Archive for ‘Eating Out’

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Native Foods Cafe in Encinitas

It seems like forever we’ve been waiting for this cafe to open, YES! Native Foods Cafe making some power moves down the coast and how lucky are we they picked Encinitas to open up shop. It’s well known that we do live in the yoga capital of the world so this is the perfect location for this popular chain of restaurants. The menu says they are America’s premier fast-casual vegan restaurant group serving made-from-scratch, chef-crafted cuisine to thousands of food lovers.” That said I guarantee you this place will be a regular haunt for us especially as my other half mainly follows a vegan diet with the occasional fresh fish meal for variety. And being that I’m not one to pass up on a delicious vegan meal I’d say I partake at least 75% of the time to his culinary choices and with Native Foods in the ‘hood now it just makes it easy. Check it, you’ll be enriched by the experience knowing you nourished your body with really good grub, there are gluten free options too.

We had the bistro steak sandwich which was really good, lightly fried crispy shallots over arugula and roasted tomatoes with thinly sliced Native seitan steak on a perfectly toasted bun.

And the Azteca salad was a great choice too, currants and quinoa mixed in with a salad tossed in a mango lime vinaigrette.


Of course I took dessert home for later. My favorite being the homemade apple pie, a buttery vegan crust with a light cinnamon creme was perfect. The peanut butter parfait was creamy with a bit of tang to it, I think next time I’ll pass on it though and just get myself a pack of Newman’s Own dark chocolate peanut butter cups, hands down peanut butter paired with dark chocolate is just kinda hard to beat.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


A photo my friend, Phil took the other day of the sun setting at Moonlight pretty. Phil’s mom was visiting these past couple of weeks, a fan of good wine, great food, nice weather and she’ll be back, so nice to meet you Joanne..’til next time. We had lunch at Solace, shared some amazing oysters, mussels and bahn belly sandwiches, good stuff.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Morning coffee and pastries from Darshan Bakery & Cafe on 2nd street in Encinitas and I see someone I know, fellow Leucadian, Ken’s having his morning coffee, reading the paper, small world. The pastries and cakes are so good here, their sandwiches too, you can’t go wrong. The owners are also Canadians, hailing from Quebec and doing their magic with sugar and butter. I’ve noticed that there’s a strong contingency of  people from Commonwealth countries who live in the area and if you ask any of them, why Encinitas? the response is really? look around, you can’t beat it, sun, surf, desert, city, mountains, every which way around you is sweet!

Croissants and a pull-a-part with coffee while I read the day’s headlines. A piece of french baguette too to dip into my coffee. Soggy coffee bread reminds me of my dad, as a kid I’d plead my case that I was old enough to try coffee, he’d finally relent and let me dip my toast in his coffee cup, now I don’t have to ask.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Starting up the trail in the morning. Bright?!

and there was company too. Funny ’cause I was just eating duck-a-roni (4 cheese mac-n-cheese with duck confit) with my friend, Phil on Saturday at Urban Solace for “blunch” and we talked about duck seasonings, so yeah, where’s the Chinese 5 spice when you need it?

And I’m chomping on a yellow watermelon that was picked from my friend, E’s garden yesterday, sweet! Happy labor day!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


There’s never a NYC trip without a bowl of delicious ramen and tasty pork belly buns, Momofuku and Ippudo always do it right, the latter being closest to the hotel we were posted at this summer.

Is there never a wait at Ippudo?

Starters, pork belly buns and Hirata chicken wings

Ippudo’s traditional ramen and their modern style ramen, I prefer the modern.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Miss May

While in NYC I ran into my friend, beautiful Danish model, May Anderson and we grabbed some lunch.

We noshed on corn cobs at La Esquina on the corner of Kenmare and Lafayette St., not the easiest thing to eat in public but tasty. Grilled sweet corn, cotija cheese, a light dash of paprika/mexican spice and a squeeze of lime, yum.

And we kept on running into this tag all over town. True?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

dim sum

Dim Sum at NYC’s Jing Fong on Elizabeth St. in Chinatown with my friend, Roslyn was a madhouse, it was sunday and I was expecting nothing less. We waited with 100 or so other people, Hong Kong style dim sum in a large banquet hall. It reminded me of my family’s weekend dim sum (we called it “yum sa”) brunches when I was a kid, with all my cousins squeezing around a 12 person round table watching for carts with our favorites.

This sunday we were seated with 3 Chinese guys, all of them young finance dudes living and working in Manhattan entertaining us with their banter, “I went to HARVARD, I work at GOLDMAN SACHS,” no, not really but that line did make everyone laugh. Thanks Roger!

My favorites, ginger tripe

and braised chicken feet, too bad the sticky rice with marinated pork wrapped in lotus leaves cart didn’t make it to our table, next time.

A dim sum palace with cheesy chandeliers and escalators too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Farmer’s Market at Union Square and fresh fruit in Chinatown.


Many fine meals at Blue Ribbon Sushi and Omen in Soho. Noodle soup at Omen where we were once seated next to NYC legend, Patti Smyth.

Freshly made tofu at En Brasserie, I always order the kaiseki menu, never disappointed!

Sesame crusted yellowfin tuna steak with a soy/mirin glaze, wasabi mashed potatoes, sauteed baby bok choy and crispy leeks and homemade bread a number of times at Spring Street Natural.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I recently discovered fresh sardines with sea salt over a hot grill, a no brainer that’s definitely changed my opinion on sardines which have always been out of a tin can, rather boring, not very exciting. I had some the other weekend at SeaRocket Bistro in North Park, San Diego with my friend, Phil and we’re hooked. I grew up eating grilled mackerel so I was expecting them to be somewhat similar, but actually when grilled they are very mellow/subtle in flavor with a delicate flesh that pulls away real easy from the bones. I’ll be checking for them now at the local fishmongers, not expensive, good for you and so easy that I can’t believe I discovered the grilled kind just now, wowzers! I’ve been missing out for so long.

Monday, June 27, 2011

banh cuon

My mom just returned from a quick trip to Malaysia with some friends and lady talked my ear off. So nice to hear she had a fantastic time, the food, the sights, the people, next time I’ll have to join her.

I’m having banh cuon (Vietnamese rice crepes) today, they are lightly stuffed with peppered ground pork and thinly sliced wood mushrooms. There’s a house down the street from my mom’s place in Laos that sells these freshly made and every time I visit she always stops there on her way back from the temple every morning on her bike to get us a huge plate to share. As Laos neighbors Vietnam we grew up eating a lot of Vietnamese dishes, this one is light and easy and fresh tasting with mint and cilantro and quickly steamed bean sprouts all tossed in a tangy sweet sauce that has just a hint of fish sauce and lots of fresh lime, topped with crispy fried sliced shallots, this is my mom and I’s breakfast of champions! My mom’s dear friend, mae Loth always made these for us growing up in Canada, she was our local pro rice crepe maker and I will be sharing the recipe on a future post. Today I bought rice crepes from Song Huong Restaurant inside Vinh Hung Vietnamese Market in Mira Mesa, it’s easy and tasty, just like mae Loth’s and just like the lady down the street from my mom’s.