Tidewater Tavern – Solana Beach, CA

How have I never been to Tidewater Tavern in Solana Beach. And how did Cdj find this place before me. The conundrums I face in my daily life. Cdj usually texts me during Sunday service to 1) pay attention to service; 2) stop checking football stats on nfl.com; 3) where are we eating after I’m done. It was one of those perfect mornings where Sunday school kids were amazing and the message at Sunday service hit home for me. So I wasn’t up for debating where and what to eat by the time I was done because I wanted to share the message with Cdj while watching the Chargers whoop Jag’s arse.

Tidewater Tavern is located close to Pizza Port on the Hwy 101. The restaurant does share a private parking lot in the back. There aren’t many spaces. I luckily found a non metered parking space right in front of the restaurant.

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Flour & Barley (Yelp Event) – San Diego, CA

It’s been good to be home. Jet lag is wearing off but I think I’m getting sick (just like everyone else). My mom is in town and she brought back her Lifu (note “HER” lifu – post coming about that). Flour & Barley is an Italian restaurant I had heard buzz about through Yelp. I was supposed to try out Flour & Barley before my trip but there was a mix up about the time. So we rescheduled the dinner for when I returned to San Diego. It was the perfect timing as 1) I was craving non-Asian food and 2) I was meeting up with one of my best college buddies.

The Yelp invite said:

Flour & Barley – Brick Oven Pizza offers guests a unique spin on a pizzeria eatery, featuring brick oven-style pizzas with wood-fired crusts made with San Marzano tomatoes, whole milk mozzarella and house-made toppings along with Italian-inspired appetizers, pasta dishes and salads, plus hand-crafted cocktails and an extensive beer program.

You and your +1 (if confirmed) will be able to generously choose from:

– One shared appetizer from the menu,
– One entrée each (with the exception of the Branzino)
– One dessert from the menu
– A 12oz draft of your choice for each guest.

I was looking forward to their antipasti platter and a 12 oz draft beer. I’ve been on a beer kick since Taiwan.

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Las Brisas Restaurant (OMG ocean views) – Laguna Beach, CA

LAS BRISAS RESTAURANT

My last two nights in Taipei were filled to the brim with family time. That’s all that seemed to matter. Saying goodbye to them on the final day brought uncontrollable tears (on my part) and the question, from my grandma, when will you come back? My mom took the same flight as me so the 12 hour flight back to Los Angeles wasn’t as horrible. Walking out of the Thomas Bradley International terminal felt surreal. The non-humid weather and the clear blue skies felt calming. The weather was so hot before I left for Asia so the change felt like a relief (considering how humid and hot Taiwan was when I was there).

Cdj was my uber driver back to San Diego. He’s an ok uber driver. But he likes to take detours without the client’s approval. Who does that.

He wanted to go to Laguna Beach as he lived there for some time and wanted to have a late lunch there. Nothing sounded worse than that as I had just flown 12 hours and been up many hours prior to that. His uber fee came in the form of a free meal so ok fine. Pick the fanciest restaurant with the grumpiest friend.

I knew it would be a fun adventure when we found parking right in front of Las Brisas Restaurant and when I secured…

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Mr. Goose (2nd location) – Hualien, Taiwan

Sometimes the literal translation of a name/phrase/word makes me laugh. Mr. Goose is a popular restaurant in Hualien and they specialize in, well, goose. The restaurant name, when said in Chinese, sounds so formal to me. Almost like, Sir Goose. Or you’re politely calling an animal ‘Mister’ or ‘Sir’. I’ve been to Mr. Goose on my previous visit but they’ve opened a second location since then. The second location is cleaner, brighter, and has a second floor.

I love goose as much as I love duck. There’s a gaminess to the meat that’s incredibly flavorful without being pungent. Mr. Goose prepares their geese in a beautiful fashion and I can never get enough of this bird  when I am in town.

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Tresors de la Mer (@Addiction Aquatic Development) – Taipei, Taiwan

Our adventure at the Addiction Aquatic Development led us to Tresors de la Mer which is a sit down Japanese restaurant at the Taipei Fish Market. There’s no sit down sushi area inside Addiction Aquatic Development so my mom insisted we try Tresors de la Mer which is located to the right of the charcoal grill restaurant of the market.

Tresors de la Mer offers fresh seafood that they obtain from the market. It’s a sit down restaurant with two different seating levels. You have to walk up a flight of stairs in order to get to the patio/2nd/3rd floors(there are no elevators).

