Himalayan Dine Inn ~ San Diego

This place has been on my radar for so long. I finally made it a point to eat there. I am glad I did.

So, the Himalayans are a mountain range shared by seven countries.This food comes from Napal. The best I can describe it is China meets India. Mild curries and what I had, Momos. Little dumplings of love:)

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These were perfection. Made to order..you do understand why that is important. This was made with love. This with tip was under $15 dollars a steal.This is when words fail me..Go the best I got. I will be back.

Actually I have more the lamb..the filling was insane. This is why I love food. Simple brilliant..sorry you need to eat here.

Himalayan Dine Inn

1010 Broadway, San Diego

Werewolf ~ San Diego

So, a lot of posts are going to be hitting you. I thought I would start with an easy one.

So, the thing I measure bar staffs against is the people at Masters in Oceanside and Werewolf in San Diego…for a very good reason. They understand how to make a cocktail.+

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So I went old school and ordered a whisky sour..this is what I got…

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It was so funny because the bartender said “Is it Ok if it comes in a fancy glass?” LOL yes I am fine. BTW great bartender that is why I hit this place up everytime I am in SD. Apperently egg whites are part of a whiskey sour…never knew yet so good.

Werewolf

San Diego, Ca

 

 

Sinaloa MXN & Seafood

This is why I write. I am very lucky to eat the way I do and know the Chefs I know. As much as I love Monchong with tangerine salt and anything with snail butter from Chef Willy this is again what I relish. Family recipes passed down from generations. Do not go here and get a carne asada burrito, talk to the family, because that is who you will be dealing with. The mother cooks the son and daughter run the front of house.

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A modest interior hides what is really going on. On a side note the eldest son is a professional boxer.

I just said cook me something you love. She thought about it and it paid off.

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She asked me if I wanted to see how my food was being made. Yes, please and thank you.

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A starter bonus dish. Soup made from the braise that my main was cooked in with star pasta. I felt like a little kid, this meal brought me back to my childhood. This what food is supposed to do.

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The menu..I do not see what I ate on there. They do .99 cent fish tacos as well.

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Hands down the best chili relleno I have ever had. The fry? perfect, the bell pepper still had a crunch and was fresh. The sides flawless. I was told this was her mother’s and her mother’s and her mother’s recipe …it showed.

Then I was asked do want to try her flan she made this morning? You can not say no to that.

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Yep, and then this. Perfect.

Look I do not preach a lot but this place needs to be supported. You do not get this very often. They are lucky that a new Crunch Fitness is about to open in the same plaza along with a something I am not supposed to talk about gourmet doughnut place.

I tipped heavy and walked out spending $20 dollars a steal for what I ate.

Go, talk, eat. nuff said!

Sinaloa MXN & Seafood

1759 Oceanside Blvd. Oceanside, Ca

#food #foodporn #Oceanside #mexicanfood

New Brunch Menu @ Masters Kitchen and Cocktail ~ Oceanside

It has been a while since I visited Masters, at least 3 months. Their new Chef and Brunch menu caused a stir for me to meet up with my friend Beau Bonham and check it out.

Chef Richardi is originally from Florida. He began his culinary career as a line cook at Pacifica Del Mar, from there he rose through the ranks at  Rancho Valencia, La Valencia Hotel, The Chart House, The Santaluz Club and Roppongi. He is now Executive Chef at Masters and has started to put his stamp on their menu.

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Chef Richardi and Ryan (owner) both great people.

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This Beau person and Ryan:)

The new brunch menu features a good range of dishes from decadent to healthy and simple.

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Of course we went for decadent. I just did a three-mile beach walk and Beau, like me, eats very simple when not dining out.

Before we could begin Chef brought this out…

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House cured salmon, micro greens, and radish.

Perfect, and I mean perfect cured salmon. I almost went with the everything bagel on the menu because of the salmon but this scratched that itch perfectly, freeing me up for other choices. Thanks Chef.

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Steak and Eggs Benedict ~ Flat Iron steak (cooked perfect medium rare), poached eggs, artisan sourdough, hollandaise, and breakfast potatoes.

The steak was on point and the hollandaise was not over powering. A lot of hollandaise is thick and for lack of a better term gluggy..not this one. Also those potatoes, next time I am ordering an additional side order of those. They reminded me of patatas bravas..so good.

Beau stole the show though…

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Chicken and Waffle ~ Rosemary waffle, fried chicken breast, smoked bacon, chicken apple sausage gravy, over easy eggs.

