Tag Archives: octopus

Char House: Saigon Grill and Pho – San Diego, CA

Friends think I should rent a condo in Convoy as I’m in that area at least two times a week. To eat. Like, seriously. For food. I’ve seen signs for Char House over the last few months and was curious to see what this new Vietnamese restaurant had to offer. Note to self and to others reading this: Char House is closed on TUESDAYS. I, of course, tried to visit for the first time on a Tuesday and cried when I pulled on the closed doors. They are located across from Car Max and a tshirt printing company.

Continue reading Char House: Saigon Grill and Pho – San Diego, CA

LATIN FOOD FEST GRANDE TASTING 2015

The 3rd annual Latin Food Fest Grande Tasting 2015 was held this year at San Diego’s Broadway Pier. The weather in San Diego had been almost perfect all week. The humidity had left us but we were struck with warmer temps come Friday. Saturday was no exception as the heat wave seemed to penetrate the entire city. No matter though as the beautiful gusts of harbor wind was much loved and appreciated that day at the Latin Food Fest Grande Tasting.   Continue reading LATIN FOOD FEST GRANDE TASTING 2015

Savoie Eatery (Meet the Chef Dinner)

Meeting the chef is always a highlight if you’re a foodie. It’s like meeting the director or the action star of a movie. Savoie (pronounced Sah-vawh) Eatery recently invited me to their Meet the Chef dinner. Chef Mikel Anthony recently took over the kitchen at Savoie Eatery in Chula Vista. Chef has worked at Juniper & Ivy as well as Cucina Enoteca (Del Mar). At a mere 33 years of age, Chef Mikel was a match for this Karina’s Group restaurant that opened in just 2014. Savoie Eatery crafts dishes from the Mediterranean regions of France, Italy, and Spain.

My plus one was BW but it took her some convincing to come as it would be a long drive for the both of us. We compromised by me agreeing to pick her up and being the responsible driver. This is how we roll when we take road trips…   Continue reading Savoie Eatery (Meet the Chef Dinner)

Okada-Ya Takoyaki – Mira Mesa (Farmer’s Market)

I’m trying to remember how and when I was introduced to the wonderful goodness of octopus fritters. We didn’t eat takoyaki much when we were little and I think I only started eating them after college. I came across Okada-ya Takoyaki at the Mira Mesa Farmers Market many years ago. I was tentative, back then, to try their freshly made right in front of you takoyaki but was glad the hesitation didn’t last but a moment.

The Mira Mesa Farmer’s Market is small but they have a few small food vendors that I like. Arepex Grill made very nice stuffed arepas and I’m still a fan of Poppa’s Fresh Fish Company. I almost forgot about this little takoyaki stand until I read the post from Mary (at This Tasty Life) some weeks ago. She didn’t know if there was a name to the takoyaki stand so I was curious to stop by and research a bit to see if Okada-ya Takoyaki was still there.  Continue reading Okada-Ya Takoyaki – Mira Mesa (Farmer’s Market)

MOLA SPANISH BISTRO (+ fun news Ramblings) – DEL MAR, CA

Sometimes meeting a close girlfriend for dinner can be the perfect date you waited for all week. Catching up and sharing stories with a chick is so different than sharing with a dude right. I hadn’t seen this friend in months so I suggested Mola Spanish Bistro in Del Mar. They seemed to have a nice happy hour menu with $4.50 drink specials as well.

Mola Spanish Bistro is located on the top floor of Del Mar Plaza. I believe they are owned by the same investors as El Agave downstairs. I went on a date there once but thought the food was average. So I wasn’t too inspired to try out Mola Spanish Bistro as I was nervous the price and food would match what I had at El Agave last year.   Continue reading MOLA SPANISH BISTRO (+ fun news Ramblings) – DEL MAR, CA

