I visited El Pescador Fish Market & Restaurant when they were located in a tiny location in La Jolla. The restaurant was cramped, parking was tough, and the visit always seemed stressful. I heard they relocated just across the street so I figured it was time to visit El Pescador and see what seafood they had on hand.
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.
The buzz about the Liberty Public Market was pretty exciting and loud wasn’t it. I didn’t think too much about this new indoor public market as I’ve been to similar versions in Seattle and San Francisco (gosh all with exs too, how ironic). Liberty Public Market is located in Point Loma and finding parking that weekend was tough. I was looking forward to the visit but dreaded the Mother’s Day weekend crowd. This post will mostly be a summary of what we saw and ate that afternoon. I’ll hopefully follow up with future individual posts about my favorite artisan vendors here at the Liberty Public Market.
Tajima Izakaya is the restaurant my guy friends (who could care two sh*ts about food) prefer to eat when they’re done partying. These are the same guy friends that think Guy Fieri is a wonderful man and want to be friends with. SO, not sure if that gives Tajima Izakaya cred or no cred if you know what I mean. I had lunch here several years ago with sis and we both found the food to be shrug-alright at best. The restaurant has been remodeled so I thought lunch was worth another try.
I stumbled across this sushi restaurant the other week. A meeting went longer than expected and I was faint (I’m so dramatic) from being so hungry. Someone I owed a huge favor to was going to join me so we both thought Sushi Huku would be a nice place to have lunch. I couldn’t quite find the restaurant in the strip mall but then saw a large banner saying that Sushi Huku will soon be Sushi Huku & Robata. I would have killed (again, so dramatic) for some authentic yakitori that day. Continue reading SUSHI HUKU – SAN MARCOS, CA
This post of Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub is over due as I visited this restaurant some weeks ago. It’s been a hectic week so it’s been hard to take a breather and write about food. I don’t know how other bloggers do it sometimes.
So I will do my best to remember what’s in these photos.
Ben mentioned some months ago that Wrench and Rodent was a restaurant he heard nice things about. I love sushi but I never, ever, drive to Oceanside to eat. It’s just too far and I didn’t have any restaurants in that area I wanted to try out. Besides, I always associate Oceanside with my long drives to LA.
Ikiru Japanese has been on my ” Must Eat” places in SD for some time now. It’s hard to find a new Japanese restaurant that you can fall in love with. I have my regular Japanese/Korean sushi places I frequent but there’s not really one specific place that I’d say is *THE* sushi place to go to.
Sis is a fan of the infamous Sushi Ota. Me, not so much. My parents would take us there when we were kids and I didn’t find the sushi all that great. Sis says I MUST go back and give it another shot b/c she lives for their sushi (and it’s 100% Japanese owned). But I guess me being the rebel that I am, I refuse to buy into the hype of Sushi Ota and I refuse to pay their outrageous prices.
I’ve seen ads for this place for quite some time now but never had the urge to try it out. They’re not really located in the Carmel Valley area that I normally frequent so it’s never been on my list of places to check out.
But before the SF trip, I wanted sushi so bad. But I was tired of all the sushi places that I frequent over and over and over again. I knew that Zip Fusion was a Korean owned sushi restaurant and it sounded really good that Wed night.
It’s located in a really tiny strip mall in Torrey Hills. You would totally drive past it if you weren’t pay attention. I can’t even tell you what’s in the mall b/c it was that small and I can’t even remember the names of any of the shops in that strip mall.
They offer the gimmicky 50% off certain rolls and nigiri. I used to be so excited about the 50% off deals until I realized that the ‘normal’ prices of these rolls/nigiri are priced sooo outrageously high (hence why the 50% is totally a gimmick and totally necessary).
The restaurant was quite empty when we went that Wed night. Not always a good sign but hey, it’s Wednesday night in the Torrey Hills area.
– Spicy Seafood Salad $9.95
I really enjoyed this. Lots of fresh sashimi pieces (tuna, yellowtail, salmon, and maybe snapper). And the spicy dressing was indeed SPICY. Loves. And there’s something about the beautiful orange tobiko that makes any spicy seafood salad even better. So $9.95 for this salad wasn’t bad.
– Scallop $3.50 and Ono nigiri $4.00
MG knows one of my favorite things is raw hotate scallops. So he tries to order this for me whenever it’s available. It didn’t disappoint here – fresh and briny. There’s something about biting into a raw hotate and having it taste meaty and just delicious.
We originally thought they brought out the wrong nigiri (in the 2nd pic). It looked exactly like squid b/c of the horizontal slashes on top. But waitress asked sushi chef and he confirmed it was Ono. And OMG – this was *MY* favorite fish of the night. There was something so delicate and so beautifully soft about this fish. I don’t even know if I’ve ever had it before, especially in nigiri. But my goodness, this fish was sooo amazing. It’s in the white tuna family I believe. And so far, we haven’t been able to find another sushi place that has served Ono this good.
