hotel thrillist

Recently I was invited to check out Thrillist’s Hotel Thrillist takeover at the Hard Rock Hotel in Downtown San Diego. Thrillist swept into town with a weekend full of events on Friday and Saturday nights.


The first event was like a foodie fest up in the pool area and the Saturday events were a crazy sounding pool party (with full roast pig) and a clubbing party. I’m sure you can guess which of the events interested me the most!

That Friday evening, I went down to meet Jake.


… and then I sprained my toe. About an hour before we were supposed to leave for the event. SIGH. Could I be more gimpy?! Jake suggested that we could skip the event and just do something else since I could barely walk. That was when I got kind of whiny and said, “Noooooo, I want to go to this!” He just kind of shrugged at me and basically left it up to me. Of course I still wanted to go! As if.


As soon as we got into the event, a nice lady carrying a tray of beverages appeared before us and offered us drinks. We gladly accepted and then we never saw her, nor these beverages, again. I think they ran out early. These were plastic, reusable mason jar containers that we got to keep so I could see why they ran out quickly. I’m not sure what was in the jar besides Malibu but it was a little sweet and tasted like no alcohol was in it (sneaky).


The Float pool lounge was all decked out in crazy colored lights and plenty of inflatables for the pool.


This is Seasucker’s table and Jake and I actually didn’t try this because raw fish didn’t sound appealing to us (they were serving hamachi tartar). But boy do I love that EAT sign. I wish it was in our kitchen.



The Not So Fast! Food Truck had wings as their offering. The wings, sadly, were cold when we got them and there was barely any sauce on the wings. The skin was a little rubbery and it didn’t taste that great. I’m sure if they were hot it would have been better…


Salt & Cleaver is a place that I have only tried little samples from and every sample just makes me wonder why I haven’t gone in there for a full meal already.


[photo courtesy of Thrillist]

Salt & Cleaver’s little bite was a Moroccan lamb merguez sausage with mint, lime and cucumber. It reminded me a little of a freeform gyro with the flavors that were going on. I love the tasty lamb sausage paired with the mint and cucumber. It was delicious and quite refreshing!

We tried to visit a few other booths after Salt & Cleaver but there was a lack of food and we thought we’d swing back for it (we never did). Instead we decided to try and head further in, with me hobbling along and hoping to god no one stepped on my toes (no one did).


We eyed this crusty cheese making station at Puesto and got in line to get a taco.


[photo courtesy of Thrillist]

Puesto was offering California Tacos that were filled with filet mignon, melted cheese, crispy potatoes, homemade guacamole and tomatillo roja salsa. There was a girl who was making the tortillas on the spot and this taco ended up being one of our favorites of the evening. Jake loved it so much he asked for another one while we were still standing there devouring our tacos. He also found out these tacos are on their “secret  menu” if you want to try them. Jake is my own personal investigative reporter!

The filet mignon was tender and flavorful and the there was crispy cheese and a little bit of gooey cheese. I don’t really remember tasting the potatoes in it (I didn’t even know there were potatoes until later) but it a very tasty taco.


[photo courtesy of Thrillist]

Right next to Puesto was the GreenGo Food Truck. They were serving these little grilled cheese sandwiches called Nogada Grilled Cheese with pork belly, grilled dates, caramelized red onion and their signature Nogada spread (which is a mixture of goat cheese, cream, XO Cognac and walnuts). This! Oh my god… this… was my favorite thing I tried that night. I loved the melted gooey cheese and it was so darn tasty with the bits of…. well… everything inside of it. YUM.

We ended up finding Darlene of My Burning Kitchen and Leanne of Three Dog Kitchen hanging out in a nice plush couch area and we hung out with them for awhile. We were sitting right on the other side of GreenGo and I kept really wanting to steal more grilled cheese sandwiches. I could smell the cheese and pork belly wafting towards us as we hung out, it smelled so good!


[photo courtesy of Thrillist]

And then right next to the grilled cheese peeps was another food truck, New York on Rye. They were serving Rueben Wontons. The wontons had corned beef inside and there was sauce on the side. I got these right as they came out of the fryer and they were very hot, crispy, and delicious. I personally really enjoy corned beef and it had a nice flavor. That crispiness from the wonton transformed this onto another level! I thought it was very unique and it didn’t really sound like it would be tasty but I ended up liking it. 


[photo courtesy of Thrillist]

Slater’s 50/50 was also there. The flames were high at their station and I was wondering why they kept the flame up so high. They were making these new burgers called Tequila Chorizo Fundido Burgers which are topped with beer battered onion rings, fire roasted green chilies, guacamole and fundido sauce. I’m really not a fan of Slater’s 50/50 but Jake and I decided to try them anyway. We both took a bite, looked at each other, and made a little face. All I could taste was char from the burger and it didn’t really taste all that great. It wasn’t very juicy or flavorful though the fundido sauce wasn’t that bad. It kind of tasted like I was eating nachos but without the crunch. The fundido sauce was the only thing I liked as the rest of the burger didn’t really do anything for me. 


[photo courtesy of Thrillist]

Now for dessert! The Cravory was at Hotel Thrillist with a whole lineup of their delicious cookies. Jake grabbed a bunch for me while I grabbed more lemon bar cookies for myself since I remember really liking those the last time we stopped in their shop. They also had “Wookies” which I think were supposed to be like whoopie pies with their cookies, but all I saw were the regular cookies being offered. Delicious as usual! 

Kind Bars were also offering a bit of a healthier option for dessert, pairing their Kind granola with yogurt in tiny, cute little cups. Sadly though the yogurt tasted very warm and that made me not want to eat more than one bite of it. 