The Hake Kitchen and Bar (Yelp Event) – La Jolla, CA

Yelp recently partnered with The Hake Kitchen and Bar in La Jolla to host dinners for those that were lucky enough to get in. Each person was able to invite one guest. You would be able to share three appetizers, one dessert, and two drinks between you and your guest. The restaurant would call you with a date and time of the week that worked best for both parties. I was quite blown away by this offering and so hoped that I’d get in as I’ve wanted to try Hake Kitchen and Bar for so long. I’ve had my eye on their Sea Scallop Tiradito for over a year now. So I was elated to have the opportunity to finally try out this dish (and a few others) without maxing out my already maxed out credit cards.    Continue reading The Hake Kitchen and Bar (Yelp Event) – La Jolla, CA

Hello Betty Fish House (Beats, Boards, Bites, Brew Event)- Oceanside, CA

HELLO BETTY FISH HOUSE

I would be lying if I said it’s not awesome to get invites from restaurants to come in and try whatever event or menu compliments of the house. Of course it’s awesome. But it was never the reason I started this food blog. Yes, I like going as an invited person to these events but more importantly, I enjoy sharing the food and pics from these events with everyone here (or elsewhere). A friend mentioned to me that maybe, finally, the universe is aligning for me. I’m getting invites to places that actually have been on my bucket list to try and I’ve also been asked to contribute (write) for a travel website. This felt like the first week, in a long time, that I just breathed, exhaled, looked up, and smiled a genuine smile. At least that’s what friend said at the end of this event when we went to the pier to watch the sunset.    Continue reading Hello Betty Fish House (Beats, Boards, Bites, Brew Event)- Oceanside, CA

YAKITORI YAKYUDORI

Why can’t we have more Japanese skewer restaurants like Yakitori Yakyudori here in San Diego. My family likes this place so much. Even my impatient mom, who RARELY waits on any list for a restaurant, came here first one night to put her name on the wait list. We waited AN HOUR AND 20 MINUTES folks. I couldn’t believe my mom was ok with that (don’t get me wrong she still complained the entire hour and 20 minutes though).

I’ve blogged several times about Yakitori Yakyudori and still think it’s a legit authentic wood charcoal grill place to experience this type of cuisine. My mom was in town and in the Convoy area so she called me and FB to meet her there for dinner. I highly suggest calling ahead for a reservation. Continue reading YAKITORI YAKYUDORI

PrepKitchen – Del Mar, CA

CDJ’s mom was in town and they wanted to take me to dinner. So he suggested PrepKitchen in Del Mar. I’ve been there once or twice in the past and thought the food was ok. They had a fire last year and it took some time for the restaurant to get back on it’s feet. But now they’re re open and seem pretty busy.

Their outside patio is nice. There’s heaters if you get cold but that night the weather was quite nice. Our waitress was great and super helpful when it came to recommendations on what to order.  Continue reading PrepKitchen – Del Mar, CA

El Encinal Mexican & Seafood – San Diego, CA – Soft grand opening

There are few times in life that you get to meet a great group of new people that you just *click* with. And last night, I had just that. It felt more like being in a friend’s living room with his family cooking in the kitchen. There was a sense of family, a sense of taking care of the people that are in your abode, and just making people feel *good*. Made me smile because it just makes you appreciate (even more) what’s important in life: family and friends. Aside from ordering a ton of food, I felt really lucky to have met everyone last night. There was lots of laughter, lots of stories shared, suggestions for this and that type of dish, hugs from everyone’s little kids (and I’m not a hugger), etc.

Ok, onto the food.

Don Robertin Breakfast
Don Robertin Breakfast $5.99

– two poached eggs topped with special red sauce, sour cream, rice and beans

Runny yolk in Don Robertin
Runny yolk in Don Robertin

The runny yolk always gets me. I just get fixated on the beautiful yellow color. Friends LOVED this dish. Eggs were cooked perfectly. It would have been great with one of their freshly made tortillas on the side though.

Beautiful pulpo in cocktail
Beautiful pulpo in cocktail

This was their Campachana Cocktail $9.99 (medium). It’s a combination of seafood (shrimp, octopus, scallop I was told). The octopus was my absolute favorite. So plump and tender. No itty bitty stuff in this cocktail. Their cocktail is served more ‘liquid’ than ‘thick’. I’m used to the thicker cocktail sauce version. But their lighter, liquid version was light and wasn’t heavy.

