March 5, 2015

In Love With..

via
-seriously considering a juice cleanse next week. I've done it before, and it's a love-hate relationship. Love the way I feel after about three days, but kind of hate getting there. Don't get me wrong, the juices are delicious, and the program I usually opt for even allows food (yay for chewing!), but I always want what I can't have. In this case it's anything from In-N-Out and McFlurries. Who am I?! I don't even like sweets that much! Ugh, the struggle is REAL. 

-so I'm not really into competitive reality TV (is that what the American Idol category is even called, or did I just make it up?), but this week I turned on The Voice and kind of got sucked in. Mainly because Adam is so dreamy, but also because there was this kid who sounded SO GOOD. So I may or may not watch the whole season. We'll see. But speaking of Adam, have you guys seen this Maroon 5 video? Did they really do that? I love them even more now. 

-this week I had dinner at Bankers Hill for the first time in years, and was kind of kicking myself for not coming in more often. The steaks are always on point, and I highly recommend the Chile Verde Soup. Also stopped by Starlite for a quick happy hour, and I still believe that they make the best moscow mules in San Diego. Their potato and cheddar pierogis are also amazing... smothered in butter and caramelized onions. Guh! I'm salivating. 

-I know that it's probably not the smartest fashion investment, considering the weather in San Diego is not exactly conducive for wearing wool hats buuuuut.... I really really want a Janessa Leone hat. There are so many cute ones to choose from!

natasha

February 24, 2015

Perform with PrAna

I love yoga. 
It's one of my favorite activities for mind and body.
If I'm having a poopy day, 
spending 60 minutes on a mat, in a heated room, will work wonders for my spirit. 
That, and a bottle of wine are my typical stress busters. 

Last Saturday I was invited to an awesome event at CorePower Encinitas,
to celebrate the opening of prAna's first Souther California retail location. 

PrAna is a lifestyle brand that draws its name from the ancient Sanskrit word for breath,
life and vitality of the spirit. 
The brand creates purposeful and stylish apparel for people to pursue their passions on the water, mat, rock, trail and street. 
Basically, they offer super cute workout clothes, and I want just about everything from their yoga line. 

The event included a class at CorePower (love their studios!)
followed by some mingling with fellow San Diego yogis.
I even got to walk away with a swag bag full of goodies from the sponsors,
including some awesome prAna yoga accessories, a fresh juice from Beaming, and a week of free yoga!
I couldn't ask for a better start to my Saturday. 
25 Highway 101
Encinitas, California

natasha

February 20, 2015

A Day in Encinitas

A couple of weeks ago, 
I had a random day off of work,
and decided to do something different. 
The weather was perfect, (reads 85 degrees in January),
so I knew I wanted to head towards the beach. 
The cute, surf town of Encinitas came to mind,
and I realized that I haven't been there in years. 
I packed up a beach blanket, with few little plans, and headed out for the day. 
And guess what?
I had a really lovely time. 
It's amazing how rejuvenating vitamin D could be for soul. 

Encinitas is only 25 miles away from San Diego,
and is totally worth a visit. 
We drove up right around lunch time,
so naturally, finding a place to dine was the first order of business. 
Not too hard of a task - Blue Ribbon Pizzeria has been on my list of "must visit" restaurants for a while now,
so I was excited to finally check it out. 
Oh my gosh, I'm so glad I tried it because it was stupid good. 
Leave it to me to stuff my belly full of pizza and beer right before heading to the beach,
but who cares! 
It was totally worth it. 

I spent the next few hours soaking in the sun,
and finished it off with a nightcap at the Bier Garden of Encinitas
Does it get much better?
Hardly. 

natasha

February 17, 2015

In Love With..

Via
-last Tuesday I met one of my favorite New Yorkers for dinner at Parq. It was gorgeous, and reminded me of one of my all-time favorite restaurants - Tavern on the Green, the old version. The opulent, dreamy wonderland version that existed decades ago, when the Leroys still managed it. Parq is truly beautiful, a perfect date spot (or a hookup spot if you visit the adjoining nightclub), and the menu, presented by executive chef Errol D. LeBlanc is delicious! Make a reservation for Tapas Tuesday, and enjoy happy hour all night!  

-omg so my friends and I are currently reading Not That Kind of Girl, and naturally I had to start watching Lena Dunham's show too. I didn't think I could get into it, but you guys, I am SO INTO IT. Nearly every episode makes me cringe from embarrassment, but it's so relatable and just easy to watch. If you're looking for a new show to binge on, give it a whirl. 

