San Diego: Part 3- An Italian Oasis, Museums, & Shout House!

HAPPY TUEEESDAY! It’s actually my Monday.. cause ya know, nurse life. But guess what? I get the first four hours off unexpectedly due to unit staffing! I’m thinking this is for the best considering I’ve already spilled oatmeal on myself after overflowing it in the microwave and burning my tongue on my coffee. It’s gonna be “that” kind of day so maybe it’s a good idea that we don’t place human lives in my hands until I wake up a bit ;).

Alas, we come to our last post from San Diego, but I think it may just be my favorite.

We left off coming back from the Zoo in Part 2… Hungry as a couple of bears.

Per recommendation from a couple friends, we had to try the infamous Cucina Urbana. I want to say straight up– If you have one meal to have in San Diego, and if you are a human being that has any kind of love for food, GO HERE. Besides the brunch (which is just in another food universe), this was hands down, our favorite meal.

It’s the ultimate tasteful experience the from the warm farmhouse feel to the contemporary aesthetics to the food itself.

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It was romantic, yet casual. All the food on their menu had Italian roots with unique twists.

We debated between the stuffed fried squash blossoms and the grilled octopus. We settled on the octopus (Can you believe it?!).. this was tremendous. I even liked this better than the octopus from Mister A’s, and I told DJ it was easily the closest I have had to Marco Prime’s (one day I will shut up about the octopus from Marco Prime- today is not that day). This octopus included speck + celery + cashew + lemon yogurt + salsa verde. Mmmmm mmmm!

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I am an odd bird, and I’m not a huge fan of traditional pasta… don’t kill me! If I have the option I would much rather choose a seafood dish or pizza usually over pasta. But the waitress convinced me I had to try this dish, and I would not dare go against the expert’s suggestion! This is the chili thread farfalle with tahitian squash + brussels sprout leaf + red cabbage + burrata cider fonduta.

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The verdict? Unbelievable. Seriously (I have my serious face on) one of the BEST pasta dishes I have EVER had. If I could go back to San Diego for one thing- I think I would grab this.

Anywho… DJ’s opted for their mouth-watering lasagna. There was not one little nibble left at the end of the meal.

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After, we grabbed the check and rushed back to the hotel so we didn’t miss a beat of Bachelor. Also, fun fact- Tipsy Crow, a local bar/dive, airs Bachelor on Monday nights. We considered going, but decided we just wanted to relax in the hotel room and get some room service desserts!

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The next morning, we walked to Gaslamp for breakfast. (This is going to be a comida saturated post).

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The Breakfast Republic was beckoning to us from our Yelp app.

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Every. little. thing. in this restaurant was paid mind to from the coffee mugs (Need) to the napkin holders.

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I had their mushroom & pesto benedict- mmmm mmm!

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Deej tried their pancake flight with oreo pancakes, traditional pancakes, and bacon pancakes… Take a look at their pancake menu! It’s amazing! I thought they were SUPER good, but DJ is a bit pickier 😉

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Also, to settle the whole debate with male/female restrooms in California, they just stuck the M right in the middle of the two restrooms. I thought this was hilarious… and actually ingenious… and interesting….

In the bathrooms they have on the wall backwards, “You look fine” so when you look in the mirror……

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You get a little pep talk!

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Even washing your hands is an experience, lol.

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We headed back to the hotel and got ready for the day to hit up the museums in Balboa park!

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First, we went to the Museum of Man.

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DJ might argue that this picture is pretty accurate at times, lol

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To be honest, neither of us were all that excited about it. It just didn’t seem to have anything that really, “Wowed” us.

BUT across the street is a new Cannibal exhibit, and that was very fascinating!

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Balboa is just stunning.

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We walked around Balboa park and hit up the Natural History Museum. Once again, not anything thrilled us too much. We decided we probably could have done without the Museums, but they were worth a shot!

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We couldn’t leave Balboa park without sneaking a peak at the Moreton Bay Fig Tree! It’s over 100 years old and one of the largest in California.

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We peaked into the Japanese friendship garden, but decided we were ready to head out!

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For our last evening we decided to spend it where? None other than the Gaslamp Quarter! We decided to see if we could snag a spot at Rustic Root, a desirable rooftop bar and eatery overlooking the heart of Gaslamp.

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This was a treat!!!! We decided to just pop in for some light apps, and the warm air and casual ambiance was the most relaxing experience.

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We devoured the salmon tartar with green onion , masago , sweet & spicy sauce ginger , papaya , avocado , and shiso as well as the garden flatbread with cherry tomato , jalapeno , roasted garlic , red onion zucchini , pesto , and manchego & jack cheese. So good!

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After our apps we had quite a bit of time before the last big event on our itinerary. We passed a Tim Cantor art gallery, and I couldn’t not stop in.

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I am obsessed with this picture below. (I knowwww I’m not supposed to take pictures of art, but I couldn’t help it).

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Alll of his art was impeccable. It blended reality with almost a carnival like, dream state. I spent probably twenty five minutes in the small gallery. DJ ended up just sitting outside, but I couldn’t get enough!

