Lucky’s Lunch Counter in East Village

Lucky's Lunch Counter, San Diego, East Village

If you’re looking for a casual spot to grab a quick lunch near downtown San Diego, then Lucky’s Lunch Counter is a great bet! They serve fast, freshdelicious, Chicago-style fare and even breakfast all day. Not to mention, this is the IT spot during baseball season due to it’s proximity to the ballpark in East Village.

Check out some of the eats:Lucky's Lunch Counter, San Diego, East Village

Lucky's Lunch Counter, San Diego, East Village

Lucky's Lunch Counter, San Diego, East Village

So, when you’re downtown San Diego and in the mood for your ballpark favorites, you know where to find the good stuff!

Check out Lucky’s Lunch Counter online: click here.

Address: 338 7th Ave, San Diego 92101

Menu Tip: If you’re not sure what to order, know that San Diego Magazine voted  Lucky’s the “Best Reuben in Town”.

Isabel’s Cantina: Best Brunch in Pacific Beach

For those of you wondering where you can find the very best brunch in Pacific Beach, look no further: Isabel’s Cantina is where it’s at! After living in PB for quite awhile, I can easily say that this is my go-to SD brunch spot.

Isabel's Cantina Pacific Beach Brunch

Not only is the atmosphere just about perfect, but the the food is ALWAYS delicious. In fact, it somehow seems to get better and better each time! The service is always friendly and prompt and the vibe here is all around great.

Isabel Cruz, the chef and owner, is known for her love of food and unique mix of Asian and Latin influences into a simple, clean, and healthy cuisine.

Check out some of my favorite dishes:

Isabel's Cantina Pacific Beach Brunch

Isabel's Cantina Pacific Beach Brunch

Isabel's Cantina Pacific Beach Brunch

Isabel's Cantina Pacific Beach Brunch

Isabel’s Cantina is located at 966 Felspar Street San Diego, CA 92109.

Visit Isabel’s online by clicking HERE.

Can’t get enough?  Isabel also has several other restaurants in San Dieogo, including Barrio Star & Coffee Cup.

Blue Marble Spa: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay

The Blue Marble Spa is famous in San Diego for  full and true commitment to the environment: incorporating natural and organic skincare products in all of their massage and beauty treatments & minimizing the use of hot water at the spa.

I came in a bit early on my spa day so that I could use the fitness center, and I highly recommend it! The harbor view from the gym was gorgeous, and definitely inspired me to run a few extra miles during my cardio sesh. Luckily, chilled towels were available afterwards. Also, I loved the fact that extra sets of  headphones were provided just in case you forgot yours (which I did that day).

                                                  

While the fitness center was awesome and well-maintained, my favorite part about this spa experience was the pool area. The area  boasts absolutely gorgeous grounds and plenty of open space, along with 2 water slides for the young and/or young at heart (super fun, highly recommend trying both slides).

The massage itself was nice and relaxing, mainly Swedish techniques, made even more enjoyable by the generous use of organic sunflower, jojoba, and olive oils.

Afterwards, I made use of the steam room and ‘rain’ showers, where I noticed that, once again,  organic and natural products reigned supreme. Also, prior and post treatment, you were offered the use of the lounge, where you could indulge in a variety of teas, waters (mint, orange , and cucumber), and snacks (think dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate bits).  Loved all the small touches found here!

In all, it was an enjoyable experience and I highly recommend Blue Marble Spa.

                                   Visit the spa online by simply clicking here.

Leaping Lotus in Cedros Design District, Solana Beach

    

Let me start off by saying that I LOVE the Cedros Design District of Solana Beach. There are tons of cute & utterly unique shops and even some amazing spots to dine! If you are looking for a fun way to spend the day, I highly encourage you to check out this fun community. One of my favorite places on Cedros is Leaping Lotus, a unique 21,000 sq. ft. space featuring 115 shops all under one roof.  From gift items & jewelry to clothing, accessories furniture and garden items, there is something of interest for all at this one-of-a-kind locale.

                              Check out some of the sweet finds at Leaping Lotus:

    

    

    

    

      With Christmas soon upon us, this shop is a great spot to find gifts for all!

                Address: 240 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075

                                                       www.leapinglotus.com

Haunted High Tea: An Eat Your Art Out Event from Dr. Sketchy’s, Benefiting San Diego Visual Arts Network

I had been wanting to try out a Dr. Sketchy’s drawing session for nearly a year now, but the timing was never quite right. This month, however, I checked the website and was thrilled to find out that not only did I have the date open, but  Dr. Sketchy’s was also hosting a special fundraiser taking place the same day: an Eat Your Art Out event, benefiting San Diego Visual Art Network.

The theme, Haunted High Tea, couldn’t have been more perfect for me, since not only am I a huge fan of anything and everything haunted and ghoulish, but I also adore tea and especially all the goodies that come with a proper afternoon tea.

    

The afternoon tea took place inside Sterlings Mobile Barber Co’s Airstream Trailer and I even got to use one of the barber chairs as my seat for the affair!

