Underbelly get in my belly.

On my recent trip to San Diego, I tried a hip ramen spot in North Park, Underbelly. Might I add that after all these years going to San Diego I finally understand why North Park is called North Park. Duh.

Underbelly is a cute little (big) joint, with tons of seating and fireplaces for when it gets chilly. I ordered the Kimchi Pickles and the Tonkotsu Ramen (with two eggs). They take more of an Americanized take on their dishes, so the Kimchi Pickles weren’t over the top spiced or anything, but still pretty good. The Tonkotsu Ramen actually tasted a bit more on the healthier side – which made me wonder about the broth. Usually you “know” you’re eating some super unhealthy ramen when you’re in Little Tokyo in LA, but this didn’t have that overly fatty taste. I’d definitely try it again, as they have meatier options such as “Belly of the Beast” that has oxtail, brisket AND short rib in it.

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Stir Market

Stir Market is a new little Joan’s on Third-esque eatery. It’s partially a food shop(pe) and also a restaurant/wine bar.

I had the Moroccan Baked Eggs (merguez sausage, organic eggs, tomatoes, chickpeas, peppers, with grilled bread) and a soy latte (Intelligentsia Coffee). The dish was delicious and hearty – perfect for a cold day. As someone who doesn’t eat a ton of meat I could’ve done without the sausage since I only took two bites. Perhaps I’ll request it without next time. The space has high ceilings and is very inviting. It wasn’t too crowded on the Friday morning I stopped by but I imagine it being quite popular on the weekends. An outdoor patio is located out front and they are dog friendly.

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Snooze San Diego

I’ve heard about Snooze in San Diego a few times before. I’ve also heard about how the brunch wait is Portland-Style long, but I still obliged this weekend after hearing and reading rave reviews.

Our name was put on the list around 11 AM – and we were told an hour wait. An hour came and went but we were taking full advantage of their mimosas, bloody marys and other various brunch beverages which helped keep us from collapsing onto someone else’s pancakes.

Finally we were sat before 12:45 PM and we ordered bacon (I didn’t have any bc of my juice cleanse prep), the Benny Goodman (Lox style salmon and cream cheese served over toasted rye and topped with poached cage free eggs, cream cheese hollandaise blended with sun dried tomato and caper relish), and a pancake flight. The pancake flight consisted of the special of the day which had molasses and pumpkin (and possibly crack), sweet potato, and a pineapple upside down pancake. All were INCREDIBLE and worth the long wait. Or was I just that hungry?!

After reviewing my photos it was definitely delicious regardless of my hangry level. 🙂

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Restaurant Review: Giada

I will drive to Las Vegas just to eat at Giada’s new namesake restaurant again. I’ve been a fan of hers for years and years – she’s one of the reasons I seriously considered culinary school (and still dream about it).

Giada (sometimes referred to as Giada Vegas) is located on the mezzanine level of the Cromwell Hotel.

It’s absolutely flawless from the grand decor to the details of the glassware and the paintings on the wall.

The cocktail and appetizer menu are on an iPad – which sounds slightly obnoxious but it was actually quite helpful as the photographs helped narrow down our choices. The Flash Gordon cocktail was delicious if you are a whiskey fan.

IMG_3050 IMG_3054 IMG_3056The bread basket had incredible focaccia in it’s own cute little pot, parmesean breadsticks and lemon thyme flatbread. The toppings/seasonings included dried capers, pink salt,  and chili powder. The capers added a lovely little touch to each bite. The Vittelo Tonnato Crostini was to die for. Melts in your mouth goodness.

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One of my favorite recipes of Giada’s is her Eggplant Caponata Picnic Sandwiches – so naturally I had to order the eggplant caponata. It was fresh tasting, tangy and just a tiny bit sour in a good way.

IMG_3062 IMG_3067 IMG_3069Last but definitely not least – the lemon spaghetti. Probably one of the freshest and healthy tasting pasta dishes I’ve ever had. It was so delicious it inspired me to go home and make my own version. The prawns were gigantic and flavors were light. This is what summer tastes like.

Lunch service started recently so I cannot wait to go back! 10 out of 10 stars.