Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

I had such a good time last weekend visiting friends and exploring San Diego/La Jolla from a local’s perspective.  Although I really love Nor-Cal, the wonderful weather and beaches were enough to make me miss living in Southern California.  I didn’t have much time to spend down there (less than 48 hours) but we still managed to fit in so much, especially in the food area!

Friday night was spent at Harney Sushi in Old Town.  Not only was it close to the airport and bus station, making it a convenient stop after everyone arrived, but it was a great spot for late night dining.  We arrived there at 10:30pm and the place was happening! The ambience was great, the scene was lively, and as a bonus, they also had a half price late night dining menu!  Definitely check this place if you’re looking for a place for drinks or late night cheap sushi.

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There’s nothing I look forward to more than brunch on the weekends and Hash House a Go Go definitely delivered.  It’s one of the more popular brunch spots so make sure you make a reservation or be prepared to wait.  It is located in the Hillcrest neighborhood though so you can definitely explore the neighborhood while you wait for a table.  Hillcrest is a hip area filled with unique restaurants and shops and also borders the northwest corner of Balboa Park, close to where the San Diego Zoo is located, so it’s a fun area to visit.  But back to Hash House.  They serve what they call “twisted farm food”, but I basically call it yummy comfort food on steroids.  One meal there and you’re good for the whole day!  They have all kinds of hashes, scrambles, benedicts and pancakes.  Everything we ordered was delicious so you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

After our hearty breakfast we headed to Coronado Island for the Annual Artisan’s Craft Fair and to check out the famous Hotel Del Coronado.  The craft fair was a good way to walk off all the food we ate and a good place to pick up some holiday decor and gifts if I didn’t have to carry it back on the plane with me.  Even though Coronado Island is separated from San Diego by just a short bridge, you feel as though you’ve been transported to a small island village.  The homes on the island are incredibly charming, the people are so friendly, and the beaches are vast.  The Hotel Del is a beautiful beachfront hotel that’s conveniently located by the main drag.  The town center was already decked out in holiday lights making for a very festive atmosphere.  We toured the hotel grounds, taking in the various Dr. Seuss sculptures, the ice-skating rink set amidst the palm trees, and the ocean views.

Since it was only about an hour to sunset, we decided to take a stroll on the beautiful beach (one of the nicest in So-Cal!), grab a cup of hot tea and wait.  Seems like everyone else had the same idea since all the ocean facing tables with fire pits were taken! The sunset definitely did not disappoint, it was so beautiful.

Afterwards we drove back into the city for dinner at Oceanaire Seafood Restaurant in the Gaslamp District.  The service was impeccable and the seafood was delicious.  I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for fresh seafood or just a nice night out.  We had the Whole Flash Fried “Angry” Mexican Lane Snapper, the Boston Pan Fried Scallops, and the “Drunken” South Pacific Swordfish.  All were extremely tasty.  After dinner, we strolled through the Gaslamp District, which is chock full of bars and nightclubs if you’re into that sort of nightlife, and headed straight to what else, desserts, or more specifically Extraordinary Desserts!  This place was a-mazing.  There’s all sorts of desserts that you can pick from including a handful of daily specials.  The place is also open until midnight, making for a great spot to hang out post-dinner.  I wish there was a place like this in SF, or maybe there is but I’m not aware of it (if you guys know of any, I’m all ears!).  All the desserts were giganto so I’d suggest sharing and were beautifully decorated with fresh flowers.  Needless to say it was all delicious and we were plenty satisfied.  They also have an extensive drinks list, all kinds of specialty teas and food if you want to have dinner there too.

Our final day was spent in La Jolla.  We started the day off going to the La Jolla Open Aire Farmers’ Market where we sampled in-season fruits.  The market is not too big but there’s still plenty of produce vendors, cooked food stands, and a live band, lending to a fun Sunday activity.  We had brunch at The Cottage, another great brunch spot.  That Sunday happened to be the annual Christmas Parade in La Jolla so we caught part of it walking down Girard Avenue.  There’s definitely a great community down there with families and pets all dressed up in holiday garb getting into the holiday spirit.  We then headed towards the ocean and saw the birds and sea lions at La Jolla Cove, Scripps Park, and the seals at Children’s Pool Beach.  I don’t think I can ever get sick of seeing those seals and sea lions, they are so amusing sometimes and the seals have such cute faces!

Sadly it was time for me to head back home to reality.  There’s still so much that we didn’t get to, like Balboa Park, Old Town, and spending more time in Hillcrest, that I definitely see another trip in the future.  Thanks so much for a wonderful time ladies, and special thanks to G for driving us around, planning activities, and hosting.  It was so great to catch up with you gals.  I hope to see you guys soon in San Francisco!

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Last Friday night eats was at a Firefly, a quaint neighborhood restaurant that’s tucked away in a residential area of Noe Valley.  Upon entering you get the sense that the place is mostly frequented by locals.  The atmosphere was lively without being noisy and felt very warm and inviting.

