Thursday April 23
I woke up early today to assure that I can make 2 more stops in the LA area and arrive in San Diego early enough in the day to do some sightseeing...
I drove a few miles north for my first stop Sloopys
in Manhattan Beach
When I arrived shortly after 8am, it appeared to be closed...I saw a guy inside washing the floors and knocked on the window....the guy told me that they don't open until 9AM. Who would have thought, a breakfast joint not opening until 9AM?! Buffetbuster
is usually on his 3rd breakfast by then! Ok, no big deal, the beach is just a block away. I walked around the beach, unfortunately it was a gray gloomy morning, probably the grayest morning of my trip....Shortly before 9am I returned and it appeared that people were walking into the Restaurant...
I love the feel of the this place....It has a real "beach cafe" atmosphere
and what I found interesting is part of the restaurant is "uncovered" there is no roof..
Besides shakes and smoothies..
They offer an omelet bar
as well as salads
and other items as well...
I of course decided to order the smoothie...You're given a choice of 4 different fruits-
I chose- banana, strawberry, raspberry and blueberry which they mix together with apple juice
The result being a straight fruit concoction
refreshing but a slight notch below the smoothie I had at G's Juices or The Orange Inn....it was a good smoothie but it was missing the "tartness" that those 2 other smoothies had....
I did like the fact that they featured coffee from Urth Coffee House
, so I had an excellent cuppa joe too!
Overall I would love the opportunity to come back and try some of the other menu items one day...Sloopys has the potential to be a very "Roadfood
I was now heading back south and my final stop prior to leaving the LA metro area was actually a return visit to The Orange Inn
in Laguna Beach....Besides smoothies, the Orange Inn is also famous for their Date Shakes...
I ordered one
and I thought it was even better than the one I had at Shields Date Farm in Indio, the main reason being
is that it wasn't nearly as sweet as the date shake at Shields 3 years earlier which I thought was shockingly sweet.
There are little bits of date in the shake too which gave it a nice texture....
Afterwards, I spent about an hour or so walking around Laguna Beach...Unfortunately it was still gloomy and somewhat foggy too..
First I walked around the beach
and then around the artsy community.
Afterwards I drove down towards San Diego for lunch stop #1
Juanitas Taco Shop
in Encinitas about 20 miles North of San Diego
I looked at the menu board
but already knew what I was getting
Two Fish Tacos....
This was your standard textbook no thrills "baja style" fish taco....I spritzed some of the lime on the tacos and they did the job- they were decent "adequate" fish tacos...I did like the salsa.....
Now for lunch stop # 2 a few miles south... Fidel's Little Mexico Restaurant
in Solana Beach...
A sit down Mexican Restaurant..
with both indoor and outdoor seating...
I chose to sit outdoors...
The Mahi Fish Tacos come a'la carte and they're not cheap- they go for around $4.50 each...You also have the option to order them fried or grilled. I ordered one of each...
Chips and Salsa come first...the chips were warm and fresh but I found the salsa to be bland and lacking character...
My meal arrived.....
Not only were these fish tacos HUGE, but they were by far the best Fish Tacos I had during the entire trip....
The corn tortillas are doubled up and the tortillas served with the fried mahi were actually grilled
House made salsa is served separately on the side so you can add it yourself to the taco...If only they served THIS
salsa with the tortilla chips I had earlier! Even the mayo based sauce had a spicy zing....
Unfortunately due to glare and shadows my photos turned out horribly bad (obviously the sun came out after I left Laguna Beach) however these fish tacos were just so outstanding I returned for another visit the following afternoon so these photos were actually taken the next day on Friday)
After eating 4 Fish Tacos
for lunch, I was stuffed....
I drove into San Diego and deliberately decided to play tourist...
Located on the pier in downtown San Diego I parked my car and checked out the museum which consists of 5 historic ships. ship replica and a submarine....for $3 extra, they also offer a 45 minute boat ride. Who can pass that up?
The five ships were the Star of India , the HMS Surprise, The Medea, The Pilot and the Berkely (which serves as the actual museum) as well as a replica, The Californian
Here are a bunch of photos....
This was taken inside the sub- and YES- I did fit through this!
And here are some photos during the boat ride..
skyline view of downtown San Diego..
nuclear warhead carriers..
The Coronado Bridge
Petco Park- home of the San Diego Padres
It turned out to be a perfect day....in beautiful downtown San Diego..
I checked into my hotel- the Rodeway Inn, downtown and touched base with my friend Cliff..
We agreed to meet for dinner in La Jolla
Some of you may have noticed that I haven't had the chance to enjoy the Southern California Specialty, Cobb Salad
Well, here I thought was my opportunity, our plan was to have dinner at The Cottage
I got there and noticed the "we will be opening for dinner beginning May 24th" sign. and said to myself "uh-oh" it happenned....I officially got "Travelin Manned"
for the first (and last time) on this trip...Oh, yes, it did happen at the Getty Center too, but this was the first meal stop.....Cliff arrived within seconds, we were still across the street from the Cottage and I told him that it looks like they haven't opened for dinner for the season yet, even Cliff was surprised, he replied " I thought you know these things"....We opted for plan # 2- let's find a decent place to eat..
Cliff followed his nose and the smell of garlic which led us to an expensive high end restaurant a few doors down...However next door , this caught our attention...
Pizza? In California??!! You ask- what's happening to Wanderingjew
?? Extreme Pizza, serves up the regional specialty California Pizza
my friends....which is basically Pizza with Creative Toppings...Is there a theme here???
everything creative seems to be Californian! Creative salads, creative burgers, creative sushi...etc....
As evidenced by the menu board- they offer some really creative fare...
Even the decor was very "Californian"
We decided to go with the Ragin' Rooster Pizza ie BBQ Chicken Pizza- we ordered a large
This was actually a good decent Pizza with a relatively thin crisp crust. Keep in mind it's not NY Style...but I'll admit, I was somewhat leary when I walked in and didn't know what to expect, however I was pleasantly surprised..
We asked the guy behind the counter if he knew of any good (traditional) fro- yo joints nearby...He recommended a place a few blocks down.... Froglanders
I ordered a chocolate fro -yo
with reeses peanut butter cup topping..
This was a creamy-rich dark chocolate, I never would have guessed that fro-yo could taste so good...
After dessert, I headed back to my hotel, decided to forgo the $14 parking fee that evening , found parking right on the street about a block away and called it a night...
<message edited by wanderingjew on Tue, 05/5/09 7:29 AM>