Monday, February 23, 2009

100 Good Things to Eat (and Drink) in San Diego

Who says there's nothing good to eat in San Diego? Just for fun, I put this list together inspired by 7x7's recent list of 100 Things to eat in San Francisco before you die. How many of these have you tried, and what would be on your list?
  1. Mussell bisque en croute at Dobson's
  2. Espresso gelato at Gelato Vero
  3. Huitlacoche quesadilla at Aqui es Texcoco
  4. Baked Alaska at Oceanaire Seafood Room
  5. Falafel at Mama's Lebanese (esp. the wrap)
  6. Smoked marlin taco at Mariscos German
  7. Carne asada burrito at Sarita's
  8. Chicken liver mousse at Farmhouse Cafe
  9. Birria tacos at Tacos El Paisa
  10. Croissants at Opera Patisserie
  11. Coconut pancakes at the Thai stall at the Hillcrest Farmers Market
  12. Coast Toast at the Brockton Villa
  13. Crab sandwich at Point Loma Seafoods
  14. Tortilla chips from El Indio
  15. Fish and chips at Shakespeare's
  16. Salted caramel chocolate cupcake at Eclipse Chocolat
  17. Bacon cheeseburger at Hodad's
  18. A Turkey, Jack and Avocado sandwich at The Cheese Shop at LJ Shores (not Downtown)
  19. Duck confit with grapefruit marmalade at Market
  20. Roast Pork Bahn Mi and a Cafe Sua Da at K Sandwiches
  21. Duckaroni (mac and cheese with duck confit) at Urban Solace
  22. Uni bisque at Sea Rocket Bistro
  23. Italian Sub at Mona Lisa
  24. Ahi and Tomato salad at Saladstyle
  25. Roast beef sandwich with red onion and goat cheese at Con Pane
  26. Green papaya salad at Sab E Lee
  27. Choucroute at the Linkery
  28. Plain yogurt at Yogurt World
  29. Cannelloni at Sante
  30. Fried oyster tacos at South Beach Bar and Grill
  31. Confit tangerine with chocolate ganache at Cavaillon
  32. Drugstore Burger at the Torrey Pines Lodge
  33. Pierre Robert cheese at Taste
  34. Mussels with creme fraiche at Vagabond
  35. Nachos and the Turkey Taco at Tony's Jacal
  36. Steak Frites at Cafe Chloe
  37. Lefty's Pizza
  38. Egg Salad sandwich at Cafe Zinc
  39. Peanut Butter ice cream at Oasis in Imperial Beach
  40. Lentil soup at Athen's Market
  41. Sage fried chicken with maple reduction and bacon mashed potatoes at Hash House
  42. Chocolate Chipotle Cake at 1500 Ocean
  43. Heirloom tomato salad at Nine Ten
  44. Lemon souffle tart at Market
  45. Abuela Hot Chocolate at Chuao
  46. Barbacoa at Vallarta's in Otay Mesa
  47. Broham Sandwich at Phil's BBQ
  48. Vietnamese spring rolls at Dao Son
  49. Fresh uni from Catalina Offshore Products
  50. Wood oven roasted mussels at Napa Valley Grille
  51. Jidori chicken with currant and pine nut couscous at Jayne's Gastropub
  52. Chocolate pot de creme with brandied cherries at Cafe Chloe
  53. Burger and Fries at Starlite
  54. Corned Beef Hash (with the coffee cake) at Hob Nob Hill
  55. Jade Mistress cocktail at Red Pearl Kitchen
  56. Red velvet cupcakes at Influx and Tender Greens
  57. Grilled cheese sandwiches at Bite
  58. Fish torta at El Pescador
  59. Donuts from Mary's
  60. Torte Belge at Michele Coulon Dessertier
  61. Pomegranate and watermelon salad at Urban Solace
  62. Mole at Cantina Mayahuel
  63. Alesmith "Old Numbskull" Barleywine
  64. Shrimp and Scallop Potstickers with Tobiko Caviar Sauce at Roppongi
  65. Scones at Rebecca's
  66. Thai-Grilled Chicken and Cambodian Cucumber Salad from Saffron
  67. Charcuterie plate at Starlite
  68. Fried Oyster Cobb Salad at Market
  69. Ceviche at Latin Chef
  70. Velvet Diablo cocktail at Starlite
  71. Honey Doughnuts at Honey's in Encinitas
  72. Tuna tartare at Wine Sellar Brasserie
  73. Fruit tarts at Extraordinary Desserts
  74. French tuna salad sandwich at Bread and Cie
  75. Peanut butter and chocolate creme brulee at Urban Solace
  76. Rocky's chicken salad at Waters
  77. "Funky Roll" (softshell crab and crab) at Cafe Japengo
  78. Hot fudge sundae made with creme fraiche glace at Extraordinary Desserts
  79. Cheese course at Blanca
  80. Guanni chocolates at the Hillcrest Farmers Market
  81. Triple berry jam from Jackies Jams
  82. Carne asada tacos and a Cadillac Margarita at Old Town Mexican Cafe
  83. Burger at Ritual Tavern (with housemade ketchup and mustard)
  84. Carpaccio at Blanca
  85. Fish tacos at Don Chuy in Solana Beach
  86. Lemon ricotta pancakes at Crest Cafe
  87. Summer corn and tomatoes from Chino Farms
  88. Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale
  89. Fresh mint and cocoa nib ice cream at Farmhouse Cafe
  90. Liverwurst at Sausage King
  91. Espresso at Pappalecco
  92. Cannolis at Cafe Zucchero
  93. Kefta pita sandwich at the Hillcrest Farmers Market
  94. Orange vanilla bean white hot chocolate at Eclipse
  95. Lobster avocado and grapefruit salad at Bertrand at Mr. A's (lunch)
  96. Crow's Pass strawberries
  97. Chorizo at Las Cuatro Milpas
  98. Carnitas at Carnitas Uruapan
  99. Bo La Lot (beef wrapped in grape leaves) at Saigon
  100. Patatas Bravas at Costa Brava

