Restaurant Review: Tacos El Paisa

Address: 3096 National Ave (b/t 30th St & 31st St ), San Diego, CA 92113
Price: $
Rating: 4/5

Review: The food here is incredibly delicious; fresh, and spicy. You go up to the cashier to order your food and they bring you a platter with free chips with different types of salsa, carrots, slices of radish, and cucumbers.

image_1

I was going to order Tripa burritos until we saw this sign behind the cashier. We decided to order Molcajete and share.

image_3

We made the right decision. The asada was tender, chicken pieces were mouth watering, shrimp was tasty, nopales were great (we’re not fond of them normally but we tried a couple of strips), and the longaniza was nice and spicy. It was topped off well with queso fresco, aguacate, and salsa molcajete. I loved the longaniza the most. I have a fondness for spicy food and it satisfied my palate very well. The order comes with warm tortillas. You can choose between corn and flour tortillas. Best part? It’s only $14.99 for such a complete meal.

image_2

If you’re looking for the restroom, it’s outside in the parking lot. You need to ask for the key from the cashier.

image

Mama’s Day 2015: An Extraordinary Culinary Evening

Touted as San Diego’s best culinary event, Mama’s Day, never ceases to amaze us with signature dishes from over 55 top local chefs, restaurants, and caterers. It’s one of the annual fundraising that we look forward to. Now in it’s 25th year, the event is held the Friday evening before Mother’s Day. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine and is often sprawled out around the pool area. The Hyatt staff did a wonderful job accommodating everyone indoors this year due to a couple of showers that hit San Diego throughout the day.

IMG_2519

 

IMG_2520

IMG_2521

IMG_2525

IMG_2526

IMG_2529

IMG_2533

 

IMG_2544

IMG_2547

IMG_2561

IMG_2562

IMG_2564

IMG_2567

IMG_2573

IMG_2579

IMG_2582

IMG_2593

IMG_2597

IMG_2553

IMG_2550

IMG_2558

IMG_2563

IMG_2575

IMG_2594

IMG_2574

Mama’s Kitchen delivers three nutritional meals a day, seven days a week at no charge to men, women and children living with AIDS or cancer. Additionally, Mama’s Kitchen provides pantry services (Mama’s Pantry) and nutrition education to people affected by AIDS. Through these services, they are able to provide food, compassion and hope to over 1,400 people annually living throughout San Diego County.

Photos below by: Ana Pines

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

Mama's Day 2015

 

 

Review: Super China Buffet – La Mesa

We recently tried Super China Buffet in La Mesa after our spa day at The Total Woman Day & Spa in Mission Valley. It’s $8.99 for a weekday lunch. We were actually looking for  China Buffet since we  see their TV commercials daily and we thought one of these days… But we were on the highway and for some reason we just could not find their restaurant through Google. So we decided to try this La Mesa buffet.

It’s located inside La Mesa Springs Shopping Center with plenty of parking. The restaurant is large and seats about 100 people. There’s two seating areas, one in front and one in the back. When we walked in the first thing we noticed was a pretty nice selection of sushi.

2013-07-11 15.19.47

2013-07-11 15.19.59

2013-07-11 15.20.08

2013-07-11 15.20.16

2013-07-11 15.20.22

2013-07-11 15.20.29

2013-07-11 15.20.36

2013-07-11 15.20.43

I really enjoyed the food selection. A few of my favorites were dim sum, pot stickers, sesame balls with red bean paste, spicy tuna roll, wonton soup, and, of course, crawfish!

crawfish_v2

Definitely coming back, even just for the crawfish.

Address: 7984 La Mesa Blvd (between University Ave & Normal Ave) La Mesa, CA 91941
Telephone: (619) 337-6888
Hours: Mon-Sun 11 am – 9 pm
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes

A night of indulgence at Kelvin Restaurant

We were invited to sample the new restaurant at the W Hotel in San Diego Downtown, Kelvin. Upon our arrival, we noticed that it was a tad warm outside so we opted for inside seating. Kelvin is a unit of measurement for temperature, but it is also the measurement most often used for the color of light sources. The decor reflects this, with beautiful and colorful lighting. It features both individual and communal style seating that creates a warm atmosphere. Our server, Brent, presented each dish with an explanation of the ingredients and the cooking process.

Blackberry Margarita Cocktails and Honey High Ball and Ginger

We started off with some complimentary bread and cocktails. We got Blackberry Margarita Cocktails and Honey High Ball and Ginger, both perfect for a warm late summer night.

After getting our drinks, Jeremy, the Drinks and Food Manager, introduced himself and welcomed us to the restaurant.

We were a little overwhelmed on deciding which items on the menu to choose from as they all sounded equally appealing. Luckily, Chef Harry had pre-arranged certain dishes for us to sample, bringing relief to the thought of missing out on anything.

To start we had compressed watermelon, paired with creamy, rich blue cheese and drizzled with saba. The sweetness of the watermelon and the saltiness of the cheese really worked well together. The processes of compressing the watermelon allows the sweetness of it to come to the surface also producing a dark red color making it resemble ahi tuna at first glance. It was refreshing and can be made at home. View the video on this link:  http://bcove.me/527yaw9i

The next item we had, corn soup with popcorn. We thought to ourselves, this has got to be good! And we weren’t disappointed. The small drizzle of spicy oil on top gave it a little bit of kick and the creaminess of the soup was just delicious. We loved the chunky pieces of corn and potatoes.

