04 December 2015
24 Hours in San Diego
Well, I was there for slightly more than 24 hours, but I was also being very lazy part of the time, so I probably only did 24 hours' worth of stuff. It was an OK time.
Donut Bar: They're all yeast-based donuts (like Krispy Kremes), but they do come in a lot of pretty variations of frosting decoration.
Balboa Park: If I lived in SD, I would go here every week. There are so many museums (not huge, but nicely curated), walking trails, and just great places to sit and gawk. I loved walking in the desert and rose gardens, and the art museum and botanical building were pleasant. The mind-blowing tree pictured above was in the desert garden, which was like walking around in a Doctor Seuss book. Don't waste the $5 on the Art Institute; try another campus around town instead. I would go back and walk down in the palm canyon if I could, especially on a hot day. The park was originally built for the 1915 World's Fair, and buildings are lovingly recreated from the original Spanish Renaissance style that formed the theme of the exhibition.
Little Italy I went here after dark, had delicious beer at Acoustic Ales (see above photo), and ate amazingly prepared, fresh seafood at Blue Water Seafood and Market, which is basically a fish market with casual seating where you go up to the counter to order meals. I had (environmentally irresponsible) swordfish in their "platter" configuration, which included a big, diverse salad with homemade dressing and jasmine rice alongside a very generous portion of grilled fish with your marinade of choice. It was heaven. These places were both a short walk from the Washington Street Station off the Trolley (which is actually light rail) green line.
Hillcrest Neighborhood: If you take the 120 bus to Balboa Park, you'll get off at 4th & Laurel in the Hillcrest neighborhood, and then walk a couple of blocks East to the park. Cucina Urbana offers a fresh, Cali-twist on Italian food and a great, local-centric wine bar. At happy hour, there are some great dips (I loved the cannellini bean hummus with smoked tomato), cheeses, and charcuterie on offer. Artisan Bento across the street is basically a Japanese deli, with simple, fresh sushi options, soups, rice bowls,bento boxes, and salads behind the counter, and some great happy hour deals on all wines and sake. The seaweed salad was ridiculously good.