Customer Service Awards
Of all the places we visited to eat while on vacation in Ireland-this was the most interesting and exciting. It's a pub, but a total local's joint and a secret foodie paradise. My hotel desk clerk had no idea what I was talking about. They have this amazing menu that is more like an American Gastropub would have then your average bar menu.
It was an actually grocery back in the day-and I'm please to report it's back in a fashion: They set up a grocery section, open each Friday & Saturday from 12.30pm selling craft beer to take away in refillable growler flasks, beer hampers, retro sweets, Arun Bakery Stoneybatter sourdough & Vlaa baps, Irish farmhouse cheeses, Wall & Keogh tea by the gram, 3FE Coffee beans, Dublin Kombucha, cupcake mixes & jars of bacon jam. YES PLEASE on all of that if I lived in town!!
We made an early reservation at 5pm and had no problem, but anything later than that is tough to get in if you don't plan in advance. It's one of Dublin's hottest craft beer bars-a scene that's just been heating up in the area for about two years. Being from San Diego I was thrilled to see this industry taking off-the range of options is getting bigger and bigger-and this place pours cask beers, has limited edition brews and a range of options you won't find anywhere else. It all compliments the vibe there-and the food of course!
The menu for food is bound within old books, so page through, I almost missed a whole section. I had my heart set on the Scotch Egg to begin, but as we were so early they were still in prep-so I went for the Black pudding, my first ever. "Sir" Jack McCarthy's Black Pudding, Beetroot Puree, Apple & Red Onion Boxty, Lovely Plums with Fivemiletown Goats Cheese. The server said it'd be the best I'd ever have-and I did enjoy it immensely. Maybe I'm ruined for all other puddings now, and they swear it's the best in Dublin.
I had the Free Range Chicken Kiev made with Inishowen Whiskey Butter and Hazelnut Crumb served with Twice Cooked Chips, Red Cabbage & Warm Smoked Bacon Slaw with Corn Puree as my main course, and ate it completely. I also stole the pot of smokey au jus from my BF's 9 oz Kettyle Extra Mature Rib Eye Steak and poured it all over my chips (thick cut fries from you 'Mericans!)
We passed on dessert-but I had a whiskey and apple juice drink that was to die for.
It's a must when you're in Dublin, off the tourists path.
If you're on the go like me, laptop and i-pad in hand- making the interwebs turn, working from whatever perch you can find with an electrical outlet and wifi sometimes you long for some co-worker companionship-or just a stationary spot to call your own.
Some Yelpy peeps and I were in need of some steady space to work together for a day or two and I hunted around local co-working spaces for a conference room with some character-I stumbled across Union, a new industrially inspired space of offices and co-working rooms with a fun local staff!
They were the most reasonably priced for a conference room for the day that I found and located in North Park next door to Calabria. They're still working out a few kinks but we were comfortable and sequestered to a quiet corner room to discuss needed details.
They're still working on the "backyard" and making improvements but this is a solid choice for somewhere to rest your weary remote-worker lap top bag.
It's no secret that PK in Del Mar is my favorite place to take a meeting-but sometimes those meeting call for a girl to go a bit further South. Lucky for me, there's another Prepkitchen!!
This one has an adorable patio as well, and an awesome staff just like Del Mar. I really loved the little front area where I had lunch recently and the menu? You can't go wrong.
The things I love at PK:
Bacon Wrapped Dates
+ The homemade chips!
Warm Chocolate Bundino
in fact.. that list would probably be my last meal on earth if I could stomach it all in one sitting.
PrepKitchen does it well and they do it right. I wholeheartedly give them my recommendation on a regular basis to inquiring potential diners and with almost 600 reviews and 4.5 stars-I'm not the only one!
Too much staring at the computer results in craving pizza.
It's true. Try it now. Just stare at this review and I betcha, by the end, you'll need a pizza pie in your life and one of my favorites in SD is URBN.
Why? Carbs on carbs. Thats why! The Mashed Potato misshapen perfectly coal fired with white sauce, bacon, parm AND Mozzarella cheeses?! Ahh the food gods smile with delight! It's delicious and a must try! To wash it down you could order many a beer of course but I loved the ginger ale they serve with real ginger crystals floating around.
The salads and desserts both looked temping on a recent trip but I saved space for pizza alone-Next time that coal fired cookie is totally mine.
Craving pizza now? Yep! See? It's all the computers fault.
It is a Del Martian rookie mistake to not get into Village Bread Co as soon as you move to the area. It used to be located in the lower portion of the shopping plaza, but is now up top on the same row as the bagel place and the salon store.
It smells heavenly, and even more delightful is the lovely people that work there. You can tell they truly adore what they do and are absolute a joy to interact with. I had the most genuine and happy interaction this AM simply buying a loaf of bread and some jam.
As I checked out with a sweetheart of a woman at the counter I heard and watched the employees interact with each other and the regulars that were coming through with great attitudes and professionalism. It's a busy and popular place, but you feel welcomed and valued as a customer the minute you step in the door.
And the products!! The bread is freshly baked each day, from challah to cinnamon swirl and everything in between. If you're not feeding your family their creations-you're doing it wrong!
The bakery case is full of cookies, their famous muffins, and cinnamon rolls that are to die for. They also have a great case of sweet loafs, jams and granolas. They brew up Bird Rock coffee each morning so skip the Starbucks and go here: Support small businesses! Shop Local!
This is a no brainer for holiday gift basket items, hostess gifts and weekly shopping and they have my business forever. See you in a few days Village Mill!
I don't even know where to start-I'm so obsessed! you shouldn't even read this review-you should spend your time driving to Fallbrook to eat there. Go! Now!
Okay, if you MUST read I'll tell all. This place has been on my radar forever-I've met the owners/chefs in the past but haven't had a meal there until the bestie and her hubs (regulars at the Oink & Moo) invited us out for a Friday night feast.
Snag a reservation as it's a small local joint in a house-like atmosphere and seating is limited.
