Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the month “May, 2015”

Pei Wei Asian Diner

Continuing my tour of Pei Wei’s new Susie offerings.  This time the so-called Mango California Roll.  I’m not gonna sugarcoat it.  I am not a fan of most fruits, thus I was not looking forward to trying this.  Actually wasn’t that bad (with liberal daubs of wasabi).  There really was not a discernible fruit taste to it.  As with most sushi rolls, all the ingredients just tend to homogenize in your mouth anyway and it’s difficult to tell what you’re really eating.  

  

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Cafasso Meatball Company 

This is a neat little place that specializes in all things meatball.  You can order a variety of different meatball styles, either on its own with a side of garlic bread, or as part of a pasta dish.  I tried one each of beef, pork and bacon.  It comes out with handy wooden skewers identifying what you’re eating.  Overall a pretty heavy eating experience.  I can see myself coming hear about once or twice a year…

  
  
  

Par Lounge

Lunch at The Par Lounge today… Probably one of the most beautifully constructed Cobb Salads I’ve ever had… From the OG kitchen. I think I’ve only eaten about 5 or 6 Cobb Salads in my lifetime, but this is still top shelf. Perfect with the balsamic vinaigrette.

  

Kai Sushi

Some have recommended that I try Kai Susie in Poway, so I did just that today! I ordered the #10 Baked Lobster Roll for $12.50. It’s a basic California Roll crowned with what they refer to as a “baked lobster crunch shaving”. The whole thing was baked in fact. It was warm throughout. It was obviously not real lobster… Seemed like langostino. It was still great tasting nonetheless.The restaurant itself is big, comfortable and inviting. I like the atmosphere better than Poway Sushi Lounge…

Service was just average and decent. No issues, but nothing special or noteworthy.  

I’m really impressed by the Kai Sushi website! I was engrossed in it this morning reviewing their expansive menu. The site has pictures of all their food/rolls/etc., with easy to understand descriptions.

  
  
  
  

Edwards Vineyard & Cellars

Nestled along Hwy 78 about half way between town and Santa Ysabel is the charming Edwards Vineyard & Cellars (no relation). They offer tastings every Saturday & Sunday from 11am-5pm in a comfortable patio setting. I sampled their Syrah today, as well as buying a bottle. I can’t begin to describe the taste using all the adjectives of a sommelier or wine snob… I’ll just say it was very good! The setting is so beautiful, you just want to sit and hang out. It was a joy visiting with proprietor Beth and her noble canine…

  

Amici Pizza Pasta & Subs

Had a nice dinner tonight at Amici Pizza Pasta & Subs! I’ve always eaten pizza there and decided to venture into their pasta offerings. Tried the Spaghetti. For $8.95 it’s served with marinara or meat sauce. For $11.95 you can add two meatballs or two Italian sausages. As I usually do, I requested one meatball and one sausage. The sauce was rich, hearty and flavorful. Both the meatball and sausage were very large, plump, meaty and just lightly seasoned. The pasta on the other hand seemed at least two minutes past al dente. I was surprised when it came out only 5 minutes after ordering. When I make sketti at home it takes 10-11 minutes. I’m guessing the pasta was pre-cooked, being held in some suspended animation until which time someone happens to order it. I’m not a fan of that methodology and prefer cooked to order. Maybe it was par-cooked, then heated up, I don’t know. It was still overcooked. The meal was served with a generous amount of tasty garlic bread. The service here has been discussed ad nauseum over the years. It was nothing short of friendly for me.

  
  

Da Tuna Shack

I can’t believe I’ve lived up the hill over 12 years and have never set foot in Da Tuna Shack. Until tonight that is. Wow, what a special gem this place is. A relatively small, yet elegantly appointed dining room. You forget you’re even in a seedy strip mall with bad parking. I ordered a Shrimp Tempura Roll ($9). Made with tempura shrimp, crab, avocado, sprouts and cucumber. Rolled with both nori and soy paper, topped with eel sauce and beautifully presented. Tasted very good and fresh.  Service was very friendly and extremely attentive. All were in good spirits and very welcoming. They have a wide and varied menu which I look forward to sampling. Much more than just sushi. There’s something for just about any taste, even those who don’t like oriental food…

  
  
  
  
  

Thai Time

What time is it? It’s Thai Time! Excellent dinner tonight. Sampled one of their fried rice dishes. They have about 6 styles to choose from – I ordered the Spicy Fried Rice. It’s made with stir fried rice, egg, garlic, basil, bell pepper, onion and chili. It’s prepared with your choice of meat/combo/vegetarian. I chose “combo” style which includes shrimp, chicken, pork and beef. Kind of house special style. The cost driver is the meat choice. My combo style costs $12.95. Most others are less, and there’s a seafood option for $13.95.
It was all very tasty and the presentation is always elegant and refined. Service was good. Everyone was very cute, friendly, etc., even the owner lady. They seemed genuinely happy to have you visit. The place was abundantly decorated in a somewhat tacky fashion, just how I like it. Great visit, can’t wait to go back… Next time my wife goes out of town…

  

  
  

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

With bacon!  One of my signature dishes, albeit humble.  Using a good, high quality bread, lots of butter and thick slices of sharp cheddar cheese.  Maybe next time I’ll add some thin sliced mater.  Keep the heat low and be patient, otherwise your bread will burn before the cheese fully melts.  

  
  

Boll Weevil 

As I’ve posted before, I’m a big fan of the Thursday night all-you-can eat Fish & Chips at the Weev. Unfortunately the Fish & Chips Friday – Wednesday is decidedly different. Tonight was a very institutional variety. I would say it was from the freezer section somewhere in between Smart & Final bottom shelf and Statler Bros top shelf. Served with fries and no salad for $9.29. Wish I got a burger tonight. Service though was sweet as always and loved my cold schooner.

  

  

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