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July 23rd, 2014

It’s What’s Happening in San Diego Wednesday and with so many delicious options to choose from, we wanted to bring you Best of San Diego Food + Drink!  Check it out!  Any favorites on this list?

ROMESCO | PHOTO: DHANRAJ EMANUEL

Breakfast Sandwich / Sea & Smoke

Del Mar’s popular American brasserie fills made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls with three slices of ham topped with melted Cheddar cheese, two pieces of black-pepper-and-brown-sugar bacon, and a fried egg. Matt Gordon’s unique culinary creation (aka our new favorite wake-up call) is served with a ramekin of maple syrup.
2690 Via De La Valle, Del Mar

Curry Noodles / Koon Thai

Khao soi is a Northern Thai dish featuring a nest of crispy egg noodles served in a nutty curry soup and dressed with chicken, pickled cabbage, shallots, lime, and chili in oil. Carefully toss the contents together and then try to stop yourself from eating the two-meal serving in one sitting.
3860 Convoy Street, Kearny Mesa

Toffee / Sweet Bricks

Butter toffee studded with Oreo cookies, sandwiched between a top layer of white chocolate and an oreo cookie crust, makes the cookies ’n’ cream toffee triply delicious.
920 E Street, downtown

Beer Bread / 100 Wines

This hefty hunk of cornbread hopped up with Manzanita Brown Ale, rosemary, Cheddar, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika is meant for sharing (and great with beer).
1027 University Avenue, Hillcrest

Juice Bar/ Stehly Farms Market

Part indoor farmers market, part fresh juicery, the cozy new Stehly’s branch has a jam-packed juice menu with more than 30 blends to choose from, all incorporating the market’s organic produce.
2967 Beech Street, South Park

Ice Cream Flavor / Betty’s Pie Whole

Mississippi Mud Pie: Brownies, house-made marshmallow, shortbread crust, and butterscotch are swirled into rich chocolate ice cream in this totally over-the-top treat.
155 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas

Oyster Bar / Ironside Fish & Oyster

Most of us had a feeling there was a hole in the downtown-adjacent dining scene for the right oyster bar merchant. We just didn’t know how big that need was. Ironside Fish  & Oyster can barely keep up with the action. With eight or so varieties always on the menu and served over a refrigerated-metal bar so that your plate stays cold, its oyster bar is one of the most in-demand seats in town. The Kumamotos live up to their name, but it’s the super clean-tasting Vancouver Island oyster called Kusshi that slayed everyone at our table. Go early if you want a seat.
1654 India Street, Little Italy

Craft Cocktail Class at Polite ProvisionsPOLITE PROVISIONS

Cocktail Class / Spirit Society at Polite Provisions

Most of us had aThis hip Normal Heights spot is ground zero for the local craft cocktail movement. And humble drinkers can be part of the action. Learn from the best bartenders in town, as you muddle, stir, garnish, and consume—all in the name of higher education. Then, take home your skills and impress your friends. Cheers! Up next: Ryan Fitzgerald teaches a class on agave spirits (August 11). Reservations recommended.
4696 30th Street, Normal Heights

Tapas / Romesco

A good thing got even better when renowned cross-border gastronome Javier Plascencia added an extensive menu of small plates like crab- and lobster-stuffed piquillos rellenos, octopus tostadas, and huitlacoche quesadillas, all offered in the dining room of a laid-back enclave that brings a welcome new dimension to one of San Diego’s best eateries.
4346 Bonita Road, Chula Vista

Craft Cocktail Caterer /Please & Thank You Liquor Bar

Launched this past March, the mobile bar service brings Craft  & Commerce-quality cocktails and Mad Men style to your venue of choice. That’s because the menu is guided by Nate Stanton of Consortium Holdings, operated in partnership with Juan Miron and Kevin Ho of MIHO fame, and served up in chic barware curated by Farra Miron of The Hostess Haven.
ptybar.com

Bacon / Cafe La Rue

It’s just a pile of housemade bacon. It doesn’t even really fit the cast-iron skillet right. But the pork pile is smoked with perfect restraint and—oh dang—what is that butter dip on the side? It’s gold. A religious awakening of sorts. Ingredient-wise, it’s an emulsion of butter and maple syrup, with chiles and sage. Dip the bacon in that and—well, you’ve got dietary suicide, and one of the best bites you’ll have all year.
1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla

