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Sometimes going to the dentist is a great excuse to take a break, especially when the trip involves only routine maintenance and the dentist is Washington Dental in Tijuana. I went early in the middle of the week and was done and back across the border by 1 PM, so I took the opportunity to stop in La Jolla for lunch and some shopping 🙂

My former favorite restaurant in La Jolla Village, Acqua, no longer exists, so I wandered around looking for a place with a view. I ended up at the perennial favorite, George‘s. The top deck was packed, and the lower level was only open for dinner, so I ended up in the much calmer and equally beautiful middle level. When I walked in there was only one other table, but by the time I left the place was packed. I was glad I came “early” enough to get an oceanfront table with this gorgeous view*.

Since the middle level is technically the bar (even though there were kids there because they serve food), one of the menu items that caught my eye was a half bottle of 2009 Montelena Chardonnay for $58. I had never seen wine from this famous** winery on any menu, so I was tempted, but the combination of a half bottle, plus having woken up at 5AM to drive, and having a 2 hour drive ahead was too dangerous!

The special of the day was a yellowtail ceviche which was beautifully presented. Unfortunately the chips were greasy even though they were freshly made, and the ceviche itself left much to be desired compared to places like Flores. The main flavor was citrus and the fish was cut in strange long stringy pieces. Adding some of the spicy condiments helped tremendously. The service was excellent, even after the place got full, my waitress still kept every table serviced. I would say come for the view and some drinks, and perhaps the Niman Ranch burger, which looked fantastic.

Before leaving I had an espresso at George’s to fortify me for my drive north, and even though it came with perfect accompaniments, it came lukewarm. Oh well, the view alone was worth the stop.

After my day in La Jolla, I met a friend at Del Mar’s Taste of Thai. My friend has a gluten allergy, so Thai food is one of the cuisines he can enjoy. We shared a spicy rice noodle with beef and compromised on a heat rating of 5 (I wanted an 8, he wanted a 3). It was a delicious and ample serving, with tender slices of beef and not at all greasy (many places add so much oil to keep rice noodles from sticking that the plate looks like an oil slick).

The spicy duck was equally well executed, with robust flavors. We opted for a 5 heat rating on this dish too, but I thought it tasted more like a 3 (since my friend is a regular and always orders this dish, I think they made it for his taste:).

Even though I was only gone for a day, it felt like a week-end away, so I would gladly go to the dentist again for another “holiday”!
*All the photos from this post were taken with my new Xperia Pro phone, an early birthday present from the ever generous @John8600, merci Jean:)

**Made famous by the movie “Bottle Shock” and as the first California winery to win in a blind tasting against French wines in France. One of their bottles is in the Smithsonian 🙂

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