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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
7094 Miramar Rd #105
San Diego, CA 92121
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:
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!
703 Turquoise Street
San Diego, CA 92109
746 Emerald Street
San Diego, CA 92109
646 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
Another institution that has been in San Diego for years, but I never made it to since I don’t have the right group of people to go with. However, when a group of friends whom I met during my previous job at the client wanted to go get lunch. The opportunity came up and I suggested Dede’s Teajuice City!
The restaurant is small, but still a decent size yet it is in one of the many super small strip mall all over Kearny Mesa. At this point, I think I’m just used to it that I don’t even complain about it anymore. Anyway, I was there specifically for some delicious food and I was not going to be denied of it!
Dede’s Special Cooked Baby Ribs were good, but I wish there was more meat! I’m not one to eat off the bone and when I do, I expect there to be meat! Lots and lots of meat!
The Cumin Lamb that my friends told me was delicious. It smelled great! If it really tastes as good as it smelled, then I wish I did eat lamb….*sigh*
The Spicy Sichuan Eggplant a dish that I’m just so familiar with and it does makes me think of home. I can’t ever reject eggplant, mmmm….purple….spicy purple!
The dish that I really wanted to have that day was the Boiled Fish Hot Pot. Basically fried fish fillets with tons of peppers and potatoes. I have an obsession for spicy foods and there is no end to it and this little pot is like gold for me. Spicy, but still flavorful and the fish with its crispy outer layer and moist, tender flesh interior….mmm, perfection!
We had several other dishes to go along side with our main stars, but as they were coming out with one dish after another, we kept eating. The full meal included:
Dan Dan Noodles, which were enjoyed by the whole table. It’s spicy here too and I have no complaints about that! Dan Dan Noodles was one of those dishes that I learned to fall in love with as I grew older, whereas it was a favorite of my Dad’s.
We also had an order of pan fried dumplings (it was pork filled) and scallion pancakes because hey! Why the freak not?! We were all grown adults with adult appetites! LET US FEAST!
…..and somewhere in the middle of feasting, I had to take an aerial shot of our table:
I am quite proud of our ability to consume and I think we could do better next time by ordering more food. I love Dede’s since it’s the food that I’m most familiar with and feel at home with. Definitely returning to Dede’s for more meals!
Dede’s Teajuice City
4647 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
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:
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.
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.
Throughout San Diego County (and sometimes beyond)
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?
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!
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.
Oh these wonderful babies again…come to mama! NOM NOM NOM!!!
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!
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…
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.
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).
3930 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
Lately I’ve been ordering takeout via online websites. At first this was purely because I wanted to try it out, but then when the site starts sending me electronic coupons too, that would usually do it for me. It was because of Eat24 that I finally tried a restaurant that has been on my go-to list forever, but never made it because it was just out of the way. Considering it’s one of two places that I know of in San Diego that serves some Malaysian dishes, I don’t know why it took me so long to try Bali Thai. With that said, after the first successful order via Eat24, Bali Thai Cafe has been my go-to-to-go spot for specifically, their Malaysian dishes!
The spread for…well myself!! CP was going out with his family that evening and I was by myself for dinner, so instead of cooking (which I have been doing a lot of), I ordered my favorite dishes:
This is an order of the Mie Goreng, an Indonesian/Malay dish of thin egg noodles stir fried with fried tofu, onion, carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts in a sweet soy sauce. The dish is popular in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, so it’s not a surprise that it tastes something like a cross between Chinese chow mein and Japanese yakisoba. Yet the taste is its own and not like either of the two. Maybe that’s why I can’t get enough of it?
The Nasi Goreng Bali Thai combo: quarter of the Ayum Bumbu Bali, two satay skewers (I guess this puts the “Thai” into the combo?), nasi goreng, and a fried egg.
The Ayum Bumbu Bali is a grilled, Balinese chili marinated chicken. It’s sweet and spicy and they serve it with another heaping of chili on top. From searching for how one would make this dish, it seems the chili seasoning is a mixture of ginger, red pepper, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, and shrimp paste. The flavors are just explosive in comparison to the chicken skewers and that much more tender and juicy. I would have gladly given up those skewers for some more of that chili paste and slather it all over myself (or toast).
The combo also comes with the Nasi Goreng, which is basically the fried rice version of the Mie Goreng. Fried rice with onions in a sweet soy sauce and topped with a fried egg. Actually, the last time I just ordered Nasi Goreng, they had scrambled the egg into the fried rice, versus topping it off with a friend egg like this. Honestly, I prefer it to be this way and even though I understand why they wouldn’t serve the egg runny, I sorely wished they did. Note to myself: ask them to make it a sunny side up egg for my Nasi Goreng next time.
All the dishes at Bali Thai Cafe are extremely affordable and tasty. Considering I’ve never been to Malaysia or Indonesia yet, I’ve had my taste of the cuisine here in San Diego (the other venue I will post later on), New York, and in Florida (yes…that was an odd one but still good). It just reinforces my love for cuisines that will use a heavy hand on spices to cook up wonderful dishes.
And remember kids: just say ‘NO’ to bland food!
