Un Mundo Mexican Grill

I first heard about Un Mundo Mexican Grill on Eater SD, and since it’s just down the street from my home, decided to check it out. S and I are always looking out for new places to eat in UTC, and we have been really hoping for a good Mexican food option.

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It took over the old Regents Pizzeria spot – everything has been remodeled to have a “modernist” look – sleek metallic tables and chairs, blue mood lighting… it looks quite cool and different.

The menu (available online here) reminded us a bit of Chipotle – build-your-own tacos, burritos, bowls, and salads. Except instead of picking out everything from a bar, you circle your options on a piece of paper. Everything is $8.95, unless you want two proteins or guacamole, which have surcharges.

New Mexico Braised Pork Shoulder Taco

New Mexico Braised Pork Shoulder Taco

Grilled Chili-Marinated Steak Taco

Grilled Chili-Marinated Steak Taco

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C Level

This post is way behind – from two months ago, to be exact. It was our friend A’s birthday, and she requested C Level for her birthday dinner. C Level actually shares the same space as the fancier Island Prime, and both belong to the Cohn Restaurant Group which has a pretty big presence in San Diego.

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Being the more casual of the two adjoining restaurants, C Level does not accept reservations. Good thing A’s birthday falls on a Monday – and we were seated without having to wait at all.

Oysters on the Half Shell

Oysters on the Half Shell [$12/half-dozen]

We started out with half dozen oysters, served with a raspberry mignonette and a fire-roasted cocktail sauce. The oysters were fresh and briny, and we really enjoyed them.

Kemo Sabe's Famous Black & White Sesame Salmon [$29]

Kemo Sabe’s Famous Black & White Sesame Salmon [$29]

A chose the sesame-crusted salmon for her entrée. It was served with wasabi mashed potatoes, wilted arugula & baby spinach, pickled cucumber salsa, and a soy sauce reduction. As you can tell from the description, this dish had a heavy Asian flavor influence. The salmon was cooked really nicely, although the sesame seed crust was falling off. My favorite part was actually the wasabi-infused mashed potatoes. I’ll have to try that at home next time.

Chef Deborah's Filet Burger [$18]

Chef Deborah’s Filet Burger [$18]

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Myung In Dumplings

Myung In Dumplings is a Los Angeles-based chain that opened its first San Diego outpost a couple of months ago. I’ve never had Chinese-Korean dumplings and wanted to try it out.

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Shortly after being seated, we were given some complimentary side dishes – pickled radish and kimchi. They weren’t the best, but I’m not being too picky.

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Myung In’s specialty is, obviously, dumplings but also mandu – basically Chinese steamed buns. We ordered some of each.

Boiled Dumpling with Pork & Vegetable [$8]

Boiled Dumpling with Pork & Vegetable [$8]

Boiled Dumpling with Kimchi & Pork [$8]

Boiled Dumpling with Kimchi & Pork [$8]

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Vessel Restaurant

S and I first visited Vessel Restaurant at the Kona Kai Resort during a media preview dinner last year, and we had an absolutely wonderful experience. We were lucky enough to be invited again for a summer menu preview a couple of weeks ago, and of course we happily obliged.

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The tables were set beautifully in the private dining area. This was to be a beer-pairing dinner, and the four beer tasters were already prepared.

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Sorry for the blurry photo. I guess my camera (and I) decided to focus on the butter in the back instead, haha. The four beers that we tasted were: Alesmith .394 Pale Ale, Refuge Blood Orange Belgian Ale, Stone Delicious IPA, and Maui Coconut Porter. Out of the four, I really enjoyed the Blood Orange Belgian and the Coconut Porter – which was also S’s favorite.

After catching up with some blogger buddies and making some new friends, we were hungry for dinner! There were a few baskets of asiago cheese rolls, which were awesome, and I really had to stop myself from eating, like, 6 of them. 

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This was our menu for the evening… and also why I reminded myself not to eat too much bread.

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48-Hour Pork Belly

48-Hour Pork Belly; Beer: Maui Coconut Porter

Our meal started out with a 48-hour roasted pork belly. It was so incredibly tender and simply melted in your mouth. It was served with plantain powder, sweet potato spaetzle, and a mole sauce with anise and chocolate. The mole sauce really did it for me – the bitterness and sweetness really complemented the pork belly well.

Roasted Pear

Roasted Pear; Beer: Alesmith .394 Pale Ale

After the pork belly, we were given a simple roasted pear. But don’t be deceived by its simplicity – this was packed with flavor. I loved the caramel notes in the roasted pear, and the cheese was actually a blue Stilton (the chef wasn’t able to get Roquefort). I enjoyed the floral notes in the dish but couldn’t taste much of the black pepper in the vinaigrette.

Corn Dusted Albacore

Corn Dusted Albacore; Beer: Refuge Blood Orange Belgian Ale

I was looking forward to this dish, given that I have a corn obsession. The albacore was fresh and seared lightly. It was served with a savory bacon powder and onion jam – I really enjoyed the sweet and salty interplay. This dish was additionally paired with a serrano-corn custard, which I found to be too sweet and not spicy enough. I liked the fresh corn at the bottom of the custard, though.

Dry-Aged Ribeye

Dry-Aged Ribeye; Beer: Stone Delicious IPA

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Snacks Series: LALA Yogurt Smoothies

It’s been a while since I’ve done a yogurt snacks series… Mostly because we’ve sort of stopped trying new brands and just stuck to our favorites. But recently I was given the opportunity to try out LALA Yogurt Smoothies. LALA is a dairy products company in Latin America, and has recently expanded their products to supermarkets in Southern California and will soon launch in Texas.

