Cafe Chloe (San Diego)

I am writing this review from the sky over the desert of Arizona; and beyond the beautiful sunset, the taste of flaky almond croissants hasn’t left my imagination since brunch at Café Chloe. IMG_2772

A finale to a girls’ weekend with my four best friends and our mothers, we chose this sought-after spot to give us a last “splurge” before reality (and our diets) commence. The layout of the café was all I could ever want in a restaurant: abundant natural light, curated greenery, a mahogany bar surrounded by white walls and furniture, and quaint tables and chairs throughout the wrap-around patio. The 72-degree weather allowed doors to remain wide open, welcoming sunshine and a nostalgic California breeze.

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Upon being seated in a cozy nook in the back, the ten of us unanimously ordered the three different daily pastries - almond, plain, and chocolate croissants - for both the daughters’ side and the mothers’ side. Ashley sliced each pastry for a sampler-style starter alongside our coffee drinks, served in wide-rimmed white ceramic bowls with saucers. The lavender-lemon mimosa sounded divine, but I held myself back considering the continuously-flowing red wine at Cucina Urbana Saturday night did me over! A hazelnut soy latte was just right.


The second entreé down literally called my name: poached eggs over wild mushrooms and a rustic baguette slice. The forest fungi were extra buttery and the slightly runny yolk’s added richness, yet I couldn’t get enough of the combination. I was happy to add a few arugula leaves to each bite, as a light salad with sundried tomato on the side could not be ignored. The yogurt and granola with starfruit, asian pear, and blackberries was expertly seasonal and very popular at the table, as well. Ashley’s traditional applewood bacon and two eggs over easy came with a pulled piece of toasty baguette. I love how Café Chloe elevated classics in its own dainty way, from start to finish…


Herringbone (La Jolla)

While it has already been one month since my trip to Southen California (how?!), I can still taste the lavender and crisp ginger beer in the skinny jenny specialty cocktail at La Jolla's finest. The trendy establishment, owned by Chef Brian Malarkey of Austin's Searsucker (a new-ish 5th street downtown fave), hosted the finale to our girls weekend before embarking to Cabo, Mexico. Seven of us splurged on the menu, hoping to take full advantage of the restaurant's atmosphere

We began with a plethora of appetizers: a crab cake, aracini fried risotto balls, and a wild mushroom, sage, pesto pizza (above, holding the mushrooms on half to include our anti-fungus friends). I wasn't crazy about the crab (nothing beats Clark's) or risotto (the thick fried coating was unappealing), but the pizza was awesome - buttery roasted garlic cloves and porcinis galore.

My king crab pasta was heavenly, although the portion was outrageous and the price was even more so. I wish I had split with Ashley, who felt equally stuffed after two twirls of pappardelle. I also couldn't help but notice the uneven distribution of crabmeat; I had only a few pieces of this "king crab" on my $30 entree. Disappointing, but taking bites of Ashley's somewhat made up for it.

Most of the other ladies ordered the special: onagi (a white fish, similar to seabass) with sugar snap peas and crispy fingerlings. Isn't the presentation gorgeous with floral garnish? We were confused to receive only peas rather than physical sugar snaps, but the dish overall proved nice and mild. I could've added some sea salt and a kick of some sort if the onagi had been my order.

I wish that Herringbone's prices had compared to the quality of flavor, which I found too passive from dish to dish. However, I would go back for the bar scene or a few flatbreads with friends! The place is happenin', and I am glad I got to be a part of the vibe while in La Jolla. Until next time, California.

Hash House A Go Go (San Diego)


It's a given that girls weekends are the key to keeping sanity in the whirlwind of school work, internships and career-planning; and when Brenna suggested a weekend at her condo in Coronado, California...well, that sounded simply perfect.

While the weather did not cooperate, we managed to find the eatery gems in La Jolla, Coronado, Carlsbad, San Diego, Point Loma, and Del Mar without trouble. Hannah took the most beautiful photos, a few of which I'm sharing here!

Fresh acai bowls, sea salt chocolate chip cookies, coffee ice cream and Sprinkles cupcakes satisfied our sweet tooth in between meals. And when I say meals, I mean FEASTS.

there's nothing like a sprinkles cupcake. top left [red velvet] was my favorite!

I'll critique True Food Kitchen, our Friday night dinner, in my next post. For now, I'll give you a taste (HA, no pun intended) of my other meals in Cali.

a sneak peek of true foods kitchen

At Hash House Ago Go on Saturday morning, I couldn't keep my jaw closed. If you thought your meals were ever portioned too large, I dare you to come to this breakfast spot in Hillcrest. The plates are approximately 2 feet in diameter. Does that give you an idea?  I was in constant disbelief.

We ordered a few plates to pass around and share. Hot sticky granola with mango and berries was my favorite of the three. But we couldn't go wrong with the brown butter banana pancake; which, in case you were wondering, was the largest pancake I've ever seen. I also loved the smoked salmon scramble with spinach, tomatoes and melted Brie. Delish.

hot. sticky. granola.

I lucked out in the shopping category as well - California is surely blessed with beautiful boutiques and stores. I left with a flirty red dress from Theory (perfect for the upcoming Valentine's holiday, yes?), a Lauren Moshi blush sweater with a hand painted white flower and a mint Lululemon pullover jacket.

The sun finally peeked out for us over the Point Loma harbor during lunch yesterday.  After a simple crab sandwich (lump crab meat on sourdough, can't go wrong with that) we took a few photos to prove that we did, in fact, see some sunshine.

Now, I'm back in Austin and back to reality. But, indeed, I feel lucky. Lucky to have such incredible friends and spontaneous experiences that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my college journey and beyond.

California was surely a sweet touch to my spring semester. I'm looking forward to crossing off more items on my college bucket list: restaurants, trips, adventures, the works!

I would love to hear any ideas for your (and perhaps, mine) bucket lists this Spring! Share away.

Happy Monday!