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!

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