Saturday, December 9, 2017

Three New North County Restaurants You Will Want to Try

Three New North County Restaurants You Will Want to Try

by Stacey Kuhns

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I would up eating out a lot because he was moving and things were crazy. We are eating healthy (for the most part), so wanted to try and stick with healthier options. We tried three new restaurants in North County.

Here is my breakdown on the places we tried:

The Flame Broiler

This restaurant is located at 3295 Business Park Drive, Suite B in Vista (right off Palomar Airport Road, across from Target). This place is great for takeout or eat in. You order at the counter and wait while your food is served up, then you pay. They offer a small bowl, large bowl, or large plate to choose from (kind of like the Poke places). You have a choice of chicken or Angus beef or a combo of both. They also offer a tofu option*. You can choose white or brown rice and veggies.

We both got a combo plate with veggies. The meat was good and the veggies were cooked perfectly. The cool thing is they have a condiment station with various sauces. I tried a red hot sauce and a green hot sauce and both were delicious on all the food. I apologize as I cannot find the pictures I took there. They weigh the meat and veggies separately and I am not sure how that will go when they are busy, as it seems very time consuming. All of their pictures show green onions on the top of the food served. We were not offered green onions and I would have liked that option. Not even sure if they had them.

Either way, the prices are reasonable and I would recommend this place as we felt good after eating there. They also have a very nice outside eating area. The prices range from $5.05 to $9.50.

*Flexitarians and Vegetarians love the uniquely charbroiled, organic, and non-gmo project verified tofu, cut and prepared on a bed of White or Brown rice.

 

Ichiban Ramen & Sushi

This restaurant is located at 3265-C Business Park Drive, Vista (same center as The Flame Broiler). This restaurant is clean and has lovely decor. It is a large place with plenty of seating and you are immediately greeted by staff (which appears to be a family owned business). The menu is extensive.

Ichiban Ramen & Sushi - Review by Stacey Kuhns

Ichiban Ramen & Sushi - Review by Stacey Kuhns

We started with three different kinds of Ngyiri. You get two pieces per order and have to ask for the paper menu that you make your selections on. The fish was amazing. It did not look like the usual Ngyiri you get in most sushi places. The salmon had an extra piece of salmon wrapped around it! It was like we got a free piece of shashimi! I could go there and just order the Ngyiri. There selection of sushi rolls also looked amazing. They have counter seating at the sushi bar where you can watch the chefs making your rolls. I do have to mention that their wasabi was out of this world. It tasted so fresh and biting. Way different than what I have had in other restaurants.

Ichiban Ramen & Sushi - Review by Stacey Kuhns

We both got different kinds of Ramen. We did the build-your-own version where you can pick your broth and your add-ins. I chose the Shoyu (which is what I normally order when eating ramen). Ed ordered the Tonkotsu (a pork bone broth). I also chose the spicy paste. I would recommend you order that on the side. I can take a lot of spice and heat but I was choking because it was so spicy. They offer a number of interesting add-ins, including pork belly two ways, sweet corn, tofu two ways, a wood ear mushroom, and other options. I chose bamboo shoots, corn, soft boiled egg and green onions. They left out two of my four ingredients but rectified it quickly when I pointed it out (although I did not receive any sort of credit on the bill for that). Ed loved his ramen. I would give the ramen another try. I found the flavor of the broth really different and not to my taste. It almost tasted sweet with notes of cinnamon or something along those lines. That with the heavy fiery spice was difficult to handle. They have so many options, I would give it another try.

Ichiban Ramen & Sushi - Review by Stacey Kuhns

Ichiban Ramen & Sushi - Review by Stacey Kuhns

This restaurant also offers nice to go containers for the ramen. I would recommend it because of the quality of the Ngyiri, sushi, and the comfort and cleanliness of the place. The family also came out and said, "Arigato" when we left which was very nice.


