Category Archives: restaurants

Pranzo Lunch at Vivace – Carlsbad

As someone who hates to wait longer than 15 minutes for a table when hungry, I am often over-aware of how long it takes to get through a meal. On a good day, we can get through dim sum in about half an hour, if there are only two of us and we don’t spend a lot of time talking.  When I had an internship in Vegas, I remember my mom would come pick me up for lunch (it was pretty much dim sum all summer long) and we’d be office door to office door in under an hour. But, dim sum is pretty efficient.  Travis and I can get through dinner in an hour, an hour and a half if there are multiple courses being brought out. Dinner with girlfriends can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, mostly because of all the catching up we have to do.

I tell you this because when I hear about a fancy lunch at Vivace at Aviara in Carslbad, a lunch where you could linger and graze and relax for hours on end, I was curious how long Travis and I could really stretch out a meal if we had the time.

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Urban Eats – Hillcrest

Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary, but I was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Hillcrest used to be the neighborhood we’d head for when we wanted something new and exciting to eat. Then we moved to North Park, then South Park, and recently have been poking around Hillcrest again. Full circle, I suppose. One place we haven’t visited in a long time that I miss is Tapas Picasso, but that’s now what this post is about.

Whenever we try and new up-and-coming spot, I feel like I’m always weighing cost vs. value, multiplied by the local+seasonal factor, divided by whether or not I have to go outside to find dessert. There’s a lot of math involved with my meal enjoyment, I guess. You’re lucky I haven’t drafted up a spreadsheet… or maybe you’d like that.

Anyway, I was invited into Urban Eats a little over a month after they had opened and I took Travis with me. Some people are good about sharing their media meal experience with other people, I just take my husband because I like eating with him, he lets me eat off his plate (and sometimes just lets me order for him), and I always know what his schedule is for dinner. Plus, he eats just about everything (except oysters) and will even try things I’m not even sure I’ll like. All this is irrelevant, though, because I’m pretty sure everything Urban Eats offers is delicious.

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Donovan’s Prime Seafood

Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary, but I was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Do you remember the first time you went to a “grown up” restaurant? One that had white tablecloths and more than one fork on the table, extraneous glasses, and possibly servers who would pull out your chair at the table? The first one I can remember was actually in New Zealand: I was tagging along with my mom on one of her international trips (she used to work for United Airlines) and we were dining in the hotel restaurant. I know we ordered lamb and that everything was served on beautiful white porcelain plates. And that they were out of the chocolate mousse my mom loved so much, but then we found a dish in front of our hotel room door containing that very (and very delicious) mousse!

Even now, when I mostly call myself a grown up, I’m still excited/nervous when visiting a “fine dining” establishment. I know what all the forks and spoons are for and which water glass is mine, but when everything looks so perfect and the servers are so formal, it makes me wonder if I really belong in such a place.

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SHIMBASHI Izakaya – Del Mar

Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary, but I was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

My office isn’t that far from Del Mar, but I still rarely find myself taking advantage of the delicious restaurants we’ve recently discovered. Some of it is because it’s just a hair too far away for a quick lunch break; the other part is because after work I just want to go home, which is in a completely different direction than Del Mar. When I was offered an opportunity to explore the menu at Shimbashi Izakaya, I figured I might as well expand my list of Del Mar dining options.

What I’m learning is that we should be spending more time in Del Mar eating…

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Zodiac Cocktails at Burlap

Disclosure: Our meal was complimentary but I was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

As you may have heard, this guy named Brian Malarkey has been opening restaurants all over San Diego.  Burlap is his second (Searsucker being the first, Gingham the third, and most recently Gabardine) and, to be completely honest with you, I was fairly certain I was never going to set foot in Burlap.  I wasn’t sure about the asian-cowboy-social-dining experience.  I’d already been scarred, but when I heard about their Zodiac cocktails concept, I was admittedly intrigued.

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