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.

Coyo Taco

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I love tacos. Like, a lot. So, when I was in Miami, I was definitely excited to stop by Coyo Taco in Wynwood for my fix. Most times, if you think of a quick-serve taco place, you might be thinking of that Bell spot where everything is, well, gross. Hate me now if you love it, but you’re doing tacos all wrong. In fact, I don’t even know why we’re discussing this. So, I’ll continue. Let’s imagine a place that serves up Mexican street food, where the ingredients are handcrafted, locally sourced, 100% natural, and the meats are naturally raised and humanely treated. Too good to be true? Perhaps, but it exists at Coyo Taco. And, did I mention it’s all served up quickly and super affordably priced? Well, I just did. 

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I ordered a couple things, and started with their Elote De Calle (corn on the cob, chipotle aioli, cotija). I absolutely love Mexican street corn, and this was really delicious. You really can’t go wrong with a fresh ear of corn, grilled, and smothered with all the goodness of chipotle aioli and cotija cheese. It’s science. The only thing I will say, is that I only noticed after I ordered, that they offer Esquite, which is off the cob. Because, let’s be real, there’s no glamorous way to eat a huge thing of corn on the cob coated in aioli and cheese. 

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Then, I had the Pulpo Tacos (hand pressed flour tortillas, charred octopus, salsa veracruzana, pickled jalapeños). I’ve had my fair share of octopus at some more upscale restaurants, and for only $9, these are a strong competitor. I always appreciate a stuffed-to-the-gills taco, but, you’ll need to bust out the fork and knife at some point for these guys. The flavors are all outstanding here, everything is fresh and each ingredient pops. The charred octopus is tender, and had that great smokiness and slight char on the outside. They were amazing. 

The Shorts: 
Name: Coyo Taco
Location: 2300 NW 2nd Avenue #3, Miami, FL
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Absolutely. The food is awesome, and there are a number of picnic tables outside, in addition to seating inside, so you can enjoy your tacos al fresco. 
Would I recommend it? Definitely. Everything is really affordable, fresh, and delicious. You’re also a few blocks away from the Walls of Wynwood, so you can check out some incredible wall art after your meal.