Gourmet Artisan ~ Oceanside

Gourmet Artisan is a prime example of me coming up with a pre-formulated notion about a restaurant and then having them prove me completely wrong. While I have a pretty good radar based on years of experience and research applied deciding if I am going to check out a place it, as I am about to admit, it is not fool-proof.

Gourmet Artisan is one of those places whose exterior does a great job of masking the calibre of the food served within. unassuming, it does not stand out amongst the surrounding store fronts or display the offbeat character hinting at the potential of a hole-in-the-wall hidden gem.

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Gourmet Artisan ~ 409 Mission Ave. Oceanside. ( Downtown Oceanside in the Regal theater plaza.)

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Nice simple interior.

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The Menu ~ A nice range of sandwiches, salads, pastas, flat breads, pastries and smoothies. Due to the breadth of the menu, its location, adjacent to the theater and the beach, it is a perfect place for family outings or groups, as everyone should be able to find something that suits their tastes. What sets Gourmet Artisan apart from the other surrounding food options near by, is the quality of the ingredients they use and the fact they have a Chef constructing and executing the menu.

“It’s a restaurant of course they have a Chef”. No, there are plenty of restaurants, some a stone throws a way, that while they may have cooks, and may have very talented ones, they do not have a chef. It is even more rare in a fast casual setting.

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“Owner’s Favorite” Sandwich ~ Prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, marinated artichokes, confit tomatoes, fresh basil, and olive oil with a side salad.

I ordered this on my first visit and it is what brought me back for my second. The bread is delivered fresh daily from (funnily enough) Gourmet Artisan Bakery in Mira Mar (no relation) and is wonderful. The chibata had a crisp and flakey crust with a soft interior that is found in truly well crafted fresh bread. All the ingredients in the sandwich were of the highest quality, from the fresh mozzarella to the olive oil. It was a joy to eat.

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Chicken Marsala with rice.

After my first visit, having realized the error of my ways, I went back a second time to try more food and write an article. Originally, I was going top go with another one of their great sandwiches or a salad but the owner steered me to a new dish the chef had just added to the menu and was quite happy with.

It’s been a while since I have had Chicken Marsala but this is easily one of the best examples I have had of the dish. The rice, chicken and mushrooms were perfectly cooked but the sauce was the real star. The sauce had a great depth of flavor, a silky texture, and just enough acidity from the wine without being boozy.  It left me satisfied without being too full, which was great because I was surprised with a crepe for dessert.

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Crepe ~ Chocolate, fresh berries, ice cream, and whipped cream.

Though not a sweets person normally, I enjoyed the crepe and ice cream.

Gourmet Artisan is owned and operated by Adrien Cotto and his wife with the kitchen being helmed by Chef  Andrew Pinzon. It is definitely worth checking out and will be added to my normal downtown rotation.

Gourmet Artisan

409 Mission Ave. Oceanside

#food #foodporn #foodie #oceanside #sandwich #lunch #sandiego













Yaya’s Fruit Bar ~ Vista

Yaya’s is the kind of place I love to coming across. It’s under the radar, unassuming,  family run, and delivers different and tasty food you do not find very often.

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Yaya’s is located in an aesthetically boring strip mall in Vista behind a McDonald’s at 1450 North Santa Fe Ave. at Bobier.

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The interior is clean with light wood and bright colors.

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In addition to their great fruit desserts, they offer 14 flavors of Thrifty’s Ice Cream, numerous fruit sorbets, smoothies, Acia bowls, and a few hot dishes like tortas and nachos.

Their assorted fruit desserts are what makes them special though. The walls are lined with pictures of them because the menu descriptions can not do them justice.

kikis desserts

Desserts Clockwise from top left ~ Chamango, Raspado, Acia Bowl , and Papas Preparadas.

All their desserts are extremely reasonable and made to order. Mine was $6.50 and huge…….

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Pepino Prepadado ~ Cucumber, jamica, papaya, cacahuates japoneses (japanese peanuts), Pica Fresca, hot sauce, and chili powder.

Just a taste and texture sensation. Sweet fresh fruit, crunch from the peanuts, chew from the candies, sourness from the lime juice, and heat from the chili powder and hot sauce. It was not too sweet, it was very vibrant and fresh tasting. Just a great dish.

