local lobsters, and most went Pueto Nuevo style, only couple went for the steamed version.  The meal came with soup or salad, rice, beans, and tortillas.

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Look at that pile of awesome, juicy, deliciousness.  Geez louise!  I can taste it just looking at the pictures.  The meat was juicy, sweet and just a little spice for good measure.  Who can say nothing taste better with a little spice?  Butter wasn’t even needed since it was plenty succulent on its own.  Just pile on some rice, beans and unbelievably soft and warm tortillas, we were in eating heaven.

Needless to say after our meal, we all kind of felt like Don Pisto…

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So what’s a team of foodies supposed to do with the sun slowly setting and full bellies?  Well…we enjoy the sunset, the scenery, and a couple of brewskis leftover from the beach earlier that day.  Aaaah…life is good.

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BUT WAIT!!!  What was that?  We needed more food?  Tacos?  Street tacos?  Why yes, please bring us more!

At Tacos el Franc (yes, the name was not lost upon us when a coworker suggested it because it was just too funny…or maybe we were suffering from food-induced dementia), they serve a simple menu of meat on corn tortillas.  Street meat…BRING IT!

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Oh delicious cone of carnivorous delight, why do you tempt me so?  How is it that you can still tempt me to consume you when my own stomach is still filled with the delights of the sea?

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I do believe at this point in the day, we were all just delusional and following our gluttonous instincts – especially one of us, whom probably won in the day’s eat-a-thon.  JA at the end of the day, polished another 5 tacos at el Franc and was still smiling at the end.

And although one would think that would be the end of the foodie trip to Mexico as would any normal, sane person would, but no, we were not sane nor normal to begin with.  We needed dessert before calling quits – off to find some ice cream!  Which we did and again, forgot to take a picture of our delicious and palate cleansing passion fruit ice cream.

That my friends, is how we have a good foodie adventure.  No diets.  No logic.  No room for weaklings or food-a-phobes.  All you need is a will of steel and determination and be willing to hand yourself over to pure pleasure of food.

Least to say, in order to truly appreciate what I’ve shared with you in this post, you have to experience yourself first hand.  There are no words to describe the experience without it sounding repetitive, so just soak it all in via the pictures and pretend you were there…until you finally make it there yourself! 🙂

Disclaimer: We had two guys with us who grew up in Tijuana and has made multiple trips back and throughout Mexico.  This made the trip a lot easier to navigate having someone who knew the landmarks and roads.  It’s helpful to have someone who knows the city/country, or if you were to travel there on your own, do a lot of research and mapping of your destination beforehand.  This is to keep you safe in a country that is more than willing and wanting tourists to visit, but to travel without preparation is not advisable.  But most importantly, remember to have fun and be willing to take on the unfamiliar because in the end, you’ll find yourself in a more familiar state of mind then when you first started.


Market Restaurant + Bar

Last month, I finally crossed off a restaurant that I had wanted to go to for ages.  This place got on my list of restaurants to try back in 2006, not long after it had opened.  The rave reviews from fellow local bloggers, to Yelpers, to magazine reviews, the restaurant had a laundry list of positive feedback.  Yet, the reason it took me almost six years to get there are due to various reasons:

  1. It’s slightly off the beaten path in Del Mar, and not in the main strip of Del Mar restaurants off the coast.
  2. The end bill is not exactly cheap, so that would limit this place to special occasions.
  3. Once, when I got close to going, there were no reservations open for that evening that was before a 9pm seating.

Then comes along my old colleague and friend from my previous job, who was coming to San Diego (technically, it was Valley View Center) for a job.  We scheduled for a dinner meet up and she told me to pick.  Considering she was all the way up in the mountains, though an area I’m familiar with, it is not my first choice for dinner spots.  Hence, I knew I would be choosing something in the northern area of San Diego.  That is when it came to me: we could go to Market Restaurant + Bar!  I knew this would work out since my friend was traveling on the company and would have a food allowance.  Since I didn’t mind picking up my own tab, I quickly jumped on it.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, it was as if time had stood still for the place ever since I saw it all those years ago.  I thought to myself, “I’ve passed by this place enough times during the summer (for the Del Mar County Fair), now I will finally get to see if it was worth the wait!”  (Side note to future patrons – there is no parking at the restaurant and is valet only, but it is free!  Just remember to tip the man.)