We started with the Mac n' Cheese fritters wrapped in bacon served with their Bomb Pom Sauce. OMFG. I could have eaten 20 of these. They sound decadent, and they are indeed-but not just mouthful of decadence- also a complex treat of flavors... and that sauce! We also tried the BBQ Pork lettuce cups w/nuts and the pulled pork is simply incredible.
I went for burger: Had to! There are so many on the menu that sound good but I went for the Oink a' Doodle Moo cooked medium with a fried egg, choice of cheese, bacon & a waffle fry- ON the burger! It's basically the best burger I've ever had.
36.95 gets you the Barnyard Family Dinner and it's listed as a BBQ dinner for 4 hungry ones but my BF and the Besties hubs are both manly beard men at 6"10 an 6"5 respectively and decided to split it between the two of them!
They got to choose 2 meats and went for the BBQ pulled pork and brisket-smoked for 18 hours! It normally comes with sides of coleslaw (but they subbed Mac and cheese) and some bourbon baked beans. PLUS! 4 of their richly flavored homemade biscuits-these tasted slightly sweet, like pancakes, covered in honey and were the best baked good I've had in a year. Seriously.
They was plenty for them, for us girls to nibble and try things, and leftovers-they couldn't finish! I cannot rave enough about the brisket and the blueberry BBQ sauce they served on the side-complex and perfection.
We all washed down our selections with the homemade lemonade and couldn't bear the thought of dessert-we practically rolled ourselves out of there. It's my new current favorite.
Okay, now you know, so GO! Now! (Only open for dinner)
My last visit to this hotel was years ago, before the 2010 remodel, and I loved it then, and have fallen back into love... Maybe feverish admiration even! The valet was busy and thus slow upon arrival but our check in was swift and friendly. It's right downtown, just a few street away from Pike's Market, shopping and plenty of dining options. (Note, the hotel has a great food onsite too and 24 hour room service)
The lobby was charming for the holiday, decorated with a tree and "presents" and a cozy fire burning away. The chandeliers were quite impressive and there was comfy couches plus an inviting coffee station.
We headed up to the 3rd floor where our one room suite was beautiful. The space was separated from the bedroom and sitting area with a heavy curtain partition and the offerings made us quite comfortable. The bed was amazing and plenty of pillows: A must for a princess like me! If you've got a bit of rawr, they have animal print bathrobes that are a fun contrast to the classic decor.
Throughout our stay everyone was pleasant, our room clean and comfortable, and the amenities well appointed. My only even so slight complaint is that upon our departure, the valet was again quite slow.
I'd stay there again in a heartbeat: Kimpton! How I love thee!
I attended a panel here today and what a fantastic office oasis smack in the middle of downtown. The have a rooftop terrace that housed a quick lunch and a conference room that sat about 50 comfortably-including all our tech and equipment.
There's second level with offices and desks for more permanent peeps and downstairs there is conference rooms and day desk space. I peaked around and checked out the kitchen/coffee set up.... and I kinda wanna move in.
I actually called a few months ago about booking a space for a few day and they were reasonable and competitive with other places in town-but we switched locations and I couldn't book sadly.
It's on the top of my list for future plans!
I used to go to this location all the time under the previous ownership-it was one of the few places my writers block ran away to hide from. Back then, I didn't LOVE it, it was okay and out of repair, but the physical convenience of the place and the flow I could get into for work made it a regular stop for me.
Enter Cantata. Titled for Italian vocal compositions, and I must say, the new vibe totally honors it's namesake. It's much more put together over all with the new ownership, and the branding translates the layout into a cozy rustic feel with little bursts of fun. What a delightful upgrade to this space! Cantata is truly a treat and the way they've redesigned the place is really perfect. It was much needed and has been super well received by the community. My thoughts? Well deserved!
I've been here a couple times, for breakfast, for coffee and to work for a couple hours here and there. First off, the customer service is friendly and genuine. Their baristas make eye contact, they're polite, warm, and it's such a welcome change to the space. It's previous tenant, although I do have loads of love for the SD iconic brand, had major issues with the standoffish and blank staring staff. I always loved the location and now, I can really be a wholehearted patron.
The food and coffee is delicious and the new shabby chic decor really ties the place together. Even the section that bleeds into the shore next door has a new focused feel. I adore the succulents and crafty touches. With its open store front of windows my writer's block fades away faster than days of yore and I've become an enthusiastic fan.
Gotta love their instagram too! Yelp shout outs!
Update: This place is right in my neighborhood so we frequent it a couple times a month. Last week I had a quick date with the BF and I'm upgrading them to five stars! A few things:
They offer gluten free crust baked in a dedicated oven. This is a huge deal to those who have to live GF lives. To eat pizza crust unafraid?? This is normally only accomplished if we bake it ourselves. Also they offer goat cheese, so! Gluten free crust with only goat cheese and all the toppings? Amazing and my regular order.
They bring the delightful bread balls to your table for free when you dine in, lets just call them amaze-balls actually. Olive oil and garlic, these bread babies sneak up on ya! You eat one and you're like "that was good, hum..." Then you eat another...then you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night thinking about them. Just sayin, You've been warned.
The customer service. This is a local neighborhood joint, and in my last say....4 visits? I've noticed some adorable things happening. Example: A darling old lady came and sat in the bar the other night by herself. The bartender came out from the back of the bar to take her order-she wanted a white wine but didn't know what she wanted. He brought her several samples to choose from, including the house wine and cheapest options-he didn't push the more expensive varieties, in fact, he poured her a taste of the best they serve AFTER she picked the house option, just so she could try it. The bartender was just as attentive to her with her one glass of house wine as he was to anyone else...more maybe even. It was adorable and felt super home-y.
