Yelp's Spring Break Extravaganza
Just because there's only one thing to do, doesn't mean you should stick to that one thing. There may be many opportunities at bay when you least expect it, as long as you keep an open mind to the 'what ifs' and are open to change. Although this trip was originally intended for Yelp Spring Break, many steps were taken (literally, 18k) around San Diego.
As an early riser, I made my way into La Jolla to meet up with my friend around 9am. We headed downtown to grab brunch at one of her favorite places called Brockton Villa, which was located along the cliffs with a beautiful ocean view. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit overcast and gloomy, but it was nice to be outside for that fresh air.
The favorable part of our visit was the early arrival. We were able to snag a seat on the outdoor deck, which nigh impossible if you were to arrive after 10:30am. With Brockton Villa's location prime for beachfront view, it's definitely a popular spot on weekends. Since my friend has been here often, I got the chilaquiles with carnitas per her suggestion, while she got the Breakfast Tacos with soy chorizo and a bowl of fruit.
The chilaquiles were massive with generous portions all around. Served up in a bowl, the tender carnitas topped with huge dollops of guacamole and sour cream was so bomb, but I was only able to put away a third before boxing it up to go. The bowl of fruit for $6 was highly worth it. Each offering was sweet and ripened - watermelon, orange, strawberry and pineapple.
With some time to spare before the event at 3p, we headed back to La Jolla to relax and grub on some donuts. One of her roommates brought home some Devil's Dozen Donuts, so we tried the Nutella. Massive and super puffed, the donut was much more like bread than an overgreased donut, so that was quite nice. However, the nutella tasted like regular chocolate, so flavor was a bit underwhelming.
By 2:30, we headed back into downtown to F Street and 13th to congregate at Yelp's Spring Break event. The Carnival Picnic was held at SILO in Maker's Quarter and when we arrived, there was a line along the fence with patrons anticipating the events's festivites.
The visual arts space was entertaining with carnival games, cocktail bar by Snake Oil Company, food catered by Tres Taqueria and snacks supplied by Simply 7 and Zouq. And what's a Yelp party without some Yelp swag?!
In comparison to other events, we got full plates of food instead of samplers. Tres Taqueria offered a full combo plate with rice, beans, two tacos (choice of chicken, beef or al pastor) and a churro. I chose the beef and al pastor with all the fixings - sauce, cilantro and salsa. Flavor was good, but rice and meat were a bit on the dry side.
As the time on our parking meter was nearing its end, we left the event in hopes of getting a table at Bottega Americano, but there was nothing available until after 8:45pm. Instead, we headed back to La Jolla to grab ramen at a new establishment in Convoy with the rest of the gang.
We arrived at Nishiki Ramen where the noodles and soup base are all housemade. According to the menu, it's fresh and safe with no preservatives! Alright alright...there were a few interesting combinations like Nishiki Black (black garlic oil) and BBQ & Cheese ramen that brought a twist to your traditional ramen flavors, but I decided to keep it simple with a taste of everything.
I got the All Topping ramen, which is the best deal on the menu. It says so. It comes with chashu pork, corn, menma (bamboo shoots), spinach, seaweed, ginger and a cage-free, slow egg. Noodles were springy and firm, while the broth was creamy without the richness of oils.
Friends got the Vegetable Ramen, Tokyo Shoyu and Spicy Miso. If you're still hungry with some leftover broth, you can always ask for more noodles for $1.50 additional charge. Not bad! As we finished up, Nishiki gathered quite a list of patrons during prime time. If you plan on coming through, I recommend coming in a little early if you can!
For dessert, we headed into Guiltea Cravings for some refreshments. With my latest obsession for Sea Salt Jasmine Tea from 7 Leaves, I had to try the Sea Salt Cream Jasmine tea here. With an option to choose level of sweetness (increments of 25%), I chose 50% sweet. The service was quick and with a Yelp check-in, you get 10% off! Sweet deal! The jasmine tea flavor was much lighter than I had hoped, but the sea salt cream wasn't overwhelming either.
We returned back to La Jolla to rest before hitting the gym. Yes...even on weekends, I'm dedicated on working on them gains! It gave me the opportunity to learn more about weight training and proper form, so I'm excited to incorporate the new circuit into my workout routines. By the time we finished up our workout, it was 11pm and I was homeward bound.
Although I was hoping to participate in more Yelp parties and specials throughout the weekend, San Diego just had an agenda of its own. From gloomy weather to downtown establishments booked to the brim, I had to weave my way around the city to make the most of my day. Regardless, it was well worth the trip!