Southern California has plenty of fantastic foods, and being a big fan of Mexican cuisine, I was in my element here. Although the majority of this list is Mexican food, there are other options!
On arrival in LA, the first thing on my mind was guacamole. Specialising in hand-made tortillas made Casablanca very appealing to me, and although these are flour (my favourite is corn), it was amazing to watch the women preparing them, and for us to get to eat them hot off the stove. There is also a barman that moves around the restaurant, with a portable bar, pouring everyone’s drinks, so it was a very immersive dining experience.
There are plenty of Mexican and seafood dishes to choose from and I was easily persuaded by the calamari fajitas.
One of the best things I ate on our west coast road trip was the breakfast burrito from Rose Café. The café has a fantastic vibe and we had the loveliest server. There is a big variety on the menu, but as soon as I found the breakfast burrito, there was no other choice for me.
I’d never had a breakfast burrito before, but this one included, scrambled eggs, chorizo, cheese, salsa, avocado and crispy potatoes. It was also served with a mole sauce, which helped secure the decision.
Mercado is a Mexican restaurant, which has a young, hip vibe, whilst being sophisticated; we visited on a Saturday, so it had a great atmosphere.
The menu is a mix of smaller and larger dishes, but we decided to share the dip duo and some tacos. The dip duo and a margarita were a fantastic way to start the meal and one I would highly recommend! The steak tacos were also incredible and a definite highlight of the meal!
The Misfit is a great place for intimate or group dining; it has an upmarket feel, whilst still being fun. We visited for food, but the drinks selection was great, so I would happily visit again for a drink, food or both!
There’s such a good menu at The Misfit, so I was pleased when our server recommended getting dishes to share for the table. We had a delicious selection of mac ‘n’ cheese, crispy brussel sprouts, summer corn salad, baked gnocchi, prime rib nik naks and bbq salmon.
The Taco Stand
Starting with The Taco Stand as our first meal in San Diego meant that I had extremely high hopes for the rest of my stay. It’s a small, casual restaurant in La Jolla that is most definitely worth a stop at on the journey from LA to San Diego.
Tacos were always going to be what I was having here, but there are also quesadillas and burritos on the menu. I chose one carne asada and one Baja taco and I was very pleased with my decision. Sam also spotted corn on the cob on the menu, which is one of my favourites, so we dived in to that. Mexican corn on the cob cannot be missed; it’s cheese and chilli goodness!
I honestly have no idea, why, as someone who loves Mexican food so much, I have not had enough Mexican breakfasts! The Mission certainly knows how to serve up an excellent Mexican breakfast. There are breakfast burritos, quesadillas and plenty of pancakes to choose from (the pancakes looked incredible), but I opted for the rancheros verde.
This consisted of flour tortillas with eggs, black beans, cheese and a chili verde sauce. There was plenty of sauce and plenty of flavour, which created a fabulous morning dish!
This was my favourite restaurant from our California trip. It’s such a nice setting, with booths for groups, or more intimate tables for couples. La Puerta has a bar vibe, so it’s great for grabbing a tequila or 2, but it also serves outstanding food.
The Bark at the Moon margarita was incredible, no wonder it appeared in Travel + Leisure’s America’s Best Margaritas list – the added serrano gives it a wonderful kick. Matching the quality of this drink, is the delicious tacos. I ordered the rancheros shrimp and carne asada, both are causing me to slaver just at the thought! We also shared a selection of quesadillas and chips and dip, and I couldn’t fault any of the food.
Top tip: Taco Tuesday is a great night to visit!
Naked Café has a selection of different breakfast items, with many of them focusing on healthy ingredients. But of course, I had to have another Mexican breakfast! This time I went for the Tailgate Tacos: 2 corn tortillas with tomatoes, spinach, jalepeno, garlic, soy chorizo and topped with avocado, lettuce, cilantro and feta cheese. This yummy, and good-sized meal also came with beans and salsa on the side.
Of course, I couldn’t resist a taste of Katie’s breakfast quesadilla, which was also incredible!