The interior is intimate with dark lighting, but it is very simplistic modern feel.  The bar at the entrance is definitely darker with darker colors of deep red, but the main dining room is lighter with persimmon colored walls, accented by lines of “sage” and “avocado green” (according to their website, those are the color names).  The minute I walked into the restaurant, I loved it.  And this is not always the feeling I get when I go to restaurants.  (I can only think of maybe a handful of instances where a restaurant’s décor was an instant love for me.)

On to the food!!!

To start off the evening, our server put in front of us the modified Amuse Bouche of a Ricotta, Pesto, and Tomato Crostini.  My friend AS is allergic to shellfish and apparently the amuse bouche of the night featured shrimp, so hence, we received this one instead.  It was good regardless – simple, fresh ricotta, and not too overpowering.

For our shared appetizers (there were three of us):

The Blue Cheese Soufflé & Shaved Persimmon-Fuji Apple Salad was in our server’s opinion, “Not that rich!  The salad helps cut the cheese down.”  Um….I’ll tell you right now that the soufflé itself, even with the salad, was downright rich.  I could see someone trying to finish this, then take two bites from their entrée and call it a night.  With that said, this was delicious and packed with blue cheese.  For those who do not enjoy blue cheese, do NOT get it!  It’s not just a hint of blue cheese, it’s in your FACE cheese.  The persimmon and Fuji apple salad was light and sweet to accompany the soufflé in perfect harmony.  *cue the harp music*

Our other appetizer was a recommendation from the server (I was hesitant in taking her suggestion considering her advice about the soufflé) when we asked which of the salads was better.  The one we ordered was the Grapefruit and Avocado Salad.  Grapefruit is not a fruit I eat at all because I find the bitterness too overpowering.  I decided to go in with an open mind and took a bite of the salad with a bit of every component.  That is the whole point of a composed dish right?

The bite consisted of the only slightly bittersweet grapefruit, with the creamy avocado, the tangy goat cheese, and mixed greens dressed in Arbequina Olive Oil (which was smooth and fruity like), I was surprised how much I liked it.  I never thought I would, but I did!  The salad is beautiful to look at, as well as to eat.  The flavors all worked with each other and I could not think of anything wrong with the combination.

Entrée time! 🙂

This was the special duo of the evening and AS’ choice!  The duo included Cabernet Braised Shortribs (Buttermilk Fried Onions, Vegetable Roast, Horseradish, Sweet Onion-Potato Purée) and Wagyu Skirt Steak (Aged White Cheddar Braised Potatoes, Broccolini, Roasted Tomato, Crispy Bacon).  Since I don’t eat beef, this was AS and JD’s reactions to the dish: “ZOMG the beef falls apart!  It is so good!  I can’t believe how tender it is!!!”

That was the general thought of the dish as a whole.  And according to the two ladies, they both liked the shortribs more than the skirt steak.  I did try the accompaniments and enjoyed the flavors of them too.

JD’s (a new coworkers of AS and a fellow foodie!) entrée was the Crab & Shrimp Stuffed Salmon with house made gnocchi, mushrooms and broccolini.  I had a bite of the fish with some of the stuffing and was surprised that I enjoyed it.  I am not a fan of cooked salmon; I like mine raw…in a sashimi form!  However, Market seasoned it well and the fish did not have that yucky, “fishy” smell or taste to it.

My selection should not come as a surprise since I never pass up this option.  The Spice roasted Maine dayboat scallops were superb.  The dish was accompanied by black rice, roasted Brussels sprout, fennel, and (if I recall correctly) a red pepper sauce.  My giant scallops were tender, flavorful, and oh so *gurgles in own saliva*.

………………Sorry, I had a moment there but I’m back.  Anyway, I don’t believe the dish is always on the menu since the restaurant does change every so often to reflect the season.

Honestly, the restaurant has yet to show me that they cannot execute a well-composed and cooked dish.  Kudos Market!  Ok, onto our last course!

Dessert!!! (Best part of any meal right?)

For AS, the S’mores – a warm chocolate and graham tart, with toasted brown sugar marshmallow swirl top, and topped with some sea salt.  The dessert comes with a scoop of the malted chocolate ice cream.  It is definitely s’mores for adults and packed with chocolate.  I liked it, but was not in love with it.

For JD, her Crème Fraische Panna Cotta was the disappointment of the evening.  The Panna Cotta with the tangerine sorbet was just too…plain and underwhelming.  I think those were the words we came up with to describe the dessert.  All of us love fruit-based desserts and a clean dish.  This one just did not cut it for any of us.