Bali Thai Cafe
407 Camino Del Rio S
San Diego, CA 92108
As far as I can remember, I have loved all kinds of noodles. It was a staple in my childhood diet especially when the only food I ate fell in the carbohydrates category, chicken, turkey, pork, and fruit. To say the least my diet was very imbalanced would be an understatement. Despite the fact that I have since expanded my eating horizon quite significantly, the foundation of my food love has never really changed all that much.
I love food that is flavorful – duh…I mean who likes bland food??? For instance: I have always loved tofu, but trying to eat it in its natural form without any sauces or spices, I cannot stomach it. And despite the fact that I had try the little to no carb diet back in college, that didn’t last very long for me as the thought of bread, noodles, rice, pasta haunted me day and night. Giving up my foundation was literally driving me insane!
Fast forward to today: I am eating carbs again and I love it! However, I am more discerning about my choices in the various carbohydrate options. One of the things that I never really thought much about was ramen. Growing up in North Carolina, ramen meant Top Ramen or Instant Cup Noodles. Even when I finally moved back to San Diego with my family, ramen had only expanded as far as the options that were given prepackaged with the fried and dried noodles.
Then my first experience with having ramen that was NOT from a package was at Tajima about 5-6 years ago? Back then, that was the benchmark of delicious ramen for me. That is until I tried my bowl of ramen while vacationing in Honolulu back in the Spring of 2011, then the mind blowing bowl from Hide-chan in New York during the Fall of the same year. What I have known as “ramen” was forever changed since then.
So the most recent adventures into the ramen world while in San Diego included three of the “newer” additions to our wonderful city: Hinotez, Ramen Yamadaya, and Rakiraki.
Shall we begin going down the rabbit hole?
This restaurant came in after the old Honey Bee Café left their spot several years ago. Sandwiched between auto shops, across from the rows of dealerships, and it’s next door neighbor (same building) is a bar, it isn’t exactly broadcasting itself in the best light.
That was why I was so surprised when I first stepped in that it was completely redone and looked the part of a ramen house. Ok…good start! A look at the menu and you know they are trying to just run a no frills shop and that’s just the way I like it. The choices are limited and simple: ramen (limited choices), a few entrees from the kitchen, and then the short yakitori list. The reason I came in was for their ramen, but I can’t go without at least trying their chicken thigh yakitori. Here is the breakdown of Hinotez:
I have been back several times and although it never felt like we were intentionally being ignored or neglected, they seem to conveniently forget a part of the order the last three visits. And each time, they apologize profusely and depending on the time and mood and fullness, I’ll either have them still put the order through or just have it skipped.
A good broth is hard to find and time consuming to make. That’s why I have to look at a restaurant lovingly when they do a good broth for me. Hinotez’ tonkotsu broth is milky, thick, and flavorful. It is on the saltier side, which makes it hard for me to finish the WHOLE bowl’s broth (though I do make a nice dent to it). As for the noodles, it can vary from being slight overcooked to almost just right.
In addition to the ramen, we also ordered steamed gyozas and they were only ok. Nothing to rave about nor complain about. Just kind of “meh” (hence why there has never been a picture of it) and not worth your stomach space – skip it!
As for the chicken thigh yakitori, that came with two skewers, I love! The chicken was juicy and seasoned with only salt and that was all that it needed. However, on my last visit, they didn’t quite grill it to that perfect caramelization on the outside that I loved the first two times.
Overall Verdict?…I hope that Hinotez will have more yakitori choices down the road, but this place has potential. There are some things that need to be worked out such as consistency in cooking, but they have the flavors that can keep me coming back for more.
Located in the same strip mall where Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot resides, this little (emphasis on little) shop is unassuming. Yet it is Los Angeles chain that has graced our town (why can’t more of this happen????) and I was very excited to go try it one evening with my mom and younger sister.
Ramen Yamadaya has a small indoor seating area, with bar seating right in front of the open kitchen where you can watch the guys prepare your ramen. There is also an outdoor patio area that has some limited seating as well. Even though the place has been open just a little over two months, the word is out that Yamadaya is here. Is it good you ask? Well if you’re a chain with six locations in southern California, I would imagine they have the art of ramen down to the ‘T’.
See those glops of fat floating at the surface?…Yea that’s what you look for when you’re getting yourself prep and hyped up for a delicious tonkotsu broth experience. Just like Hinotez, these guys have the broth’s consistency down – thick and rich with porky goodness that coats your mouth and all the way down your throat before settling happily in your stomach. Yea…this was freaking good. Best part? It was NOT over salted and thus…I only put down my spoon because I was going to be scraping the bottom.
When it was done, I had to dig myself out of that fatty, rich goodness to remember more about the rest of the bowl. Noodles? Yes, there was noodles and I had order extra just because I could see their portions run small. They were cooked just right and even though I am not a slow eater (by nature), by the time I took my last bite, that was when the noodles felt a little “softer”. Not bad Yamadaya…not bad at all (gawds I want myself a bowl now…*gurgling*).
The service was bare-bones – two front of the house servers on a Friday night with three or four guys working the kitchen (cooking, cleaning, etc). Hence you may have a little more problems getting their attention when you really want something. However, I’m all for helping myself to things when the restaurant’s small and short on staff. For this bowl, I’m willing to sacrifice a waiter’s attention as long as he brings me my order.
Actually…I didn’t make it to Rakiraki as intended, but hopefully by next week!