Whenever we travel, scouting out and trying the best local eats is one of my top priorities. I’m constantly bookmarking / screenshotting yummy-looking places and badgering Nick to go a little out of our way sometimes for a bite. I wanted to share some of our favorite spots along the route of San Diego to Los Angeles from our trip last month, for anyone planning a visit. I would also LOVE some recommendations around those areas for our future visits!
Starting in San Deigo, we landed and made our way to Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream. Move over, beer flights…this place has the cutest mini ice cream flights with your choice of sugar or house-made waffle cones. You can get singles or flights of 3, 4, 5…up to 32 for enthusiasts who want to try every flavor! I called up a local hungry friend who eagerly ditched work to help us polish this off. If you’re having trouble narrowing down options, the Banana brownie storm, POG (pineapple orange guava) sorbet and thai iced tea were a few of our favorites.
One thing Nick always misses from home are the tacos, so we make sure to get our fix whenever there. TJ Oyster Bar is a small chain outside of San Diego with delish seafood tacos and ceviche. I’m not even a big taco person but I loove the tasty octopus and garlic shrimp tacos (so many shrimp for the price!) here, and the fish or shrimp cevice – be sure to ask for extra tostadas for scooping it up.
Kawamata Seafood – in Dana Point, CA right off the 5 freeway. I can’t believe this was our first time trying poke bowls, a Hawaiian specialty. As an avid sushi and chirashi lover who usually spends a good 5 minutes at dinner cutting everything into bite-sized pieces, I felt like this dish was made for me. You get to choose from ahi tuna, salmon, octopus (or a mix) with a variety of sauces and add-on toppings, and white or brown rice. Soo good and felt light but filling.
Boiling Point – Irvine, CA (also right off the 5 freeway) and multiple other locations around the US. We read there’s usually long wait times but we went during a non-peak time and were seated right away. I’m the biggest hot pot enthusiast but this was the first time we tried it Taiwanese-style! I’ve never ordered hot pot with all of the ingredients coming out already stewing in the pot. For adventurous eaters, there are interesting, authentic items to choose from like stinky tofu (very palatable name, I know). I can’t wait to try to Seattle location when visiting my brother.
Brodard – almost 4,000 reviews on yelp say it all for their famed pork & shrimp spring rolls or nem nuong cuon. My friend Wendy first took me here for these (I had never seen her so enthusiastic about food!), which are apparently high in the ranks of Vietnamese comfort food. I can see a platter of these being the perfect late-night drinking food.
Cafe Maji – two locations in Artesia or Arcadia, CA. Within a few moments of posting this on FB and IG several of you guys asked if this was a pregnancy announcement…rest assured no baby bear on the way, it was just the barista’s choice that day : ) Everything looked amazing but the green tea latte and green tea/strawberry/red bean waffle were a little too sweet for us. We did however love the regular cappuccino and the tasty little cream puff it comes with. Looking forward to trying their other drinks and quesadillas next time.
Mikawaya mochi – in Little Tokyo, LA. Home of the boxes of mochi sold at Trader Joe’s. My mind was blown to see “mochilatos” on the menu…little glutinous rice balls stuffed with creamy gelato instead of regular ice cream. At $1 to $1.50 a pop, these are perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth after a ramen meal in the area.
Photos are all from my Instagram. As mentioned above, we visit every so often so I’d absolutely love more recommendations in the SD to LA areas!