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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Holy Taco

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My mini food tour of Atlanta continues, and I was in need of some Mexican food. Sure, Atlanta isn’t the first place you’d think of when you’re looking for some Mexican food, but, if a city’s making it, I’m trying it. So, I was off to Holy Taco. To play off of the name, the decor fits its namesake with paintings and pictures of some crosses, mixed with a bit of a Dia de los Muertos vibe.

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They focus on a modern Mexican cuisine with a seasonal and locally influenced menu. I started off with their Organic Margarita, mainly because, I don’t think I’ve technically had an organic margarita, and I’ve tried many margaritas. So, yeah, it tasted like a regular margarita, but, it was still lovely and refreshing (and yes, I know you can’t taste organic).

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To start, as an appetizer, I ordered their Ecuadorian Salsa (pureed San Marzano tomato, serrano chile, scallions) and Guacamole (smashed avocado, onion, jalapeño, tomato, cilantro, lime) with chips. These were both awesome, along with the chips. The salsa had a really nice, fresh flavor with a little kick of heat, and the chips were crisp, perfectly salted, and a little bit on the thicker side, making them excellent little salsa and guac shovels. The guac was great, really fresh as well, excellent texture and just the right amount of spice.

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Then, I got two tacos, Vegan (black beans, saffron rice, avocado, radish, Ecuadorian salsa) and Fried Mahi Mahi (mexican slaw, chipotle mayo), both on corn tortillas. So, to my surprise, I actually favored the Vegan taco a bit. Wrapped in two tortillas, for extra filling support, this was a really substantial taco. You really can’t go wrong with the combination of ingredients here. All the flavors went so well together, and the salsa added some heat to round out the creaminess of the avocado, while the beans and rice added some heft. The fish taco was really nice as well, the fried Mahi Mahi had an excellent crunch, and I really enjoyed the slaw as well. I was maybe just missing a little bit of salt on the fish, just to bring out the flavors a little bit more, but, you can always add it afterward, to your taste and liking. 

The Shorts:
Name: Holy Taco
Location: 1314 Glenwood Avenue, Atlanta, GA
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes. What I actually liked just as much as the food, was the service. The staff was super nice and made the experience really great. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, they also have patio seating in the front. So, on a nice day, grab a drink, some snacks and tacos, and enjoy it all al fresco.