After, feasting with our mouths and our eyes, we headed to the Shout! House. If you are a San Diego native, you know this is the PLACE.

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We still had room for more food, so DJ had the wings and I was dying to try their Mac & Cheese balls.

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The show included Dueling pianos. We LOVE comedy shows and anything of the like. Even though it was a Tuesday night, the place ended up filling up quite a bit. I was in awe of how talented they were! If you need something to do in San Diego, highly recommend this!

After Shout! House, we walked back and swam in the warmed pool at the Westin. This was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip. I love love love swimming, and swimming on a San Diego overlook in this beautiful city on a warm evening was perfection.

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We ended our last night with one more dessert from room service….

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In the morning, we ended with breakfast at the hotel. It was the BEST hotel brunch I have ever had. It was so good that I left a review for them on Orbitz. I know I already reviewed the Westin in part one, but I would say, it’s worth staying here for the breakfast buffet alone (it’s not free, but 100% worth it).

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They had beet and carrot juices that were so tasty.

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AND NUTELLA FRENCH TOAST

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One of my favorite parts of the breakfast was the goat cheese toasts. This would be a fantastic appetizer- toast, goat cheese, blueberries, and rosemary! I will definitely be recreating for a party or hosting.

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We packed up and said goodbye to the hotel <3

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Since our flight was in the evening we decided to spend or last couple free hours at Coronado beach again. We went and laid  (lied? lain? HELP!) out on the beach, reading, and falling in and out of sleep.

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It was a perfect way to end an absolutely perfect trip.

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So, what did we miss?! I would love to hear all your suggestions for next time we stop by this incredible city!!!! Thanks for sharing in these fun memories with us 🙂

xo <3

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43 thoughts on “San Diego: Part 3- An Italian Oasis, Museums, & Shout House!

  1. Ooh this all sounds totally amazing and this blog post is a total foodies dream! Every meal looks delicious. Those mac and cheese balls, omg… neeeeeed. & the Cucina Urbana sounds amazing, that pasta dish mush be good if you liked it and also, the lasagne looks amazing! Balbao park looks beautiful, especially that shot you got of the Japanese Friendship Garden, how pretty. I love the sound of the Nutella French toast too, looks so delicious. It sounds like you had the most amazing trip, I didn’t see part one and two in my feed so off to go read those asap 😀 x

    1. HEY GIRL!!! So good to hear from ya!!!! Ok, not even kidding, San Diego is a literal foodie’s dream! Have you been?!?!?! Thank you for stopping by…. hope you are doing so well! XO

      1. I’ve never been but you’ve definitely inspired me to put it on my bucket list now, I love food so it seems the perfect destination! Thats okay you too hun! Xx

  2. Once again, your food pictures are amazing! Comedy shows are so fun. I’ve never been to a dueling piano place but it sounds like a total delight. I’m so glad you had a wonderful trip girlfriend!

  3. I am just in awe over how awesome everything was!! I lol’d at your oatmeal explosion because that kept happening to me recently. I finally started microwaving it without the cover, and so far, no spillage. Hooray for extra hours to relax, though! Ok, back to the food. That pasta sounds in-credible, Breakfast Republic’s sense of humor is on point, and your hotel breakfast. Ohmmgeee give me all the honey lavender butter! That spread looks phenomenal. I, too, looovee that painting with the ravens coming out of her chest. I’m a big fan of Poe, so naturally, I love ravens. They’re so myterious and smart. What a fabulous trip!

    1. Definitely sent that comment too soon… but thank you for sympathizing with me on the whole oatmeal fiasco hahah. I’ve only been making it nearly daily for like 5 years. But STILL … inevitably.. I have days where it overflows! the honey lavender butter was out of this world. Oh my gosh, I’m salivating thinking about it. Thank you for appreciating that painting too. I didn’t think about the Poe connection, but that makes SO much sense. I loved Poe growing up too. Thanks for stopping by and your sweet words <3

      1. Some days are smooth sailing and others just seem to be there to teach us a lesson in patience! I always salvage what oatmeal I can and try to make the best of it…after uttering a few colorful words. 😉 Hope you have the best day!

  4. We had plans to go to San Diego a few years back, but I had some health stuff and we had to pass. I’ve been enjoying vicariously visiting with you, and bookmarked it so that whenever we do get there I will try some of these amazing places!

    1. Noooo! You guys definitely need to get there ASAP, maybe take the little one with ya 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed though. I consider the word “vicarious” one of the highest compliments <3 I hope you are so well. Sending the biggest hugs!

    1. Hahaha I want to eat everything AGAIN!!!!! I NEED that coffee mug. If I hunt one down, I’ll share the link with ya! The hotel breakfast blew my mind.. I mean what?! GOAT CHEESE TOAST. I’ll take it… !

  5. Aw it sounds like an absolutely amazing trip!! I love comedy clubs and adding a dueling piano seems like a really fun idea! If I’m ever in San Diego, I think I’ll just eat my way through based on all of your suggestions. Hehe isn’t that what vacation is for though?!

