We all deserve a delicious birthday meal right? I decided to check out the very popular and recently opened Bracero Cocina de Raiz for mine. The headliner was Chef Javier Plascencia (last seen in my Caffe Calabria Specialty Produce post).
During the Taste of Little Italy, the restaurant wasn't even officially open yet Bracero was serving these grilled and roasted spaghetti squash tacos. So many unique items. I've been seeing beautiful photos on social media and we were NOT disappointed by the real thing. Are you ready to start drooling yet? These platings at Bracero were unbelievably gorgeous!
Albacore Two Ways / Seared / Tartare
This dish had lots of layers of flavor, texture and color. The top was seared albacore with a fried zucchini layer and another sort of catfish battered albacore in the middle
We're loving the holiday season in San Diego. Earlier this month we took a stroll through Hillcrest with a buddy for the Taste N Tinis event... yummy nibbles and a glass cocktail refilled at every stop. Great way to get into the spirit of the holidays and have a good time in the neighborhood. You can also check out last year's Taste N Tinis 2014.
We'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
Mediterranean salad and chicken skewers at Luna Grill. We also received a coupon for a free chicken skewer on our next visit!
Dennis and I wanted to celebrate our 10 year dating anniversary and picked out Pacifica Del Mar, OPPOSITE the direction from the traffic madness of December Nights in Balboa.
Pacifica Del Mar is in the Del Mar Plaza which has a parking lot underneath. The restaurant can validate your parking for up to 2 hours free so we thought this was very useful for a busy Friday evening. We took an elevator up to the shops then used maps to find our way to the restaurant.
I loved the glow of the bar inside Pacifica Del Mar. The whole place was packed with diners on this chill Friday night.
We ordered drinks at our table. Dennis picked the Bendistillery Crater Lake Vodka old fashioned while I sipped on a yummy Chocolate Martini.
Dennis and I are fans of the build your own pizza trend. For Black Friday, PizzaRev offered pizzas for only $5 each! We hit up the nearest location (Scripps Ranch) soon after opening and ordered four for the two of us. We weren't worried about finishing it all since pizza works fantastic as leftovers.
The concept is simple. Start from a pre-designed pizza and or start from scratch. Either way, you can customize to your heart's content at one set price, currently $8.25.
The employees assemble the pizza in front of you and can provide suggestions if you need ideas.
Here is one of our customized pizza ready to go into the oven!
Crest Cafe has been featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We've had our own little sneak peak during a few Taste ofHillcrest events. This family run business has been open for years but only recently did we sit down for an actual meal inside the retro diner.
Initially, we met a few familiar faces at a mini blogger dinner coordinated by Passion Roots PR (from our Curry World review). The Crest Cafe owners, Cecelia and Ruben, gave us free reign over the menu, allowing everyone to pick whatever caught their eye.
Soon the food arrived. After a flurry of photos, we dug in. Thankfully it was a relatively small group. The more bloggers, the longer it takes before we can taste the food!
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.
- excerpt from Wikipedia
The California Center of the Arts housed a public Yelp party in honor of this holiday. There were memorials throughout the building.
I thought this one in particular was interesting due to the runway aspect. To add to the spirit of things, some Yelp attendees dutifully donned the masks, face painting or attire.
I was happy to find Soo and Maggie from HungryOnes.com (left, middle) at the parking lot. I enjoy a familiar face to start out the evening though I wander at my own pace as the night goes on.
As usual for Yelp events, there was ample food and drink samples available for attendees.
The hostess would direct us to the left, where the bar and samples were.
And that's about as far as we usually got into the restaurant...
... until a tempting $20 off coupon email showed up to celebrate a "half birthday" ie 6 months before/after your actual birthday. Friends know that I just love coupons. This eclub deal was good for 3 weeks with the expected "can't be combined with happy hour or other specials" restriction. No minimum required!