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Addiction Aquatic Development (Taipei Fish Market)

We took a late train from Hualien back to Taipei. I only had a few days left here in Taiwan so my mom was making the most of it. One of those surprises was an excursion to Addiction Aquatic Development in Taipei. Now I know you might be laughing at the name and wondering if I’m writing about an amusement park or what. But no, Addiction Aquatic Development, also known as Taipei Fish Market, is a seafood fanatic’s dream.

They are known for their ten areas inside this industrial type building and location. The ten areas include live seafood, made to order sushi, seafood bar, shabu shabu, charcoal grill bbq, a beautiful supermarket, cooked foods, Tresors de la Mer (a fancy restaurant I’ll post about soon), fruit section, and flowers.

Imagine Catalina Offshore Products merged with Liberty Public Market and had a seafood baby. That sounds ridiculous but hopefully you’ll understand when you see the pictures of Addiction Aquatic Development.

First off, let me share what was waiting for us when we came home to my grandmother’s…

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Kazoku – Hualien, Taiwan

To say that I’m making each moment count here in Taiwan is an understatement. Jet lag can’t even stop the time I’m memorizing with my mom and grandma. I haven’t been sleeping much, not just because of the time change, but mostly because the three of us stay up talking and laughing until well after midnight. Taipei is a fun city but Hualien is where I am most comfortable. We scheduled a trip for about five days and I’m writing this on my last night night here in Hualien. It’s been a whirl wind trip that I wish my fingers could type fast enough to share. But alas, this post will be about a Japanese meal at Kazoku we recently had here in Hualien.

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1010 Hunan Cuisine – Taipei, Taiwan

I’ve been settling in Taipei just fine. We leave today for Hualien so I’m excited about the familiar faces I will see. I still have jet lag and it doesn’t help that sis tries to facetime me when it’s 2am here (‘oh, oops, sooorrrrry’ was her apology but then we ended up talking for 30 min). I see my youngest uncle everyday and he’s the coolest guy. He’s an architect so he’s just always busy. He’d come by and I’d whimper ‘can you pleeeaase take me out today’ and my mom/grams would screech ‘are you crazy, he’s so busy!’. I should seriously translate Are You Crazy into mandarin/taiwanese because I hear that at least nine times a day. Ok here it is according to my grandmother who’s laughing her hynie off as I type this: 你才疯了. 

Uncle wanted to treat us to dinner so he and my mom picked a Hunan restaurant downtown. Traffic that Friday night was terrible and my uncle’s driving got me car sick. He’s a very calm soft spoken man but with a wicked sense of humor. I asked if he could teach me to drive in Taipei which he agreed to until my mom started yelling at him. Taipei’s car and motorbike congestion is unreal. I’m glad I didn’t try to drive that night as there truly are no rules here when it comes to cutting in, cutting people off, etc.

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LAX (Terminal 2: Umami Burger & discoveries )

I had planned a trip for this summer but was privately hoping it wouldn’t happen as I was too busy with work. But this current season has been about re charging my batteries. It was a last minute (or last week) type of planning so the trip departure quickly approached. I am a horrible packer and the worst traveler as my fear of flying tends to consume me a week before a trip. I couldn’t seem to handle what was going on but leave it to friends who told me to ‘enjoy the moments that are in front of you before they pass you by’.

Sis could only take me to LAX in the morning even though my flight wasn’t until 5p. She’s strategic about putting miles on her car so she scheduled a maintenance (on her car) to ensure getting a rental for that day to use for the drive to LA. Smart and efficient girl.

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Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot ( $11.95 lunch special + Pokemon Go ramblings)

I was over Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot as the food started to taste the same with each visit. Not that this is a bad thing as consistency is a great trait but the soup base started to taste monotonous. Plus, the lunch special price was no longer $9.95. Sis wanted to treat V and her son for lunch. We know the two of them like Little Sheep. It had been awhile since all of us had a meal together so we decided on an adventure to Little Sheep.

Why an adventure you ask. Well, because my sister is a freak and wanted to collect more Pokemon Go crap. I don’t even know how that works. I just know terms like fuel stop, gym fights, pokemon balls, picachu. She refuses to buy more balls to feed or fight the creatures (or whatever) so she has to do pit stops (or whatever) to search for more balls. Cheapness never hurt so much.

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So it begins…A San Diego Food Blog

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