-speaking of show binging... one of my quietest moments in life was when I spent about 3 weeks doing absolutely nothing but catching up on Breaking Bad. Totally worth it, but the point of this story, is to mention that I started watching Better Call Saul. I think I'm into it. I just have to make peace with the fact that Jesse Pinkman is not going to make a cameo. Ever. But maybe? This also reminded me that I went to New Mexico last year, and totally stalked all the show hot spots.. like Walter's and Jesse's houses, and even the car wash. I took photos to prove how nerdy I am, so maybe I'll do a really late post. Stay tuned. 

-my mind is slightly blown by just how warm it's been lately. 95 degrees in February? Just stop. 

-I'm starting to plan a girls trip to Europe. With my mom. Slightly nervous about it all.. will we kill each other or will this be like the best bonding experience ever? To be determined. 

natasha

February 11, 2015

Juniper & Ivy

Oh heeeeeyyy...
Remember me?
Probably not. 

Don't worry. I didn't quit San Diego. 
Just took a little hiatus from blogging.. 
not by choice either. 
Adult responsibilities got in the way,
and between my busy work shchedule and school (oh yeah, I started my masters),
I hardly have time to do anything fun,
let alone blog about it. 

But it's one of those nights,
when I just can't do any more homework...
So I started perusing through some recent photos (and by recent, I mean photos from like the last six months), 
and I realized that there's a whole lot of amazing things happening in San Diego that you should probably know about.

Like, have you been to Juniper & Ivy yet?
Richard Blais is like a big deal now that he's an official judge on Top Chef and all,
and he has a restaurant in San Diego that's not even that new any more,
but is definitely worth your visit, because his food is a-ma-zing. 

I'm not exactly sure what "left coast edge" means,
but whatever it is, I like it. 

When it comes to cooking, I really appreciate creativity,
and in that category, Blais definitely hits the nail on the head. 
Take his "deviled eggs" for example. 
Not what you would expect.. at all. 
I'm actually not even a fan of the original.. but these? 
These I can eat all day long. 
The egg white meringue adds some sweet texture that is delicately balanced out by the yolk mousse.
The cured ham? A perfect accent. 
Definitely a must. 
Blais is constantly changing up his menu,
and since it's been several weeks.. err.. maybe even months, since I visited this place,
some of the items pictured may not be available any more. 
Like that uni toast up there. 
Give me some fresh uni.. mix it with an egg.. watch a giant smile spread across my face. 

Not sure if the squid ink pasta with lamb meatballs is on the menu any more either, 
but it should be!
Holy moly my mouth is watering as I look back on all these photos. 
Better make a dinner reservation as soon as possible. 
Ah... the Yodel. 
I see that this dessert is still on the menu, so you're in luck, cause this thing is kind of out of this world. 
First of all.. it's basically a giant piece of milky chocolate, 
stuffed with all kinds of goodness like hazelnut brittle and little balls of white chocolate.
It may not look very impressive when they bring it out.. 
"is this just a log of chocolate?"
but then... 
oh baby, then the waiter pulls out a cup of hot chocolate and tells you to hold your breath as he slowly pours that goodness onto the plate to reveal the insides of this great dessert. 
Are you excited yet?
Good!
Go check it out yourself. 
And bring some friends. 
They'll thank you. 
2228 Kettner Blvd. 
Little Italy, San Diego, CA

natasha

December 27, 2014

Malahat Spirits Co.

I'm not typically a rum drinker...
I blame it on the captain. 
But hey, I'm all about second chances, 
so when I received an invitation to come check out a new San Diego distillery and tasting room,
I decided to give rum another shot.
So glad I did!

established by Tony Grillo, Ken Lee and Tom Bleakley, 
is named after a five masted schooner that sailed down the West Coast during Prohibition. 
 Capable of carrying over 60,000 cases of spirits, 
she delivered more contraband liquor than any other ship in the Pacific. 
Anchoring off the coast of Southern California, 
she delivered her spirits to rum runners who would take the precious cargo to shore to awaiting patrons. She quickly became known as “The Queen of Rum Row”,
so if you drank your liquor in San Diego during Prohibition, 
chances are your booze came from the Malahat.  