– Snapper nigiri $4.00 and Yellowtail nigiri $3.50
Both the snapper and yellowtail tasted nice but nothing amazing like the Ono nigiri that night. But look at the 3 types of tobiko they put on top of the yellowtail nigiri!
– Complimentary fried stuffed jalapeno
I wanted to order something fried for an appetizer but didn’t want to seem like a fatty to MG so this complimentary appetizer was sooo appreciated 🙂 Granted, it was 1/2 a piece of a jalapeno to each person but whatever. It hit the spot man. Deep fried jalapeno that’s stuffed w/ cream cheese + krab = muy bueno for hungry girl.
– Soft shell crab $6.50
For those of you who read my blog, you’ve probably come to see that I love deep fried soft shell crab. Even if I’m not *that* hungry, and I see it on the menu, I must order it. It’s become my ‘go to thing’ to order at every Japanese restaurant. And well, folks, I must say that we were served THE tiniest, THE smallest, pip-squeak of a soft shell crab EVER. I mean. Like look at your index finger right now…come on…do it….that was about the size of this sucker. Regardless, it tasted ‘ok’ and the side salad that it came with was fresh although totally not necessary.
– Jalapeno lemon salmon sashimi $12.00
This was one of their specials that night. And the salmon slices were generous and tasted pretty fresh. Not sure why they put a slice of lemon on each piece – we tried to eat a piece w/ the lemon, jalapeno, and salmon but the lemon’s rind made it bitter. So maybe it’s purely for garnish. I was happy with the 5 pieces for $12 – thought it was a better than average value.
– Total $46.43
I’m going thru all my coupon books right now and I don’t see any deals for this restaurant. Strange. I know I’ve seen coupons for this place before but maybe they’ve stopped printing them. Regardless, I’d happily come back again to try out more items (and for the Ono nigiri!).
Zip Fusion11130 E Ocean Air Dr
San Diego, CA 92130
Neighborhood: Torrey Hills
So a few have asked me what’s up w/ Lifu the Dog. Even my mom and family have asked for an update on FayesFork and Lifu. He and I were getting along quite well and he was well on his way to becoming my sous chef and partner in crime (well, when it came to cooking and stuff). BUT. ( And this has nothing to do w/ MG now in my life…)
Lifu, I swear TO YOU, doesn’t understand English. Or Chinese. Or any language for that matter. Unless you have food, he could give two sh*ts about what’s going on in that moment.
AND. He has a propensity to run away Well…he doesn’t run b/c he’s kinda tubby and outta shape…so correction…he has a propensity to walk away.
Mochi busted my side screen door b/c when she came to live me last year, she would go through understandable separation anxiety and scratch the screen door. Me, being the cheapo and un-handy woman that I am, have not had that busted screen door fixed. Mochi never runs away so I was never worried.
Our dear Lifu, however, has discovered that hole in screen door, and if I don’t close the heavy glass door along w/ the screen door, he ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, takes off. Luckily, I usually realize this and have caught him walking down the street or half way to the park – always so clueless BUT oh-so-happy. Half my neighbors know him b/c I’ve seen them holding him walking down my street asking who’s dog this was. And when I chase after him, and call his name, he won’t even turn around to look who’s calling his name. THAT’S why I swear he doesn’t understand English or Chinese.
SO few weeks ago, when MG and I were done w/ brunch, we came back. I thought we closed the side door. About 1/2 an hour passed and I heard Mochi whimpering which is completely not like her. MG went to check on her and he came back and said ‘I think Lifu is gone’. (This is what I love/hate about MG. He NEVER loses his sh*t. Like…about ANYTHING. Kinda is refreshing but drives me bonkers at same time right).
So I freak the eff out. And start looking throughout the house, the backyard, the front, the street, etc for him. Poor Mochi, as much as she hates him at times, was probably trying to tell us ‘ That f*cker just took off man…’….
I thought Lifu was a goner. Truly. MG and I were running all up and down the streets. At the park. Asking anyone and everyone we saw if they saw a small fat Asian chihuahua that doesn’t understand English (no joke). And everyone said no. I ran to neighbors house trying to ring on doorbell to ask for help. MG and I were freaked out b/c he was meeting my family in a few days and the thought of saying ‘hey, um…yeah…we kinda lost your dog’ didn’t appeal to us.
MG was talking to a couple that had a chihuahua and was asking them if they had seen Lifu. They said no but that they are walking back to their house so they will continue looking. MG took off in another direction while I decided to re focus on my street and see if I can get help. Out of the corner of my eye, I see that couple (with the chihuahua) speaking to a woman and then pointing to me. The woman had a flyer with her. Let me show you the flyer…
CAN. YOU. BELIEVE. THIS.
