What’s the best pizza place in San Diego? If someone says Bronx, do you A) agree because you think it’s pretty darn good B) go on a tirade about how Luigi’s is far superior or C) you can’t name a place because pizza is just too unhealthy so you never eat it? If you answered C, why are you reading my blog? If you answered A, pick up the June edition of San Diego Magazine and leisurely peruse the list of Best Restaurants. If you answered A, pick up the magazine, and do what I do and yell (in your own head) that you completely disagree with over half of the winners. I say this because I actually like to read lists just so I can disagree with them. Don’t most people?
Wednesday night, two friends, my husband, and I attended the San Diego Magazine Best Restaurants Kick-Off Party at Fixtures Living off of Miramar Road (http://www.fixturesliving.com/). I bought a ticket for $40 which included this party and the big blow-out party on August 23rd in Point Loma. One year, a bunch of my friends and I attend the Point Loma event and we had a great time sampling food and drinks from a slew of places. I wasn’t even aware of the pre-party! Big mistake! Initially, I was weary of the venue. For those not familiar with the area known as Carroll Canyon Business Park, it looks as exciting as its name. Fixtures Living will open at the UTC mall down the road in the Fall which will make it more convenient to stop in and browse. It ended up being the perfect location. I had never been in this store before. It is expansive, and it has room after room of high-end items for the kitchen. It was so fun eating and drinking in staged kitchens with ranges that cost $50,000! “Oh, this old La Cornue Grand Palais 180? Who doesn’t have one in their kitchen?” That is a sentence I did not hear once during the evening.
There were only a couple of food stations that I missed. I was really bummed, but at one point, I could no longer eat anymore. The highlight of the night was Azucar. Go to the website if only for the music: http://www.iloveazucar.com/ I find it very interesting that a Cuban Patisserie is in O.B. I walked into this place some time ago, and, sadly, I never ordered anything. I am a silly woman. The desserts they served were fantastic. If I were alone, the Turron de Havana would have made me weep, but I had to control myself. However, I did not control how many I had. Three. Don’t judge me. The bottom layer is a hazelnut praline crunch. Is that enough? It could be, but these baking Gods top that with ooey, gooey caramel, topped again with dark chocolate mousse, and topped again with ganache. It was heavenly. My husband loved the Salted Toffee Oatmeal Cookie. They reminded him of the style of cookies I like to make – on the thinner side, but full of flavor. The third dessert was a little shot glass with a burst of flavor: white chocolate cake, passion fruit curd, and a pistachio macaron. I would like to sincerely apologize to this restaurant for not eating your food as often as possible. I will make it up to you. There is a small breakfast and lunch menu, so I will have to check that out now.
In my opinion, the best named vendor goes to BadunkaChunk Cookies (http://badunkachunk.com/). The name fits the cookie. They are huge and delicious. When Missy Elliott sings about her badonkadonk, she might be singing about these cookies, or how the cookies created the badonkadonk in the first place. You can order cookies over the phone, or you can find them at Rubicon (http://therubicondeli.com/) or at MadFix Coffee Cart in Downtown San Diego on C Street between 6th and 7th (http://www.madfixcoffee.com/default.html).
Another restaurant that made me really happy? And now I must go to their location in La Jolla? Puesto! I had read about this place, and then I never got around to checking it out (http://www.eatpuesto.com/). The chefs made each taco to order. The tortillas were made on site, too. God bless them. They served 2 tacos: Chicken al Pastor (and I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the pineapple in it. It made it very special.) and Potato Soy Chorizo. I loved that they placed the cheese on the hot griddle which basically made a cheese “tortilla” which held the filling together, and that was placed in the tortilla. They had a couple different sauces to top it off, and sliced some fresh avocado to top the little devils. It was sweet, spicy, and fresh. I loved it!
I don’t want to go on too long about this event. I’ve probably already lost a few people along the way! I will say that I was really impressed with all of the participants, the venue, and the people from San Diego Magazine. I met the Editor, Erin Chambers Smith, at the Puesto table. She was so nice, and it was great seeing people in the publishing and food industry enjoying mingling and eating.
I highly recommend attending this event next year. It sells out fast, so keep a look out for it, and buy your tickets! And you can still enjoy all of the great restaurants in San Diego in one spot! The Best of San Diego Party takes place August 23rd at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Get your tickets! Here’s the link with all of the information you will need: http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Magazine/January-2013/Best-of-San-Diego-Party/. Take a look at the San Diego Magazine’s Best Restaurant edition as well. Let me know if there’s a place you love that should be on their list! I would love to check it out! Oh, and by the way, Pizzeria Luigi’s rules.
Take Care and Happy Eating!