They have a great happy hour and a full menu of not just pizza, but pastas and salads and entrees as well. TRY IT! I'll probably see you there.Gluten free crust option won me over, as well as the flavors of the sauce. Its high quality for the… En savoir plus
A West Coast beachside babe travels to Columbus and what do I find? Juice goodness that could rival any SoCal local. Watch out, if they make their way West they'll be on par with anyone pressing fruits and veggies out here.
I was so happy with my Tropical Green smoothie (pineapple, banana, coconut water, spinach, kale) it totally got me through a super long day of work. They're not just a juice place either, but a whole food joint, serving healthy fresh and quality items that are good and good for you. I also had a beet, apple, pear, lemon juice called Easy Beet for only 4.50 for 8 ounces (A great price for my California juice budget-fresh cold pressed can be pricey!)
There is a pleasant seating area, and even more pleasant staff. They truly care about their creations-and it's obvious they're supporting the community too. They opened recently so Yelpers, hop to it! Shop and support small businesses and as you do, work up an appetite and eat (drink) local too!
Anytime I'm in town this will be an absolute must stop in. (It'll cancel out my Jeni's guilt maybe??)
Absolutely adorable and anytime I'm in Costa Mesa/OC I'll be stopping in!
They have jaw dropping pastries, just gorgeous-you'll stand there at the case just mouth watering trying to decide! Plus a full bakery with luscious loaves of bread of various kinds. The coffee is top notch and the little gift shop (full of chocolates and nic-nacks) is a Christmas stocking stuffer's dream. I might make a trip just for that this season.
There's a little outdoor seating area plus some spots inside. They have a breakfast sandwich menu and the service was fast, genuine and friendly.
Located in The Camp. GO!
Parking can be tough!
Gotta give this CF some Yelp star props for it's super nice servers!
We entered exhausted post Yelper party about a half an hour before closing and they gladly seated us-not a snide eye in the place.
We were served our selections from the outta control huge menu with a pleasant smile and smart recommendations. Everything was yum and timely.
We've all been to Cheesecake Factory probably, but here's a cool little fact-apparently foreigners and tourists have this on their must try list while in America. It's got some sort of international fame in Asian and Australia. Although of course, I'm a big advocate of local small business, I'm still glad that those visitors are getting excellent customer service at this location.
I've had Rubicon during catered events or at festivals but never live and IRL at a location-so recently after a paddle boarding excursion in PB I was jonesing for a sammie-perfectly nearby.
Me and the BF tried the Dom Pastrami and ooo baby, that hit the spot. We got a 5$ Acai bowl added which I devoured-even though they put blueberries in it that I specifically asked NOT for. The little cookie was just a tease. I need 17 more of these stat.
Service was great-they guy that cleared our tray checked in on us too and was super friendly. Points for having blood orange San Pelie in the house.
I like it, I love it, I want some more of it! I'll be back.
Parking will cause an anurism.
I've been visiting T's cafe lately searching for another star-Found it, found it a bunch of times! I've explored the menu a bit more and you'll have a 4 star (or higher) breakfast (As far as the food is concerned) by ordering one of the following:
Any of the bagel options
The Corned Beef hash with hash-browns instead of breakfast potatoes and poached eggs (Add avocado)
The biscuits remain to be totally legit
The French Toast
The Country Benedict
The service is still a little slow if you're more than a two top I've found-I've been about 3 times in the last couple months with friends and all three times we've had to beg for water/napkins/etc-when it's just the BF and me or when I wine with a galpal it's lickedy split tho.
They don't have soy milk or almond or any milk-alternate for coffee according to my servers-sad! This is such a common place option nowadays and I wish they add some sort of non-dairy item for my coffee!
The Bloody Marys are as good as people say they are, dog friendly patio and the only decent wait in Solana Beach on the weekend (Plenty of seating)
One for star for you Glenn CoCo, you go Glenn CoCo.It's bad when I'm hungry. I get a leeeetle loco. I start making blind decisions....i make desperate… En savoir plus
I'm so thrilled this location opened up in my neighborhood. I've been obsessed with the "pink flamingo" ever since my bestie introduced it to me at other locations... so excited I can snag it so close to home. It's the perfect lunch break.
The location is super small and already super popular so be prepared for busy hours. It also takes awhile for your juices and bowls, but fresh good food is worth waiting for. The acai bowls are generous in size, the tropical is a nice change from the norm. I'll be the duchess of this joint in no time.
Great service, and a great Yelp check in offer! 50% off a bottle of wine!
We met some friends in a hurry, we were all hangry and starving. Thank the carb gods for the warm garlic rolls they generously provided ASAP and kept coming throughout our meal. Once they took the edge off we checked out the menu. There was restaurant week options too!
I ordered the pasta with broccoli, super simple, tossed with cheese and olive oil and the BF had the Spaghetti alla Carbonara with plenty of pancetta, parmigiano, egg yolk, fresh black pepper & a touch of cream. Both were delicious. Our dining partners gobbled up their selections too.
A couple logistic notes: There is only one ladies room and there is sometime entertainment (A singer or solo artist) in the front room. If you're seated there, the noise is much louder than the back. Depending on the night you want to have juts a heads up!
There are so many options in little Italy for pasta sometimes you can get overwhelmed, this is a solid one!
Although I'm a SD resident I hail from the PNW and have been a loyal Seahawks fan all my life. The sunshine won't ever get me to change to the Chargers: Don't hate. I don't! I just love my home team like a good girl should.
I won't wax on about the team that plays there too much-because its the playoffs, and maybe I'll jinx it, but I can tell you that there isn't a bad seat in the house. Even up in nose bleeds where I frequent (esp. since the Superbowl win made tickets skyrocket) you still feel like you're part of the blue & green ocean of fans. They raise the 12th man flag before each game begins and usually a Seattle or sports Icon has the honors-another great part of the experience is the band that thunders away throughout the day.
CenturyLink Field is an experience you should have no matter what your team: The noise, the energy is like nothing else. From the Beecher's Mac and Cheese to the actual Sea Hawk (*) swooping through the stadium (and occasionally sitting with fans, naughty birdy) its truly an over the top sporting venue.