Donut Bar’s offering was the last thing I tried. I took this photo in a corner with lights swirling all around me and it sort of came out! It’s a jelly donut with the pop tart stuffed in the middle (the reddish layer). If they hadn’t told us there were pop tarts in it, I never would have guessed since it pretty much only tasted like a very sweet jelly donut. The frosting on top paired with the incredibly sweet jelly and the pop tart was overkill to me. It was way too sweet to be enjoyable. Too bad though, it seemed like a fun idea!


[photo courtesy of Thrillist]

There’s a whole lot of bloggers in this elevator photo that the Thrillist photographer took! Apparently I didn’t even notice photography was going on. It was great fun hanging out at the event and seeing my fellow bloggers Kirbie of Kirbie’s Cravings, Darlene of My Burning Kitchen, Leanne of Three Dog Kitchen, and Jinxi of Jinxi Eats. I also finally got to meet J.S. of Sun Diego Eats and I met Vicky from Hungry Chick on the Cheap. It was quite the blogger fest! 

Disclaimer: Thrillist invited me to join in on the shenanigans. I was not further paid nor compensated for this post. All opinions stated here are my own.

14 thoughts on “hotel thrillist

  1. I think the pastrami wontons were one of my favorite bites of the night. Plus the lamb sausage (seriously – go to Salt & Cleaver! So good…) and the cookies. I took a piece of pop tart donut home and it actually sat on the counter for 3 days after I took a bite because I just didn’t enjoy it enough to finish it. I’m trying to be very conscious of not eating things I don’t like just because they’re there.

    I loved watching people come up to you all night – you’re like a blogging celebrity! Always great to see you and Jake!

    1. Hi Leanne – The wontons were surprisingly good. I thought it would taste like sauerkraut or something but I liked the taste of them! I do seriously need to go to Salt & Cleaver already. Everything I’ve sampled is so good from them. The pop tart donut was not exciting. One bite was enough to let me know I didn’t need to eat any more of it.

      Haha, blogging celebrity, yeah right! It was so fun chatting with you!

  2. I thought you already posted, then realized it was on instagram first, then on all the other blogs you met up with! The elevator full of bloggers is my favorite part though! Was this going UP to the party or down? Glad you found some tasty items there too! Maybe I should subscribe to Thrillest too, or did promotions directly seek you out?

    1. Hi Lynn – The elevator photo is at the end of the night when we were all leaving, so we are going down. Thrillist PR seeked me out and invited me to the event. Luckily they sent those photos over – I had a terrible time taking a lot of photos because it was so dark there. I was surprised to see that photo included! I like reading the Thrillist newsletter, too, they always have some interesting stories.

  3. Hehe, I remember the last photo when it was being taken, though I missed it when I was going through the PR photos. I wish the lighting had been a bit better that night. My photos were all purple and red and I couldn’t even tell what was in the dishes from the photos I took.

    1. Hi Kirbie – I think I remember a flash… but I thought nothing of it! I had the photos showing up really large on my screen otherwise I think I would have missed this photo, too! The lighting was terrible and I forgot how to use my flash (haha).

  4. This looks like a cool event! You have pretty feet even with sprained toes. I’m jealous. I hate feet.

    I guess the ‘hold your breath for 5 seconds’ didn’t work with your photos that night hmmmm….

    Your photos at the Patron party came out so fabulous – was there a different photo taking technique for that Patron event?

    Thanks for sharing Puesto’s secret menu – that CA taco looks quite good!

    1. I don’t think anyone has told me I have pretty feet… so thanks? haha

      Well, the difference is that at this event I was standing, hobbling around and didn’t have a good spot to stop and take my photos. There were so many people that I didn’t have room to stand and take a good photo. And there were colored lights everywhere and a serious lack of lighting, so it was really hard to take any photos. And I couldn’t figure out where my flash was, like a dork (hey, I never use the flash).

      Jake loveddddd that Puesto taco. A lot. I’m pretty sure he wants to go visit them again just to get more of those tacos!

  5. Ahh I didn’t know the pool party had a full roast pig! I would have gone to that too just to eat it, I’ve always wanted to try whole roasted pig. So far I have not been able to round up a group of 10 people to do the $200 whole roasted pig at Momofuku in NY and I think it was an option when we went to Maui if we did the luau but luaus are crazy pricy.

    I’m so glad that Jake asked about the tacos because we are 100% going to order them next time we go to Puesto. Great sleuthing skills.

    And geez so many bloggers at one event! That last picture is super fun 🙂

    1. Hi J.S. – I would have gone for the roast pig, too (which are DELICIOUS by the way) but we went to Borrego that day. Too bad! Oh man, I would totally chip in for whole roast pig if I was in NY! If you ever get the chance, totally try it. It’s so good. We used to have it at parties and I remember when I was in the Philippines as a kid they roasted a whole pig under the ground. It was rad.

      Jake does have good sleuthing skills. One of the many reasons I stick with him, heh heh. I love that last photo, too!

    1. It was a good variety of bites! I’m sad we didn’t try everything but that’s okay. The elevator photo is so fun! You should recognize a few faces 🙂

  6. WOW!! Look at all that awesome food! You don’t like Slater’s? How come, if I may ask? That totally sucks about your toe, is it doing okay now? Very cool looking shindig! 🙂

    1. Hi Lauren! It was a fun event! My toe is doing much better but I still can’t wear shoes. Only flip flops for me! I guess it’s “lucky” we still have this warm weather… hah!

      I didn’t enjoy Slater’s on our visit or at this event. The burgers taste overcooked to me (during our visit a few months ago I had a normal burger, Jake had one of the 50/50 patties) and to me all of the yummy juiciness had been cooked right out (same with the one we tried at this event – it only tasted like char and not much else). I also tried their bacon brownie which was incredibly disappointing – it was more like a dry cake with bacon on top. :/ Slater’s just isn’t our thing!

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