I blocked out the phone # as you can tell. But the woman, who lives TWO DOORS DOWN FROM ME (!!!!), said she found Lifu on her driveway, just kicking it. So she went around trying to ask if anyone knew who this dog was but no one did. So she took him inside and started making Found Flyers!!! This was her original but she also made like 20 black and whites of this photo.
30 minutes this dog was gone. When I ran into her house, Lifu was just sitting in the foyer, looking at the husband and the kids, with his tongue hanging out. He didn’t even ACKNOWLEDGE me. No ‘hey, what’s up’ or ‘hey, where’ve you been!?’ or ‘hi!’. And keep in mind that Sunday was HOTTTT so I was sweating up a storm and all dehydrated and hyperventilating from running around like a crazy person.
Needless to say, my relationship with Lifu has not been the same since then. I still love the bugger but man, he’s still in the dog house with me.
MG was saying that some guy said he THOUGHT he saw Lifu heading down the canyon. And MG said he (MG’s) shoulder just slumped and thought ‘oh man, which part of the canyon do I start looking first (b/c it’s a HUGE canyon)’. I have a pretty amazing guy in my corner – that’s for sure. He said he never doubted that we’d find Lifu but that it would just take time. But yeah, that when guy said canyon, MG was just like ‘wellllp, you gotta do what you gotta do man’.
My family jokes that I no longer love Lifu b/c I have a new man in my life. That’s 100% not true. I no longer love Lifu b/c he’s an SOB. That’s why. (I kid, I kid). My great uncle (who I love and look up to) gave my mom Lifu so I will always have soft spot for Lifu. But they joke that Lifu has done his duty to bring happiness and joy into my life and that maybe it’s time for him to move on to another sad person to bring joy to (seriously, I have the ODDEST family don’t I ??).
I hope this ridiculous story makes you laugh b/c it wasn’t as funny few weeks ago. Hope everyone is having a great week –
Love is in the air. There. I said it. It grosses me out to say that but it’s true.
I used to read blogs and smile when the blogger would speak about their significant others.
Their significant others would usually be their partner in crime when it came to a food adventure. And I just thought that was the coolest thing.
But then I thought, hmmm, any single bloggers out there? Aside from me and Miss K? Am *I* the only female blogger in the entire world that doesn’t have a boyfriend/husband that goes on these amazing food adventures with? (I know, I get dramatic sometimes).
So this guy decides to take me to Shimbashi Izakaya for our first date. He drove down from LA on the 4th of July which is impressive b/c I thought traffic would be horrible. (Un)strike #1 right there.
Note: (I usually have Strike 1, Strike 2, etc on dates but this date had a lot of, what I call, (un) strikes. )
I’ll write details of that after the food post for those who wanna hear more about the date.
Shimbashi is located in the Del Mar Plaza. It claims it has views of the ocean but I only found that partially to be true.
– outside patio
You can see a bit of the ocean from their outside patio. But I will say that sitting in the patio that day was nice – the sun was out but you could also just feel the beautiful ocean breeze.
The restaurant was pretty empty. We were the only people sitting on the patio. Here is what we ordered:
– Edamame $4.5
I thought this was a small portion for what was charged. But the sprinkling of sea salt on top was nice.
– Sashimi Appetizer $18:
Salmon, hamachi, and tuna
7 pieces for $18 seems high. The fish tasted ‘ok’. It wasn’t melt-in-your-mouth-amazing and I didn’t like how the fish tasted almost room temperature. The guy later told me he thought the sashimi tasted a bit fishy.
– Soft shelled crab $14
Jeez. $14? I’m only realizing this now as I write this post. I think I just paid $7.50 for a version of this in Convoy somewhere.
The crab was fried nicely and the ponzu sauce served on the side was light/tart. Looking back, this might have been the best dish out of the afternoon.
– Pri-pri Ebiten $8.5
Plump fried Shrimp in Honey Glaze sauce
I had heard some positive reviews about this dish. But unfortunately, neither of us liked the fried shrimp at all – overly battered, soggy batter, and the honey glazed sauce tasted too sweet. We each had one piece and left the rest.
– Poached Scallop and Avocado Salad $15
He knows how much I love scallops so he ordered this for us to try. We weren’t really sure what it meant by ‘poached’ in the description. The scallops were covered in olive oil and sprinkled with salt/pepper. It tasted half raw/half cooked. There wasn’t much flavor to this dish and my date asked for a side of lemon and ginger so that we could possibly make this dish a bit more palatable. The scallops needed something way more than olive oil and salt/pepper. Something was missing from this dish – it looks incredibly beautiful and a decent sized portion – but the actual taste of this dish was disappointing.