Food options are pretty delicious for a stadium: You'll find garlic fires that would kill vampires all the way in Forks, Seattle dogs properly made with cream cheese and plenty of local brands and businesses. On game day, the stadium swarms early with fans checking out the many booths and interactions and in the parking lot you'll find vendor booths and party/tailgating type atmosphere.
*Yeah, Its actually an Augur Hawk, we know.
Skip the Starbucks tourist line in the market and walk a block up to this local joint (They also own Ballard Coffee Works). It's cozy and pleasant and clean. The service was prompt and coffee, oh baby, that hit the spot.
I couldn't feel my fingers cause it was so chilly that morning and I wanted nothing more than a proper cup of coffee-I got that indeed and went on my way.
One note, the line can be a bit of a cluster and I notice the coffees filled right to the brim. Don't slurp and/or spill on your neighbor!
This is what my North County dreams are made of. The Cohn's have swooped in and created a unique dining experience. I didn't even know quite what to expect! A restaurant on top of a Lexus dealership? Do tell! Forgive the length of this review...there's so much to recount!
Pull in and past the fountains and take advantage of free valet parking or turn to the right and head up the ramp to park atop the roof. When you enter Vintana you'll see the stunning Vodka Lounge-an impressive array of liquors tier down the walls and there is both bar seating and a chic but comfortably furnished section to the right. If you have dinner reservations just come early and use the excuse to enjoy yourself with a pre-dinner drink!
Before we get to the dining room, sneak out the left of the bar and peek at the Lanai-Ten thousand square feet with a killer view, a stage, cabana's, and an addictive looking firepit. I feel like I'll be perusing their wine list out here for the rest of the summer. Need an event space?? This is THE venue for NCSD. A wedding here would be unbelievable!
Drag yourself off that phenomenal porch, back into the main rooms, and head past the open kitchen. Chef Scott and her compadres are whipping up some deliciousness there, in full view! Wait...is Vintana also a wine shop? Why yes it IS! This is the coolest thing I've seen in awhile. Like a wine on the menu? Fall in love over a particular bottle? You can buy TWO bottles for the price of ONE to take home with you-hell, buy four! They have a full selection of their wines you can take home (in sweet little custom wine bags) with you on your way out.
Overwhelmed with delight? I was! Follow my lead and take a load off while you enjoy the dining room view. The menu is full of just what you wanted. I started with roasted nut crusted bree with the jalapeno jelly-generous and crispy, filled with warm oozing bree inside...yum yum and at $12, it's is a deal for the quantity. I moved onto the fish and chips-a favorite dish of mine-it was fresh and not oily, paired with pub like fries and malt vinegar tarter. Delish, but you'll have to get it at lunch-not on the dinner menu! My business meeting date had the special, a soft shell crab sammy which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Dessert looked soooo tempting, oh shucks, I'll just have to come back! (twist my arm!) Too full! The service I experienced was top notch. As successful as The Cohn Group has been with their other restaurants, I'm sure as the staff settles in anyone who has had issues in the past won't experience any in the future-Its clear they're getting into their grove and establishing a definitive culture here. As with a lot of other yelpers, I will probably write another long winded update after I dine here again. and I definitely will. You should too.
Guaranteed you'll have the "I wanna grow something" bug after a trip to the nearby botanical gardens-Instant gratification! You'll see this delightful shop on the corner.
It is a complex of a few gardening shops, a florist, and Elizabethan Desserts. So shop and grab a cupcake...no...wait...grab a cupcake THEN shop. There we go!
Now, time for a confession, I'm a plant killer. It's not from neglect I swear-I'm obsessed with doing EXACTLY what I'm supposed to...so concerned and worried and obsessed that my plants die just to spite me I think. I once killed bamboo. Seriously. Cactus? No chance. An ORCHID? For gods sake!! So yeah...when I'm like, "babe! I wanna make a magical garden!" the BF raises his eyebrows and shakes his head. He knows he'll just be picking up the pieces and taking brown dead foliage to the trash in the end while I cry in my room...plant murderer.
ANYWAYS. Trip to Botanical Gardens! Renewed Faith! Look, lets stop at Sunshine Gardens! I can do this! Indulging me we bought up a group of mini succulents and cactus soil and assorted goodies and I got my Martha Stewart on. The staff was helpful and the atmosphere was lovely! They have a bird cage full of doves and finches, it's like Alice in Wonderland.
My little fairy land succulent garden pot is planted and has been alive and thriving FOR TWO WEEKS. This is a huge deal. Green thumb? Perhaps....I'm a late bloomer. ;)
There isn't much I hate more than car maintenance, but I have to say, as far as getting tires go, this was relatively painless.
It was gonna cost me dolla dolla bills y'all, this I knew, but how much was the question of the day. Cheaper than the dealer was the answer (surprise surprise) and they even had a 1$00 rebate deal going too! Done and done.
What's more, it was done with a smile, lickidy split, while I ate delish tomato soup at Panera and shopped at Marshalls. It should be noted that there is stuff to do while you're waiting near this particular location-if there isn't near your closest discount tire and your wheels can stand it, make an appointment here and halfway enjoy yourself. Those deep discounted shoes you'll get at Marshalls will take the sting out of the tire price tag even further! Nothing makes me feel better about spending money on my vehicles than when I do it in new shoes ;)
The warranty is solid, we've bought tires from them for years, even back in Washington. and we've never had questions asked when getting a repair done. The took less than an hour on my car and didn't screw me on price.
Near the Seaside Market and adorable! 20/20 Lounge? Winning!
Modern, clean, and streamlined-incredibly aesthetically appealing. As soon as I walked in I loved it. The front desk was friendly and quick, I was whisked into my seat right away, offered a beverage, and was greeted by everyone in the shop.