Varanda

This restaurant is located at 1020 W. San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos, in Restaurant Row. It is in the old India Princess location and I must say a huge step up from India Princess. I have been here twice already and will be taking an out of town friend there next week. They have a regular menu but offer their buffet every day, including weekends! It is reasonable for all you can eat Indian food at approximately $15.

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns


The staff there are amazing and very friendly and welcoming. One of the girls remembered us from our previous visit. Edward and Chelsea were very helpful and answered all of our questions about the food. They were quick to refill drinks, ask if we wanted more Naan, or if we needed anything. The inside has been given a fresh facelift that makes a world of different from the previous owners place. It is very comfortable and welcoming.

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns


There are so many choices that it is best to take a small spoonful of each and decide which ones you like for a second trip. They did not have all of the same items both times we were there so we were able to try a wide variety of Indian dishes. Some I absolutely loved, some others, not so much, but all the colors were vibrant and the food was cooked perfectly. The chef is a master.

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns

Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns
Varanda - Review by Stacey Kuhns


I highly recommend this restaurant as I could not find fault with anything there. Let's support our small business owners! If you like Indian food, this is a fabulous choice because you get so many options with the buffet. They brought us extra garlic naan, which we could not finish. They were happy to wrap it up for us to take home. Usually, buffet restaurants don't want you to take anything home.

I was adventurous and tried most things there, which were pleasantly surprisingly yummy. The beautiful dessert above, that kind of looks like a sticky funnel cake, was cold, which I was not prepared for, but boy was it good. Hats off to this place!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Crue Stone 'Where the Wild Things Are"

Crue Stone 'Where the Wild Things Are"

"And he sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him and it was still hot" 

Crue Stone 'Where the Wild Things Are"


#childrensphotography #familyphotographer
#wherethewildthingsare #mementovitaphotography

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A California Thanksgiving

A California Thanksgiving
The Thanksgiving holiday traditionally revolves around a huge feast with family and friends, wherever you are. But if you're spending the holiday in San Diego County, you can add some new traditions to the day, by celebrating Thanksgiving with a San Diego twist.

 
 
 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Kids in Their Natural Habitat!

The Kids in Their Natural Habitat!

Reef, Crue , Coast and Belle at the San Diego Zoo.

Coast Oak at Swim Lessons

Coast Oak at Swim Lessons
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Jeff and Monica Noonan founded Noonan Family Swim School, Inc. in January of 2004. With their combined backgrounds in aquatics, teaching, human resources and management, establishing a swim school whose founding principles were rooted in an excellent curriculum, teaching to the individual needs of each child and treating every client as part of the Noonan Family was their way of giving back to the community.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Visitor - Elegant Egret

Visitor - Elegant Egret

They are big, elegant and plentiful, but how do you tell if that large white bird at the edge of the lake or feeding in a field is a great egret or one of its smaller cousins? Bird watchers in San Diego can commonly find three kinds of egrets hanging around local lakes, bays, marshes and open fields. Their stark white color, graceful flight and large size make them standouts in the natural world they inhabit. Oma enjoyed her visit with this large and graceful bird. 


Visitor - Elegant Egret

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Birthday Crue Stone

Happy Birthday Crue Stone
Happy Birthday Crue Stone - One today!
Opa and the Birthday πŸŽ‰ Boy-Crue Stone
#Prince Crue Stone
Someone found the chocolate cake! happy birthday Crue Stone!
Birthday present time.
The party has not begun until someone is wearing a bag on their head!
πŸ‘… smash cake Crue Stone πŸŽ‰

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Valley View Casino - Madhouse

We went to Valley View Casino last night. It was beyond packed. You could not eat at the buffet at all unless you had a Silver Card. That produced a plethora of pissed off Red Card Patrons. The slot machines were 90 percent in use – which meant that your favorite machine was probably not available. Further, and regrettably, more people produced the inevitable more smoke. 