I will definitely be back to try more or their creations.

Yaya’s Fruit Bar

1450 North Santa Fe Ave., Vista

#food #foodporn #vista #mexicanfood #mexecandessert #foodie


Gelato-Go Coming to Downtown Oceanside

Gelato-Go a small franchise chain with 6 locations in Florida is coming to downtown Oceanside. Their Florida locations have great reviews. Their Gelato runs $4 to $6 depending on size. They also serve coffee and pastries. The location is next to American Deluxe Barber Shop across from Barrel Republic on the 101 in Oceanside.

They are doing a full build out, not just putting in a fridge case and some shelves like the other short-lived gelato location.

Rumor has it Baked Bear is also looking for a spot downtown (Ice cream and cookies). So, summer should have plenty of options for cold treats.



#gelato #icecream #sweets #food #foodporn

Coming Soon, Chef Shuffles, Remodels, and Industry Jobs.

Coming Soon ~ Owner Staci miller has been hard at work revamping the former BLVD Chinese Kitchen Space at 514 South Coast Highway, Oceanside. The new concept is an intimate wine bar called “The Millers Table” it will feature wine flights and a menu of small plates. More to come….

Chef Shuffle ~Master’s Kitchen and Cocktail has brought on a new Executive Chef, Josh Richardi. Josh used to work under James Montejano at The La Valencia in La Jolla. The La Valencia is regarded as one of the premier dining establishments in San Diego. Hopefully, this is the fit Owner Ryan Jubela has been looking for.

Remodels ~ The Roxy a long time Encinitas establishment at 517 Coast Highway in downtown Encinitas, is undergoing a major remodel. They are hoping to reopen late August. Funny thing, the Rumor is Chris Gallo who was head Chef at Masters a while ago is set to be the Chef here.



Industry Jobs ~ Chef De Cuisine Cocina Enoteca Del Mar.


New Ramen Concept in Encinitas…I believe this is Rooster Ramen’s new                                      spot but I am still trying to confirm this.

Full-time, part-time position.
A new concept Ramen in Encinitas is looking for a talented line/prep cooks.

Must have experience, great ticket managing skills, and be a multitasker.

Must be able to work cleanly, efficiently, with respect for quality ingredients and careful attention to preparation. Must be able to ensure smooth service operations and quality service.



Happy Thursday!



Neoteric Chefs Dinner ~ Dessert

dessert Chefs dinner 2

Dessert for the Chefs Dinner will be prepared by Sous Chef Felipe Orozco of 608.

Felipe will be working with Loose Leaf Tea Company of Oceanside and incorporating their herbal coffee tea into the dessert. He plans on doing a “Forest Floor” dessert and they will be serving hot and cold versions of the tea as an accompaniment.

dessert chefs dinner

Coffee tea crumble, tea ice cream, edible moss, cake. Still being tweaked.

Handel’s Ice Cream ~ Encinitas

So, this was a just a walk by discovery. I was doing this whole coffee trail thing which is coming up. But I saw these guys and was intrigued.


If you know me or follow me I am not a sweets / dessert person unless it kicks it ass. Yet I love Sorbets, sherbert,ices and the like.

I was like F it and went in and glad I did.

Handel’s  Encinitas opened a week and a half ago at the corner of Encinitas Blvd and Coast Highway. 90 North Highway 101.


45 flavors of handmade ice cream. They also do shakes, Sundays name it:)


I went with Black Cherry sherbert. look these guys are not paying me…this was the best sherbert I have ever had. Basically it comes down to the depth of flavor. I was also given a sample of the strawberry Sorbet…holy crap it was an explosion of Strawberries in your mouth.


Dudes (and I mean all the beautiful little princesses too it is just a term of respect) Go here bring your kids…Moonlight Beach is just a block away hit them up coming or going your kids will love you  or just go for your self you will not be disappointed.


The guy at the register is the owner …he is really nice and passionate that is all it takes to win me over:)


I should have bought a t-shirt ..next time because I will be back…are you kidding me Lofty Coffee and this in the same plaza that is a Sunday afternoon done Son. Iced Mocha and homemade Ice Cream are you kidding me.

Handel’s Ice Cream

90 North Highway 101, Encinitas