– Oyster Half shell (3pc) $12
Oysters tasted fresh and was well dressed w/ ponzo, tobiko, and green scallions. I liked this appetizer.
And that was pretty much our meal. I had wine and he had some sort of strawberry soju lemonade thing. OHHH. Forgot to mention this – make sure you check in with your Yelp app b/c you get a free Ginger Sake drink if you do 🙂
1555 Camino Del Mar
(at Paseos De Las Flores)
Del Mar, CA 92014
Neighborhood: Del Mar
So stop reading here if you visit my blog only for food stuff…
Ok, you’ve been warned about non-food related post from here on out…
– bouquet arrangement from Del Mar Flower Co.
I had just parked my car in the Plaza’s underground parking. I got out of car and was trying to find whatever in the back seat when I heard my name being called. I kinda jumped b/c 1) I didn’t expect to hear someone’s voice and 2) well, maybe it’s someone trying to abduct me or something in Del Mar. I know – I’m ridiculous.
But it was the guy. He had gotten to the date early and I guess found Del Mar Flower Co right next door.
Not that I haven’t gotten flowers on a first date before – but this felt a bit different for some reason. So another unstrike (herein referred to as ‘US’ in the post).
US#3- He was cute :). I know it shouldn’t be about looks and it never has been w/ me. But it’s always nice when the guy you’re meeting is straight up cute.
US#4 – He was really really aware of what I like and don’t like when it comes to food. Look, you all know my hate of certain things (stinky cheeses, lamb, olives, etc). BUT – I would never EVER make you eat the way *I* eat when we’re out. It’s just rude and inconsiderate. But this guy would just observe what I’d order and order his stuff accordingly if that makes sense. Everything he ordered he knew I would try.
US#5 – this is the Biggest UnStrike of the date : we were the only two people sitting on the patio. Then I noticed the waitress seating an older gentleman about 3 tables from us. When I see older people eating alone, I always wonder what their story is. What their life is like. I focused back on my date. But after about 30 min or so, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, the gentleman walking slowly to us w/ a plate of food. He comes up to our table, with the Poached Scallop and Avocado Salad (!!), and says he could not finish but that he’d like us to try the dish as well. Words cannot express how I felt at the moment. I almost wanted to jump up and give him a hug and say ‘thank you’. But we all smiled and said that we have the same dish on the table but thank you for offering to us nonetheless. So gentleman smiled back and walked slowly back to his table. I was quiet for a bit, just thinking. And finally I said to my date that I’d love to reciprocate the gesture b/c I was soooo touched by the gentleman’s actions. I noticed that the fried ebi (shrimp) was still on our table so I asked if I could offer the gentleman that. My date kinda shook his head and said it’s not good idea b/c 1) the shrimp had been sitting on our table for some time now and 2) we shouldn’t offer the gentleman dish *we* didn’t even like. I kinda felt embarrassed for even have asked my date at that point and I thought he was going to lecture me some more. But he didn’t. He then continued ‘why don’t you offer him a drink that we’re having and put it on my tab. He’ll appreciate it I think a bit more :)’. I was surprised by what he just offered. I asked ‘really? you don’t mind?’ And my date just smiled and said ‘no, of course not – go…’. So I got up, walked quietly to the gentleman, said I’m on a first date, and date and I both wanted to thank you for your gesture, and if we could buy him a drink . The look on this gentleman’s face was priceless (for me). His smile, the way his face lit up – sorry, it’s making me teary now just remembering it – really made that moment incredibly personal for me. Gentleman said yes to my offer and I headed back to my table. Before I could even get to my table, my date got up and told me to have a seat and he’ll go tell waitress about getting a drink for gentleman and putting it on his tab. There’s a few key issues in this unstrike for me. 1) my date let me be *me* – he could have easily said ‘don’t go up to him’ or ‘augh, you’re making a scene’, etc etc. But my date let me do something that I think he felt was important to me and 2) my date beat me to the punch – I expected to get the waitress myself and put in request. But no – he decided to take it upon himself to do so.
Just kidding. I’m sure you know there’s more but it’s hot as heck right now to write more. But yeah – that’s a glimpse into my crazy life right now.
Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday –
I have a huge fascination with sushi served on conveyor belts. My first experience with the sushi conveyor belt was in LA’s Little Tokyo. There was something about seeing the little, covered plates of sushi go around and around and around.
So mom told me she heard of a sushi bar conveyor belt restaurant here in Hualien. She wanted to take me to a nicer Japanese restaurant for sushi but I opted for Sushi Express b/c, well, I love me my conveyor belts.
The place was packed which is always a great sign for a restaurant. You sit at the bar and it’s pretty much a free-for-all at that point. Continue reading Sushi Express (Conveyor belt Sushi NT$30/plate = $1 US/plate) – Hualien, Taiwan