{Looking for an incredible cut while on the go? Check out STERLINGS daily locations in San Diego here: http://sterlingsmobile.com/locations/.}

    

Eat Your Art Out events are known for being an astounding place to meet and mingle with fine artists in a dinner party setting, and the Haunted High Tea was no exception! I shared a table with the lovely Albertine Feurer-Young, an extraordinary photographer who told me of her incredible journeys, from her exploration of the 7 Sacred Pools Waterfalls on the road to Hana in Maui  to an unbelievable and slightly spooky  trip taking place in Deadhorse, Alaska.

Albertine’s photography is all about beauty: whether it be a truly stunning landscape or a beautiful burlesque dancer, she captures the beauty within each moment. View Albertine’s art here: http://www.artofalbertine.com/.

                                                       Yeseniya & Albertine:

    

3 other incredible artists were at the lunch, the witty Nancy Carp, known for her exquisite Trollita cards with adorable & quirky images; engaging Yeseniya Maybee, whose work is both enchanting and mysterious; and Dr. Sketchy’s  own photographer, the talented Mathew Hohlfeld. Wow, what a group!

                                                  Nancy Carp + Trollita Cards:

    

In addition to tea and conversation, guests were also served amazing tea time sandwiches and bites, from raspberry wraps and mini quiches to savory sandwiches and caprese salad, everything was delicious and well-prepared!

           

After everyone had a chance to nourish themselves with the cuisine, each of the guests were able to choose a category to make a prize for, which they would later judge at Dr. Sketchy’s. The artists had set up plenty of supplies, and we had a blast picking award categories & putting together prize idea’s.

                                         The guests working on their awards:

    

    

    

    

The group then adjourned to The Ruby Room, where we got to meet the dazzling and beyond talented Zoe Tantrum. The guests got a chance to get up onto the stage themselves, and Zoe taught us a bit about posing, proper technique, and keeping still (I certainly have a deeply rooted, new-found respect for art models!)

 

Not only did Zoe give us tips on posing and  a backstage peek  at the art of modeling, but the guests later got to strike a pose on stage while artists in the audience drew & then view the art and award a prize to their favorite. So much fun!

    

Once the other artists arrived, Zoe went through several 1 minute, 2 minute, 5 minute and 20 minute poses, while we all had the pleasure of sketching her.

    

    

    

    

                                                Ghoulish Outfit Change #1:

    

    

                                    Spectacularly Sinister Outfit Change #2:

    

    

Throughout the session, everyone had fun participating in other fun contests and we even took a break for sweets (check out the scrumptious cutie-pops!)

   

                                                             Sketchin’ Away:

    

                

In all, I immensely enjoyed myself and would like to include a special thank you to Niki Haritatos and Patricia Frischer for making this event a success!

             Learn More About San Diego Visual Art Network: Click Here.

                                        Dr.Sketchy’s San Diego Online: Click Here.

                                                   

30th on 30th in North Park

If you’re looking for something to shake up your dining experiences, I highly recommend 30th on 30th Street in North Park. This event happens the 30th of every appropriate month, on (wait for it…) 30 street! A self-guided culinary walk takes you through several eateries, with DELICIOUS food specials for only $3 or so. I am the type of eater that never wants to pick just one entree, I always want to try a bit of this + a bit of that, which is why I found 30th on 30th so great.

Now, there’s several ways to go about this and that’s what makes it even better: you could come with a large group, a date, or solo,  you could try all the places on the list or just a few, you could stay and relax at each place or do it moving from spot to spot. So, you see, the experience is totally yours to customize!

                Take a peek at what we enjoyed at 30th on 30th in September:

    

                             Surf + Turf Ceviche Tostadas at  El Take It Easy

   

                                                      Meatballs at Urban Solace

   

                                       Pulled Pork Sliders at The Linkery

                                    

                        Vegan Dumplings + Vegan Cookie at Sipz Vegetarian

                                    

            Mini Apple Cupcake + Cake with Pumpkin Ice  Cream at Hipcooks    

    

                        Mesquite Charred Pulled Chicken at Ritual Tavern

    

                                 Wood-Fired Cheese Sandwiches at Tiger! Tiger!

 Check out the website for all the specials, prior to exploring: 30th Street Org.

                                    Savvy tip: bring cash, preferably small bills!

San Diego Summer Days

This summer has been a hot one, and I almost can’t believe October is already upon us (not complaining since it’s actually one of my favorite months). However, let’s get back to the heat; did you know that so far, this year has been the hottest in all of history and also the 3rd hottest summer ever recorded? If you live in San Diego, this may not be that surprising since we have DEFINITELY been feeling the heat! For me, summertime sunshine meant a lot of swimming in the ocean, languidly relaxing on the beach, and fresh fruit galore.

Take a peek at some of my gorgeous photos (from a camera-phone mind you, since I try not to bring the Canon on many adventures) from summertime 2012:

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

   

     

    

    

    

    

    

    

   

However, as much as I love the hot weather, I am just about ready for a change in the season: chunky knits, my favorite holidays, time with loved ones, and perhaps some HOT tea instead of the iced tea I’ve been living on. What about you, my dear readers, are you (like me) also quite ready for fall and wintertime?