Margarita / Cantina Mayahuel

We’ve championed their carnitas, their shrimp tacos with pineapple salsa, their worth-it $7 guacamole, and their “hidden” location in Normal Heights, but this year we’re craving the margaritas. They come simple, served one of two ways: regular or blood orange. Both are spectacular, as is the selection of about a zillion tequilas, if you prefer to sip straight-up.
2934 Adams Avenue, North Park

Eggs Benedict / Acme Southern Kitchen

Their version is a low country riff on the brunch classic, with one damn delicious tasso gravy (the same gravy is also in the similarly excellent shrimp and grits on the brunch menu). That’s it. All you need to know. Oh, and that this cool steel-and-brick restaurant is the Southern charm of Terryl Gavre (Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant, Café 222).
901 E Street, downtown

Young Hickory

YOUNG HICKORY

Coffee and Beer Cafe /Young Hickory

Between the Bird Rock coffee and its wide selection of craft beer cans—not to mention acai bowls, gourmet sandwiches, and hipster-cool Young Hickory-branded products—this North Park café is a one-stop shop for bevvies of all kinds.
4096 30th Street, North Park

Up2You Cafe

UP2YOU CAFE

Honey Toast / Up2You Cafe

This Kearny Mesa mecca of sweets serves up a slab of Japanese-style white bread that’s cut into a three-by-three grid, toasted, and brushed with butter and honey. For extra flair, eaters can opt to have the golden top slathered with Nutella, custard, peanut butter, strawberry jam, almond butter, apple butter, or dulce de leche.
7770 Vickers Street, Kearny Mesa

Osso Bucco / Cucina Enoteca

Tracy Borkum’s new outpost in Del Mar looks remarkable down to the last detail, whether it’s the driving range buckets used as light fixtures or the curtains of plastic horse figurines ascending the stairs. Exec chef Joe Magnanelli sometimes gets lost among Urban Kitchen Group’s eye candy, as do the chefs de cuisine helping him on the front lines. So we’d  like to point everyone to Andrew Bachelier’s osso bucco. A generous round of Berkshire pork is served with black truffle, leek mashed potato, and sausage made with Italy’s bitter Chinotto orange, plus arugula for a little piquant green offset.
2730 Via de la Valle, Flower Hill Promenade

Juniper & Ivy

JUNIPER & IVY

Biscuit / Juniper & Ivy

He’s known for modernist cuisine, but one of Georgia transplant Richard Blais’ best dishes at his new Little Italy outpost is one of the simplest. Dotted with smoked butter and served golden brown and piping hot in a personal-sized cast-iron dish, it’s the menu’s tasty, down-home, self-rising flour-dusted black sheep.
2228 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy

Salt & Cleaver

SALT & CLEVER

Mac and Cheese / Salt & Cleaver

This indulgent dish of tender noodles bathed in silky aged white Cheddar sauce with crunchy garlic gremolata and grilled bread is the reason drawstring pants and after-dinner naps were invented.
3805 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest

Eat your heart out and enjoy!

Source: San Diego Magazine

Aquatera blog written by: Irina Polyak

July 22nd, 2014

So often people ask “what’s the deal with wireless speakers” and most times I tell people who are looking to be able to upgrade their system or be able to have music throughout their home that wireless signals can be kind of rough if you want to be able to play music on the patio, living room and bedroom and have them all play the same thing…. Especially if you are not tech friendly. There is absolutely a solution to your woes- in a word: SONOS.

sonos
Sonos gives you the freedom to be able to not only play music wirelessly from your phone, ipad or computer but also allows you to have a truly wireless speaker system. In all of my experience with wireless speakers, I have seen SO many come back. The reasons vary, but the most common is: It’s too hard to use, there are too many steps to set up, it sounds terrible, there is a voice lag. In whatever test I have put on the Sonos system, it passes with FLYING COLORS. It is completely customizable to what you as the owner would actually use. It genuinely allows you to buy only what you want and nothing you don’t need.

