San Diego Restaurant Week returns tomorrow, January 17th for 8 days of dining!

On Thursday night, Kevin and I ventured down to Mission Hills (near Hillcrest and Downtown San Diego) to sample Brooklyn Girl’s San Diego Restaurant Week menu.


Stuffed Pink Baquetta Sea Bass — Oven roasted and stuffed with crab meat, served with Forbidden black rice, organic broccolini and finished with a stone ground mustard sauce.

We entered the expansive building with exposed ceilings and were gestured to our table against the wall adorned with vintage trinkets and unique light fixtures. The interior of Brooklyn Girl has an urban and loft-like feel, while still maintaining a warm and welcoming communal vibe. Old P.S. chairs are used in combination with rustic wooden tables. There’s a bit of artistic glam mixed in (for example chandeliers enclosed in bird cages) to contrast the coolness of the steel.

During our visit I had the opportunity to sit down with Brooklyn Girl’s proprietor, Michael McGeath, to discuss the restaurant, the menu and the inspiration. Not only did he show us incredible hospitality, but his story of how Brooklyn Girl came to be was interesting and insightful.


Cajun style shellfish étouffée — Shrimp, crab, crawfish and andouille sausage stew with white rice.  Mushroom and truffle risotto — Wild mushrooms, black truffles, parmigiana cheese and chili oil.

With 40 years in the restaurant industry, and an extensive background in opening 15 different restaurants (5 of his own, 10 for other people), Brooklyn Girl is the most recent project (going on 5 years in the location) for husband and wife duo, Michael and Victoria McGeath.

The name Brooklyn Girl is an homage to his wife who is originally from Brooklyn. But it’s also a tribute to the creative food scene that Brooklyn Girl brings from the East to West.


Carlsbad Black Mussels — Thai basil, coconut, chiles, lemograss, fries, grilled baguette.  Bacon Wrapped Vietnamese Meatballs — Shrimp & pork meatballs, quick tiger slaw, sweet ginger glaze.

With the more recent gentrification of Brooklyn, this New York neighborhood is now known as a hip, trending foodie spot, with an anti-corporate attitude. Immigration to this area has also created a melting pot of multicultural flavors. All of these aspects are carried across and transplanted into this San Diego restaurant, with the aspect of fusion playing a big role in the Brooklyn Girl menu (e.g. Vietnamese meatballs, étouffée, risotto, etc.).

In addition to fusion, the menu is also innovative and fresh. Michael states that Brooklyn Girl is not just following the trends, because they’ve always been devoted to using local, organic and sustainably farmed ingredients. With eating at the restaurant 6 nights a week, Michael serves food and quality he would (and does) eat.


Chocolate chip bread pudding — Bourbon creme anglaise and whipped cream. Caramel Budino — Salted caramel, custard, crumbled chocolate cookies. 

Without a current executive chef, the couple is fully embracing the unassuming style of Brooklyn restaurants, such as the whole do-it-yourself approach, coming up with the latest menu items on their own. Scouring food blogs and utilizing their personal collection of over 200 cookbooks they seek inspiration that gives way to their unique menu items and ideas. With rotating weekly specials, they are always looking for the next and new thing without trying to replicate anyone else.

For San Diego Restaurant Week, Brooklyn Girl is offering a 3-course dinner menu for $30. This is an absolute value, considering the quality and price of the individual dishes on their own. Ordering off the San Diego Restaurant Week provides a wide range of tastes from the regular menu. With over 6 options for each course, there’s ample opportunity to see why people flock and gather at the Brooklyn Girl!


My recommendation of the perfect Brooklyn Girl San Diego Restaurant Week order would be:

First Course: Carlsbad Black Mussels — the coconut broth was the best thing ever. We found ourselves soaking the mussels…and dipping the bread…and dunking the fries

Second Course: Mushroom and truffle risotto — perfectly cooked, super creamy, and when can you ever go wrong with truffles in a dish??

Third Course: Caramel Budino — buttery and rich with a velvety texture, nicely contrasted by the subtle crunch from the cookie crumbs.

Brooklyn Girl
4033 Goldfinch Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Thank you to Brooklyn Girl for hosting me! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.



San Diego Restaurant Week returns this fall, starting tomorrow, September 20th! Running 1 week (until the 27th) the theme this season is “Celebrate Local!”

I was so excited to preview the San Diego Restaurant Week at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse. This is seriously one of my favorite restaurants in SD (remember when London and I had a Happy Hour Made Healthy there?).

