Starlite

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This past weekend, I was in San Diego. I was there once before, also for a weekend, so, it was great to be able to hit up some spots that I wasn’t able to before. First stop was at Starlite in Midtown. This restaurant and bar prides itself in its architecture and aesthetic, as well it should, because all the details are pretty stunning. Which, you’ll see as soon as you walk through their hexagonal front doors.

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To start, I had their Starlite Mule (Rain Vodka, ginger beer, lime, Angostura bitters). Now, aside from this drink just looking large and in charge, the contents were just as great. Not too strong, not too weak, and tastes delicious. I mean, I’m not sure what else you could ask for. Well, maybe to keep the cool mug. Oh wait, you can totally purchase that there too. Damn, they’ve thought of everything. 

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As an appetizer for the table, we got Broccoli and Cheddar Fritters (with honey mustard sauce). Definitely order these. The fritters are golden brown and crisp on the outside, and filled with chopped broccoli and cheddar. You get those nostalgic flavors of cheddar covered broccoli you ate as a kid (because slathering cheese over food is a sure fire way to get a kid to eat their veggies), mixed with the light, bready texture and rich flavor of the batter. Dip those bad boys (or girls) in the honey mustard sauce, take a bite, fall in love. Repeat. 

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Then as a main I ordered the Grilled Octopus (marinated garbanzo beans, arugula, smoked paprika aioli and lemon). Well, octopus is one of my favorite things, so, I had to order it and put theirs to the test. Luckily, they passed. The octopus was cooked perfectly, totally tender and lightly crisp from the slight char on the outside. The aioli was a nice component for a bit of dipping, adding a nice smokiness and creaminess to each bite.

The Shorts:
Name: Starlite
Location: 3175 India Street, San Diego
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. After dinner, we went up to their rooftop, which, was just delightful. I’d recommend heading up there at some point.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Whether you’re just in the mood for a good cocktail, or snacks, or, the whole shebang, they’ve got you covered.

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Miguel’s Cocina

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I was just in San Diego for the first time, which was an amazing break from the NYC frigid temperatures. I was only there for a bit over a day, but still found time to stop for some Mexican food at Miguel’s Cocina in Carlsbad. 

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For over thirty years, Miguel’s Cocina has been serving authentic Mexican cuisine, including their handmade tortillas, fresh salsas, and colorful crispy chips made daily right in their kitchen. And speaking of these chips and salsas, a full basket of Chips, Salsa and Queso are dropped off at your table upon sitting. Yeah, free queso, when does that happen? At Miguel’s, learn about it. The chips are warm, crisp, and addicting. The salsa is fresh and has a really nice heat to it, which you can cool down with the smooth and creaminess of the queso. 

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I started with a beverage, and chose their Hibiscus Margarita (Bracero Blanco, Monin hibiscus, lime juice, cinnamon). I really enjoyed this, it was sweet, but not overly sweet or floral. It’s a really pleasant and light cocktail that actually carries a bit more potency than you’d suspect from the smooth taste. 

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For my entree, I ordered the Sesame-Seared Tuna Salad (Pink grapefruit salsita and ginger-habanero vinaigrette). I loved this salad. The ingredients are fresh and abundant, and dressed with a spicy ginger-habanero vinaigrette. Caution, it is definitely on the spicier side, so, if spice isn’t your thing, take the dressing on the side. The tuna was perfectly seared, just giving it a kiss on the outside and rare in the center.

The Shorts:
Name: Miguel’s Cocina
Location: 5980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, San Diego
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the atmosphere is bright and airy, the service is great and the food is super tasty.
Would I recommend it? For sure, all the food looked amazing, and it’s right by the beach. So, stop by for a drink, a meal, a snack, whatever, and walk it off with a stroll in the sand.