Category Archives: USA – San Diego

Casa de Bandini – San Diego

My brother wanted to have Mexican food since we were down in San Diego, so the FS concierge suggested Casa de Bandini, one of the well-known Mexican restaurants in the area.

We got to Casa around 6:30pm and  had to wait for an hour and a half for a table! Mind you, it was a week night!!!  The staff were quite friendly and they kept apologizing for our wait. I loved the atmosphere at Casa: the staff wore Mexican costumes and the decor was very festive.

We ordered martinis and the waiter asked for my ID! I must look way younger than 21!!  The martini was quite-watered down….

The quintessential complimentary appetizer… tortilla chips with salsa!!!  The chips were fresh, warm and crispy and I got full from just eating the chips! And the waiter kept asking if we wanted refills…. yes please!

Quesadilla de Bandini wih chicken (flour tortilla folded, melted cheese, mild green chilies and salsa, cut in wedges and severed with guacamole and sour cream)…. We always thought quesadillas was a main course, but apparently it’s an appetizer.  The quesadillas was our favourite dish that night (even my hard-to-please dad liked it).

Guacamole… I knew I would be full from all the tortilla chips, so instead of ordering a burrito, I ordered guacamole!

Grilled chicken and avocado tacos (soft corn tortillas filled with seasoned strips of grilled chicken breast, sliced avocados and served with jalapeno white sauce, Mexican rice and black beans)…. mom ordered this but she preferred the quesadillas.

Burrito de Bandini (large burrito filled with seasoned shredded beef and frijoles, topped with cheese and sour cream, served with Mexican rice)… My brother is so used to eating the non-authentic-Mexican-food at MexiCali, he didn’t like this authentic burrito.  He claimed there’s too much beans but burritos are supposed to be stuffed with beans! I quite liked the beef because it reminded me of Chinese beef brisket!

I really enjoyed dinner at Casa de Bandini and I’m munching on tortilla chips as I’m typing this!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Casa de Bandini

1901 Calle Barcelona @ The Forum Shops
Carlsbad, CA 92009, United States
(760) 634-3443

Chart House Restaurant – San Diego

The other restaurant which my family goes to every time we’re in San Diego is Chart House. It’s located in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and has a great view of the ocean.

Surprisingly, the restaurant wasn’t full because in the summer, the place is packed and you’ll need to make a reservation days in advance.

Chart House maintains the same quality of food without increasing the price that much over the years.

We ordered:

Bruschetta Sliders (prosciutto & fontina cheese topped with diced tomato basil & balsamic drizzle)… Unlike traditional bruschetta, where each bread has only one topping, the Chart House version puts all the toppings together onto one bread.  I think I like this more!

East Meets West Tuna (zesty tuna tartare drizzled with wasabi cream paired with seared peppered tuna & avocado, with kim chee slaw & plantain chips)… Delicious! This was our favourite appetizer.

Lobster Bisque (laced with sherry)

Clam Chowder (award-winning, New England style chowder)…. I ordered the $29 prix-fixe dinner (with 3 courses!).. so I picked this as my appetizer..

and for the main course, I chose the grilled fish… unfortunately, the meat was kind of rough but it was tasty…

Lobster Francese (lightly breaded lobster tail paillard, served with angel hair pasta tossed with spinach, mushrooms, asparagus & tomatoes)…. both my parents ordered this..

Chart House Specialty Platter (tempura battered lobster tail, fish & chips, coconut shrimp & calamari, served with skinny fries & more)…. my brother ordered this… too much fried stuff imo..

Mudpie… love!!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Chart House Restaurant

2588 South Coast Highway 101
Cardiff, CA 92007, United States
(760) 436-4044

Argyle Steakhouse – San Diego

One of the two restaurants I have to go to when I’m in San Diego is Argyle Steakhouse at the Aviara Golf Club.

The food’s there is great and the restaurant has a nice view of the golf course and the Batiquitos Lagoon.  So a month before arriving, I made a reservation for brunch!

the garlic bread sticks were so good!

Crab Benedict (Grilled Asparagus, Crab, Hollandaise)….  I was disappointed in this dish.   The crab used were canned and tasted unfresh.

Eggs Benedict (Canadian Bacon, Grilled Asparagus, Hollandaise).. mom ordered this and it was way better than the crab benedict (and cheaper too)..

California Omelet (Crisp Bacon, Mushrooms Avocado, Jack Cheese)

Steak and Eggs (American Kobe-style Flat Iron Steak, Eggs, Potatoes)

Black Angus Burger

Onion rings

The management of the resort and golf course, except the residence club, recently switched from the Fours Seasons to Park Hyatt.  I don’t know if this switch is the reason why the food quality slightly decreased.  Nevertheless, the food is still of high quality but compared with before, it is just not as good.

Also, I made a reservation through the restaurant’s website (which used opentable).  Because I didn’t actually book through opentable.com, I didn’t get my dining points!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Argyle Steakhouse

7447 Batiquitos Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92011

book through opentable

Pinkberry – San Diego

As a self-proclaimed die-hard frozen yogurt fan, how could I not try Pinkberry.. the fro-yo that started the fro-yo craze?

PINKBERRY..why is it not pink?

there was a huge variety of toppings..

I guess I was too excited to be at Pinkberry that I couldn’t put together that a small (tart yogurt + toppings) meant UNLIMITED TOPPINGS.  When the staff asked me what toppings I wanted, I said mango.  Then, he asked me if I was sure. I said, “and blueberries.”  Only when he finished piling the toppings did it click to me that toppings were unlimited!

I felt so fulfilled.  Pinkberry is perfect.  The yogurt isn’t too frozen, too creamy nor too sweet.  Please open a branch in Hong Kong!!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Pinkberry

207 5th Ave
(between K St & L St)
San Diego, CA 92101