Valley View Casino - Madhouse


Since the buddy we accompanied to the casino was the proud owner of the coveted Silver Card, we were issued a pager for the buffet. After a two-hour fifteen minute wait, it alerted us that it was our turn to eat.

I was a bit disappointed. I am not sure if I was just a bit too hungry at 7:30 pm or the Valley View Casino Chefs were just overwhelmed . . . . the food was substandard. My tiny lobster tail appear a tad undercook and therefore presented as “slimy.” My salad was accompanied by a funny sour taste. The chocolate pudding had a slight hard film on the top - yucky.

Bottom line, I had an awesome time with my husband and friends. We played and laughed and enjoyed each other. However, I did learn some pros and cons.

Pros:

Valley View Casino - Madhouse
The fact that my favorite slot machines were in use forced me to try and appreciate new ones.

Paul and I spent $40 on our buffet ($20 each) and only lost $15 gambling and boy did we gamble. So it was a relatively affordable date night.

Cons:

We were told by staff that it is always a madhouse at Valley View at the end of the month, as patrons try to redeem their complimentary food and gift coupons before they expire. When you couple that with a holiday (Halloween) . . . . that madhouse morphs into an insane asylum.

My final note on Valley View – This casino is cutting way back on their “freebies.” Last night my friend’s wife lost her Silver Card privileges. Paul and I have not received a “free” buffet in months. We have been told that it is all based on your spending over the last six-month period. However, that does not make much sense to us since our play has been consistent over the years.

Another bottom line coming here: In the last few years, our casino group would visit Valley View at least once a month, some months twice. However, we decided last night that it is time to explore other casino options . . . as our loyalty to Valley View is becoming increasingly unrewarding.

My suggestion was Harrah’s Rincon . . . . Viejas was also discussed. The new month should bring a new Casino adventure.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

San Diego Storm Water and the Hepatitis A Outbreak

San Diego Storm Water and the Hepatitis A Outbreak

Is San Diego In Compliance With Their Own Storm Water Regulations?


The San Diego Storm Water Management Unit's main focus is in implementing permitting, compliance, and other activities to reduce pollutants in municipal, construction, and industrial storm water runoff

The City of San Diego enacted San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) §43.03 entitled Storm Water Management and Discharge Control in 1993, commonly referred to as the City’s storm water ordinance. This ordinance, in a nutshell, makes it unlawful for any person to discharge non-storm water into the City’s storm water conveyance system.

For contractors, this means that concrete slurry, stucco, sediments, paint, and other disposal of materials into the street gutter or storm drain are illegal discharges.

The intent of the ordinance is to protect and enhance the water quality of our watercourses, water bodies, and wetlands in a manner consistent with the federal Clean Water Act. The storm water conveyance system collects storm water and urban runoff containing pollutants and discharges these flows untreated into the creeks, rivers, bays, and ocean.

The STORM WATER STANDARDS Manuel (January 20, 2012) is one hundred and seventy-nine pages deep. In addition, the enforcement remedies have been increased to maximum civil penalties or fines of $10,000 per day per violation; up from $2500!

San Diego Storm Water and the Hepatitis A Outbreak


Back in March of 2017, San Diego Health Officials declared a Hepatitis A Outbreak. The county explained that Hepatitis A was spreading “through contact with a fecally contaminated environment.” This disease is a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus. It is spread person-to-person typically through poor sanitation practices, such as not washing hands after using the restroom.

San Diego Storm Water and the Hepatitis A Outbreak
However, the problem was mostly ignored until September 2017 and then only after three hundred and thirty cases were documented and fifteen people died from Hepatitis A.  It became the second largest outbreak in the United States.

Then "America's Finest City" sprang into action and immediately begin power-washing our streets with bleach to fight a deadly hepatitis outbreak

San Diego Storm Water and the Hepatitis A Outbreak

Contractors (Clean Harbors) started spraying down areas with a diluted household bleach solution. The procedure, as prescribed by the county, involves first spraying down hazardous items such as human waste or needles, waiting 10 minutes, removing the contaminated items, then spraying the area again with bleach. After that, it calls for pressure-washing the area with water.