We call the duck confit quesadilla, round of goodness! It was filled with some mushroom, onions, duck confit and brie. The mixture made for some interesting flavor. The combination tasted best when balanced in the bite. If you got a little more brie than mushroom it lost a little of its power.

Ropa Vieja Tacos

The mango and jimaca slaw that came with this dish was very flavorful. The pork shoulder, which was braised overnight, was tender and juicy but rather bland. The taste of the pork left much to be desired. I’d skip this or add salt and pepper for flavor.

Seared Halibut

A new addition to the menu, we were given the opportunity to be one of the first to taste the halibut, it was perfectly seared, making it light and flaky. What surprised us the most was the complexity of the flavor of the watercress. It has a hint of smokiness that we just loved.

Next, we got rum and lime pan flashed shrimp. The shrimp, by the way were huge! The sweet sauce and the cilantro really gave each bite an aromatic experience, elevating your senses of smell and taste.

For dessert we were presented with banana hazelnut spring rolls. The bananas inside were nice and tender. They were served on top of spicy chocolate, with whip cream on the side. The crunchy outside reminded us of Sopaipillas. We would have loved to have this a la mode.

We love coffee and we love crème brulee. Voilà! Café con leche crème brulee! a favorite dessert of ours, cracking the caramelized sugar top to get to the smooth, rich cream beneath it, gives us simple pleasure. Paired with espresso and cappuccino, it was a perfect ending to our two hour of indulgence at Kelvin. Some places don’t put as much care into their dessert menu as they do the rest of their courses, not so at this restaurant. We recommend a dessert night at Kelvin.

The hostess, Jasmine, bid us farewell and gave us little parting gifts of freshly made churros and chocolate dip inside. This combination brought us back to our nights in Spain where locals enjoy this dessert starting at 1AM. With such a variety of food on their dinner and cocktail menu, you’ll sure to find something that will make for a wonderful meal.

 

Anthology – Live Music and Dinner Venue

If you’re looking for a live music and fine dining venue look no further than Anthology located in Little Italy. Framed quotes and paintings of famous artists who’ve inspired many decorate the venue. The inviting atmosphere makes this a great spot for a date, business meeting, or night out with friends.

The layout allows the acoustics to be equally desirable regardless of where you sit, making it a great place to view your favorite artist and also discover new talent. There’s nothing more inspirational than a good live show, the atmosphere, audio, and lighting are integral parts of that experience and Anthology does a good job of bringing these elements together. The entertainers also appear on a screen behind them displaying different viewing angles so you don’t miss a thing.

If you’re not interested in watching a show but want to try the food you can still experience their relaxed ambiance during happy hour Tuesday through Friday from 5-7pm. The appetizer and course selections we had were all flavorful, making it well worth an after work dinner location.

We each started with cocktails, Anthology’s Secret Sangria and Flaming Nectarita. Our appetizers included the Lobster Roll with Shrimp & Scallop Mousseline, Baby Fennel, Saffron Aioli, and Brioche Toast. The Lobster Roll was  mouth-watering. The buttered brioche toast that came with it gave it that rich and crunchy texture. We also enjoyed a Local Melon and Baby Spinach Salad. We try to avoid salads in some places because they tend to be overpriced heads of lettuce with sprinkles of cheese. This salad was an ample serving of baby spinach with a variety of locally grown melon (as the name suggests), with a delectable pistachio crusted montracht goat cheese balancing the sweetness of the fruit and a citrus basil vinaigrette creating a refreshing taste in each bite.

We then ordered a small bite plate and one main course consisting of Jumbo Chicken Wings in a Sweet Chili & Mustard Glaze with Toasted Sesame seeds and Togarashi-Crusted Ahi Tuna with Red Cargo Rice, Baby Bok Choi, Shiitake-Miso Jus, with Yuzu Foam. This place has, by far, one of the best chicken wings we’ve tasted in San Diego. There was a little bit of sweetness and just a touch of chili. The skin was crispy and the inside was juicy. The somewhat formal seating made it a little awkward to roll up our sleeves and eat the wings with our hands, but once you taste the first one, you’ll have no problem digging in like we did. We made a mental note to order this dish again next time.

The Togarashi-Crusted Ahi Tuna will easily become one of your favorites. The waitress warned us that it’s a little spicy but we decided to try it anyway. It was delicious, and mixing each little bite with the red cargo rice helped mute the spice enough to taste it. It’s not a spicy that burns your tongue; it brings out the flavor of the Ahi Tuna, which was perfectly seared outside.

For dessert, we ordered the Decadent Chocolate Trio, a Cheesecake, Devil’s Food Cake, and Caramel Ice-Cream with Raspberry Dust. At this point our expectations were high. We tried the Cheesecake first and it was sinfully delicious. Next the Devil’s Food and the Caramel Ice-Cream. Our taste buds were a tad confused to the bland taste of the Devil’s Food Cake and the weird after-taste of the Caramel Ice-Cream. We can’t tell you to skip dessert as we haven’t tried all of them but the Decadent Chocolate Trio didn’t live up to its name. Bon appetite!

Related Posts: Salvador Santana at Anthology – http://www.pinkeggmedia.com/?p=759