Photo key, from left to right, top to bottom: No. 100, No. 9, No. 39 , No. 53, No. 10, No. 22, No. 26, No. 59, No. 20, No. 16, No. 5, No. 16 - cross section, No. 87, No. 89, No. 3, No. 43.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Soup for Sunday Supper Club

Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken
A few weeks ago, I hosted our monthly Supper Club on a Sunday evening with the theme "Soup and Salad." It was one of my favorite supper club meals in recent memory, with three soups, a mussel stew, two salads, and three desserts - all absolutely delicious. I made this soup after seeing the recipe in the NY Times. It just really appealed to me - spicy, warming, and rich with the coconut milk - but with that spark of fresh herbs on the top. It's also easy, and fairly quick - fast enough to make on a weeknight assuming you have all the ingredients.
Supper Club
As I was making it, I realized it's very close to a Curried Mushroom Soup that I used to make a long time ago. That got me thinking about other things that used to be in my repertoire that I never make anymore - some of them with good reason - but others have been neglected unfairly. Like the handmade Caesar salad I used to make by mashing the anchovies and whisking them with garlic, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, olive oil and mustard, and the slow cooked caramelized onions I used to make as a side dish. I really need to dig those out. I don't think I'll be forgetting this soup again anytime soon though.
Spicy Curry Noodle Soup
Spicy Curry Mee (Noodle Soup)
adapted from the New York Times

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons minced cilantro stems or lemongrass
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal, more for serving
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast meat, thinly sliced and cut into bite-size pieces (I used cooked chicken and added it last minute)
4 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder, preferably Malaysian, Thai or Vietnamese
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cans (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk (light is fine)
3/4 cup half-and-half
8-10 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar, more to taste (or agave nectar)
12 ounces dried thin rice noodles (bun or vermicelli)
Salt to taste
2 cups bean sprouts
8 tablespoons chopped cilantro
8 tablespoons torn mint sprigs
4-6 scallions, cut into thin rings
4-6 shallots, thinly sliced and deep fried in vegetable oil until brown (optional)*
Quartered limes for serving.

1. Heat oil and a little broth in a large (8 qt) stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and lemon grass and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Do not brown; reduce heat if necessary. Add garlic and chili paste and stirfry until coated and fragrant. Raise heat, add chicken and stir-fry one minute. (I skipped this b/c my chicken was already cooked.) Add curry powder and paprika and stir to coat. Then add coconut milk, half-and-half, chicken stock, turmeric, fish sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook rice noodles in boiling water according to package directions (about 4 minutes). Rinse and drain.
3. Taste broth and adjust seasonings with salt and sugar. Divide noodles into large soup bowls. Bring broth to a boil, then ladle over noodles. Garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, scallions and fried shallots. Pass limes and sambal at the table.

*You might be tempted to skip the fried shallots because they're a hassle, but they're really, really good. They took a little longer than I thought they would - so I'd suggest making them a little ahead of time.

Yield: 4 main-course servings.

More soup recipes coming up!

Special thanks to my friend and guest photographer Angie!

It's just so sad.

Domino Favorites Collage

The more I read about Domino going under, the more it bums me out. There's actually an article in today's NY Times about the whole outcry over it. I think this last quote from Cynthia Kling, one of the contributing editors, is especially prescient.

“It’s like that scene in ‘Dinner at Eight,’ ” she said, shrugging parka-clad shoulders, “the part when the husband comes home and tells his wife he’s lost his job. And she says something like, ‘Darling, that’s fabulous! All the best people are losing their jobs.’ ”

It can't be easy - I wish them all the very best of luck.

Collage photos from Domino's archives - house tours of Jenna Lyons, Ione Skye, Carolina Herrera Jr. and the slideshow on improvements for renters.

1962 Barbie Dream House

I came across this on eBay the other day, and can't get over how freaking cute it is. This is the original Barbie Dream House - the first one they ever came out with. I don't know about you, but I would have died for one of those Barbie Townhouses in the early 70's - the one with the elevator? My parents got me the Barbie Country House (which is also on eBay) instead one year for Christmas, and I think I probably should have had therapy over the disappointment.
The whole thing is cardboard, so complete ones in good shape are pretty rare. Still, these only cost about $30.
I want my front door to look like that!
Doesn't this look like a Domino spread? *sniffle!* Check out the open top record player. We had one of those - and there are record albums with real titles, and books, and little cardboard pillows. All of the furniture is folded and put together.
here's a longer view - Love the pink interior of Barbie's closet - and that picture on the wall.
Here's a closer look. Cool huh?

Looking for more info, I ran across this great little essay on the subject of the early Dream House - check it out.