I don’t visit City Heights often but knew there were some reputable restaurants in this area. Reputable not meaning Michelin three stars but more yelp stars if you know what I mean. I was in the area some weeks ago on a Friday for a funeral. It was strangely a warming way to start the 4th of July weekend as the service was touching and heartfelt in many ways. 777 Noodle House was just down the street so it was the right opportunity for us to finally try out this Vietnamese restaurant here in City Heights.
I was meeting a friend and she suggested trying Cusp Dining & Drinks in La Jolla. I visited Cusp years ago and thought the view was fine but the food was meh. They offer happy hour Mon-Sun from 4pm-7pm. The restaurant is located on the 11th floor of Hotel La Jolla. There’s now only a valet parking option so make sure to bring cash. I originally heard it’s $3 with restaurant validation but the nice valet gentleman said the valet fee is now completely covered with the restaurant validation. So kudos there.
I had one of the best Sundays ever. Sunday school went well and service afterwards was even better. There was a sense of family and community that brought a different feel to the day. So what did I do afterwards. Returned stuff at the mall and then eat Poke. Didn’t really go with the theme of the day but hey. UTC really really sucks on weekends. The parking is atrocious and people just seem real angry. I was going to take the afternoon to window shop for stuff I didn’t need but that was nixed pretty quickly (well, I still managed to buy an awesome pair of girlfriend jeans from GAP and nice summer linen pants from Anthro). So girlfriend and I were quickly tired and decided to head to nearby Poke UTC for a late afternoon lunch.
Scene: Sitting in an auditorium
Moderator: “I am the moderator. You will have three hours to take the test. Do not ‘check’ the bubbles. Do not ‘x’ the bubbles. You must *completely* fill in the bubbles with the number two pencil you have in front of you. Exam….starts…now…”
Those words sound familiar anyone. Anyone. Yeah. SATs. The thought of taking that test again brings panic sweats to my face.
Well, you can now relive the bubble card (as sis termed it in high school), along with the #2 pencil, here at Pearl Chinese Cuisine for their dim sum. There are no longer lovely ladies pushing around carts full of dim sum. There are no longer the ‘all dim sum for the price of a small’ specials during the week. There’s no longer…hmmm….the FEEL of dim sum at Pearl.
I’ve read about recent closings and openings of restaurants in the Convoy area but was saddened when I saw the shielded doors at Dede’s Teajuice House. I used to frequent this restaurant many many times by myself. They had nice lunch specials but the lunch portions got smaller and smaller. I still enjoyed talking to staff here (particularly Wendy the owner) and would occasionally drop by to order take out. Dede’s still made a memorable snake gourd dish that I’ll miss.
I’ve been on a grilled meat skewers kick lately. I’ve had more lunch meetings than usual and the paying party has suggested Persian food on a few occasions. I started thinking about Persian food the other week and discovered Grill House Cafe in Miramar. The restaurant is tucked away in the same strip mall as Ashoka. They offer discounted prices during lunch so I thought this would be an opportune time to finally try Grill House Cafe.
I’ve visited Fogo de Chao way more times than I’d like to remember. I was there with family just last Mother’s Day for lunch. Service was great but I think I just over-meated out. The salad bar didn’t seem as phenomenal and the plethora of people at the salad bar made it difficult to enjoy. Every mother that ate that day received one complimentary gift card for a free lunch or dinner (until July 7th). V’s birthday was coming up and Fogo de Chao is one of her favorite restaurants. So sis and I decided to treat her here for her birthday this year. We had the free gift card plus I wanted to try their new $15 Gaucho Lunch.
My cousin recently treated me to dinner and we both picked Trust Restaurant to try out. She’s a dentist foodie. She’s on Yelp more than I am searching for places to eat. We met at the hospital where she’s completing her residency so that we could carpool to Trust Restaurant. It’s honestly just like old times when we get together and it makes me miss her even more. We cranked up the music and sang N Sync songs the entire ride there. She joked that she was taking me on a proper date where I could order AS MUCH as I wanted. Why can’t every (real) date be like this. Her encouragement and laughter are contagious. That’s all that mattered that evening. I totally didn’t mean that.
I love free stuff. I love swag. I didn’t even know the word swag until Peanut and Cdj saw me go through a cubicle of free stuff like a tazmanian devil. That’s why I love Yelp events because of their swag. That’s why I love Costco because of their samples. I have to sometimes work for swag (sis and I have been known to switch outfits to get another free cupcake – that’s another story though). But last year I had to do something that, to this day, makes me shake my head.
My friend Ricky is a manager of a gym. Last year he and Cdj were trying to convince me to reconnect with my inner beast and get back into the gym. He said the gym was having a party (WITH free food) and a charity event that would garner me a free month’s membership. All I had to do was give blood. *All*. I asked the guys if it was an easy process and everyone said yeah it’s like 10 minutes and is so easy. So yeah – ok – free food and free month’s membership. I could totally do that.
I’d like to think I’m going through a transformation of some sort. Sports used to be such a big part of my life and I’m determined to get back into it. Friends have helped me greatly with this (they know the bone this dog needs to have in order to get fixated again). I’ll share more about that Friday. Anyway, I’ve gotten my butt back into working out and it sucks. Like S.U.C.K.S. But, it’s working and I can tell you I’ve lost zero pounds. Kidding aside, going to the gym again has helped me and last Saturday was no exception. I was done with a muay thai class and decided to eat something healthy. I called Cdj and he suggested an AYCE Chinese buffet to completely negate what I just accomplished in class. So Seaside Buffet was what we decided on.