Boasting fresh local seafood and the most amazing view (think San Diego skyline and Coronado Bridge), this restaurant (especially the outdoor deck) feels like it’s floating above the San Diego Bay.


For San Diego Restaurant Week, Tom Ham’s Lighthouse has 2 different menus — one for lunch (2 courses for $15) and one for dinner (3 courses for $40). The SDRW menu features regular menu items, giving you the chance to taste the restaurant’s specialities. And it also means, if you fall in love with a specific dish, you can always go back and get it again :)

I can honestly tell you that anything you order from the SDRW menu is a real treat. We were seriously spoiled and sampled everything (that’s 6 appetizers, 4 entrees) from the SDRW menu.

Let’s start with the starters:


House Ceviche – (salmon), avocado, lime, cliantro and corn chips. I’ve never had salmon ceviche before so I thought this was really unique (and flavorful).


Calamari – chili lime honey sauce. The calamari was very thick and meaty, with a lightly fried coating and a spicy-sweet yet tangy dipping sauce. Needless to say these were addicting.


Crudo – (Yellowfin), citrus, California olive oil, sea salt. The touch of sea salt really enhanced the freshness and the flavor of the Yellowfin. The orange segments made everything really bright, and the slivers of chili peppers gave it an uplifting bite.

Tenderloin Tips – with pistachios and a salad of arugula, frisee, blue cheese, bacon, balsamic reduction. This appetizer was like a mini entree! The tenderloin tips were small but packed with a hearty flavor, complimented nicely with all the different flavors in the side salad.


Little Gem Caesar – Spanish anchovies, house croutons, pecorino. This salad was very pungent, topped with full-on anchovies (can’t lie, I used to be a heavy anchovy connoisseur in my childhood). It was a unique take on the traditional Caesar.


Baby Kale and Local Apple – Hooks 10yr aged cheddar, peppered bacon, wholegrain mustard vinaigrette. This salad had all the right elements — sweet, savory and peppery!

And for the entrees:


Local Yellowtail – haricot verts, butter poached pearl potatoes, sauce vierge. Caught daily, this buttery fish was topped with a refreshing sauce vierge.


Paella – Saffron rice, fish, shrimp, chicken, chorizo, mussels, clams, peas, peppers. This mediterranean dish has a local flair, utilizing the freshest ingredients like Carlsbad mussels.


Mary’s Half Brick Chicken – Mary’s chicken, preserved Meyer lemon couscous, cirspy Dijon brussel sprouts, pomegranate mint gastrique. This dish was somewhat Thanksgiving-esque in flavor. The chicken was cooked perfectly, juicy with a little bit of crunch on the exterior, contrasted with the little pearly texture of the couscous.


Filet of Rib Eye – 8oz Kobe Beef filet, smashed potato, green beans, bordelaise. This dish was rich in all the right ways. Tender and juicy with a deep and robust flavor, this filet was stand-alone good, but further enhanced by scooping up a little bit of everything in one bite.

If there is one restaurant that encompasses the “Celebrate Local” theme, it’s Tom Ham’s Lighthouse. Their locally sourced ingredients are evident and highlighted on their menu. We spoke with Chef Kyle who informed us that the Yellowtail is caught daily (we got to try this two different ways), the mussels are from Carlsbad, and all other ingredients, if not completely local, are selected from the freshest purveyor possible.

So make sure you don’t miss out on Tom Ham’s Lighthouse during San Diego Restaurant week.

Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
2150 Harbor Island Dr
San Diego, CA 92101


Thank you to Tom Ham’s Lighthouse for hosting me! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Last Tuesday my boyfriend and I had the best date night ever! By far the best week night combo — dinner and a show. We started the night at West Coast Tavern, an urban tavern set in a historic theater that also houses the Observatory North Park.

This was my second time going to a show at the Observatory (see Jungle for previous visit). It’s a cool, old venue that has really good shows for not too much $$. We were excited to be going to Tame Impala, a show that sold out within the first hour couple of minutes of ticket sales!


Since it was a “school night” we kept it safe with a couple of beers. I got the rotating handle, which was the Stone Delicious IPA. We began our dinner with the Charred Bacon Brussels Sprouts—balsamic oil, bacon, chili flakes, shaved parmesan reggiano. The sprouts were perfectly charred and crisp, complimented by bits of bacon (because bacon compliments everything!). You could taste the acidity of the balsamic, which made it seem like there was a hint of citrus. The cheese added a bit of saltiness and rounded out the dish nicely.