For moi, give me the Butterscotch custard and chocolate soufflé with espresso-bailey’s ice cream baby!  The dessert comes out as three mini desserts on a plate.  From left to right:  The ball of espresso-bailey’s ice cream is covered with what reminds of coco pebbles at first glance, but I think they are just pieces of chocolate wafer cookies, and it sits on a dollop of caramel – loved.

Then comes the little cup of butterscotch custard, with fresh vanilla whipped cream (and you can see the vanilla beans still!) topped with toffee pieces.  This was butterscotch all right!  Not my usual preference for custards or puddings, but this was small enough so it was still good with its other dessert members.

Lastly, the chocolate soufflé was a miniature “lava cake”.  The cake was good, but when it comes to “lava”-like cakes, my favorite still goes to Roy’s and Café Japengo’s.  Those are the bomb diggity!  Still, Market’s version was a fair in comparison to some I have had at other restaurants.

The desserts seem to be underwhelming overall for the three of us.  After having a stellar start and continued amazement for our entrées, the end was only “ok”.  Despite that, all three of us had an amazing dinner that evening.  I knew there was a reason this place has remained on my list of restaurants to try for years.  And the reason why I could still visit it after all this time, is that they make and serve outstanding food.  That is the why they are still thriving notwithstanding their isolated location.  Market Restaurant and Bar will have to be on my list of best places to go for special occasions.

Market Restaurant + Bar
3702 Via de la Valle
Del Mar, CA 92014


Best of Park Ridge, NJ

While traveling for work the last two weeks in Park Ridge, New Jersey, wasn’t exactly the most thrilling and exciting trip ever, it wasn’t the worst.  There were some real gems in the surrounding area (especially Ridgewood) and here were my best of Northern New Jersey!

Best List / Must Eats

Fire & Oak – come Monday night and you can get $1 oysters and I’m talking about BIG, good oysters.  However, skip the sushi and the seafood entrees.  The sushi was terrible and the entrees were so bland that my coworker were passing the salt between us throughout the meal.  So after you down as many oysters as you can, order yourself a slab of their chocolate peanut butter pie.  It comes ala mode (but you can’t see it due to the mountain of whipped cream) and it is ridiculous how rich this dessert was.  I had to pull myself away because it was just that good, yet I knew I shouldn’t polish it off on my own.

Sushi Village – Do NOT be alarmed by the fact this restaurant is in a strip mall, nor it’s exterior outlooks.  Once inside, you’ll be completely transported to a modern, fresh feeling restaurant.  The reason this place made it on my list is not because it was the best sushi I’ve ever had.  The sushi was good (far, far better than Fire & Oak’s), but there were two things that got me:

  1. All you can eat sushi dinner for $19.99!  It is a freaking deal no matter how you swing it.
  2. The “Spicy Seaweed Salad” – this concoction is pure genius! Take the usual seaweed salad, but add spicy krab and mix it in with some tempura crunchies…it becomes a mouth of happiness.  So simple, yet so addicting and delicious.

Brooklyn’s Pizzeria – straight up good, wood burning oven, pizza in the area.  I personally enjoyed our pie and I know how strongly people feel about pizza in that state and it’s neighboring one too.  However, I found it to be delicious and I had to stop myself from devouring the whole thing. (Note: it’s cash only business)

Bricklane Curry House – my gawd…this place was the place that gave me one of those food-awe-haze moments.  The Butter Masala was incredible to the point where I would say it comes close to my fave at Punjabi Tandoor’s Makhani.  And their paneer pakora (which my friend has coined as “pan-pak”) was amazing too.  I don’t know if I like Village Indian’s pan-pak or Bricklane’s more!  AHHHHHH THE DILEMMA!  (Oh! Don’t forget to order yourself a mango lassi – thick, creamy, and packed with mango goodness!)

Organic Tofu House – when I think of middle of nowhere cities in the woods…I don’t automatically think amazing Korean tofu stew.  Who would??  However, this Korean tofu house was a real diamond in the rough.  It’s in a strip mall and on the other side of the main street through Ridgewood.  Complete unassuming and yet, for those who venture in, they are met with a quaint little restaurant that whips out a pot of bubbling, scathing hot, organic tofu stew!  Man oh man…my coworker and I dove into our bubbly pots with little care for our tongues because we wanted the stew!!

Fire & Oak
2 locations in New Jersey

Sushi Village
700-90 Broadway
Westwood, NJ 07642

Brooklyn’s Pizzeria
15 Oak St
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Bricklane Curry House
Multiple Locations – NJ and NY

Organic Tofu House
88 Godwin Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450