The Yellow Deli in Vista: Wednesday Farmers Market

Prior to visiting this unique restaurant, I’d heard a LOT of chatter about The Yellow Deli in Vista. And while people eluded to the religious connotations and the slightly different surroundings, the main thing that I heard remained that the food was incredible! So, both curious and hungry, I went to explore for myself.

     

I was beyond charmed at the visual aspects of the restaurant. What appears to be a large & cozy cottage was filled with raw wood, murals, comfy chairs, hidden nooks & crannies, plants and even a large spiral staircase. I observed that everyone who was working was dressed in an old-fashioned manner, the women very modestly (with longer skirts and tops) and the men all sporting long beards.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

For lunch, I decided to sample a bit of everything from the menu. Starting with a Cauliflower Soup of the Day, progressing to the colorful Chef Salad, and finishing up with the Turkey and Havarti Sandwich (served with house-made potato chips and a pickle). The food was as fresh as it gets, and I relished every last bite.

     

     

     

So, while I established that the restaurant was both beautifully furnished and served farm-fresh food, my curiosity wasn’t fully satiated. I mean, what’s with the dress? And what religion is practiced by the people working at this establishment? The murals on the wall hinted at dreams of love & togetherness, but what was it really all about? Looking to find some answers I did a bit of research.

     

     

It turns out the Yellow Deli was built by the Twelve Tribes, a Messianic community that lives together, works together, provides for one another, and love each other. To read the full history and beliefs of the Twelve Tribes, simply click here to visit their website and read all about it.   The Twelve Tribes have communities all over the world, from Brazil and Australia to Canada and Germany, and welcome anyone who is interested in sharing this life. The Morning Star Ranch, located nearby in Valley Center, is one of such communities and a large portion of the food served at the Yellow Deli was grown there.

     

Each Wednesday, a farmers market takes place at The Yellow Deli and you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables from the Morning Star Ranch, along with organic lotions and natural body care, amazing teas (yerba mate), and loads of other goodies.

                                                                  Take a Look:

     

     

              

     

             

     

Note that this restaurant is open 24 hours a day throughout the week but completely closed on the weekends, so plan your dining adventure accordingly!

                                                        Website: theyellowdeli.com

                                           Address: 315 E. Broadway, Vista, CA 92082

Location Tip: If Vista is a bit out of your way, you’ll be happy to know there is also a Yellow Deli located in Valley Center: 32011 Lilac Rd, Valley Center, CA 92082.

     

Brunch at the Grant Grill in the US Grant San Diego Hotel

I am always in search of a scrumptious brunch in San Diego, and the experience at the Grant Grill is one of the best that I’ve encountered lately! This elegant restaurant is located within the historic US Grant San Diego Hotel, a national icon since 1910. If you’re interested in learning more about this downtown San Diego landmark, click here to read the complete, rich history of the US Grant.

     

If, however, you’re just interested in the brunch experience (no shame in the game) then read on! The very first thing you notice when you step foot inside this stunning hotel is the….air conditioning! While this may seem like a given, this summer has been one of the hottest in many years in San Diego, and many restaurants simply aren’t equipped to deal with these kind of Florida-esque temperatures. The Grant Grill, however, is way ahead of the curve and delightfully cooling. Another plus? While many restaurants are cramped on the weekends, the Grant Grill offers an alternative: a spacious and non-hectic dining experience.

    

    

           

     

    

From the marble floors in the lobby to the timeless chandeliers, this place whispers of class and elegance, bringing you back to a time when ladies donned their finest silk and gentlemen were just that; gentlemen. So as you settle into your cream-colored booth, take a minute to enjoy the culture behind the history.

    

The brunch menu features classic California cuisine, focusing on fresh seafood from the Pacific, sustainable poultry and meats, and delicious herbs and produce.

    

   Shown Above & Below: Citrus Brioche French Toast, Orange Blossom Honey

    

    

      If you’re seeking out a decadent brunch, I highly recommend Grant Grill.

                                                   Address: 326 Broadway, 32101

                                                                           usgrant.net

Tease Boutique: Downtown San Diego

    

Tease Boutique is a brand new spot, located downtown San Diego, with enough designer duds to make any girl drool! Not only do they carry harder-to-find brands such as Gypsy05, Motel Rocks, Wildfox Couture, House of Harlow 1960, Lauren Moshi, Mink Pink, Paper Crown, & Rebel Yell, but they also have an insanely awesome collection of vintage items (including gorgeous sunglasses).

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

                                         Shown Below: Vintage Re-worked Tee’s

    

    

    

    

So as you can see, Tease Boutique has something for every occasion, whether you’re lounging poolside with the girls or hanging out with that special someone!

                                           Address: 435 Island Avenue, 92101

               Check Out the Official Blog for Inspiration Galore: Ihearttease.com

                           + You Can Always Shop Online: teaseboutique.com

Last Minute Tip: Need something ASAP for the weekend? Tease is open until 10pm on  Friday and Saturday nights, so relax, you’ll end up in a great outfit!