It's got a chic upscale vibe. The "menu" is a take on an actual bar-oh and there IS alcohol! Mimosa's for everyone! You start out with a basic service. They offer everything from paws & claws to facials & waxing. You can "add shots" to your service to make it custom. Each "shot" ranges rom 5-15 dollars, you can add anything from Shelac to callus treatments for your nail service, or massage and exfoliation to your facial!
This is really THE place if you are planning to book for your bridal party, birthday, or special day. They even offer a special menu for teens and the under 8 years old crowd. Mother/Daughter date spot! For sure!
A large selection of polishes, top brands only. Drink your cucumber water and trust the sanitary removable soaking foot sinks (mine had stoppers so it didn't slide around at all) and you won't get a headache, no gross chemical smells here!
The TV screens show music videos and keep the vibe fresh and fun. My pedi looks great and the staff was attentive and on point!
The furry wall made of grass, the Alice in Wonderland meets a Winery Cellar atmosphere. The hidden entrance. Winner. It can be crowded some nights but the ones I've been in lately have been comfy and delicious.
I've been there with pals and for Yelp events, but mostly? I go there my own at 4:00 the next day to pick up my card because I INSIST on leaving it there apparently. It's always safe and sound with 18% tacked on. Small price to pay for the safety of my amex after my irresponsibility of not closing my tab in my opinion. Customer service as always been spot on for me.
On to the CHEESE PLATE. What is that peppery goodness?? What is that lovely meaty tidbit? Where did they get the bread? I love! As far as wine and a spread goes, dis is ze place!. Pull up a chair at the bar or lounge in the low tall backed chairs and tables spread throughout the main floor-they have little four tops lining the walls too. You can be intimate or social here, it's really that secret garden vibe. You almost expect to turn a corner and come out upside down. The SANGRIA is refreshing and just has the right amount of sweetness and flavors. Bartenders are helpful and hot.
This is my new back pocket spot, like, when people are in town and wanna "do something cool" or someone looks at you expectantly to entertain them? We're going to Syrah.
We were swept off our feet last month with a visit to this new and amazing property. Located right next door to South Coast. Just turn into the Ponte Winery parking lot and head towards the right. I really feel that high end discerning guests, once they discover it, will make this Inn their new favorite Temecula destination.
The rooms and the grounds are stunning, a combination of a Spanish style meets The Barefoot Contessa. When you arrive it's understated, but the little touches, from the custom tile work to the glass of prosecco during check in, quickly revealed an attention to detail that was admirable. We had a king room booked, and were there within a month or so of opening and the very same weekend the lobby started serving breakfast. As you would imagine, I was thrilled to be one of the first to try this hotel and dining service.
We were taken up to our room by an enthusiastic staff member. I love it when employees are excited to share their workplace with you, he pointed out little details along the way. We were on the higher floor, with windows facing out to the vineyard and our door opening to view the elegant courtyard. There is lovely rocking chairs around and a pond with a small fountain. It almost reminded me of a little Italian courtyard.
The BF was even impressed, and he is soo critical of every construction detail. He even started picking out things he'd like in our own home-which rarely happens. The construction and interior design are rock solid. We headed down to the cellar bar, fantastic. They serve a nice little menu and some great craft cocktails in an awesome setting. We strolled next door through the garden gates and had dinner at the winery. It's such a convenient location. We had a tour that picked us up at South coast the next morning and we just walked right over.
Beds were comfy, coffee and tea provided in the room, which we enjoyed in the AM on our little deck overlooking the vines. I will say that I wish there was a little more privacy between balconies. Our neighbors and us were in full view of each other. If you're cool hanging out with strangers in a bathrobe no worries, but if you're a more modest individual your morning coffee might not be so pleasant.( We personally can hang in bathrobes with ease, no problem) There was something about a breakfast basket being delivered to our room listed on the website-but that didn't happen?
So the next morning we grabbed what we thought would be a simple bite to eat at "Bouquet" in the lobby. Service was a little slow being their first day and all but the details were delightful-unexpected surprises! Rock sugar candy on a stick was served with our coffee and tea to sweeten the deal, we had a micro tropical fruit salad that was absolutely beautiful, and Madelines with a strawberry sauce-delicious. The coffee was a french press of a strong dark brew. I would love for them to serve the tea a bit differently though, they did a cup of hot water, the cool and adorable rock candy stick, and a high quality tea bag...but a little teapot of hot water would have been perfect-I had to wait a bit for a refill. For the prices the servings were a little lacking but the presentation and inventive menu made it worth it! Checked the website again today and that elusive breakfast basket with specialty items is still listed under "features?" hummm...
We'll return, I adored it all in all, and it can only get better as they fine tune the details. On my next visit I'm sure I'll add that final 5th star.23/08/2012 Hi Trish, Thank you for sharing a review of your recent stay at the Ponte Vineyard Inn. We are so… En savoir plus
Grande iced vanilla soy latte for....Thris? Thris? Really? How can you mix up Trish....is Thris even a name?
Okay, sorry for the intro rant. I normally wouldn't review a random Starbucks but! I thought I should so I could note that it has been completely remodeled. The new floor plan is open and way more spacious that the previous set up.
The staff that's there at the moment is quick too, I come from the Pacific Northwest originally and SoCal Starbuckses are notorious with those from up North as being slo with the joe. Even if you're just passing through, say you're at Seatac for example, feel free to experiment with this fact and order a coffee drink from whatever nearby 'Bucks there is: In the blink of an eye it will appear before you. Just sayin. Point being: This location (next to my boyfriend on the side: The Seaside Market) was packed AND fast. Electronically drawn shots probably, okay yes, but still, speedy.
More space, the coffee quick step, and free wifi: Improvements to be noted!
Vegas weekend planning and bikini babe dreamin...I needed THE PERFECT BIKINI!! I wasn't feeling anything I already owned, I tried it all on while drinking a whole gallon of hater-ade apparently because I ended up down on myself AND all the lycra in my closet. Help Yelp! I headed to Gone Bananas at the recommendation of Sarah B.
