WEST COAST TAVERN:
A round of drinks to start...their sangria is freaking phenomenal! The other drink was a donkey punch, also reported to be tasty...
Triple Dip appetizer- white bean hummus, red pepper romesco and spinach artichoke dip. Just standard, save your dollars for something more exciting.
Portabella mushroom sliders (the original and lamb sliders somehow didnt get photographed). I'd go for the lamb if you had a choice, like vegetarian lifestyles or allergies.
Plain mac and cheese- creamyyyyyyy-licious. They also have a chef's choice mac an cheese offering which is this foundation with some mix ins.
New zealand black mussels- interesting take on mussels cooked in wine...the apples and currant bits were fun to eat and made the juice on the bottom of the bowl kinda sweet but take away a bit from the butteriness I was looking for from this dish.
Tavern chicken and waffle: I wish the waffle was bigger! Perfectly cooked waffle base, but the chicken was tad too crunchy for me. I'm sure that not everyone would think that this is a bad thing.
Grilled chicken flatbread- definitely has a spicy kick!!!! I thought it was appropriately crispy and pliable as a good flatbread ought to be, saucy and a better portion than many other things that night. I recommend.
****Word of caution- not the cheapest eats by any measure. The four of us with a drink or two and two dishes each spent about $150. That kind of caught me off guard since the word tavern doesnt usually scream expensive especially in the middle of North Park. I'd go for HH or maybe if they have a groupon or some other similar coupon deal.
DZ AKINS:They brine their own pickles here and you can have as many as you like since its already sitting on each table with a few different mustard choices to nosh on while you wait for your order.
Pretty sure this is the reuben special with the tongue substitution for a few bucks extra instead of the standard pastrami or corned beef. Tongue was tender and just fatty/ creamy tasting enough. They also make a good rye that you can buy at the bakery counter on your way out.
Corned beef reuben lunch special. I only ate half b/c it is really filling and I just wasnt the biggest fan of their corned beef. I am not a CB expert btw!! It just didnt register with my palette i guess. Boo! I'd definitely look for the lunch special menu if you are there since you save a few bucks and it comes with the fries.
The Josephine bar. My choice for our to-go dessert, which I have to add that I rarely order dessert. But they have this impressive shiny deli counter with meats, cheeses, and sweets and I'll be gosh darned if they cant get me to spend even a few more dollars each time on take home items. Evil! Back to the dessert....at almost 5 bucks (prices are not marked on the display), I better have loved it and wanted to take its last name. I didnt. Ate one bite and pouted at how much I didnt like it...too sweet and not flaky enough. Wish I could have a do-over on this one.
***Overall, they arent too cheap either as their dishes range from 8-14 bucks. Parking is a capital B word and the place gets pretty packed. In the past, I have very much enjoyed their tuna melt and fries and hubby loves the tongue there. They dont normally have coupons that I have seen. Its definitely a San Diego landmark place so you should at least give it a whirlsky though.
OLD VILLAGE KOREAN RESTAURANT:
Drove by and saw this sign...got immediately excited....and had to try it out. Seeing as how the other tofu stew places on the same street average a good $3 a bowl more than this place, I just had to do it.
Banchan spread- not bad I guess for a lunch offering. I really liked the fish cakes...just like mom used to make them. From left top corner, you can see sprouts, cabbage kimchi, some kind of root in a soy sauce vinegar mix, turnip kimchi, sweet soy sauce potatoes and the lovely fish cakes.
I went for the seafood tofu stew. I figured it was a safe choice as I'd get a flavorful broth and get to taste the essence of this place. I knew not to expect a whole lot of seafood meat, but boy was I underwhelmed overall. BLAND. Exactly one piece of the following seafood bits i.e. shrimp, clam and I believe a mussel. Not spicy at all. If you wanted the egg to mix in while it was bubbling, this place didnt offer it (I didnt ask for it either, but other places usually bring it out automatically). I did like the mixed rice option...my favorite but a pain to make at home.
Korean blood sausage stew with a paltry side of the said sausage. Even worse than my tofu stew, probably b/c at least I knew my stew was cooked. I tried one of hubby's sausage bites and it was one of the worst I have ever had. I also wouldnt have bet money or even cheerios that it was even cooked all the way through. Husband basically threw it into the stew to cook it and dumped the seasoning salt accompaniment directly into the soup to make it edible. On the plus side, it was also 5.99 I think.
***I realized after sitting down that this was where the AYCE Korean food buffet used to be. Staff was nice and the place started filling up as we left. 5.99 tofu stew in san diego, fail. We can do better guys!!!!!
Crab rangoons- the filling was crabby and creamy like it should be but I find myself wishing that they would have put more in there. See how flat and deflated it looks? Nicely fried too.
One of my favorites here, although sometimes are better than others. Spicy eggplant with basil leaves. When I eat this dish, I totally see myself doing the vegetarian thing no sweat...then I think of crab hut, spam and fried chicken and then I resign myself to a life of partial vegetarianism. Depending on the day of the week. Get this...it even tastes good the next day.
Pad see ew. Love their version as well. Even better? They keep crushed peanuts on the table so for a kick, I threw some on top of the noodles and voila...everything I heart about pad thai (peanut and egg) with the wide flat noodles and sauce. If you can take some heat, that is the way to go here... This version had beef inside but I have had it with seafood and it rocks both ways.
Cant remember what kind of curry this was...panang? I liked it but I only had a little bit of it. I love that this place is not stingy with the basil leaves in their food!
Mango sticky rice. This was my first time, but not the last time. Their mangos are perfectly ripe and just firm enough. I personally am gonna ask them not to put the coconut sprinkles on top next time, but that is just my own coconut weirdness. Attractive presentation and decent portion. Perfect end to a nice spicy meal...I promise.
***Beware that the parking lot is tiny and it can be hard to find a spot around lunchtime. I also have never seen any kind of parking here search as I might. The portions are standard but the service has been friendly each time I went. I reviewed this place before and always recommend it to others.
The only thing that I ever want to eat here- ahi poke stack. poke, wasabi, carrots, sprouts and avocado laid on top of fried wonton skins squares. Can someone bring me one asap?
Til we meet again or till motivation hits again. Just keeping it real!