trifecta feast at flavor del mar

Opening Day at Del Mar is apparently a big deal.

I’ll be honest – I’ve never really paid attention. I’ve seen the commercials though – the ones singing about Del Mar. And I’ve heard about the “hats” that women wear for opening day. But beyond that, I don’t know a thing about horse racing. All I know about it is from what I’ve seen in the movies Seabiscuit and Secretariat.

But this post isn’t about the races – it’s about one of the after parties that happened in Del Mar celebrating Opening Day at the racetrack.

At Flavor Del Mar they had a special menu prepared for the day – a Trifecta Feast – with a three course meal to help you bask in your post-win celebration at the races.

[Trifecta Feast Menu]

Here’s a little peek at the menu and the offerings!

[Flavor Del Mar dining room – do you spot some hats?]

Laura and I started feeling a little under dressed as more people trickled into the dining room that evening for their Trifecta meal. It was great for people watching – seeing people all dressed up in suits and dresses with4 the ladies wearing their finest hats and high heels.

[Bread, butter, and fancy salts]

We started our fancy feast with some bread. This was a bit fancy though as we had a little tray of various salts laid down before us. The tiny little spoon for the salt just killed me, too. So freaking cute!

No one explained what the salts were to us – but I suspected the far right one was some kind of pink salt. One was also a bit gray-ish in color but the other two I wasn’t sure of. They were all coarse grained salts and I got a little over-eager and put too much salt on one slice of bread. Oops.

The bread was a whole wheat type of bread. I found myself wishing the bread had been warm but I loved the tray of salts.

[Crispy, spicy shrimp with crazy frisee & arugula on the bottom]

For my starter dish, I chose the crispy, spicy shrimp. The shrimp was in light, crispy batter and definitely packed a punch of heat. It wasn’t the lingering kind of heat though – just a passing through heat. The spiciness managed to enhance the whole dish without taking away from the shrimp – a welcome surprise for someone who has shunned heat and spiciness for a long time! I ignored most of the frisee and arugula on the bottom. I had a taste of the frisee, but it just really isn’t my thing. And, it seemed more like a garnish than anything else – the shrimp is the real star of this dish.

Continue reading “trifecta feast at flavor del mar”

top of the world at stratosphere – las vegas, nv

At the top of the Stratosphere hotel in Las Vegas, there’s a restaurant called “The Top of the World”. It rotates very slowly around the top, giving you a tip-top view of the entire city in just over an hour. We got there right before the sun started to set and were able to see the Strip go from day to night in the span of a couple of hours. It was breathtaking!

We started out on the Strip side when we sat down – this was our view from the table.

There are signs up warning diners about possible skyjumpers – just so you don’t freak out as they jump off the edge while you’re dining. We happened to see a few but I wasn’t able to get a shot of any of them jumping!

The view really is just right there in front of you. It’s hard to tell that you’re even moving since it rotates so slowly. It’s subtle. And awesome!

Jake’s pointing out Fremont street in Downtown Vegas, right after the sunset.

[Bread Basket]

We were given a basket of breads to start off with. There was a large Parmesan crisp, and a variety of bread rolls.

[Flavored butters]

We were also given some flavored butters to go with our breads. The one in the back with the sprinkle of green color in it was an herb and garlic flavored butter. The orange one in the front had a ginger flavor to it and I believe the last one was plain. There were four of us at the table (Jake, Chris, Laura and I) so we got two plates of the butters to share. I honed in on the herb/garlic butter and used as much of that one as possible. I didn’t dig the ginger butter quite as much. It had a bit of a tart flavor, but it was fun to try.

[Corn and Plantain Soup – $11]

Continue reading “top of the world at stratosphere – las vegas, nv”

shimbashi izakaya / del mar – san diego, ca

Shimbashi Izakaya is a Japanese restaurant located in the heart of downtown Del Mar, CA. They serve a variety of “tapas” style menu items as well as sushi, noodles, and other Japanese dishes and seafood. I recently had the opportunity to try Shimbashi Izakaya for myself and was happily treated to a wonderful line up of delicious Japanese foods.

Shimbashi Izakaya is in such a pretty spot with a nice outdoor patio.

There’s an ocean view and if you’re lucky (ie: not dining in May or June), you’ll be treated to a sunny, ocean view. Our sunset was a little cloudy that evening and it was a bit chilly by the coast, but Laura and I were not deterred in the slightest! Also: heat lamps are a wonderful invention.

This is their menu – it looks like a picture book! I loved this idea, especially for cuisine that I’m not very familiar with. It’s so helpful to see photos of the items you want to order.

[Lychee Martini]

Our hostess pretty much convinced me to try this drink. I wasn’t going to have any alcohol, but with a little pushing and prodding you can get me to try a lot of things.

I admit, it didn’t really take much prodding. But, she did have them split our 1 Lychee martini into two glasses. This was very sweet – and I detected no alcohol, which is a crazy combination. The flavor of the lychee comes shining through on this martini. While I thought the drink was good, it would have been better if it was a little less sweet.

I loved the wooden skewers with the wooden flower bead – so cute!

[Baked Mussels]

After perusing through their large menu, Laura and I decided to get a few appetizers to start. One was this: the Baked Mussels. The mussels come back in their shells, grilled and topped with cheese and onions. Almost like a mini baked casserole in a shell.

I liked the flavors of the mussels but I wasn’t too crazy about the type of cheese paired with it. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t think the flavor of the mussel went that great with the cheese.

[Pri-pri Ebiten]

I first saw this on Leanne’s post about Shimbashi and I already knew I would order it. Gigantic shrimp? In a honey glaze? FRIED?! Well damn, sign me up!
Continue reading “shimbashi izakaya / del mar – san diego, ca”

roy’s restaurant / downtown – san diego, ca

I sometimes wonder how I get invited to certain things.

I was recently invited to come to Roy’s Restaurant for a media event with wedding professionals. I don’t do wedding stuff (anymore, I used to write for San Diego Wedding Insider) and I’m not a planner or anything. But, I’m not one to turn out the prospect of trying new things. I dragged Jake with me and warned him beforehand about it, but there was no worrying needed. There was a nice bit of food laid out, a dessert table, and hot appetizers were floated around the room. They also had some pretty tables set up with potential wedding decor as a sample of what they could do. And I have to say that hosting a wedding or reception here would be great just for the view alone. Check it out below!

This was the first thing I saw. A table filled with CHEESE.

I smiled gleefully at Jake. I’m pretty sure he rolled his eyes at me. I’m such a sucker for cheese.

Continue reading “roy’s restaurant / downtown – san diego, ca”