Met up with some good friends in Oceanside, CA. They live pretty darn close to the beach. A quick beer and it’s still early enough to catch a cocktail before happy-hour ends. Since we have no plans other than to get together with our friends, it’s out the door and head to 333 for a martini.
Before we left the house, we all agreed that 333 Pacific is a must stop for martini. “333” is a higher-end fine-dining restaurant owned by the Cohn Restaurant Group, known for their upscale eateries. http://www.cohnrestaurants.com/menu-restaurants/333-pacific/ . We also know that they make a good martini from a couple other previous visits.
After 333 wins the “Best Martini” award for our meandering gala through the bum-surfer-ass-hangin’-out-chick streets of B E A U T I F U L Oceanside, we happened upon Harney Sushi. I tried to do a quick research on this place only to find out they have a second location on Harney St. in San Diego. My assumption is that San Diego is the original location. It also supports the name Harney Sushi. Now being a good sailor I also fully understand why the “Miso” was included in the name. http://www.harneysushi.com/#/home. Miso Harney Sushi was a brief stop because we were again thirsty. I didn’t find their martinis as special as 333, but I did certainly notice their environment. I couldn’t see the speakers, but I did see the fish. Does that really matter? Quite loud inside . . . but that’s the environment. I did notice that they had a terrific super-full-range sound system that was just audible above the voices. It really helped create their atmosphere and set an initial ambiance. I will most certainly go back to check out the food. Tonight’s winner for best sound . . . and best recommendation!
While we sipped our martinis at Miso Harney, we decided that we were not quite in the mood for sushi so our server pointed us down the road to a “foodie” type of place on the “south side” (that would be the southern end of Oceanside). Now being a foodie, I just had to find out what all the hoopla was about. As we begin our navigation, literally using navigation techniques . . . and our GPS on the Galaxy, we realize that we are several blocks away from our next destination. We decide to take the low road. Tremont Street is not the most illuminated street, nor the best dressed in Oceanside, taking us just in front of the train and bus station. We persevered . . ., one of us with the flash-light app going to ward off any would-be muggers deciding to lunge out from the dark bushes.
Finally we see a glow. Turns out the glow is of the heat flame torch thing on the front patio area of the Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen http://flyingpigpubkitchen.com/. Well I met the owner, Roddy. He explains his name and it’s similarity to “Rowdey” Roddy Piper the wrestler.
Roddy asks to give him a few minutes before he can spend a moment with me to give me the inside scoop about this gastro-pub located almost at the end of town, one block closer to the water than 101 café on PCH. Roddy is very busy this Saturday night. Almost 10pm and he’s still packed full. Everyone in the place seemed to be enjoying their food . . . and drink! Roddy seems to have done a good job. He even explains that it’s way better than he ever imagined for he and his wife, “It just took off”. Well tonight’s best meal award goes to Roddy at the Flying Pig. I’m not sure about the mis-matched silverware or the various old-school record labels hosting the day’s menu, but the food was pretty friggin great. This place is a must when in the area. Probably the smallest kitchen around. I think Roddy understands that; pre-empting our visit with his explanation about why the food takes so long. Well, we didn’t wait that long. Our appetizer came out just after we began to wonder of its whereabouts . . . a little long . . . but not too long. Hell, we just ordered another beer. Speaking of which, I ordered Belching Beaver IPA. There’s more to that story . . . someday! Our walk back this evening took us the high road along Pacific Coast Highway (the 101). A little more lighted, but a lot more freaks . . . that we could see.
So check out all of these places and stop by to give Roddy a little love. He’s busy down there and could probably use a hug.
I feel as though I need to give this night something special . . . something really special, after everything we ate and drank and everywhere that we traveled.