Monthly Archives: February 2010

Breakfast Review: Come On In! (La Jolla)

I think most people in San Diego will tell you that The Cottage in La Jolla is one of the best breakfast places around (hence the 371 reviews on Yelp; I personally love The Cottage too!). However, today, as a recommendation from Sonya, we decided to check out this other small shop named Come On In! with our friends Randall and Lizzy. This place was definitely more low key than The Cottage (only 19 reviews on Yelp) and people weren’t lining up outside to wait for seating either. However, it had a nice small cafe feel to the place (once we sat down I read their ad on the table and they have multiple locations across SD, so I guess they’re doing pretty well). We ordered our food at the cashier and found a table to sit at inside.

The food came out relatively fast, maybe a bit faster than The Cottage. As for taste, the food was good, but not great. I got the Popeye Omelette, which consisted of spinach, fresh parmesan, prosciutto, and diced tomatoes. It came with fresh fruit and two pieces of toast cut in half. My omelette was a little on the blander side, definitely could have used some more seasoning. However, this was pretty much taken care of when my bite consisted of the prosciutto, which added a lot of salt. The cheese inside the omelette could have been melted more as well, so I had to deduct a few points there. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my brunch and I’d say that Come On In! is probably just a slight notch down from The Cottage in terms of food, but it is definitely cheaper, which is a plus.

Sonya got one of the breakfast specials: French Toast with Fruit. It was pretty similar to the french toast at The Cottage. It came with four big pieces, with strawberries and banana on top. It was well made french toast, but I would say that it was not as fluffy as the ones The Cottage makes.

Final Scores (out of 10):

Taste: 7.5 (good tasting, but a shade under The Cottage)

Plating: 8 (above average score, how can breakfast plating go wrong?)

Ambiance: 8.5 (nice quiet cafe in the corner of a small plaza – people could probably study here)

Service: 8 (food came out relatively fast)

Overall: B. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who does not want to wait in the long line to be seated for The Cottage. You can also save yourself a few bucks while getting quality breakfast food. The portions are large and filling, so I would say it could be more of a brunch than a breakfast. It’s a place worth checking out!

Come On In!

1030 Torrey Pines Rd
La Jolla, CA 92039

-J

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Review: Pacifica Del Mar

View of the sunset!

Valentine’s Day came a little bit early for us this year. Since this year so many things managed to fall on this weekend (Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, NBA All-Star Weekend), Sonya and I decided to eat our V-Day dinner on Friday night at Pacifica Del Mar.

We got seated fairly quickly even though we arrived 20 minutes early for our reservation. One big plus for Pacifica Del Mar is that their bread is fantastic. It was warm out of the oven and it came with soft butter that spreads beautifully. In addition, they have a patio seating area where you can enjoy dinner with the background view of the beautiful sunset on the Pacific Ocean.

Pacifica's Barbecued Sugar-Spiced Salmon

Sonya decided to get Pacifica’s Barbecued Sugar-Spiced Salmon, which is made with Chinese Beans, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Mustard Sauce. The salmon was cooked perfectly and the sugar spiced rub on the top side added a nice crisp to each bite. The presentation was nice, with a edible chip-like ring under the salmon to hold the string beans and the garlic mashed potatoes. I liked the mashed potatoes, they had the perfect texture to them, not too chunky. The seasoning was perfect as well.

I decided to get their 3 course meal from their Restaurant Week Menu, which they extended to February 12, so that Sonya and I could share the appetizer and dessert. I apologize, our camera couldn’t get any good pictures of the food, so I won’t be posting any pictures of my food.

For the appetizer, we got the Grilled White Shrimp, which was made with Roasted Corn Relish, Fennel puree, and Red Wine Demi, with Petite Basil. The puree worked great with the perfectly grilled shrimp. The roasted corn allowed for some crunch in every bite. The only problem was that the dish only came with two shrimp, leaving us wishing for more. However, it was still a delicious start to our meal.

For my entree, I decided on the Grilled Black Tiger Prawns with Ziti Pasta, Oven Dried Tomatoes, Arugula, Manzanilla Olives and Meyer Lemon Butter. The pasta was made perfectly and the lemon butter sauce was very refreshing and paired magnificently with the melted grated cheese showered over the dish. I didn’t really care for the tomatoes or olives, but the dish was executed very nicely. It didn’t hurt that it came in a hearty portion in fine dining terms. This dish was definitely the highlight of the night.