It's like bikini heaven. Expensive amazing bikini heaven. You might have to save all your pennies but hey, this is SoCal, A good bikini and you just might never have to pay for your drinks again....this is the logic I employed to justify the cost.
I was approached by a savvy salesgirl while I stood gaping at the HUGE selection with tops in my arms that would prove to be too small (Oh heyyy!) I explained to her that I did not possess Fergie + Humps level confidence despite being stacked with a little junk in the trunk...could she make said confidence miraculously appear with tiny pieces of fabric?? Yep! She explained a few tricks o' the trade and started the hunt.
With brands galore and in many colors, I approached the dressing room with all I could carry. Any lady, no matter what the size or shape will tell you, the dressing room is equal to the DMV for us sometimes, you just don't wanna go, it's hell. We hate it, we end up hating ourselves, then eating Auntie Anne's pretzels usually, vicious cycle.
She guided me into my space, and gently said for me to take as much time as I needed. She didn't hound me at all, checked in, but left me to my fussing and fretting alone. With a pro helping out with sizing and body type, I ended up super happy with a lime green tassel number! I'll tell you what, my Vegas trip that weekend? That bikini was worth every penny.
This is my favorite pool in Vegas. How I love u Encore. Let me count the ways...
1: The looks: It's beautifully appointed and the decor is in line with the swankyness you expect from a hotel like the Wynn. They make the Vegas pool party shitshow classy. Yes, it's possible. It's clean, and doesn't get too filthy by the end of the day. The bathrooms are well maintained throughout the day. The beautiful people play here-get those wedges and itsy bitsy bikinis ready girls.
2: The service: it's outstanding! We had a lilly pad for the day and our adorable server was attentive and went the extra mile. We misunderstood the details of what is and isn't allowed on the lilly pads and what was included with our prepaid tab-like no food! Damn! She was awesome, and between her, the management, and Red Carpet VIP, they let us order anyways. She set up our orders nearby on a tray table and was a total sweetheart about it too. The pool boys set up our towels and waters and even straightened our long line of wedges on the edge throughout the day. The bouncers are on point but fun, they'll take a pic for you if you ask politely.
3: The Menu: Our group consisted of ladies with many a food allergy. Encore provides an awesome allergen menu. Allergic to gluten, dairy, shellfish, and nuts? Well one of our besties is too, and she was happy as a clam she couldn't eat with this option. It was actually one of the main reasons we picked this pool. When all the girls in your group are happy, it's a better day by far!
4: I saw a guy wearing Hulk Hands. Nuff said.
Get there early & book it with RedCarpet VIP (They let you pick your exact daybed/lillypad)
So without giving any stalkers exact coordinates, I live like, 7 minutes from this place. I have never been. I know, that's Del Mar blasphemy. It's just that the parking situation is deceiving and makes it look like it's crazy busy all the time and I hate waiting. So we're always like "The Brig?" "Naw, it's crazy busy"
But the BF and I have recently decided to be generally more health conscious and save some dough so before putting a fatty food ban in place, we needed one last hurrah. I made reservations. Ding Ding Ding!
The Brig was recently remodeled, and it's lovely. It's more open than the old floor plan I'm told, more light, and they seemed to be packing them in. There is no better post or pre-race day spot. Sorry Burlap, it's true, You can see the track, it's on the PCH, it doesn't get more down in old Del Mar than that.
Karen was our server and she was a peach, sweet but on point. Speaking of, I started with the peach sangria-super yum and then was overwhelmed: What a menu! What in the world do I want?? They have a huge selection. You could easily do a full meal ordering off the small plates menu alone. We took a bit to decide because really, I would need to come here everyday for a month to try everything that looked good.
Challenge accepted! No...I forgot...fatty food ban. Damn.
First, we carb loaded. The cheesy bread is insanely good. We also had the sliders. Don't judge us. The BF ordered the Mahi Mahi (Which was yum, but doesn't compare to the one we had earlier in the weekend at the Pacific Coast Grill. Vanilla rice, just sayin) and I did the Fish and Chips. I thought the fish was great, although the portion size surprised me, just two slender pieces of fish and a handful of fries. Nicely done, not oily, but 1/3 more fries and another piece of fish would make more value sense for the price. Delish tho.
We passed on dessert but had a nice coffee service post meal. The vibe there is quintessentially SD coastal. Take the folks, take the out of towners, take your match .com date. it's a win.
I've had two experiences at C & C lately, both 5 stars, both different.
Experience #1: Lunch meeting: I had been chastised for not having ever been to Craft and Commerce, so this was the perfect opportunity since my lunchmate was downtown anyways. (ps: I was out with more blonds than Hugh Hefner the week before last...seriously) Giant grassy number 1 was given to me to place at my table. Fitting indeed! I loved the laid back lunch atmosphere they have during the day.
We ordered at the counter, self serve water, simple friendly service. Shout out to the "big strong man" who opened my iced tea bottle for me. I had the ham and cheese with 3 different cheese, dijon, and green apple for 10, added fries, yum-worth every lactaid. It was a great place to have a work meeting: Loved the little italy location. I highly recommend it for any professional first meet and greet.
Experience #2: Chic Brunch: It's almost Fashion Week SD ( Oct 1-7) and this lucky duck was invited to watch one of the photo shoots over Labor Day weekend. Fabulous, and we needed somewhere equally fabulous to have brunch post shoot.
We catwalked to C & C of course, and settled in to talk gossip and get ups.....Punch was in order! C & C has about 5 different punch bowl options on the menu, they're generous portions, we were a table of 7, and we tried the Gueriila Monsoon concoction, delish! Then it was French Style Toast, Smoked Salmon, Jalapeno Biscuits and more. Our servers were delightful, everything was delicious, no complaints. Cheers C & C, I actually didn't want ketchup anyways.