A lot of brunch places near by do a chicken and waffles dish. This one is different, it ditched the classic maple syrup route for something more complex. The gravy, I believe due to the apple sausage kept the sweet element and the fry on the chicken breast was almost reminiscent of a Milanese. Also huge, leftovers to take home kind of dish.

The other thing that made me happy was it was crowded.

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Great to see busy restaurants before tourist season has even started.

 

Masters Kitchen & Cocktail

208 South Coast Highway, Oceanside Ca

#food #foodporn #oceanside #brunch

 

 

 

 

Irina’s Bar and Grill ~ Oceanside

großes deutsches Lebensmittel!

Irina’s bar and Grill is a medium-sized bar located at 3375 Mission Ave. in the valley in Oceanside. It boasts a fairly modest exterior and a nice, clean interior with a long “L” shaped bar, plenty of seating and two pool tables. Nothing that really distinguishes it from plenty of other local bars…except for the food.

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You see, Irina’s has a secret weapon, great German food. They have a regular bar menu as well but that’s not why I come here. I come here because good German food is hard to find.I used to travel the U.S. with work and my boss Marc was from Germany. It was our goal to track down any German restaurants we could find coast to coast. They were few and far between. The best we found was in LA, it is no longer around and I can not remember the name. We have Tip Top but I think Irina’s edges them out slightly.

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I started with a Bitberger on tap and a half order of Currywurst.

 

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Currywurst ~ Sliced bratwurst topped with a curry tomato sauce.

Good quality brats topped with a slightly sweet tomato curry served with very nice french fries.

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GESCHNETZELTES VOM SCHWEIN ~ pork ragout in mustard cream sauce w/ honey, pickle + green bell pepper, served w/ sautéed spätzle.

I love Spatzle, this was a good dish. It could have used a touch more seasoning but I ate every bite. Everything is very reasonable the most expensive dish on the German menu is the Jagershnitzel at $12.50 and its huge.

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The huge Jagerschnitzel from a previous visit.

If you’re looking for some different bar fare I would highly suggest checking them out.

They open at 4pm weekdays, noon Saturdays, and 9:30 am Sundays. On yelp you will hear “Sketchy Neighborhood” it not, its fine, I swear you would think no one has ever been to a major city in their life time. They see one homeless person and lose their shit.

Irina’s Bar and Grill

3375 Mission Ave. Oceanside

#food #foodporn #germanfood

Bruery Beer Dinner @ Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill ~ The Beers

As promissed here is Justin Kunert’s run down of the beers featured at the Bruery beer dinner @ Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill in Vista.

I had the pleasure of joining Chris at the Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill in Vista for their beer paring dinner with one of my all time favorite breweries, The Bruery, out of Orange County.  As Chris mentioned in his article (see link below), I will be talking up all the delicious liquid companions to our incredible dishes This event kicked off The Bruery tap takeover at Belching Beaver Tavern – so you can go taste the beers in this article, or elect a different selection from their 15 tap handles at the bar, while supplies last.  The 15 beers on tap include options from both The Bruery and The Bruery Terreux.  The Bruery specializes in Belgians and barrel aged beers, and their sour and wild beers fall under The Bruery Terreux brand.

As an additional perk to the dinner, we were given early access to this tap list.  Taking advantage of this I grabbed the Sour in the Rye, a 7.7% abv wild ale.  I loved this beer, and if you’re a sour enthusiast it is a must try.  Soon afterwards, we went on to what would but my first beer dinner that actually included food.  It started off with the 7.1% abv OR XATA Blonde Ale.  This is their twist on Horchata, a sweet milk drink.  Delightful aromas of vanilla and cinnamon accompany this blonde ale, before reaching your mouth with a slightly creamy, refreshingly light touch on the tongue.

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The OR XATA welcome beer

With dessert like aromas, I found this an interesting beer to start the evening with.  But as a blonde ale, it was really drinkable and transitioned nicely to our first dish.

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Al Pastor Tostada paired with Frederick H.

The al pastor was definitely my favorite meal of the night, and the 4.4% abv Frederick H. was the perfect companion.  It is light, refreshing, and its slight tartness paired nicely with the mild spiciness of the al pastor.

The next pairing included a beer that will reign more familiar with the palettes of IPA fans.  Mosaic hops are added to this wild ale to create the 6.3% abv Humulus Terreux, which drinks like a pale ale, but with an appropriately funky flavor and dry finish.  The bitterness matched well with the sweetness of the melon.