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I tried three different flavors of LALA yogurt smoothies – Creamy Coconut, Mango, and Strawberry. There are a ton of other flavors, too – you can see the whole list here. I really wanted to try the Piña Colada, but couldn’t find it at the Ralph’s closest to me. *Sadface*

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Regents Pizzeria

Don’t forget to enter my KRAVE jerky giveaway!

Regents Pizzeria is our go-to pizza parlor – it’s close to our home and serves up really good pizza. (Then again, I’m not from a pizza city, nor am I a connoisseur of pizza, but other New Yorkers I know really endorse this place!) It used to be just a small shop, but has recently expanded to a huge space, featuring many beers on tap, big-screen TVs, and a patio.

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I couldn’t get a great picture of the interior, though, because it was pretty crowded when I visited.

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Like I said… tons of beers on tap! (I wasn’t feeling like drinking that day, though, so I passed up on the alcohol.)

S, myself, and our friends ordered several slices. We could have also done a large, I guess, but each of us wanted some variety.

Pizza Pazza & Milano

Pizza Pazza & Milano

These are two of my favorite pizzas from Regents. …

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Sharetea

Sharetea is a Taiwanese bubble tea franchise that recently opened in San Diego. I’ve had their milk tea in Berkeley before and was excited to hear that they were expanding to SD!

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Our first visit was on Grand Opening Day, June 1. The special promo was buy 1 get 1 free – but it wasn’t until we were close to the front of the line that we learned the free drink was limited to the classic milk tea with tapioca. I didn’t mind too much, but I can imagine some customers feeling misled.

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This mural looks like it was done by the same artist as the one from Infini Tea. There is a little tapioca pearl dressed in the cultural outfit for each of the countries where there’s a Sharetea franchise!

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My favorite was obviously the koala tapioca pearl, representing Australia.

On our first visit, we tried the Okinawa (brown sugar) milk tea, which was quite tasty. But the wait time for the drinks was over half an hour – just for milk tea! It didn’t seem like their line was very optimized, and a bit chaotic. But it was grand opening day, so I sort of expected it.

We returned about a week later, around 10pm on a Saturday night.

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Snacks Series: KRAVE Jerky & Giveaway!

Don’t forget to enter my other giveaway for McDonald’s Arch Cards!

Did you know that June 12 is National Jerky Day? I certainly didn’t until a few weeks ago, but it sure made me excited because I love jerky. As a kid, I was always a meat-lover over desserts and candy, so needless to say one of my favorite snacks was beef jerky. Now I have a greater appreciation for fruits, vegetables, and sweet things, but just take a look at how many Korean BBQ posts I have and you’ll realize that I’m still a carnivore at heart.

One of my favorite brands of jerky nowadays is KRAVE Jerky. I was initially drawn to it because of the colorful packaging and intriguing flavors, such as black cherry barbecue and lemon garlic! And recently, I was contacted by the company and received some samples – including some flavors that I’ve never tried before!

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See? Doesn’t the beautiful packaging just draw you in?

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I’m looking forward to trying the pineapple orange, which I’ve never had before. Out of all the flavors that I’ve had, my favorites are the black cherry barbecue pork jerky, the sweet chipotle beef jerky, and the basil citrus turkey jerky.

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Mess Royale

Don’t forget to enter my McDonald’s Arch Card giveaway!

Mess Royale, San Diego’s first “poutinery,” opened up a couple of months ago in Hillcrest. I’ve never had really good poutine before, so of course I wanted to go check it out, and we went with our friend A, who has spent some time in Canada before and would serve as our judge.

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The owner is a Montreal native, Hugo Tassone, and he chatted with us a bit during our visit. We learned that the cheese curds in the poutine are from Wisconsin, and he ships in his Montreal-style bagels from St-Viateur Bagels.

Smoked Salmon Bagel [$12]

Smoked Salmon Bagel [$12]

These sesame-topped bagels were quite delicious. They’re smaller and taste lighter and crispier than New York-style bagels to me (full disclosure here that I am not from NY). I loved the Norwegian smoked salmon used here, and there was just the right amount of cream cheese and capers. The only thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of was the red onions, which had quite a bite – but I wasn’t a huge fan of raw onions to begin with. The bagels are served with a small side salad, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

Of course, we also tried the poutine:

OG: Original Montreal Poutine [$8.5]

OG: Original Montreal Poutine [$8.5]

The original is plain and simple: hand-cut fries, “Mess Royale” gravy, and cheese curds. …

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McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Giveaway

S and I love McDonald’s breakfast, especially the sausage egg McMuffin. Ever since leaving the South, we’ve really missed breakfast sausage patties, but thankfully we can still count on McD’s. We used to miss the 10:30AM cutoff all the time, though, and have always wished for all-day breakfast. Now, our dreams have come true!

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All-day breakfast launched about a month and a half ago, and since then, I’ve stopped by a couple of times to order breakfast for dinner!

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I was so happy to be able to get my favorite Sausage Egg McMuffin and the signature hash brown at 9PM, hehe.

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To celebrate the launch of McDonald’s all-day breakfast, I’m hosting a giveaway! I’ll select two winners – first place will receive a $5 Arch Card and a T-shirt, and second place will receive a $5 Arch Card. …

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