After ordering, they brought out a loaf of bread that was complimented with a carrot and bean spread.  It was so delicious I very nearly licked all of it off the knife, until the hubs gave me his please don’t embarrass me look.  We ordered the Dueling Kona Kampachi, as an appetizer, which is a white fish prepared two ways, grilled and tartare.  The grilled version had a sweet buttery taste but the tartare was light and refreshing.  The hubs had the Seared Scallops entree, which he ordered after seeing so many other diners ordering it as well.  I’m not a big fan of scallops but these were a-mazing.  So good that next time I want to order my own plate and have each and every one of them to myself.  Ever see the Friends episode where Joey gets upset that his date tried his food?  Yeah, well, that’s how I’d feel about these scallops!

I ordered the Roasted Duck Breast, which was very flavorful, especially when paired with the figs.  The hubs and I opted to skip dessert in hopes of finding something else and I’m so glad we did!  Just down the street from Firefly, we stumbled upon Pasta Gina, an Italian deli/specialty market.  We walked in unsure of whether they even had any desserts and almost walked straight out of there since all we saw were savory items, until I saw a sign for fresh cannoli.  Being from NYC, the hubs and I have missed all the wonderful italian pastry shops and being able to grab a good cannoli whenever we wanted.  Well, let me tell you, this did not disappoint! It was better than a lot of cannoli’s we’ve had in NY.  Even at a whopping $6 a piece, I highly recommend trying the cannolis here.  They were filled to order so that the shell stayed fresh and crunchy.  The filling was just the right amount of sweetness with chocolate chips sprinkled throughout.

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If you’re looking for a neighborhood-y restaurant with delicious food, attentive staff, and an unpretentious atmosphere without having to make a reservation weeks in advance, I’d recommend Firefly.  And if you ever need a lovely take-out option, I’d suggest giving Pasta Gina a try.  With a selection of pasta, cheese, wine, and dessert, you can pick up a whole meal for a romantic night in ;).


4288 24th Street, between Diamond & Douglass St.

Pasta Gina

741 Diamond Street, between 24th & Elizabeth St.

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After our wonderful evening at L’Ardoise, we (and by we, I mean me) declared Friday night our official Friday night date night.  But really it should be called our Friday night eat night since it’s really an excuse for us to eat out after a whole week of home cooking.

One of the things that the hubs and I love to do is eat.  We appreciate all kinds of foods and are always looking up new restaurants or cuisines to try, whether it be a michelin-starred or a hole-in-the-wall restaurant.  And since we’re new to the city, what better way to get to know it than to try a new restaurant every week?  It will also give us a chance to venture out into different neighborhoods and experience the diversity that makes San Francisco special.

Despite living in the city for approx. 2 months, the hubs and I had still yet to explore neighborhoods that are more than 2 miles away from us! I had heard great things about Dosa and when I saw that it was located in the Fillmore area of Pacific Heights, I thought it would make a good date night restaurant.  Dosa’s Paper Masala Dosa was listed in the 7×7 100 things to try in SF before you die and of course I was keen to try it.  If you guys haven’t heard of the list before, you should definitely check it out! I’ve only tried about 10 dishes from that list, but so far every one of them have been mouthwatering good.  Anyway, back to Dosa.  The hubs partook in their seasonal 3 course tasting menu for $35.  He selected the Grilled Calamari, the Paneer and Peas Dosa, and the South Indian Lamb Kofta, all of which were tasty.  I of course tried the Paper Masala Dosa and loved it.  It also helped that the dosa was about 2 feet long!

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Look at that thing! I’m so glad the waitress warned me since I was about to order 2 dishes!  I’ve had dosas before but they were usually too light and airy, but this one had a wonderful denser texture, it reminded me of my mom’s thin chinese style pancakes…drool. It came with several dips that were very flavorful and complemented the dosa very well.  All in all I would highly recommend Dosa for a date night.  It is a larger restaurant and a bit noisy so I wouldn’t recommend it for an intimate or romantic evening, but the ambiance and bar scene is very hip/cool.  Also the drinks menu was quite extensive and I liked that they had interesting cocktails.

We strolled along Fillmore afterwards looking for dessert and ended up at Fraiche Yogurt.  I’m a big fan of Pinkberry and Yogurtland so I was super bummed to find out that there aren’t any in San Francisco :(, but Fraiche will definitely be a good substitute.  Similar to Pinkberry, there’s limited flavors but the flavors they do have are tends towards tart, which I love.  But what really made Fraiche outstanding was their homemade mochi topping.  I’m telling you, I can never go back to regular mochi now that I know what the fresh, homemade ones taste like!

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Truly a successful food night! I will definitely be heading back to Fillmore Street again, but maybe during the daytime.  It’s lively, full of boutiques and restaurants, and I can’t think of a better way to end a shopping trip than a stop at Fraiche.

What: Pacific Heights Neighborhood

Where: Fillmore St. between Post & Clay St.

Activity: Shopping, Eating, Drinking

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