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.

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san diego fair treats

I love the fair.

The start of the fair in June is the start of summer. It’s also the start of corn on the cob, fresh basil and tomatoes in the garden, and totally fried totally bad for you fair food. I love it!

This year I got to enjoy the fair with Jake, our friend from Tampa, Chris, and Jake’s son, T. We visited the fair last week to catch one of our favorite comedians, Gabriel Iglesias, on stage. He was hilarious and well worth the price of admission. And of course, I can’t go to the fair without trying out and eating a bunch of crazy fair foods. Here’s my recap for this year!

[Deep Fried Snickers / Deep Fried Reese’s]

Christopher (I like to call him by his full name since it amuses me) wanted to try out some deep fried candy bars since he’d never had one before. We got a deep fried snickers and a deep fried reese’s.

This is the innards of a deep fried Reese’s. I preferred this one, just because I like peanut butter that much more than Snickers. Both are coated in a sweet batter. It kinda looks like this Reese’s was undercooked from that goo there, but I didn’t notice it at all. The candy just melts and gets all gooey inside. It’s pretty darn good.

[Orange Julius]

Jake and Chris both got Orange Julius.

I might be one of the only people who doesn’t really like Orange Julius.

I don’t know why. I don’t really care for any orange flavored drink – except for orange juice. No pulp, please.

[Chocolate Covered Bacon]
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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!
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