 I personally sat down with one of the partners, Ken, 
and had six samples of their signature rum flavors. 
Malahat rums are all small-batch, handcrafted artisan rums. 
The company focuses on a white rum, a spiced rum and a ginger rum,
but they've also been playing with seasonal flavors,
and let me just tell you, 
the candy cane rum is out of this world!

Stop in for a tasting, and for just $15
you'll receive a first-class education about Malahat's distillery process,
six samples, and a glass for you to take home. 
I highly recommend it!
8706 Production Ave.
San Diego, 92121 


natasha

December 16, 2014

Rare Form & Fairweather

I know that I'm supposed to be all jolly and festive around this time of the year,
but I'm just not feelin it.
Maybe because the temperature has maintained around the mid-seventies until about 1.5 days ago,
or maybe I'm just puzzled about how a whole year has slipped by me again,
but I'm just not ready for Christmas.
Nope. 
We can try again in about a month, 
perhaps I'll come around.
Yeah right... I wish we can just stop time when we needed too. 
Instead, I'm constantly late, and stressed, and annoyed by the fact that there's never a single parking spot available around Fashion Valley in December. 
Happy Holidays.

If anyone out there is feeling my sentiments about how rough life in San Diego is,
we have about 20 seconds to bitch about it after you finish reading this post. 
After that, nobody will want to hear it, because lets face it - 
San Diego is pretty much perfect. 
But don't worry,  if the stress is getting to you, like it is to me, there's still hope.
The best advice I can give, is just to stop and smell the roast beef. 

I was feeling particularly sorry for myself last weekend,
so I decided to pause, and find a lunch spot that offers easy and delicious food, 
and if they happened to serve liquor,
well heck, that wouldn't of hurt either. 
I pulled out my phone, and gave my "SD Restuarant To-Do List" a quick scroll. 

Rare Form stood out like a sore thumb.
So while all the fools were fighting over parking spots at the mall, 
I nabbed a spot right in front of Petco Park,
which just happens to be adjacent to the newly opened bar-meets-deli.
Instant gratification. 
RARE FORM 44 - Pastrami, Braised Sauerkraut, Swiss, Special Sauce, Grilled Rye 
If I had to describe this spot with movie titles,
I would say it's a little bit of When Harry Met Sally meets Harry Potter.
The menu is pretty straight forward - 
sandwiches, soups and salads. 
But this is no ordinary deli.
It's just so... hipster, which automatically makes food taste so much better, right?
Like, you're so much cooler because you're eating this sandwich in this cool spot downtown, 
surrounded by other cool young people, and therefore, 
the endorphins that you get from all that make the food taste exponentially better. 
At least, that's my theory. 
So after you catch up with your other hipster friends,
and fill that belly with intelligent carbs.... 
Please proceed through the hallway, to your right, through a door that says "YES" and up the stairs. 
Be sure to perform an obligatory photoshoot with the rated-R piece of art, 
and you shall be rewarded with a little trip to paradise.
Also known as Fairweather,
a rooftop bar directly atop of Rare Form,
that just happens to have the best views of Petco Park. 

Treat yourself to a craft cocktail, 
and count your blessings for being able to consume a fruity cocktail (with an umbrella!),
while you soak in the sun rays. In December. 
#InLoveWithSanDiego
Tony's GROGoni - The world's famous Anthony Schmidt's version of the grog.
If you like Campari, this is your jam. 
793 J Street,
Downtown, San Diego, CA

natasha

December 9, 2014

Day at the Museum

I love being a tourist in my own city.
Any excuse to get lost in beautiful Balboa Park is good enough for me, 
so when I saw that there is a new exhibit going on at the San Diego Natural History Museum,
I made it a point to make my way over to the historical landmark.

The Discovery of King Tut recreates the awe and marvel of the moment of discovery.
Using state-of-the-art technology, the exhibition recreates a piece of the fascinating, bygone exotic empire on the Nile.
It's a great visit back in time, and overall, provides a good overview of the excavation itself, its story, and its invaluable legacy.

This was my first time visiting the SD Natural History Museum since....
I don't even know, fifth grade?!
Oh what I would give to go back to those days.. a whole week of field trips around Balboa Park?
Sounds amazing.
Kind of made me feel like a kid again,
and who doesn't love that?
The tickets for the King Tut exhibit includes admission to the whole museum, 
so make sure you schedule in a few hours to check out the rest of the NAT.
A little nature outside the Natural History Museum. 
How perfect. 
San Diego Natural History Museum
1788 El Prado, Balboa Park
San Diego, CA 92101

natasha