Hillcrest Taste N Tinis 2015 - recap

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!

Margaritas and the infamous Santa Monica Roll from Fiesta Cantina. One of the samples we eat and enjoy at every Hillcrest tasting event.

Pasta from the newly opened Charisma Cucina. It doesn't look like much but I was really loving this flavorful pasta mix. It's on my list to revisit! Dennis also tried a green drink sample which I somehow missed but he said it was good!

Starting top left going clockwise: Huapangos Mexican Cuisine, Gossip Grill, Brazen BBQ, East Coast Pizzeria

At Huapangos Mexican Cuisine, there were taquitos. The chowder from Gossip Grill was comforting. One of my favorite samples of the night was the smoked cajun corndog from Brazen BBQ. This delicious thin & crispy meaty sausage totally hit the spot that night! The meatball from East Coast Pizzeria was a bit salty this year though.

Savory pancake from Snooze Eatery.

The buffet line still exists at Bombay Exotic Cuisine though there were fewer items this year. No biggie because we still got to try the yummy chicken tikka masala and other goodies.

Pick anything off the menu to sample at Lemonade! We also were able to sample the drinks and a macaron, though I find their macarons to be a bit too sweet.

Edamame and sushi samples from the newly opened Rakitori Japanese Pub & Grill.

Brie soup and pasta from Crest Cafe. See our recent visit to Crest Cafe here.

Creamy gelato from Pappalecco and Ahi Poke from Poke Go.

Tofu and Soup at Lotus Thai.


Some drinks were hosted by retail stores which had promotional discounts during that evening. Local bartenders volunteered as servers for our drinking pleasure. The rest were participating restaurants/bars in the area.

Key Lime Martini at Babycakes, made with vanilla vodka, mamaretto, sweet & sour, and pineapple juice.

Jungle Juice at the retail store Beauty by Dolly, made with vodka, orange juice, lemon juice, and cherries.

Basic Beach at The Brew Project, newly opened for about 2 months. This drink was quite strong, with the slight cucumber mint taste.

Habanero Margarita at Huapangos Mexican Cuisine. The guys were wow'ed by the kick of the spicy pepper in the drink!

Martini at the retail store Gioia's Room. I don't remember what was in it but my notes show a happy face so I liked it!

At the retail store Village Hat Shop, this drink tasted like a yummy apple cider.

A tasty martini made with Serpent's Bite at Urban Mo's.

Martini at the retail store Detour Salon. Our friend said this tasted like grass haha!

Martini at the retail store Cody's Home + Gift. This one was pear cider-like for me.

Martini at retail store Adam & Eve. It's a very good thing the background is blurred hahah.

The drink at Chocolat reminded me of pepto bismo / bubble gum!

Martini at the retail store Creative Crossroads. This one tasted like a pink starburst or maybe something pomogranate. It was served COLD which was awesome.

Chocolate Martini at Gossip Grill. They poured me a second drink since there were leftoevers! Great drink to end the night.

We didn't start until almost 2 hours in so didn't quite make it to the east side of Hillcrest. Nonetheless, we were full and happy. Until next year... enjoy the rest of your holidays!

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Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Mon, 12/28/2015 - 11:16am

Oh man you guys crushed it at this event with the time you spent here! My friend and I tried our best but we ended up being too tired that evening to try all the restaurants. Did you guys have an issue with traffic or parking? I loved the coupons from Luna too. Charisma Cucina served, I think, a basil type of prosecco drink. Snooze had one of our fave samps (they served a pumpkin streusel crumble pancake I think). Did you see that yakitori type restaurant that night? Looked interesting but we didn't like their galbi rice sample :(

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Fri, 01/01/2016 - 8:22pm

i think we parked a little further, closer to that hospital south of washington, and then took a walk. there was definitely traffic getting there since we left kearny mesa around rush hour (booooo). i don't think we made it to the yakitori type restaurant because there was no galbi rice in any of our samples. was it on the east side of hillcrest? we didn't make it that far...

Soo @ hungryones's picture
Submitted by Soo @ hungryones (not verified) on Tue, 12/29/2015 - 8:56am

Wow! That was alot of food and drinks you sampled! I got tired just reading and looking at the photos. Gonna take a nap now. Happy New Year!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Fri, 01/01/2016 - 8:23pm

But the pictures are so damn beautiful... thanks for checking it out anyway =)

Elizabeth Shaw's picture
Submitted by Elizabeth Shaw (not verified) on Sun, 01/03/2016 - 5:18pm

How much fun! I love this- I'll have to join you next time lol! I love Babycakes!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 1:21pm

One of my favorite events for sure! Good times always!

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