Keeping it southern, we went for the Pork Belly and Waffles and Shrimp and Grits. The Pork Belly and Waffles—bourbon smoked syrup, garlic butter, bacon— seriously made me smile ear to ear. The pork belly was so soft, rich and buttery, the combo on the waffle literally sent good feelings everywhere.

The Shrimp and Grits — sautéed shrimp, jalapeño, red onion, chorizo soft grits, cilantro, lime — had a bit of spice and a little kick with the incorporation of chorizo in the grits. However, the shrimp were plump and large, and cut down some of the spiciness.


Tame Impala is an alternative, psychedelic-pop band from Australia.  The show started at 10pm and lasted a good hour and a half.  It was nice to see them at a local venue because it was one of the bands we wish we could’ve gone to Outside Lands to see.  Overall, if you’ve looking for the perfect date night, I highly recommend dinner at West Coast Tavern followed by a show at the Observatory North Park!  You can check out the full schedule and line-up here.


West Coast Tavern / Observatory North Park
2895/2891 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92104


Thanks to West Coast Tavern and Observatory North Park for hosting us!


Last Thursday London, Kendall and I had the pleasure of dining at Shima in Coronado. Shima is a new(er) Japanese Steakhouse located in Coronado, offering both a normal dining room as well as a hibachi option where food is prepared in front of guests. Going in with quite an appetite, this was the perfect place for a fun and filling dinner experience.


The three of us joined another family around the Teppanyaki grill. We sat down and each each ordered a Kirin and shared a dish of garlic edamame. The soybeans were plump and flavorful — a good little appetizer as we waited for our chef to come.


London, Kendall and I all ordered off the hibachi menu, and each of our entrees included onion soup, house salad, rice (we got chicken fried rice), and shrimp appetizer. The house salad was unique because it came with finely shredded carrots, cucumber, red cabbage and watermelon radishes. It was served with a house ginger dressing that made everything taste very crisp, fresh and refreshing.


The grill items then came with grilled onions, zucchini and bok choy, and protein (depending on your menu selection), served with a side of ginger and mustard sauce for dipping. I ordered the “Surf & Turf” — Grilled New York strip loin and tiger shrimp with grilled onions. The shrimp were massive and the steak (cooked to medium) was tender and juicy.




We all agreed that the best part of the experience was how entertaining and interactive the chef was. From making complimentary “egg rolls” (making the egg roll down a spatula), to tossing bowls into the air and making a volcano of fire within a tower of raw onions, we all had a good time.

To finish the night off we were offered a scoop of ice cream (we opted for vanilla and green tea). Our advice: it’s a good idea to come hungry!

Shima Japanese Steakhouse
126 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118


Thanks to Shima for hosting us!


Happy Hour Made Healthy is baaaaack. To kick it off, London and I got together for the first DIY Happy Hour of the season…al fresco! Fresh air, comfy patio hangs, and a refreshing spread meant another [lingering happy hour. ]

Craving something simple yet fresh, we put in motion Ahi Tacos and some bubbly Bon Affair Mango Sangria. Requiring only a few ingredients and a few minutes of prep, this happy hour made healthy is easy, while wielding some impressive results.

How to get London to make you dinner? Put together your 2 wicker chairs while she “slaves” away in the kitchen.


Ahi Tacos
Store-bought ahi poke
Flour tortillas
Micro greens


  1. Warm up tortillas over a burner.
  2. On a large plate, sprinkle micro greens over each tortilla before placing ahi chunks evenly over each.
  3. Top with slices of avocado and a squeeze of lime!


Bon Affair Mango Sangria
1 bottle of Bon Affair Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 lime, cut into fourths


  1. This one’s easy ;). In a large pitcher, add the frozen mango and lime slices, then pour in Bon Affair.




When I don’t bring my own lunch to work, I don’t run into the issue of making unhealthy options. I run into the issue of making healthy options and paying a fortune for them (#wholepaycheck).

I am definitely not as good as I used to be about meal prep, and basically make everything on a day-to-day basis, usually the morning-of.  I also run into the issue of not cooking as much as I used to, so I don’t like to buy groceries that will eventually just go to waste.

So, I’m starting to find things that are easy to throw together that are healthy and taste great. I used to not be into sandwiches, but now they’re one of my go-to lunch options. Paired with a simple spinach salad (dressed in blood orange EVOO – yum!), it’s always a great combo.

Here’s a recipe I’ve recently added to my arsenal. A healthy tuna fish salad sandwich using greek yogurt (yay) instead of mayo (ew).