For our dessert, we ordered the Mango Sorbet with Candied Ginger Shortbread. The sorbet was very tangy, almost tasting just like an actual blood orange. However, halfway through, even though the sorbet was refreshing, it kind of became too much. Luckily, the shortbread was a good counter to the tang.

Final Scores (out of 10):

Taste: 8 (food was cooked perfectly and the sauces were a great enhancer)

Plating: 9 (clean plating, pasta portion was generous)

Ambiance: 8.5 (romantic setting any time of the day, bar was a little bit hectic though)

Service: 9 (many waiters/waitresses gave prompt service)

Overall: B+. Pacifica Del Mar is a great place to take a significant other for a nice dinner. Or it can be a nice restaurant to visit with friends to enjoy the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. Even though the menu is on the expensive side, with gift certificates (see below) and their very own rewards program, eating here can be affordable. If you would like to save even more money, check out their happy hour. I have never been, but the bar seemed to be packed when we went and the food that I saw people eating looked delicious.

*If you do end up trying out this restaurant, make sure to check out Restaurant.com to get a $25 gift certificate for just $2. Also, make your reservations through OpenTable.com because they offer 1,000 points per reservation during certain times!

Pacifica Del Mar:

1555 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, CA 92014

Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year!

-J

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Study Break: Mo Money

Taking a short study break while I prepare for my 4 midterms next week. As usual, my mind began to wander off and so I am going to write some of it out here.

Sonya and I made some new years resolutions for 2010. One of them was to try to be more frugal with our money, whether it’s buying new gadgets (mostly me) or new clothes (mostly Sonya, me too though). I’ll admit, in hindsight, I have not done a very good job at spending wisely. Granted, a lot of things that I buy are things that I semi-“need” haha. But of course in the big picture, you don’t really need that much.

Here are my top 3 money-saving sites that I currently use:

1. Slickdeals – The best site for pretty much everything you can buy. It’s basically a forum type site that let’s people post deals that they find.

2. Groupon – I discovered this site last quarter. Basically how it works is every weekday they put up a great deal for food, hotels, spas, salons, etc. Once a certain amount of people buy the deal, the deal becomes “active.” If not, your money will be refunded. (The deals usually are bought buy hundreds of people. I’ve never seen it not pass the minimum amount) Recent deals that I bought was the $25 worth of food for $10 at Olde Grill and $35 for $70 worth of dry cleaning in 3 different stores in San Diego. Also the home of the Live Off Groupon competition. Check it out! I think it’d be hella cool to live off groupons for an entire year. Plus, $100,000!

3. Restaurant.com – This is a great site to save money on food. If you sign up for their emails, they usually have a coupon code which will take 80% off. Basically you will buy a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant and only pay $2 for it (normally $10). They don’t have a lot of restaurants, but they still have some good ones that you can try out for a good price.

Being 1/12 of the way through 2010, I’d say Sonya and I are doing a pretty good job so far with spending. We have cut back on certain things and gotten back to cooking at home more. However, the things that need to be spent on, will still be spent of course haha.. (like Valentines Day and Sonya’s upcoming birthday…)

Back to studying!

-J

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Filed under Jeff, Life, Winter Quarter

Olde City Grill in Pacific Beach

Jeff and I went out with his housemates to eat at Olde City Grill in Pacific Beach, thanks to our Groupons that we purchased earlier in the week! We had $50 worth, so we decided to order a bit of everything and share it family style. We ordered a 24″ Cheese Steak Italiano, a pound of Buffalo Wings and another pound of Spicy Garlic Wings, and ended with the pizza called The Works. My favorite was the Cheese Steak Italiano–it was so tasty with the different flavors of meat, grilled with peppers and onions!

Other than the delicious food, I thought that our waitress was super nice and friendly. She reminded me of Rachel Ray’s personality–bubbly, sing-song, cheery. Another great perk about this place is that it is just diagonal from our favorite PB Bar and Grill that we like to visit so often. This place would be a great place to grab a late night snack after hitting the bars. Thanks to Groupon, we got to try something new and I think I’d definitely go back again for more cheesesteaks!

Conquered!

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