October 16, 2013

Discover Vessel

Last week I was invited to a writers dinner at the newly revamped Vessel restaurant,
located inside the Kona Kai Resort & Marina
The hotel, which has recently been acquired by Noble House Hotels and Resorts
(same owners of one of my favorites - Riviera Palm Springs, and other noteworthy properties),
is going through a $22M renovation, but I'm having a hard time imagining how this place can get any better.
Located right on the marina,
the restaurant offers breath-taking views of the San Diego Bay, alongside delicious, regional coastal fare. 

The event happened to coincide with another special occasion in my life - our third year wedding anniversary!
Needless to say, the night felt extra special,
as we devoured six exquisite courses paired with some amazing wines. 

We kicked off the evening at the Vessel bar, 
where the knowledgeable staff offered up their favorite cocktail selections to pair with some appetizers. 
I sprung for the Noble Sunset cocktail,
while the husband made a bold proclamation that the Proper Old Fashioned may have been "the best he's ever had".
After warming up at the bar,
we made our way over to the dinner table,
where we joined a handful of other lovely San Diego foodie bloggers for a feast to remember.
First course: Tomato & Burrata salad, paired with Esperto Pinot Grigio.
Second Course (and possibly the prettiest): "Loup de Mer" Crudo, paired with Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.
Third course: Shrimp Ajillo, paired with a 2011 Pouilly Fuisse
Fourth course: Mole Marinated Pork Loin, paired with Gary Farrell Pinot Noir.
Fifth Course: Surf & Turf, paired with Justin Cabernet Sauvignon. So yummy!
Sixth course: Whipped Cheese Cake & Warm Berry Cobbler, paired with Late Harvest Riesling.
Every course was as delicious as it looks, 
but the surf & turf combo was by far my favorite.
Luxuriously rich, and paired perfectly with that Justin Cab. 

If you're looking for a new date night spot,
or even a cool place to grab happy hour,
I would definitely recommend the Vessel restaurant. 
The drinks, the food, the VIEWS - another winner for San Diego. 
Be sure to check out their website for nightly specials, and maybe I'll see you there next time!

Kona Kai Resort & Marina 
1551 Shelter Island Drive 
San Diego, CA 92106


October 6, 2013

Railay, Thailand

Railay is like a dream.. 
Accessible only by boat due to the high limestone cliffs cutting off mainland access,
this island is a quick (yet cumbersome) trip away from Krabi. 
After almost getting wiped out by multiple waves,
we arrived to one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. 

We spent the day exploring around the island, 
hanging out with monkeys, running from bats in caves, catching sun rays and drinking cold local beer.
Absolute paradise!
Holding on for dear life during our rough ride to the island. The trip takes about 45 minutes each way, from the Ao Nang pier. 
So remote.. we saw maybe 10 other tourists besides ourselves throughout the whole day. Loved it.
"Let's go explore inside the cave", he said. Uhm.. may have been a good idea until I almost passed out from claustrophobia. Did I mention there were bats? Loads of them. All over. Never again! Ha ha. 
But I must admit, it was incredibly cool inside. 
Where do I sign up?!