Tag Archives: san diego

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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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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Things we’ve been eating

I have been quite lax in posting these days.  Even worse about documenting what we’ve been eating or cooking, since there has been quite a lot of both going on.  I do have a post in the works about an amazing (amazing!) meal we had in Portland, which leads into another amazing meal we had in San Diego.  For now, I’m reverting to bullet form and apologies.

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Osetra the Fishhouse

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

We don’t spend a lot of time downtown, but I appreciate knowing some good spots in the Gaslamp for when we are in the area and happen to be hungry.  Or, if we’re looking for a special place to go for a good meal.  I had never been to Osetra the Fishhouse, so when the ladies at BAM Communications invited me to check out their special Valentine’s Day oyster shooters, I asked if we could also arrange a little sample of the dinner menu.  Happily, they obliged and I made plans for a fun dinner in the Gaslamp.

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Alchemy – Suckling Pig

Way back in 2011 (December), we celebrated our friend Jeff’s birthday at Alchemy. Not just for tasty bites, but for their whole suckling pig dinner.  I heartily endorse this method of celebrating birthdays, since it involves a good group of friends and some really delicious food.  I’m a fan of good food, in case you haven’t noticed.  And since you need 8-10 people to really do this pig dinner right, a birthday seems like the perfect excuse to gather everyone up, which is exactly what his lovely wife Cami did.

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