Surround Sound Recommendation: If you want to be able to have a 5.1 system ( 5 speakers and a subwoofer- most common set up in home to be able to play movies and listen to music) you should consider buying the Sonos Playbar, Sonos Subwoofer, and 2 play ONEs. In apartment living, play ONE speakers will be more than enough to generate ample sound for rear speakers. If you are looking to simulate surround sound, meaning you want the feel of surround but not have speakers actually behind you- just grab the SONOS soundbar and subwoofer. You would be amazed at how incredible these two pieces together actually sound!sonosplaybar

Music Only Recommendation: SONOS offers 3 standard sound dock options. The PLAY ONE is their entry level speaker, and PLAY FIVE is their biggest sound. Each speaker can work as its own independent system or you can add up to 15 speakers to your set up and have them work all together.sonosmusic

One of my favorite parts about this system is that there are NO EXTRA REMOTES! You can actually use your existing remotes or your smart device to control this entire system. What more can you ask for???

 

Aquatera Blog Written by: Tina Chapman-Wright

July 21st, 2014

Good Monday, Aquatera!!

It’s Monday again, so as we all know, that means you’ll most likely be eating something this evening. To help facilitate the after-work/pre-bedtime food-cookery, Travis Comstock, Resident Head Chef at Aquatera Kitchens, will be bringing you these sexy weekly installments of breezy meals you can whip up in no time!

Much like Travis’s dates, these dinners are designed to be cheap and easy; our goal at Aquatera Kitchens is to make your meal time as simple, inexpensive and healthy as possible. As such, I’ll be sticking to recipes that take less than thirty minutes to make, less than ten dollars to make and have less calories than eating a cake.

So throw off your work clothes, put on your eating clothes (I usually use sweats) and get ready to cook!!!

On the Menu Tonight:

Chicken en Escabeche

Chicken Escabeche

This recipe is adapated from chef Rick Bayless’s Everyday Mexican. It’s high on healthful veggies and protein, low on refined carbs. Bone apetite!

Most people only know escabeche from the spicy carrots and jalapenos you’ll find at Mexican fast food stalls. This recipe is escabeche on a grander scale, forming a spicy yet sweet apple cider vinegar broth base for braising succulent chicken thighs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Whole Carrots
  • 1 Small-Medium White Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Salt, Mexican Oregano, Ground Allspice, Pepper
  • 1 Small Can Whole Jalapenos en Escabeche (La Costena works well)
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Chicken Thighs (2 lbs Total), Bones and Skin Intact

Prep:

  • Combine 1 t pepper, 2 t mexican oregano, 1/2 t ground allspice and 1 t salt in a bowl and mix together well (t=teaspoon). This is the seaoning for the chicken as well as the sauce.
  • Peel 2 carrots on a cutting board, then slice julien style. Youtube how to cut veggies julien style
  • Cut 1 small onion into circular ringlets about 1/4 inch thick each
  • Smash two cloves garlic with the back of a knife to remove skins, then cut each piece in half
  • Stem and seed 4 whole jalapenos, then cut them into 1/4 inch strips; set aside
  • Coat both sides of the chicken thighs with half the spice mixture; reserve the other half for the braising part

Cook:

  • Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high for five minutes. Leave it alone for five minutes.
  • One by one, drop the chicken thighs into the skillet and brown from 1-2 minutes per side until they’re a nice aromatic golden. Remove to a plate with tongs, leaving behind as much oil as possible.
  • Add the sliced carrots and onion to the pan and stir frequently until the onion is golden brown, about 7 minutes
  • Add the garlic cloves and stir for an additional minute until aromatic
  • Pour in the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar and Jalapeno strips. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture evenly throughout the sauce, then stir to mix well
  • One by one, nestle the chicken thighs into the sauce in the pan, skin side up. Cover and cook for fifteen minutes, or until an internal kitchen thermometer shows that they’re done. We’re gonna finish cooking the chicken by braising it in the sweet and spicy sauce, which will both flavor and tenderize the chicken.

Pairings:

  • Pacifico with lime

And there you have it! The secret to the tantalizing smell that is always hanging around the office around lunchtime! Mystery solved.

Until next Monday!! Bon jer!!

 

July 7th, 2014

We have the best residents!  S’mores brownie treats on a Monday?  Yes please!  So yummy!!!!!!  Thank you so much Rose and Chris for this delicious treat!!

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July 7th, 2014

Happy Monday Aquatera!

I know it’s basically summer all year long in San Diego, but there are soooo many activities to take advantage of during the actual summer months, NOW!!!  One of my favorite things to do in San Diego, is take advantage of the many outdoor movie options so when you’re not enjoying Aquatera’s very own monthly Movie Under the Stars, check out some of these other options around the city!