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The next installment provided one of my favorite moments of the evening.  The beer was one I had enjoyed many times: the 7.5% abv Oude Tart.  It’s a favorite of mine, for its subtly sweet oak aromas and sourness that tingles your cheeks at the back of your jaw.  Chef Ramiro paired this with Venison meatballs, a creamy gravy, and lingonberry sauce.

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Call me uncultured, but I had never tried a lingonberry before. The chef mentioned that when he first tried this beer, it reminded him of lingonberries.  After trying my first lingonberry, the resemblance was uncanny, and it gave me a whole new perspective on the beer.  For me, this defined the intrigue of these events, and stoked my fascination in different experts’ tastes and experiences with beer.

Already 4 beers deep, The Bruery showed no mercy for the last couple pairings, and brought out some heavy hitters with their 11.1% abv Share This: Mole and the 11.3% abv 9 Ladies Dancing.

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Mole Skewers paired with Share This: Mole

The Share This: Mole has a forward, in your face boozy aroma, but is supported by welcomingly sweet roasty and cinnamon smells.  Upon tasting it you start to notice the spiciness from the added ancho chiles and poblano peppers, and sweetness from the cocoa nibs and vanilla.  It is a pretty complex beer with lots of competing flavors, but ends up providing a superb balance between the high alcohol, spiciness, and sweetness.  Chef Ramiro said the mole skewers were an obvious choice to pair with the beer, and they were indeed a great match.

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Grilled Pound Cake paired with 9 Ladies Dancing

The last dish and drink combination was the tiramisu inspired 9 Ladies Dancing paired with Chef Ramiro’s unique take on tiramisu.  This was delicious.  The beer, with sweet overtones from the added vanilla and chocolate, matched perfectly with the sweetness of the dish as the dessert helped cut the booziness of the beer.  The coffee chantilly on the dessert brought out the coffee flavors in the beer.  The intertwining of layers and flavor made for a wonderful finish to the evening, or so we thought.

For a surprise night-cap, The Bruery generously brought out their 6.1% abv Sourrento, a sour blonde ale inspired by the southern Italian liqueur Limoncello.  Lemon and vanilla aromas filled your nose before the sour ale provided a sweet, refreshing pucker and a dry finish.  This beer, among the others, speaks to the creative innovations that come with beers from The Bruery.  They push the limits of originality and play with flavors that keep your mind guessing and your taste buds craving more.  Go out and try some of their brews at the Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill!

Words and Pics by: Justin Kunert

You can read about the food from the event Here

The Bruery

Plecentia, Ca

Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill

Vista, Ca

The Power of Food. The Pork Chop @ The Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen~ Vista

So, this is just a quick post about the power of food. The fact that great food transcends a meal. It is a memory or creates one. It brings you to your childhood or suspends the outside world around you.

I am very lucky to eat and experience a lot of great food. Beyond that, in eating that food, it has brought people into my life who are now great friends. It has given me memories and knowledge. So when I talk or write about food, I am actually writing or conveying a lot more (or trying to).

Every payday it has become a ritual of mine to go to the Flying Pig (mostly the Vista location) and eat their pork chop. Now it’s a great pork chop, probably the best I have ever had, but beyond that I just sit and savor it. The tenderness from the brine, the sweetness from the char, and the flavor from quality of the pork, and while I am eating it everything is right in my universe.

I am back home now writing this and I am just happy, I totally believe in the food high and it’s not the wine because I only had 1 glass:) I am going to go to bed now to dream of magical pigs.

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The pork chop.

The Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen

Vista, Ca

Orange Wine and Autostrata @ The Miller’s Table ~ Oceanside

So, I have been on the hunt for “Orange” wine ever since I saw Mario Batali pour some for Action Bronson and Chef Missy Robins on an episode of Moltissimo (I’ll link the video at the bottom of the post).

Trouble was finding it on a wine list in San Diego turned out to be impossible and ordering it was killed by shipping that doubled the bottle cost.

Staci at the Miller’s Table was kind enough, being the awesome person she is, to bring some in for me.

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2014 Doqi Qvevri Mtsvane. This is a wine from the republic of Georgia. The grapes are pressed and then the juice, stalks, skin, and pips are aged in clay Qvevri which are clay vessels that are then buried in the ground. The fermentation process with the skins give the wine its deep amber or orange color.Doqi is the winery, Qvevri refers to the fermentation process, and  Mtsvane is the grape.