Chile Toreados
Chile Toreados $1.99
Stuffed with smoked ono
Stuffed with smoked marlin

This was a real hit for all of us. It’s a chili stuffed with melted cheese and marlin. The smoked marlin was tasty and the chili – wow – was it spicy. I loved it. The combination of the chili/cheese/marlin was great. I am not sure about the price though. $1.99 seems a bit steep for one chili. But then again, Bolillo Torta charges $1.00 for a bacon wrapped jalapeno so maybe this is on par with what everyone is charging.

El Original burrito
El Original burrito $5.99

– Australian flap steak, melted cheese, avocado, tomato, mayo

MUST try their cilantro salsa!
MUST try their cilantro salsa!

I liked this burrito. It’s the FRESHLY made tortilla (more to come on that) that stands out. The tortilla is so wonderfully fresh and chewy. I would have preferred the steak to be cooked more rare. But that’s just my .02c. But you MUST MUST MUST try their cilantro cream salsa. If you have ever been to Lucha Libre, you will know what I am talking about. I could eat/drink tons of this cilantro salsa.

Shrimp taco
Shrimp taco $2.99

I appreciated the generous amount of avocado slices. Shrimp tasted fresh.

Panela
La Panela torta $5.99

– Refried PORK style beans, bacon, ham, melted cheese, mayo, topped w/ signature chipotle sauce and fresh panela cheese.

The ingredients alone in this torta makes me happy. So much piggy goodness 🙂 Unfortunately, for me, it didn’t taste amazing. It tasted ok. But it was missing something – that ‘umpph’. I believe they forgot to top it off with their signature chipotle sauce and panela cheese. I’d try it again though if it had the sauce and cheese on top.

IMG_2105 (1280x960)
Que Loco Hot Dog $3.99

– Quarter pound beef frank topped w/ bacon, one over easy EGG (!) , mayo, ketchup, finished w/ queso cotija and side of fries

I have to admit. My eyes got HUGE when I saw this come out. Friend ordered this last minute even though we were all stuffed. I have never seen a runny egg on top of a hot dog! It really was beautiful. The bacon wasn’t really on top of the dog but more so under the over easy egg. It was a nice dish but a bit salty for me.

Freshly made tortilla!!
Freshly made tortilla!!

I deprive myself of carbs b/c I have no self control when it comes to freshly made carbs (be it tortilla, hot bread out of the oven, etc). But when I heard they made their OWN tortillas here, I about passed out. Friend surprised me and ordered me one just so I can see and try it. And well…jeez…it was HUGE. And it was so crazy fresh. It came out piping hot and when I took my first bite… (closes eyes)…it was just heavenly.  I literally wanted to fall asleep with a hundred of these things thrown on top of me (like a blanket) and just take in the warmth and smell of these things. Talk about the best nap of your life. Is that weird.

I asked if they would be selling these alone in the future. Owner said that he wasn’t sure at this point b/c the size of the tortillas were so big. So we suggested maybe making them smaller in future and selling them in packs that way .

I am not sure of their hours but last night they were closing about 8:30p. Their grand opening is slated for this Thursday March 7, 2013 at 12p I believe.

The restaurant is casual. You order from cashier and then seat yourself. Someone then brings out your food. We paid cash that night – I’m not sure if they accept credit cards at this point.

The owner was a nice humble young guy. He would occasionally ask for our opinion on the food and would take note of everything (be it good or bad). For example, one of the guys had ordered something to go and we later got a text from him saying the order of beans had been forgotten. Owner felt terrible about this and I believe went to the back to speak his employees about this.

Overall, I had a memorable time. It was heart warming to see everyone in such a good place (in their lives) last night.

I hope this place succeeds and does well.

Buenos suerte El Encinal y Dios te bendiga…

Menu

El Encinal Mexican & Seafood

4734 Federal Blvd

San Diego, CA 92102

(619) 255-1697