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Oxtail Stew and other SoCal Delicacies

Like Luxembourg, I never have to experience this again.

Like Luxembourg, I never have to experience this again.

My latest CA foodie adventure began today. We shopped for my birthday present, a new perfectly-sized perfectly-constructed backpack with my final 105 countries in mind, and a ‘messenger bag’ for around town (Dubai, Addis Ababa…just to throw a few names around) big enough for a notebook, lipstick, credit card and phone.

We just made a reservation at a new San Diego restaurant called Juniper and Ivey which seems to be in the fashionable Nordic cuisine model—deliciously eclectic (meaning slightly odd but oh so tasty), esthetically pleasing and very pricey. All because it’s my birthday!  I am so excited, have dreamt of eating at NOMA in Copenhagen; this may be even better because they have less Hay and Greenlandic Weeds (I made that up) on the menu.

But today we had a macaroni and cheese sandwich for lunch. Yup. We did. And an undistinguished eggplant sandwich. It was just okay, but now I can truthfully say I’ve had a macaroni and cheese sandwich—for which I get points in stupid-food heaven.

I do love my San Diego holidays. It’s so much nicer to visit and have my kid take me out to dinner than live here and try to figure out how I can survive for the next week on $20—which describes my life here 18 years or so ago.

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Finally, I have tasted and I’m in love.

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The dinner table view.

The dinner table view.

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The Foodie Life

To celebrate the end of one part of life and re-energize for the onward push, I went to Southern California to eat, sleep, hang out with family and haunt the aisles of IKEA. Having family in San Diego is a very good thing. Next to Manhattan, Paris or a small tropical island somewhere (and a private plane), SoCal is right up there.

Soon I will write posts about books, travel, politics and such again but for now here’s another photo album with restaurant recommendations.

Carnitas' Snack Shack. Outdoors in the CA sun with garnishes, herbs and veggies as the decor. LOVE THIS PLACE!

Carnitas’ Snack Shack. Outdoors in the CA sun with garnishes, herbs and veggies as the decor. LOVE THIS PLACE!

Carnitas' Pork Belly App (braised duroc pork/sweet-spicy glaze-fresee salad, apples, radish, lemon viaigrette. Everything from local farms, etc.

Carnitas’ Pork Belly App (braised duroc pork/sweet-spicy glaze-fresee salad, apples, radish, lemon viaigrette. Everything from local farms, etc.

Beet Terrine (local beets, goat cheese, spinach, balsamic glaze).

Beet Terrine (local beets, goat cheese, spinach, balsamic glaze).

Sandra & me and an afternoon margarita.

Sandra & me and an afternoon margarita.

Sandra's sister, Cynthia's birthday feast. With my fave, LUMPIA.

Sandra’s sister, Cynthia’s birthday feast. With my fave, LUMPIA.

Evening at Bru's somewhere between LA and SD. Local Dever Scallops in a beurre blanc served over truffle potato puree, topped with squid ink cavier.

Evening at Bru’s somewhere between LA and SD. Local Dever Scallops in a beurre blanc served over truffle potato puree, topped with squid ink cavier.

Teresa & Steven's friend, Ashley.

Teresa & Steven’s friend, Ashley.

The Family of Foodies.

The Family of Foodies.

Bluewater Seafood & Market's Calico Amber Beer-Battered Taco (Snapper, homemade pico de gallo & jalepeno cream on a flour tortilla.

Bluewater Seafood & Market’s Calico Amber Beer-Battered Taco (Snapper, homemade pico de gallo & jalepeno cream on a flour tortilla.

Pomegranate Russian-Georgian Restaurant "Russian Borscht: Deep reddish-purple beetroot soup with beef simmered for hours to produce culinary magic."

Pomegranate Russian-Georgian Restaurant “Russian Borscht: Deep reddish-purple beetroot soup with beef simmered for hours to produce culinary magic.”

Ah, finally. Dessert.

Ah, finally. Dessert.

The New House.

The New House.

I am not old as long as I can climb to the TOP of Black Mountain.

I am not old as long as I can climb to the TOP of Black Mountain.

MADE IT!

MADE IT!

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