In the spirit of further figuring what’s great about San Diego besides my mom’s cooking, I took some recommendations from my favorite barista at my favorite coffee shop, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. She told me her latest places du jour were Craft and Commerce and Starlite, so for my “Friday” night I tried them both. I’d seen the front sign for Starlite from the 5, and it looked like a 50’s throwback lounge. It was in a way, but way fancier then I was expecting. The place reminded me of a “posh” lounge that I’ve seen appear in the Valley in LA. Classy 50’s throw back decor, fantastic cocktail menu, but kind of in the middle of nowhere. For dinner I had the “daily catch”, halibut cooked to perfection with a side salad (it was late at night and the menu online has many other more exciting dishes that I was disappointed weren’t available on the ‘late night’ menu). From what I’d read, the Starlite Mule(their version of the Moscow Mule), was the signature cocktail, so I couldn’t leave with out trying it. Its Rain vodka, ginger beer, lime, and bitters. Served in a copper mug and way awesomer than a drink named after a donkey sounds.
Next stop was Craft and Commerce in Little Italy. Its basically a gastro-pub (Goddamn I’m sick of that phrase). Don’t want to pretend I hated it (I felt right up my alley), but its literally Little Williamsburg. Great beer on tap, mustache and suspender clad staff, farm to plate menu. Its a fantastic dose of Brooklyn if you need a fix. If I had anything bad to say about Craft and Commerce, its just my semi New Yorker bias. My assessment 4 days later is “what the fuck, this is a lame copy of Fette Sau”, but that night I had a blast(maybe its was the perfectly prepared Sazeracs), and its a great addition to the city.
The beauty, in my mind, of San Diego is that its 20 miles, AKA 20 minutes from Mexico. Check this out. I got two nights off, one night I explored San Diego, USA, woke up at 1PM to drive debajo de la frontera and the next night I partied in Mexico(and still was on time for work the next day). I don’t know what it is, but I felt a sense of relief as soon as I crossed the border in Mexico. Ensenada is the closest city I like, so that was the goal. Goddamn Mexico, why do I love you so? As soon as I was out of the car shooting the shit with the bartender over a michelada and tequila shot everything felt good. Went to my favorite seafood spot in Ensenada(thank you Marlene) for dinner and partied it up downtown late night. I don’t know why, but micheladas, ceviche and fish tacos are the key to my soul and I finally satisfied my fix.