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The Pearl

The midcentury-style motel transforms into a “dive-in theatre” every Wednesday, with films projected on a screen overlooking the oyster-shaped pool. Hotel guests and walk-ins are allowed to swim, but reservations are recommended. Ongoing, free, thepearlsd.com

Movie Under the Stars

Hotel La Jolla’s Hiatus Lounge brings flicks like The Great Gatsby and Top Gun to its poolside venue every Wednesday this summer. Expect drink specials, gratis blankets, and toasty fire pits. May 21–August 27, free, cusprestaurant.com

Alexander’s on 30th

Pair a romantic al fresco meal with a movie on the charming patio at this North Park spot. Don’t forget your conversation starters; the movies play without sound. Mondays, dine-in guests only, alexanderson30th.com

Cinema Under the Stars

This weatherproof outdoor theater, which plays new and classic flicks Thursdays through Sundays in the summer, feels more like a cozy backyard movie night with heat lamps. Reserve zero-gravity seats in advance and embrace the evening chill with provided blankets and pillows. Ongoing, $14 (members), $15 (non-members), topspresents.com

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

The verdant space at Stone’s Liberty Station location includes a courtyard where movies screen every Tuesday. May 27–August 26, free, stonelibertystation.com

Films in the Garden

Roman Holiday is one of four films scheduled during the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor film series. Forgot to pack a picnic? Grab a bite from the new (and as of yet unnamed) Balboa Park eatery from the team behind Blind Lady Ale House. July 14–August 25, free, sdmart.org

Flicks at the Fountain

From Willy Wonka to E.T. and Frozen—it doesn’t get more family-friendly than Carlsbad’s lineup of movies on Thursdays at the picturesque fountain by the corner of State Street and Grand Avenue. July 10–August 28, free, carlsbad-village.com

Happy Summer Aquatera!

Aquatera blog written by: Irina Polyak

July 6th, 2014

So sad to see these guys leave Aquatera, but to England they must go!  Cutest going away gift for us with Baloo in a picture frame while at his San Diego home.  Adorable!  We will miss you and best of wishes on your UK adventures!

photo 1 photo 2Aquatera blog written by: Irina Polyak

June 30th, 2014

It’s almost 4th of July and if you’re looking for things to do, here is your guide to the city’s best fireworks!  The skies around the city will fill with fireworks this Friday as San Diego locals and visitors celebrate the 4th of July.  Wondering where to take in the fun?  Don’t worry- we’ve got you covered!  Below is a list of some favorite stretches of sand, spectacular fireworks shows around and places to watch the fireworks in San Diego.

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San Diego

  • Annual Big Bay Boom July 4 Fireworks Show
    Location: Multiple Locations along San Diego Bay
    Time: 9:00 PM
    Take in the largest display in the county, with fireworks launched from four barges strategically placed around North San Diego Bay, they can be seen from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero area and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing. Just find a place along the bay and you will not be disappointed. Music from 105.7 “The Walrus” FM radio.
  • Sea to Shining Sea 4th of July Firework
    Location:
     SeaWorld San Diego – 500 SeaWorld Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
    Time: Fireworks at 10:10 PM
    SeaWorld San Diego is excited to light up the sky with an amazing fireworks extravaganza to celebrate the 4th of July.
  • Ocean Beach
    Location: Ocean Beach Pier at the end of Newport Ave.
    Time: 9:00 PM
    Spend the day picnicking, swimming in the ocean, walking and playing in the sand and shopping along Newport Ave. Then bundle up as the sun sets and pull up a blanket for a really spectacular fireworks show launched from the OB Pier.
  • Old Town 4th of July
    Location: Old Town State Historic Park
    Time: 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM
    Parade, crafts and activities of early San Diego recreate an old fashioned Independence Day celebrated on the frontier. (no fireworks)

Coronado

  • 4th of July Celebration in Coronado
    Location:
     Various Locations on Coronado
    Time: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Celebrate the 4th of July in the Crown City with a parade down Orange Avenue at 10:00 AM, a concert in Spreckels Park at 4:00 PM and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9:00 PM.