I used to come here all the time when I lived in rad C-bad. I was addicted to the simple vanilla flavored coffee and vanilla creamer on work mornings before I was all yelp-ed out, or the BF and I would get bagel breakfast sandwiches on busy weekends. They've got a bunch of flavors, cream cheeses galore, they carry GF plain bagels, they've got smoothies, and even an acai bowl.
The owner, Asha, is simply one of the nicest business owners I've ever met. I feel like her attitude and the good customer service is what makes it stand out over other similar places. 5 stars, yes sir, it's not for bagels made of gold, but for genuine good old fashioned customer service. She's always sweet and seems to sincerely hope people enjoy her establishment. I'm frankly surprised at reviews bashing it, they were cool to me from the beginning, and that was long before I started being yelptastic.
The bagels here are made authentically and they actually put the flavors and seasonings all over the bagels, oh yeah, that's right, all over them. (As opposed to a lot of places that just flavor the tops.) The smoothies are made with juices and frozen fruit, you can add protein should you desire. Check the wall by the creamer, they donate a lot to local charities and community events. Very cool!
It's a bagel, but it tops my book. There is a location in Solana Beach too...but, I would almost rather drive to C-bad as I prefer the vibe at that location.
Liam the bartender was a treat in himself, and the Yelp check in offer of a free cocktail? Icing on the cake! We made the Hotel Erwin our Yelpish home for a few days and it started off at Barlo with the oh-so-free cocktail: Smooth start I must say!
A little menu of bites that we didn't try looked yum. The popcorn was good tho! The roodtop bar at this place probably gets all the love, but Barlo is like the younger sister that grew up and got super hott and surprised you at a random wedding. Don't miss the homemade ginger syrup, have them make you a delish moscow mule (non traditional because they don't have ginger beer but tasty none the less)
This lobby bar is relatively sized with the rest of the hotel (small,cozy) and since the elevator is slow (we were warned) I don't think you can miss it as you stand in the lobby and wait...wait...then decide screw it-and go get a drink at Barlo and then take the stairs.
Free cocktails=tip your bartender!
Food and drink info will be discussed but first:
What an untapped venue this is!! Are you having a wedding reception? Rehearsal dinner? Corporate holiday party? This is ze place! Over the last month I've been here about 4 times for assorted events-winning!
I think people just maybe sum it up to the little they can see from the street but the size of the restaurant is actually deceiving from the outside. It's huge inside and the patio can actually hold a ton of people. Fashion Week San Diego organizers figured this out and featured Rappongi in a few of the weeks events, as well as the press conference a few weeks back. The staff and management have been delightful, attentive, and the space really lends itself to a crowd.
The menu is Asian fusion and a little eclectic. I've had several of the small plates and rolls and a few stand out to me: The Kefir Cheese brought me back to India memories with the Masala spices balanced by the creaminess. I really enjoyed the simple chicken satay, nice peanut sauce and accompanied by home-made chips. Try them for happy hour! Great deal and you won't regret it. 1/2 of the tapas small plates and signature cocktails for 8 bucks. regular prices reflect downtown LaJolla-date night or special occasion location for sure!
The Rappongi martini with lychee is actually FABU, we ordered at the recommendation of one of the bartenders that helped create and were not disappointed-also the ginger mojito is super refreshing.
Kudos to the smooth sailing and excellent service staff.
This review might turn into an ode to how much I love the people in North County...but to start-a little scenery:
I sit as I type in the beloved Vinaka, a cafe on the upper level of this quaint shopping center. From my corner the early risers of Carlsbad order their brews-with locally roasted beans. They stroll into and out of the Extend Barre studio across they way, pick up their Jamba juices and Starbucks orders, or bike in packs up the PCH. A pixie of a little girl with blond hair drags her mom to see "the fountain, the fountains!" and patrons sit in the sun as they start their NCSD days...all before 9 AM.
The Village Faire offers 3 hours of free parking, and a significant amount of some chains as mentioned but mostly local food, offices, shops, and is actually a little hub for a local art colony and galleries. There's ballroom dancing frequented by the older generation to big band music at the Ocean House during the week-or check out the live music, with firepits, on the patio at Coyote every night.
The folks are friendly and polite, a line forms, but no one seems impatient. The businesses serve with a smile...I used to live here when I first came to SoCal before moving a bit south. If you want a smooth transition, this is ze place. Carlsbad isn't abrupt, it's subtle living, The folks spending their hard earned dollars here this morning prove the vibe...maybe it's all that sunshine! C-bad is rad, and the Village Faire will give you a little taste.
This is local business at it's finest. For my 200th review, I find it only fitting to sing the praises of a local family serving their neighbors with enthusiasm! That's the heart of Yelp-introducing people to great local businesses.
Pumpkins pouring out of the cute patch in the back, personal service, veggies and fruits grown with knowledge and love! Who could ask for more?
With a long standing history and owners that truly care about what you and your family are putting in your body, Farm Stand West is a FIND. They benefit the community not only through their amazing offerings- grown with care, but also by hosting classes and fun for nearby schools and groups. When I showed up they were teaching a young group about the growing cycle of pumpkins! Adorable!
They've been around forever and I JUST found out about them, but if the full parking lot is any telltale sign, I just needed to get on the band wagon! Some of the amazing offerings I list are seasonal so keep that in mind and check the website before you go for current offerings.
Wheatgrass-a whole big flat for 9$ ! That's the best deal in the county AND they clean it super well (As daily juicers themselves, the owners realize the importance of this) I made the best pasta sauce ever from the heirloom tomatoes and squash, yummy apples, pomegranates, citrus, and gourds galore this time of year! Return in the spring for berries and more!
It's right off the freeway and worth the drive! Can't wait to go back again.
The BFs bday normally happens in Vegas-but this year, in light of other important events and just plain busy-ness, we decided to have a normal boring low key birthday locally. Or at least he thought. Secretly I helped coordinate some of his best friends flying into town for an SD kinda Bday weekend that included a huge BBQ, presents, scotch and cigars, and to kick it all off, a steak dinner at Azul. Disguised as date night, this meal was actually for 12, reservations were made-and thus begins my five star experience. From booking to service to menu and execution, 5 stars all around.
