August 2011

Uni at the Little Italy Farmers Market

This weekend, some of us went to eat fresh uni straight from the shell. An uni guy sells them at the Little Italy farmers market for $8 each if you want to have it cleaned and ready to eat immediately. For $5 you can take one home and do it yourself. The vendor gets the urchins from a diver who catches them off the coast of La Jolla and Point Loma so we are talking real local. I have to admit it got a little intense for me considering the animal was alive just moments before it was halved with a knife and gutted but it was perhaps one of the freshest seafood tastes I’ve ever experienced.

Uni, by the way is the Japanese name for sea urchin, of which its roe is eaten — rather, savored. I like to call it the ocean’s butter; it is that rich and special. It can be eaten straight-up as we did on Saturday, or with rice in sushi, or in warm pasta sauces, or mixed with olive oil to be dipped with bread.

We also indulged in a few fresh oysters.

And there were of course plenty of bright tomatoes to admire.

Summer’s bounty, I love you!

A Taste of San Diego

I dedicate this post to San Diego and all of its delicious glory. Here is a taste of San Diego in one weekend.

FRIDAY:
Blind Lady Alehouse
in Normal Heights. An entire wall of this establishment is pretty much a set of windows, which I love. Sunlight streams in and hits our glasses, making our delicious beers glow like lanterns.

Left: An imperial stout (forgot name) and Alesmith’s Lil’ Devil. Right photo: Coronado Idiot IPA and Coronado Orange Wheat.

Clams and mussels

Ice cream cones from Mariposa — also in Normal Heights. Banana is one of my favorite flavors. I kept hearing about Mariposa so I was determined to try it. Very nice ice cream that is on the icier, less creamy side.

Banana walnut and maple walnut

SATURDAY:
Cafe Zinc in Solana Beach.

Salad and a vegetarian quiche

A pink hydrangea

Bronx Pizza in Hillcrest. By far my favorite pizza joint in all of San Diego because I love New York-style pizza. By the way, my friend and I almost finished the entire pizza! Just two slices left, which will be wonderful as leftovers tomorrow. Just needs a quick trip to the oven. I may also add sliced fresh tomatoes and baby spinach to jazz it up.

Cheese pie at Bronx Pizza

SUNDAY
Hillcrest Farmers Market, where have you been all my life?? I can’t believe I’ve been going to the La Jolla market all this time without ever stepping foot in any of San Diego’s other fine outdoors markets. I was so impressed by Hillcrest. I actually left to get more cash from an ATM so I could buy more. Toward the end I had to tear myself away before I spent a fortune on all the fine produce. Next, I’ll have to visit Little Italy’s market.

Loved how these were still in a mangled bunch. Wild!

Edible flowers

Radishes and a vegetable I do not know.

Bright heirlooms. Tomato season is finally here.

Raw zucchini with chili and lemon

I must have a few words about these samples. One produce stand went the extra mile and seasoned them. It caught my eye immediately. I tried the tomatoes mixed with cilantro — divine. But what blew my mind was the sliced zucchini plate pictured above. It was so zesty! Not only was it attractively sliced like so, it was seasoned with lemon, salt, and a Mexican chili spice. It was truly inspiring. I also didn’t know one could eat zucchini raw.

Tomatos with cilantro

Below: Fresh Mexican juice. I had the watermelon and it was so beyond refreshing. It was the perfect thing for a sunny, hot walk down the market stands. Next time I’m getting strawberry.

Thank you San Diego for another wonderful weekend of eats. See you next time.