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The wine itself is very dry and fruit forward. It is like a very aggressive Fume Blanc. It probably would benefit from some decanting. I liked it. Something different, it would pair well with strong cheeses and charcuterie.

I had it with The Miller’s table Autostrada sandwich. This is a great sandwich with Italian meats and cheese, so it held up against the wine.

If you want to try a unique wine you’re not going to find many places go check it out at The Miller’s Table, I only had 1/2 a bottle so there is plenty left:)

The Miller’s Table

415 Coast Highway Oceanside

Moltissimo Video

Bruery Beer Dinner @ Belching Beaver Tavern ~ Vista

So, I am hitting you with back to back event dinners, which is kind of a mixed bag for me. Part of me thinks, I am reporting on something you can not go to since it has passed. On the other hand it is good to show what is going on here in North County. There will be more events so hopefully you will take advantage and hit some of them up yourself. Even if you do not like events it does give exposure to local Chefs and what they are doing so you can get a feel for their style and talent.

Tonight’s dinner was a collaboration between Chef Ramiro of Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill in Vista and The Bruery out of Orange County. It was a very special collaboration that I feel brought out the best of both parties.

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Chris from The Bruery and Chef Ramiro

I will be covering the food portion, Justin, North County Food’s contributing beer writer will be doing a follow-up post going into the beers more in-depth. It is our first time doing it this way but I think it will be an interesting take on the coverage.

If you have not been to the Belching Beaver Tavern it is a wonderful spot.

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The bar area before the crowd descended.

The dinner was a 5 course menu paired with 7 pours ..think it ended up being 8.

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The menu

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Al Pastor Tostada ~ Annatto seed marinated pork, potato tortilla, hominy puree, burnt pineapple cilantro chimichurri, and spiced cotija cheese.

Hands down dish of the night. This was just everything you want in a dish, layered, complex, heat, richness, and all that. The chimichurri had just this back hit of pineapple and the spiced cotija just played with heat. Truly great.

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Melon Salad ~ Compressed melon, roasted nopales, and nasturtium pesto.

Deceptively simple. The melon was compressed with the paired beer giving it a less sweet flavor. That and the play against the bitterness of the greens and nopales worked perfectly.

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Swedish Meatballs ~ Venison meatballs, creamy gravy, and lingonberry sauce.

Great take on a classic dish. The venison was mixed with some ground beef to add some fat content and inject moisture to the dish.

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Mole Skewers ~ Grilled mole seasoned Beaver veggie skewers

Perfectly cooked vegetables in an insane mole. I tried to see if there was left over mole in the kitchen to take home but alas.

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Grilled Pound Cake ~ Coffee chantilly, jalapeno macerated Oregon berries.

I am not a dessert guy but this was delicious. The grilling of the pound cake gave it a texture just shy of a biscotti. The Coffee chantilly was light and flavorful and not mentioned in the menu description was topped with a chocolate and brittle candy from So Rich Chocolates , one of my favorite chocolatiers, out of Vista as well. Way to keep it local.

The one thing, other than they can make great beer, about the Bruery is they do not shine away from pouring their product.

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This was our corner of the table by the end of the night.

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Justin, Chef Ramiro, and the two lovely ladies we had the pleasure of enjoying the dinner with, never met them before just great people. I had a ton of fun. A big part of these events is meeting new people and sharing the love of food and wine.

Belching Beaver’s next event will feature Firestone Walker. Keep up on dates by following them on Facebook which I will link below.

So, now for some insider news. Belching Beaver is looking to add food both to their Vista tasting room and their Ocean Beach location. The menus will be akin to the bar menu at the Vista tavern location. In addition they are looking to expand the Tavern concept with full menu up to possibly the Santa Barbara area. Good on them.

Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill Vista, Ca

Belching Beaver Facebook

The Bruery

Two New Eateries Downtown One Open One On The Way ~ Oceanside

Two new fast casual concepts hitting downtown.

The first Gourmet Artisan serves fresh daily made sandwiches, wraps, and other dishes like flat breads and lasagna. They have a kitchen but not sure if they are baking on site.

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Gourmet Artisan 409 Mission Ave.

Second is a Sandwich shop franchise still doing build out.

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Beach Hut Deli 205 mission Ave. right across from Jersey Mikes :0

Neither are on my hit list anytime soon but the more the merrier. Much better than a vacant spot.