It is set to be repeated every two weeks, with weekly "spot maintenance," according to county guidelines.

My concern is that in every photo and/or video found of the cleanup efforts, the contaminated water, chlorine and bleach are just being allowed to drain into the City’s storm water conveyance system!

What research, if any, has been completed that states this is the best method of containment? How will this water runoff, containing human fecal matter, bleach, the Hepatitis A virus and other poisonous material, effect San Diego environment and water quality? Will it kill all the plants and trees in the treatment area? Will beach goers suffer from contamination?

What will the bleach fumes do to air breath-ability?  Bleach does emit fumes that can be dangerous when inhaled.

The fear that this solution might be worse than the original problem looms heavy.



Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bob Dylan in Funner, California

Bob Dylan in Funner, California

Harrah's Resort SoCal, The Events Center

• Address: 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
• Capacity: 2200
• Date: October 13, 2017
• Showtime: 9:00 PM

 

Bob Dylan in Funner, California


Paul, Uncle Dave and I were excited to attend the Bob Dylan Concert at the Harrah’s Event Center. I had never been there before and was thrilled by the small venue. There literally was not a bad seat in the house.

There were bars set-up conveniently all around the room. The bar staff was friendly and our $7.00 Jameson Ginger scrumptious.

The photo security was annoying, shining bright flashlights into the crowd all through the show. They had made it clear that if you were caught filming you would be ejected; hence the lone, badly lit photo I took at the show.

The band was exquisite and provided a full and rich sound. I was a tad disappointed with Dylan’s performance especially when he sang in a Sinatra style croon. Further, whether it was the singer or the room acoustics – lyrics were hard to understand.

The audience featured an array of aging hippies (much like myself) and a surprising splattering of young folks. My group was frustrated that Bob never addressed nor interacted with his adoring fans. It was evident, as Dylan carefully and cautiously returned to the seat of his piano every other song, that age was taking its toll. Nevertheless, it was just as palpable that Bob Dylan still took delight in presenting his work.

While this author is attempting to keep this review objective . . . . . Bottom Line Time . . . . This was a Bob Dylan concert. It was magical and I would have paid three times again as much for this personal concert experience with the legend, poet, rock star, songwriter, folksinger and recent Nobel Prize winner.

Band Members

  • Bob Dylan - piano
  • Tony Garnier - bass
  • George Recile - drums
  • Stu Kimball - rhythm guitar, maracas
  • Charlie Sexton on lead guitar
  • Donnie Herron - violin, electric mandolin, pedal steel, lap steel

We Are Waiting For the Fans to Fill the Room at Harrah's Resort – SoCa / Seats 64 & 65 Section B Row S
We Are Waiting For the Fans to Fill the Room at Harrah's Resort – SoCa
Seats 64 & 65 Section B Row S For Bob Dylan Concert

Play List

  • Things Have Changed
  • It Ain't Me, Babe
  • Highway 61 Revisited
  • Why Try To Change Me Now
  • Summer Days
  • Melancholy Mood
  • Tangled Up In Blue
  • Honest With Me
  • Where Is the One
  • Pay In Blood
  • September of My Years
  • Tryin' To Get To Heaven
  • Early Roman Kings
  • Desolation Row
  • Soon After Midnight
  • Thunder on the Mountain
  • Long and Wasted Years
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Blowin' In the Wind (Encore)
  • Ballad of a Thin Man (Encore)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

2017 Indy Road Trip

2017 Indy Road Trip

09/22 - 10/08
Our Instagram Travel Log:

  • 2017 SCCA Run-Offs;
  • Mount Rushmore;
  • Crazy Horse;
  • Devil’s Tower;
  • Grand Canyon;
  • Four Corners

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