Simple Tuna Fish Sandwich
via The Healthy Foodie
1/4 cup 0% fat greek plain yogurt
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Old Style whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Italian parsley
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 can chunk light tuna fish, in water
2 slices whole grain bread of your choice
a handful of spinach

  1. Add all the ingredients except tuna in a small mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Stir in drained tuna and mix well.
  2. Spread mixture onto one slice of bread. Garnish with spinach and top with second slice of bread.
  3. Serve immediately.



The 11th annual San Diego Restaurant Week starts tomorrow! This past Thursday my friend and I had the opportunity to try out a new spot, Farmer’s Bottega in Mission Hills. Not only was this restaurant new to me, it’s new new. Meaning, it just opened December 11th! We arrived at 8pm, and the place was full. The ambience was warm and rustic, as we took a seat at our table located next to the window. The restaurant was definitely bustling, but the acoustics still allowed for personal conversations to be heard.

Farmer’s Bottega is a farm-to-table eatery offering New American and Italian flavors. Chef and owner Alberto Morreale (also chef and co-owner of the Fig Tree Cafe in Liberty Station and Hillcrest) was present and visible throughout the night, making his way around the tables in the restaurant. He took care of us, offering us a sampling of the upcoming week’s San Diego Restaurant Week menu.


Everything we tasted was literally “so good!” — words we kept uttering to ourselves and our waiter. We started off with the Heirloom Tomato with – fresh milk mozzarella + farm basil + EVOO which was some of the softest and freshest mozzarella I’ve ever tasted. Simplicity was the key.


The P.E.I. Mussels with – roasted cherry tomato + capers + mediterranean olives + garlic had some of the best broth I’ve ever tasted and I found myself wanting more bread to soak it up.



For the entrees we were served split plates of Oxtail Ravioli with – cherry tomatoes + caramelized onion + herbed goat cheese, and Short Rib with – red wine + herbs + grilled polenta + tobacco onions. The oxtail was hearty but softened by the flavor of the goat cheese, and you could tell the pasta was homemade. The short ribs were tender with a robust flavor, and the polenta absorbed the rich flavor of the red wine sauce.


For dessert we shared the Amaretto Tiramisu. It was a small and sweet bite to end the meal (and also because I can never pass up tiramisu!).

Based on everything we tried, you could tell there was a lot of thought that went into the refined selection of ingredients.


For San Diego Restaurant Week, Farmer’s Bottega is offering a 3-course prix-fixe dinner for $40. If you’re looking for a new restaurant harnessing a strong menu with great flavor, don’t miss SDRW at Farmer’s Bottega January 18th through the 24th!

Farmer’s Bottega
860 W. Washington St
San Diego, CA 92103


Thank you to Farmer’s Bottega for hosting me! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Oh hey.  It’s been a hot minute for meal planning, especially since last week I didn’t grocery shop and ate out M-F, BLD (breakfast, lunch and dinner). It definitely made me realize the importance of grocery shopping and meal prepping on Sunday (even just for the sake of my wallet)!

Saturday I picked up my 6 juice assortment of OH! Juice from the Little Italy Farmers Market.  It’s been a great little addition, and a good way to get in nutrients, especially since my meal prepping mojo is at an all time low.

This week’s menu:
Breakfast – Greek yogurt with fruit, granola and Sol Raiz Organics maca
Snack 1 – OH! Juice (pictured: Nice Melons)
Lunch – Quinoa & Lentil Salad
Snack 2 – Apple
Dinner – TBD

Keep an eye out for the “copycat” Quinoa & Lentil Salad recipe tomorrow!

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This week we headed to a classic San Diego spot to see if the fresh craft cocktails and healthy menu options could live up to the insanely gorgeous views. Sitting on the outdoor deck seemingly floating above the ocean, we savored the chef’s fresh favorites while watching the sunset above the water.

Coming up on its 45th anniversary, Tom Ham’s Lighthouse has a rich history as one of San Diego’s best-known landmarks, and is actually a functioning lighthouse with gorgeous views of the San Diego Bay, Coronado Bridge and San Diego skyline.

After undergoing a full remodel and menu makeover last year spearheaded by Executive Chef Lance Repp, the family owned establishment managed to capture a vibe that is both special and romantic (without being stuffy), while offering a modern menu with food almost as gorgeous as the view.

With such a tempting menu, great specials and a truly unbeatable view, it’s the perfect spot to unwind for a healthier happy hour. If you’re only visiting San Diego you won’t want to miss out, and if you’re a local come here to remind yourself why you love San Diego so much!


