Three meals in San Diego. While spending the weekend in San Diego, we of course made time to some food at some kick ass restaurants. Our hotel of choice was La Pensione in the neighborhood of Little Italy. It’s a small boutique hotel within walking distance of Gaslamp Quarter. It also has some amazing restaurants just down the street. Which was another great selling point.
Deciding where to eat in a city other than your home can be quite the challenge, unless you Yelp! Yelp is the best sidekick when walking down a street and trying to decide if a restaurant is truly worth your time. This was the situation that brought us to Ironside Fish & Oyster. We had no particular destination in mind, other than the fact that I wanted seafood. We had originally noticed the restaurant because of its trendy atmosphere but I was too lazy to ask to see a menu. A few minutes later and still no set decision on a food outlet, I decided it would be in my best interest to agree to try Ironside. Everyone seemed to be getting a little hangry (Hungry + Angry = Hangry) and it did have a 4.5 star rating on Yelp. Man, am I ever glad that I agreed to Ironside!
It was extremely busy for a Monday evening but the hostess was able to accommodate our walk in reservation. We sat out on their terrace which is a nice spot for people watching during the perfect weather of a summer evening in San Diego.
Ironside was definitely a seafood restaurant and they do their specialty well. There was not a bad item ordered at our table. We had some appetizers in the form of octopus and chowder fries. The octopus… without a doubt the best octopus I’ve ever had. Not only was it perfectly cooked, but the flavor was out of this world! There are some restaurants at home in Las Vegas that I used to think did a great octopus, now I think they’re only just OK.
The Chowder fries make for a meal of their own! It’s a straight up concept. French fries mixed with their clam chowder. Why I’ve never had this anywhere else, I don’t know. But it was delicious and I am now on a mission to perfect it at home!
But moving on to the real star of my dinner. The lobster roll. I love lobster and I have an odd obsession with a particular lobster roll from Todd English PUB in Las Vegas. I was hesitant to order this because of my insanely high expectations for lobster rolls. I am so glad that I did though. This is without a doubt in my mind, the best lobster roll that I have tasted. The lobster was delicious and the bread they paired it with complemented the sauce well. It wasn’t too soft nor did it get soggy even with the sauce from the lobster. The one roll was more than filling and beyond satisfying. It’s an explosion of happy in your mouth.
I was later told by a friend from San Diego that Ironside is the “hottest spot” in town. That did not shock me at all.
Dessert (Yes, dessert is a meal)
After dinner, we took a quick 15 minute stroll down to one of my favorite dessert destinations. Extraordinary Desserts!
I found this gem almost five years ago by chance while driving home with my good friend Jena. We stopped and told a local that we wanted desserts and they told us we needed our desserts to be extraordinary! Since then, they’ve grown significantly in popularity and now have 2 locations in the San Diego area. The more recent location being larger than the original and much closer to the heart of downtown. All their desserts have fun and unique twists on classic desserts. The calories are worth the treat! But what makes them extraordinary is their presentation. Every dessert comes to you plated in a beautiful way usually garnished with flowers. Who doesn’t want their dessert to look like it just came straight out of dessert paradise?
The main struggle you will discover at extraordinary Desserts is #1. Waiting for a table to sit down and #2. Deciding on just one dessert to order! Neither one of those should deter you from visiting this place. There is also no judgment if you so happen to visit it more than once while on vacation.
Finally, we come to our last big meal of the trip. Lunch! We decided to spend the better part of our afternoon in La Jolla and according to Yelp a place called George’s at the Cove was the spot to be. The wait for a table on the roof was 45minutes; which was fine because we had some shopping to do and I figured it was worth it if their fish tacos were really all the rave. 45 minutes later we were sitting rooftop, overlooking the beach and eating ceviche while waiting on the fish tacos.
The ceviche was a delicious start but the tacos were to die for! They weren’t your typical street tacos. They were 2 large tacos that were more than enough for a lunch portion. They were so good i was actually sad after I inhaled the first one that I didn’t savor them just a bit longer.
If visiting La Jolla be sure to check this place out! It’s perhaps best to get a reservation but know that if you have to wait, it’s worth it! They have two different lines, one to dine inside or one to dine on the roof. Go for the roof! There is no other way to eat than to be able to see the water. You will love it.
What no one told me
The downtown area of San Diego does not believe in parking garages or free parking at all for that matter. Almost everywhere will have metered parking. With that said, bring coins! Nothing can kill a good mood or appetite more quickly than scouring for parking only to realize you can’t pay for said parking. In the evening between 6:00pm and 8:00am there is usually free street parking available. However, don’t always bank on there being a space available to you. Parking spaces are a hot commodity! It will also help you if you practice your parallel parking. You’ll probably need that skill too if you insist on moving your car everywhere. Otherwise, just walk. This holds true for most of La Jolla as well. If the parking is free, chances are there is still a time limit to be cognizant of! No one wants to deal with a tow truck when on vacation. Other than parking, happy dining everyone! 🙂
Be sure to fit in some beach time and seal watching into your schedule when at La Jolla!
All the food and restaurants listed are great choices. If you have a chance to eat all three meals in San Diego then do it! Even if you can only eat one meal in San Diego, try to incorporate these restaurants!