I was on the beach. In the sun. The people there said brah and sweet and Thanks for the smile, man.
We stayed with a friend in Ocean Beach, where the airport is your 6:30 wake-up call. It’s the trade-off for letting non-gazillionaires live two blocks from the beach.
I saw waves and crabs and flowers and smiley-faced stairs.
Just a bit away was Balboa Park. We didn’t spend a ton of time walking around, but we did check out the cactus garden.
Ten minutes by car—the proverbial crow made it there and back too many times to count (traffic!)—is Evolution, a vegan fast food joint. It’s an unassuming box of a place with a covered patio out back.
Tom got a burger and chili-cheese fries. Tricks of perspective aside, those fries were huge. For the burgers, you’ve got two choices: Gardein or, for a buck more, a house-made patty. He got the Gardein. The cheese on the fries is Daiya. It’s all ridiculous and messy, but it’s fun. It’s fast food.
I got a chicken (Gardein) sandwich, with pesto and red onion instead of any mayo-y option. Because not only am I picky, but I am also a genius.
Also in this North Park area is Sipz Fuzion Cafe. Childish misspellings masquerading as cute or clever piss me off, so I wanted to boycott them. But this is also childish and I needed to eat. Surprise! The food was good. Doubt was cast on the vegan-ness of some of their fake meats, but I did not eat the fake meats in question, so I didn’t pursue the matter. Not pictured is the lackluster chocolate chip cookies I got to go. They lacked both luster and flavor.
We started with fries. With jalapeno. And garlic. And scallions. I want to eat this every day.
I took a break between fried foods with a simple sushi roll of avocado and cucumber. There were flashier ones on the menu, but I was not in the mood for flash.
I also got the spicy tempura fakey shrimp. It wasn’t so spicy, so I dipped it in my wasabi & soy sauce. I was a girl scout—I know there’s always a workaround.
Tom went with the Garlic Divine, a bunch of vegetables and tofu in a peppery sauce. He expected it to be heavier on the garlic, but said it was still pretty good.
These noodles are drunk.
This last food photo is from a Mexican joint we visited twice, Rancho’s. The same block had super accommodating Italian and Thai places too.
It’s Tom’s mole enchiladas. They stayed crisp and light—not a gimme when dealing with enchiladas. This place had a ton of vegan options, but beware, some things that sound vegan are not (as the server will warn you). And in the evenings, the owner will serenade you.
Thank you, San Diego, for letting me let go for a moment.