  6. Oh beauty HUGE hugs! I am sorry you had that kind of day, but you definitely deserve a couple hours off! <3
    Oh no. NOT your last San Diego post how am I going to live vicariously through you!?! Though honestly the fact you LIVE in California, I am living through you!
    Ahhh girl I am totally one hundred percent going here! And I LOVE your dedication to the bachelor!
    Oh my cup o’ joe, The breakfast Place SPEAKS to my language! I LOVE all the coffee quotes. They are words to live by!
    Seriously this place SOUNDS amazing! I love all the quotes! And when I go I MIGHT have to just start taking selfies! LOVE that mirror!
    THAT is the museum!?! It is stunning! So pretty! And girl you are so photogenic!
    Those gardens are equally stunning!
    And girl no shame in taking pictures of paintings! I LOVE that!
    All of your food pics are seriously making me hungry! Ahhh I can not wait to go! Definitely putting the Shout Hosue on my list!
    I am not sure if you went (it might have been in the first post but I couldn't tell from the pics). But I have a friend who lives there, and she always takes pictures of these stairs along the side of a cliff that go down to the ocean. There is a name of them and they almost look like ruins. SO stunning! Ahhh I am glad you had such an amazing trip! You seriously deserve it beauty! <3

    1. Hi beautiful! Thank you so much <3 It was such a nice productive couple of hours!! Hehe- you are too sweet! I'm so happy you've enjoyed these posts <3 Girl, Breakfast Republic is in a new league. Sooo delish. Shout House MUST go on your list. It was a blast. Ahhhhhh I really really REALLY hope you get to go!!! I didn't see those stairs, but next time I will make sure we don't miss those!! Ah yay!!!! Thank you so much, Kate. You're the besttt. Mwah!

  7. It’s hilarious because my boyfriend and I have been making plans for Valentine’s Day in San Diego and the two restaurants we chose were Cucina Urbana and Breakfast Republic! We’re both originally from SD but never tried either of those places before, so it’s nice to know y’all had good experiences there (I’ll definitely be ordering some of those pancakes). Looks like such a fun trip!

  8. Sigh (of great satisfaction!) … thank you for sharing your trip! That was some awesome fooding & sightseeing!

    You know, I don’t eat pasta out as well – but your Farfalle was now like any regular pasta I know! It looks awesome!

    Thank you for the intro to Tim Cantor – googled him: love love love his work!

    My favourite snapshot: Nap on the Beach!

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by!!! I will say- that pasta dish will convert non-pasta lovers all around! Isn’t Tim Cantor amazing? I have a new obsession! So glad you enjoy his work as well. Thank you for your sweet support always and sharing in our travels! XO

  9. Loved this post. So glad you got to enjoy some time to travel (and I love the map in your Friday Faves post). I’ve been to San Diego a few times, but a couple years ago was the first time we visited Balboa Park. Hubby loved the aviation museum and I adored the Japanese friendship garden. We rented bikes to ride around the park, it was so fun. Too bad you guys didn’t care for the museums as much as I did (I’m such a nerd, lol!). Mmm, those mac and cheese balls though! I bet you’ve tried the ones from The Cheesecake Factory…since you are a regular there,haha.

    1. Hi Suz!! Thank you so much <3 Darn, we should have gone to the Aviation museum! I think we were so tired once we made it to the museums which made it hard. But the Japanese Friendship garden was certainly beautiful.

      LOL!!! GIRL Cheesecake factory is life. That made me laugh so hard.

  10. As always, the food absolutely mouth-watering! Especially breakfast, it’s my favorite meal and I love pancakes. Those from Breakfast Republic look amazing! I think the bathroom phrases are pretty hilarious 🙂
    Balboa Park looks pretty awesome as well, and I would love to walk around the Japanese friendship garden 🙂
    Glad you had a fabulous time down there, I’ll be sure to remember a few stops if I ever head down there 🙂

  11. So much fun!! You will be definitely be my go-to for food stops if (when) I make it out to California. You photos of the town, foods, art… are all amazing! xx

    1. Hi Amy!!! Ooooo I would be honored to give some suggestions!!! It’s basically all we’ve done. We joke that we are eating our way through California 😉 Thank you for the sweet words! XO

  12. All of the food looks so freaking delicious! Especially the hotel’s brunch & room service desserts! I love the Gaslamp area. I def need to plan a little trip to San Diego now that I’ve seen all of your posts! Sorry you didn’t enjoy the Museum’s so much, though. Personally I love all museums! I also didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to take pictures of art, oops. Lol. Why not, though?!

    1. The hotel’s brunch blew us away!! It was wayyy too delicious!!! I hope you do get a chance to go too! we usually love Museums, but for some reason these ones just didn’t live up to the hype! Hahah.. I guess it’s considered rude or taboo? I do anyways though. haha. Thanks for stopping by, Hunida! Means tons and tons!

    1. RIGHT?! So fun. I feel off kilter if too much time passes without a recap. Haha. Thank you for stopping by, Diana! I would looooove to hear san diego suggestions if you have any!!

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