Our recent trip to Pechanga Resort & Casino was quite a busy one! Between the delicious events of Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival, we also dropped by Kelsey's Bar & Grill, one of eleven restaurants inside the resort. Pechanga completely overhauled its sports bar restaurant and turned it into an upscale American pub. One of their additions was smoked barbecue and a large craft beer selection!
The restaurant isn't hard to find if you use the resort map and follow the overhead signs in the casino.
As we talked to the hostess, our eyes were immediately drawn toward this dessert display behind her. The food was looking amazing already!
Even though I work close to Convoy, I still haven't tried that many places in the area. One place that does pop into mind is Nozomi because we're fans of the katsu curry and the chirashi bowl. We recently acquired a restaurant.com gift certificate so the setting was perfect for a revisit.
Weekend nights can get especially busy in Convoy but we lucked out with parking in the restaurant lot around 8:30pm. A few tables were already occupied and the staff permitted us to sit wherever we wanted. The menu had noticeably changed since our last visit and now includes some pictures of the food! They are under new management too.
Since I had some cravings for sushi, we browsed through the available rolls first.
Midori Roll ($15)
Right away Dennis picked out the Midori Roll. This lit-up roll tasted absolutely amazing, maybe even in Dennis's top five rolls.
I don't do buffets or All You Can Eat (AYCE) much but when it involves Korean BBQ, I'm suddenly more open to the idea. Taegukgi Korean BBQ House happened to be my first AYCE KBBQ in San Diego and I found myself back for lunch two years later! My only other two KBBQ visits were at Manna BBQ in Mira Mesa and the original Manna BBQ in Convoy. I'll eventually get around to exploring others...
The restaurant is in the same plaza as Zion Market and has plenty of parking, plus you can get your asian grocery shopping on afterward! Dennis and two coworkers joined me during their Tuesday AYCE lunch special.
The restaurant is very spacious with a covered patio area that would be ideal for summer time. They sell macaron ice cream sandwiches from this middle stand and often have fresh made taiyaki, fish-shaped dessert with red bean in the evenings.
Pizzanometry is the new build your own pizza place in town that recently opened a few weeks ago. It replaced D&C Tofu House and is located next to Siam Nara and Pho Ban Mai in the Rite Aid shopping plaza.
For those of you who are not familiar with this concept, you get to create your own pizza masterpiece from start to finish using a large variety of ingredients. You start with the type of dough, followed by the sauces and cheeses, and then finally the meats and the veggies. But wait, what is the difference between this and a traditional pizza restaurant you ask? Well here, there is more interaction between the customer and your pizza stylist (that's what I call them). You also get unlimited toppings all for the same price of $7.99! Of course, you can always opt for the classic predesigned pizza combinations if you don't want to go through the pizza gauntlet.
With all the food/alcohol events and restaurants on our to-do list, I feel the need for healthier eats at home. Recently I was invited to try out Farmer's Fix, a new delivery service that provides fresh organic salads to their customers. All meals are provided in a 24oz compostable EcoProducts bowls to reduce waste after you eat and are delivered in a cooler bag with ice packs that can be reused for a future order! Consideration of the environment sounds like a plus to me!
To get started, I visited their website (Farmers Fix) and created an account. The salads are $10 each (minimum of three) with a shipping cost of $6. If you order 5 or more, shipping is free. I picked out a couple of salads that sounded interesting and chose Monday as my delivery date. Within a week, a green cooler bag with my order arrived at my door!
Southwest Salad - Black bean, cherry tomato, chickpea, cilantro, corn, poblano pepper, red onion, romaine lettuce, sunflower seed
I was very excited to try my first salad, which is their Southwest Salad. There's a plastic fork on top for size comparison.
Last month we were invited to attend a food and beer pairing through Amanda from Passion Roots PR. The drinks were from Mike Hess Brewing while the food was from Zoe's Place food truck. I've been exploring beer lately so this event got a resounding YES from me. I generally prefer stouts but a few others have managed to tickle my fancy! I'm down to find more!
A small group of bloggers met for dinner at Mike Hess Brewing in North Park. To get to the tasting room, we walked over a raised bridge between massive beer vats. I remember being impressed with this newer brewery during Tuesday Taste of North Park last year!
Once inside, the beer menu is available above the bar.
We can't wait to attend Taste of Hillcrest this year! There are new restaurants to sample and we have yet to hit every spot for this event, though we try hard! With over 35 participating locations, you're sure to have your fill, if not more! Recaps of previous years are here: Taste of Hillcrest 2015 and Taste of Hillcrest 2014.
The places we are most interested in are:
Pardon My French
The Brew Project
The Smok'd Hog
Official event info is below:
Get ready to indulge in exotic flavors and delight the palate during the culinary adventure Taste of Hillcrest. On Saturday, April 16 from noon to 4:00 p.m., San Diego’s most fabulous neighborhood will bring together some of the best chefs and cuisines for food connoisseurs to experience on a self-guided culinary tour.
With a wide selection of establishments to choose from Taste of Hillcrest will feature over 35 restaurants specializing in different types of international cuisines. Treat yourself to comfort foods and delicacies from countries around the world such as Thailand, Korea, Japan, India, Mexico, the Middle East and much more. Activate all of the senses by taking in the sounds and capturing moments at iconic Hillcrest art murals, while salivating over fresh seafood, sushi, spicy Thai, delicious pastas and feel-good classics.
While partaking of the savory sampling, be sure to save room for a chalice of Stella Artois and refined desserts from a wide range of Hillcrest eateries.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of and get you one sample ( food, drink or both ) at each participating location. This event has sold out in advance the last several years so purchase your tickets TODAY!
Wine lover? Got that covered. Curious of where to eat at Pechanga Resort & Casino? Got that covered too.
Pechanga had their 8th Annual Wine Festival on February 27, 2016 and we were invited to attend (following Chocolate Decadence the night before). Not only were there multiple wineries for tasting, but many of Pechanga's restaurants were sampling their foods as well! Isn't that a convenient way to narrow down food options between all the casino fun?
We made our way into the Pechanga Grand Ballroom around 1pm for general admission (VIPs enter at noon). Near the entrance was a display table with the big raffle prize, which included plenty of wine and spirits from event vendors. The proceeds from the raffle and other fundraising items goes to help the charity Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.
We always do food before drinks though! Never drink on an empty stomach!
Journey's End, an upscale restaurant at Pechanga, served braised pork with port reduction and pureed carrots. This was so tender and we loved the fatty bits. Dennis thought the sauce was too strong but I enjoyed the porkiness of the glaze. Another sample was the shrimp cocktail with fresh huge shrimp plus a great white sauce!