When I booked the table I realized it was restaurant week. Knowing how this can play havoc on booking huge parties I called early, but even then, the biggest available was a 10 top. I politely requested that if there was anyway they could accommodate 12 it would really make my BF's birthday perfection-they were more than happy to shimmy around and give me exactly that. They called me back to confirm the change- Love it,
THEN, the Bf's generous and amazing momma wanted to pitch in on the tab for the night, She called ahead and pre-paid a portion of the bill. (Thanks Mom!) They informed me of her lovely gesture and it was slick and uncomplicated.
Our friends arrived ahead of time, were seated at a great long huge table, and awaited our surprise arrival. Thinking it was date night, the BF didn't have a clue, we strolled down the streets of La Jolla, and the hostess took us the long way around in the restaurant so that we walked right in front of the table full of his friends. He had NO clue, Surprise! We got him good.
The food was perfection. Cheers Chef Carl! Steak temps exactly as they should be, the restaurant week menu was my personal choice, generous portions and a great over view of what Azul offers. The BF ordered the biggest steak on the menu (This part of the night not a surprise at all) and we really enjoyed the appetizers (Jumbo Shrimp Cocktails, Portabello Steak Fries with truffle garlic sauce! And the Saint Andre fromage served warm with honey bacon & garlic crostini was my favorite!) Also notable, the side dishes of bacon & chive mac 'n cheese and the sage potatoes au gratin: DELISH!
Great for a special event, we'll be back for sure!! Maybe we'll bring the generous mom-in-dating next time she's in town ;)
I needed something perfect for a Marine Corp Ball coming up. It's my first one ever and I am beyond excited! Two words: Ball Gown. You can pretty much land any chick with that.
Problem #1: The perfect dress. So hard to find. Everything else I had seen was either too cheap looking or too young. I wanted red carpet, stunning, with quality fabric and fit-not a junior prom dress. I hunted online for awhile, and was just too scared to purchase something like this without trying it on. Problem #2: I'm still a little high off of the Fashion Week San Diego Runway show, which makes me a tough sell for any gown. Gee thanks amazing designers, Sigh. Problem #3: I found Mia Bella near my favorite frozen yogurt place...which is ironic....because no more frozen yogurt as I need to be amazing in this dress.
Allison was amazingly helpful! I had been stalking the window displays for a few weeks, and figured it was out of my league. Nay Nay! It wasn't! And with Allison's help I found the BEST dress. There were actually several that I could have gone with, but in the end, she helped me make the best choice. I wanted the perfect mix of va va voom and value. FOUND. Mia Bella gives a girl a little runway of her own-I went with red of course (Which I blame on award winning designer Kenneth Barlis, I've been obsessed ever since FW) The evening gowns range from couple hundred and top out at about 800. Surprising, as the location in Del Mar is prime and the gowns are SUBLIME.
They also have a bridal line, bridesmaids gowns, and styles that range from Marine Corp Ball Princess (Me) to Mother of The Bride gowns (Not me.)
I really want my boyfriends jaw to drop when he sees me-I'm even keeping the dress a secret from him till then. No peaking! I'd bet money I'll get the reaction I want, all thanks to Mia Bella!
Really delightful. Another meeting with lovely ladies, I know I know, if I were the bachelor I need like 6 dozen roses at least. Boom. ANYWAYS. This place was, dare I say, the loveliest part of the afternoon. (Which is saying something, because I was meeting with FWSD broads, and they don't mess around)
Although most reviews rave about the gelato, I'm over here writing sonnets to the coffee. My cappuccino was deliciously authentic and I count it on the short sacred list of one of the best I've had in SD. This local cafe seems to transport you across the pond to the quaint Italian bistro table we all wish we could sit at everyday. PS: If you've never had it, try affogato here-that's a scoop of gelato with a shot of espresso poured over. BELLA!
The dessert pastries look amazing and rumor has it the panini is excellent and they even have traditional piadina bread with nutella (or ham and cheese) YUM!
Entertaining my brother who was in from out of town....he has a thing for tortilla chips. Like, tortilla chips are his favorite food probably! We killed a few baskets of the ones Fiesta de Reyes serves-corn chip obsessed brother approved!
I love bringing people from out of town here. It really changes depending on the time of day-grab a Mexican coffee in the AM and stroll the shops, enjoy a lunch with mariachi music, or a festive dinner. Maybe just stop in, get a churro and listen to the live music on the little stage. It almost feels like a place unto itself rather than just a stop on the Old Town circuit. You can really get the best dose our touristy old town by just hanging around here for an hour or so.
Friendly service, great food. Colorful and fun decor-everyone here really seems to enjoy themselves, servers and patrons alike! The margaritas are huge-and strong! Cheers bro!
What a find! It's too adorable... Mini Tuscan land hidden in Rancho Santa Fe. Milan B's review had me at "lovely hobbit hole" and I had to hunt this place down for myself.
First of all: Check or cash only. You've been warned and I don't wanna hear another word about it!
It's cozy and small and busy and adored by the locals so get there early or love the line, which actually moves at fairly lightning speed and give you time to admire all the nic-nacs for sale. Everything you see in the gorgeous decor is for sale and they change it often.
The muffins, oo la la, the muffins! The BF was along for this menu exploration and he raved about the apple blueberry. The bran looked amazing too. This is the kind of place where everything looks good and even with your mouthful of something amazing you have food envy of whatever everyone else is eating. Like "oh my god this is delicious...wait...what is THAT?"
We didn't hold back, ordered a few different items to really get a taste: had the quiche, (flavors rotate, perfectly done, flakey crust) the veggie fritta, (really delish and full of flavor) muffins, tea, coffee, and wanted to go back and order lunch to take home!
For the holidays, they have some killer looking pies you can order in advance! The desserts are home-made grandma status goodness. Service gets thumbs up too!