December 29, 2010

Ave5

Still can't believe that 2011 is officially upon us. The past year flew by like a whirlwind, leaving me with nothing but amazing memories. We'll be saying farewell to 2010 and welcoming in the New Year from a beach house in Rosarito this year, and I couldn't be more excited. I love going down to Baja with close friends, so I'm sure we'll have a really great time. It will be a very short trip, so we'll be back by Sunday - just in time to relax and enjoy some free-flowing mimosas for a New Year's brunch. Speaking of brunch, I want to share some photos I took while dining out with some of my girlfriends, at a super cute restaurant called Ave5. Centrally located on Bankers Hill (my new favorite neighborhood, if you haven't already noticed from some of the recent posts here and here), Ave5 specializes in the highest quality fresh farm-to-table modern American Cuisine at moderate prices. Chef Colin Maclaggan's European background definitly reflects in most of the dishes, and the wine selection is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.



If you decide to visit Ave5 for brunch, try out the freshly squeezed watermelon juice. Very refreshing!
Croque Madame - toasted sourdough, ham, b├ęchamel, fried egg, potatoes
Brioche French Toast
Smoked Salmon Sandwich

Mmmm I just got hungry looking at these pictures again! Can't wait till Sunday, Happy New Year everybody!!

natasha

December 20, 2010

Santa Baby

I'm happy to share that I attended my very first Ugly Sweater Party over the past weekend. I can't believe that I've been missing out on so much fun for the past few years! I pride myself  on going all out for themed parties, and this weekend was no exception. After finding out that the owner of the ugliest sweater would get a prize, the hubs and I got straight to work. Step one, peruse every thrift shop in the county to find an ugly Christmas sweater. Luckily, we didn't have to look very long, although the sweaters that we found were just not ugly enough.. which brings me to step two, print out as many Michaels coupons as I can find so I can go hot-glue-gun crazy all over the place. Done and done. Step three? Throw those ugly sweaters on, grab my home-made potluck dish and white elephant gift, and get the show on the road! Unfortunately, neither I nor my husband (aka Mr. Nipples... if you look close enough at the picture below, you could probably figure out why he got that nickname) won the title of the Ugliest Sweater King/Queen, but that's ok, because we had an amazing time being silly with great friends, and that's all that truly matters!


natasha

December 17, 2010

Yakitori Yakyudori

rThe forecast in San Diego for the next week? Rain. And what's more appetizing during rainy weather than a steaming hot bowl of soup? I've been a loyal pho-natic for a long time now, but sometimes change is nice. That's when I switch over to hot ramen! No, not the fifteen cent packages that you can buy at Vons, give me more credit than that guys! Although, I am known for having a few packages laying around my house at all times... No, when I want a good bowl of ramen with all the fixings I go straight to Yakitori Yakyudori. One of the best places for authentic ramen in San Diego in my opinion, and that's exactly where I found myself during my lunch break today.



Nagoya ramen and Karamiso ramen

Mmmm yum! Doesn't this look oh so warm and delicious? Perfection during this gloomy weather! 

On a different note, this rainy weather can't hold me down. The girls and I are hitting down town tonight, and it is my mission too look fabulous. Does anyone have any good hair tips that will hold up against rain or shine?! Holler!


natasha

December 16, 2010

Bankers Hill

A couple of nights ago I had the pleasure of meeting a few beautiful friends for a bite to eat at Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant, one of the most recently buzzed about joints in San Diego. The casual restaurant is just around the corner from the recently reviewed Cucina Urbana, and proximity is not the only thing these two places have in common. Both establishments pride themselves on providing quality food at no greater cost than $20 per plate, and with this being Christmas season and all, I must admit I was digging the new low-cost trend!

I prepared myself for the dining experience by reviewing the place on yelp before making a reservation. First impression? "The food is great, as long as you can make it through the front door, which apparently is a little hard to spot, let alone open." After making a mental note in my head that the mysterious entrance is closest to the corner of 4th and Ivy, I head on over there. Can I just say something?! Those of you who have yelped about the door being hard to find should probably log onto their yelp accounts right after reading this post and delete that silly review. It's really not that hard people. The highlight of the night was the fact that we were seated right by the entrance.. I have to admit it was pretty amusing to watch a few people get completely stumped by a door... That being said, the rest of the yelpers were pretty on point. The food was delicious and nothing on the menu was over twenty bucks.. sa-weet!





Crispy BBQ Braised Pork Tacos with Pepper Jack Cheese, Avocado and Lime Sour Cream

Cheesy Eggplant Parmesan
Only a week left till Christmas! Yippee!!


natasha

December 13, 2010

Rrrrroma!

I mean how do I even begin describing Rome? 
It's honestly one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited. 
The Roman culture is just oozing from every crack, and every corner you turn uncovers another piece of history. 
Don't worry, we're already planning another trip for 2025, the next jubilee year.. who's coming with?!
rome7
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natasha

December 12, 2010

Azuki Sushi

I LOVE sushi. Love. If I could eat sushi every day, I probably would, that's how much I love it. That being said, I have to admit, I'm a bit of a sushi snob. It's not that I'm too picky, I just think that if I'm going to be eating anything in raw form, it should be as fresh as possible. Sounds logical right? Good, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.

This post is about a newly discovered sushi joint that I'm pretty obsessed with. Azuki is conveniently located on 5th Avenue, far enough from all the hustle and bustle so you won't have to spend about fifteen minutes searching for a parking spot. We decided to try it out for the first time about a month ago, and have been back twice since then. They have a pretty good happy hour, but what I enjoy most about this place is that they change their daily specials.. well... daily.



Root Vegetable Fries - to die for! So, so good. 

The Alaskan Roll

The Sunshine roll and the Eel and Avocado roll
If and when you decide to check this place out for yourself, I personally recommend trying out their Grapefruit Passion cocktail. It's only $5 during happy hour, and it leaves you feeling preeetty happy ;)




natasha

December 9, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I'm a serious sucker for the holidays. As soon as Halloween is over and done with, I am all about the baking/decorating/shopping activities. Living in San Diego, where the temperature hardly ever falls below 50 F, it's sometimes easy to forget what time of year it is. I personally think that there's no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by attending December Nights at Balboa Park. While most of my fellow San Diegans will agree that getting into Balboa Park during the first weekend of December is sometimes more trouble than it's worth, I personally believe that the extra dosage of Christmas lights and junk food is just the thing I need to lift my spirits. My husband and I go every year, if for no other reason than simply because the ginger bread cookies they sell there are the best I've ever had!





What gets you into the holiday spirit every year?

natasha