Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Phuong Trang

They call it lemonade, but it's really limeade.  AND IT'S DELIGHTFUL.
Egg rolls!  We love them. 
Howie says this kind of wrapper is better, but I just think it's different.
This is the giant pile of greenery that came with my rice wrap.
There is even pineapple!  (In a good way.)
Pork for inside the rice wrap. 
Grilled with some kind of sweet sauce that gets all caramelized.  Yes please.
Nick got the beef cube steak and fried rice. 
It was crazy delicious, but Nick is fired from taking pictures.
Sarah got the bun with shrimp.  Sarah can take pictures any time.
Miko got the salmon with lemongrass.  ALSO DELIGHTFUL.
This is better at Convoy Noodle House, we think.
Rating: Two thumbs up!
Date: 6/11/11
Time In: 7:53 PM
Time out: 9:28 PM
Server's recommendations: Beef cube steak with fried rice, salmon with lemongrass and hot pepper, any of the rice paper wraps, oven-roasted catfish, egg rolls
What we ordered: Egg rolls, beef cube steak with fried rice, salmon with lemongrass and hot pepper, rice wraps with pork skewers, vermicelli shrimp bowl (bun), lemonade, fresh-squeezed orange juice, soda, dessert
Number in our party: 4
Final check amount: $61.99
  • Everything was fantastic. The salmon, steak, and pork were especially good. 
  • The servers were friendly and enthusiastic in their recommendations.
Address: 4170 Convoy Street
Phone number: 858.565.6750
Website: http://www.phuongtrangrestaurant.com/

Accepts credit cards? Yes
Parking: Private lot shared with a plaza

Ideal group size: 2-8
Available vegetarian options: Whole page of vegetarian options

Who not to bring: People who hate delicious food, or people who only eat Nilla wafers and chicken fingers
Noise level: 3.5

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sushi Dokoro Shirahama

Don't be scared, it's nice inside.


This is everything we ordered.

Rating: Two thumbs up
Date: 6/11/11 
Time In: 7:00 PM 
Time out: 7:45 PM 
Server's recommendations: Shimaaji
What we ordered: Shimaaji, hamachi, sake (salmon), tamago, pickle roll 
Number in our party:
Final check amount: $29.36 
  • They have a small menu -- all they do is sushi.  And they do it WELL.
  • They do not have any kind of fancy gaijin rolls like the "sexy roll" or "dragon roll" or whatever.  This is OG sushi.  They don't have California rolls.
  • The salmon nigiri was the best we've had in San Diego.  
  • The recommended shimaaji was also delicious.
  • The atmosphere is a bit intimidating.  We felt like we should be on our best Japanese behavior, lest we offend anyone.  For example: we whispered. I (Miko) felt like I shouldn't write anything in my Convoy Conquest binder once we ordered.  And we knew it would be tacky to ask to split the check, since it would cause the restaurant extra hassle.
Address: 4212 Convoy St 
Phone number: 858.560.0080
Website: http://www.sushidokoro-shirahama.com/index.html 
Accepts credit cards? Yes 
Parking: Private lot shared with a plaza 
Ideal group size: 1-3 
Available vegetarian options: Cucumber roll, pickle roll
Noise level: 2 (because of awesome Enka music--no one was talking loudly)
Who not to bring: Small children, people who don't have a decent understanding of Japanese rules of politeness

Friday, June 10, 2011

Big Joy Family Bakery

Carefully wrapped and organized.


The kabocha cheese tart that we really wanted.


Sample: banana pound cake.

BLAT sandwich.

Turkey avocado sandwich.

They give you sugar syrup for your iced coffee. 
So thoughtful!

The pumpkin soup needed salt and
could do without the dried parsley.

Sea salt caramel macaroon.

Almond meringue.
Rating: Two thumbs up! 
Date: 6/10/11
Servers' recommendations: Sandwiches 
What we ordered: Turkey avocado and BLAT sandwiches (come with tea/coffee and chips for $4.99 each(!)), pumpkin soup, castella, sea salt caramel macaroon, almond meringue. Number in our party:
Final check amount: $19.30 
  • It's kind of like heaven.  Peaceful, calming, and neat, where it feels like you're being carefully taken care of.  But not in an overbearing way.  And it smells like delicious baking.
  • A lady came in, stopped, breathed in deeply, and said, "Oh, that's not right."
  • It took about 20 minutes to get our food, so don't come here when you're in a hurry.
  • I love the almond meringue.  It's crunchy, buttery, and light.  Yum.  (Miko)
  • Everyone is wearing cute aprons.  The cashier's said "I Bake with Love."
  • The sandwiches aren't particularly outstanding, but the experience is calming and reassuring.  If you're stressed, bring a book and come hang out here.
  • They are usually playing lovely classical music. 
  • Their cafe au lait is outstanding.
Address: 4176 Convoy St, Ste A & B
Phone number: 858.627.0888
Website: http://bigjoyfamily.com/
Accepts credit cards?
Yes, but there's a $0.50 fee.
Private plaza with plenty of parking
Ideal group size:
Available vegetarian options:
Baked goods, veggie sandwich
Noise level: 1.5
Who not to bring: Loud children, people talking on cell phones

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tasty Bakery

Here's what they got.

Fruity Swan! If I ever have a boat I'm going to name it that.

These...weren't very tasty.
Rating: Two thumbs down
Date: 6/3/11
Number in our party: 2
  • The bakery has a friendly vibe, which makes us feel slightly guilty about giving them a thumbs-down.
  • The mung bean pastry is okay, but it isn't amazing.
  • The macaroon-like coconut cookies are intensely sweet and too burnt.  We had to force ourselves to finish ours.
  • There are just too many good bakeries on this street to want to go again.
  • I picked the heart-shaped thing because it gave me this crazy deja vu for some reason.  Sadly, it was dry and too sweet, and it had pineapple in it, but not in a good way. (Jenne)
Address: 4344 Convoy St
Phone number: 858.278.2866
Website: http://www.yelp.com/biz/tasty-bakery-san-diego
Private lot shared with a plaza 
Ideal group size: N/A
Available vegetarian options:
Noise level: 2

Quoc Te II International Seafood Restaurant - CLOSED

A few pages of the giant menu.

We didn't know what any of this was, but it was delicious.

Bun!  With interesting egg rolls.

Rating: One thumb up (Jenne), one sideways thumb (Miko)
Date: 6/3/11
What we ordered: Combination steam rice noodle rolls (small portion), vermicelli with char-broiled pork and spring rolls.
Number in our party: 2
Final check amount: $13.70
  • Spring rolls had an interesting yeasty flavor -- they were different from other egg rolls we've tried.
  • We couldn't figure out what anything was on the plate of rice noodle rolls, but it was all tasty!  Even the small portion is more than enough.
  • The food is good, but I'm giving it a sideways thumb because I'd rather go to other Vietnamese restaurants on Convoy.  (Miko)
  • I give it a thumbs up because it's interesting and tasty, and I haven't come across food quite like theirs at other places.  (Jenne)
Address: 4344 Convoy St
Phone number: 858.278.8680
Website: http://www.yelp.com/biz/international-seafood-restaurant-san-diego
Accepts credit cards?
Private lot shared with a plaza
Ideal group size: 2-6
Available vegetarian options:
Shakes, drinks, desserts, and they also have a vegetable section with tender greens, mixed vegetables, and bean curd.
Noise level: 1 (I think we were the only people there.)