North County Coastal

  • San Diego County Fair 4th of July Celebration
    Location:
     Del Mar Fairgrounds - 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar
    Date: July 4, 2014
    Time: Starts at 9:30 AM, Fireworks at 9:00 PM
    Start off the day at the Fair with a patriotic opening ceremony at 9:30 AM, then enjoy the Hometown Heroes Parade at 7:00 PM, a concert provided by the Navy Band Southwest followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
  • Red, White and BOOM!
    Location:
     LEGOLAND California - One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad
    Time: Fireworks at 8:30 PM
    Take the whole family and spend the day enjoying over 60 rides, shows and attractions along with some all-American picnic games like burlap races and water-balloon tosses and then top it off with an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to patriotic music.
  • Oceanside’s Independence Day Parade
    Location: North on N Coast Hwy 101 from Wisconsin Ave to Civic Center Drive (just past City Hall)
    Date: June 28, 2014
    Time: 10:00 AM
    Come see floats, bands, walking groups, cool cars and much more. The theme this year is “The Spirit of Freedom.” (no fireworks)
  • Oceanside Fireworks Show
    Location: El Corazon Site at Rancho Del Oro Road
    Date: July 3, 2014
    Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
    Bring a beach chair and enjoy Oceanside Fireworks Show with music by El Camino High School and Oceanside High School bands along with bites from amazing food trucks.
  • Camp Pendelton Beach Bash
    Location: Del Mar Beach on Camp Pendelton
    Date: July 4, 2014
    Military members and their families enjoy an explosive fireworks show, live bands, a video tribute, sun, surf, patriotism and Esprit de Corps all in one day at the 4th of July Beach Bash!

Aquatera blog written by: Irina Polyak

June 9th, 2014

Get stoked! It’s time for the most adorable surf event of the year. At the 2014 Unleashed by Petco Surf Dog Competition, the most fearless dogs will jump on their boards, paddle out and hang 20! This event must be seen to be believed. Check out highlights from past events, and bring the whole family for a day of rad competitions, goodies and fun!

Now in its ninth year, the Surf Dog Competition promises to be a sweet time for two- and four-legged dudes and dudettes. Enter your dog in the surf competition or just come take in all the fun under the sun!

Click HERE for more info

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Location:

2 Elder Ave.
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
(to the left of the pier)

other dog and family-friendly activities

so much more than surfing

  • Sandcastle sculpting
  • Chill zone
  • Kid zone
  • Beginners agility course
  • Dog wash
  • Dog adoptions
  • Retailer booths
  • Off-leash play area
  • Beer garden
  • Food trucks
Aquatera blog written by: Irina Polyak
June 5th, 2014

Gorgeous setting, beautiful couple, and loving friends and family — sometimes the recipe to a perfect wedding is just that simple.  And a fantastic photographer to capture it all.   I know we’re pretty excited about Matt Murrell’s recent wedding, but as we see more and more photos, it’s just hard to resist NOT to share.   These images are absolutely magical and all of the details are breathtaking!    Don’t they look like they belong on a front cover of a bridal magazine?

There are just a few images included here…

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS of Matt & Sydney’s wedding

Photographer:  Petula Pea Photography//Reception Venue: Bernardo Winery//Caterer: Cafe Merlot//Hair Stylist: Jellis faces//DJ:Party People San Diego//

From their Photographer: With an incredible couple and a wedding party as big as Sydney + Matt’s, you have two things… AMAZING friends/family on both sides –and- a lot of help for me at the girls’ getting-ready house {thank you ladies, by the way!}. I arrived at Sydney’s parents house to a ton of gorgeousness to photograph, and a bride as cool as a cucumber. Writing her vows when I walked in, the light behind Sydney was a marvel, and, so their journey of wedding images began. Sooooo many gorgeous details accompanied their day and you would never know that Sydney did most of her designs and creations herself {DIY Wedding!}. Each detail complimented the Bernardo Winery’s rustic and whimsical ambiance . From the burlap accents to the baby’s breath flowers in the bridesmaid’s hair, her wedding was nothing short of a fairytale out of a wedding magazine. Sydney + Matt, your love for each other is so sweet and true. Your families are so kind and soooo sweet! Thank you for the honor to capture your love story and for treating us so kindly as if we were one of your guests. Congratulations again and we hope that your honeymoon in Kauai was magical. Xoxo, Patty

murrell7 Murrell6 Murrell5 Murrell4 Murrell3 Murrell2 Murrell1

Aquatera blog written by: Irina Polyak

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