Drinks –

Captain Idiot – Mongo IPA, Tanqueray, Aperol, honey ginger syrup. This vibrant drink starts out subtly sweet before the IPA’s hoppiness hits, then finishes smooth. London’s favorite!

Tiny Bubbles – LaMarca Prosecco, Ballast Point Old Grove Gin, Crème de violet. This drink was effervescent, light, and floral with a hint of lemon—a delicate cocktail that perfectly complimented the oysters.

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Strawberry Shrub – House made strawberry Shrub, Sauza Hornitos Tequila, Cointreau, salted rim. Vinegary shrub gave the cocktail a “bracing note of fruity tartness”. Add in tequila and it was quite a kicker!

Bayside Sangria – Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel, Cointreau, brandy, fresh fruit. This sangria was the best we’ve ever had. It was unique with the use of pineapple juice and stone fruit, super refreshing, and not too “unctuous” like other red sangrias.

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Iced Shellfish Platter

We started the night each with one Kumai oyster from Baja CA Sur. During Happy Hour, a daily selection of oysters is available for only $1 per shell!

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Chili Lime Duck Drummies – with spicy apple slaw. The duck was moist and glazed in a sauce you could put on anything. Seriously. Served atop a bed of crisp and well-seasoned apple slaw.

Crudo – Raw seasonal fish (albacore), citrus, California olive oil, sea salt. Spicy, but the orange and grapefruit really balanced it out well. Light and fresh!

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Mussels – deglazed in stout with cherry tomato, chorizo, pecorino, Dijon cream. A different take on traditional mussels! Instead of being served in a garlic and white wine sauce, these mussels were served in a hearty, home-brewed stout and Dijon mustard mix. It was warm and comforting, without weighing you down.

Grilled Spanish Octopus – Confit Tomato, Arugula, House Cured Olives. The thick, meatiness of the octopus contrasted well with the pickled flavor from the capers. A fun texture and delicious bite.

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Heirloom Spinach and Stone Fruit Salad – St. Agure blue cheese, pistachios, shaved fennel, figs, green onion honey dressing. Earthy in the best way possible. The crumbly blue cheese, fennel and figs provide a variety of textures, and with the gorgeous jewel tones this salad really felt “foraged”.

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Dessert –

Dulcey Blondie “Sundae” –Hazelnut Beer Fudge, Caramelia Crunch Bar, White Chocolate Gelato, Strawberries. We were originally intrigued by the “beer fudge” so couldn’t resist ordering this dish…and it did not disappoint! (And I basically can’t pass up any dessert that’s both hot and cold- especially if it involves ice cream of some sort!).

Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
2150 Harbor Island Dr
San Diego, CA 92101

Happy Hours:
Monday-Friday 3-6pm


Don’t miss the: beautiful city-views, unique craft cocktails and fun small bites and appetizers.

Take-away tip: check out the iced shellfish platter offering for the freshest seafood options!

A big thank you to Tom Ham’s Lighthouse for hosting this week’s Happy Hour Made Healthy!


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It’s officially San Diego Restaurant Week!

Last Thursday, my friend and I had the opportunity to preview the San Diego Restaurant Week menu at Fish Public.  If you’re in San Diego, Fish Public is part of the Urban Kitchen Group (e.g. Cucina Urbana and Cucina Enoteca).  Similar to these other restaurants, the atmosphere of Fish Public was relaxed, with cool vibes, rustic elements, and nautical notes for the sake of being Fish Public!


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We arrived at Fish Public and were immediately greeted with warm hospitality.  We celebrated the night with some rose bubbly, and were personally delivered a couple surprise dishes by executive sous chef, Mark Schmitt.  These included a cobia amuse-bouche and 2 different types of oysters (from Baja and Washington).

Now for the San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW) menu…we opted for two different versions of the prix-fixe 3-course dinner menu.

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Course one:

Steamed Mussels – coconut green curry broth + scallion + cilantro + grilled ciabatta. This dish was spicy (but mellowed out by the coconut), really herbaceous and almost minty. Soaking up the broth with the grilled ciabatta, just might have made the dish.

Ceviche del Dia – avocado + serrano + red onion + tortilla chips. The dover sole was fresh, and the avocado was cleverly disguised so you got a bite in every scoop.  The chips were also perfectly light and flaky.

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Course two:

Wild Salmon a la Plancha – english pea + asparagus + farro + mushroom cream. The salmon was cooked perfectly, while the mushroom sauce created an earthy flavor.  The peas and farro were cooked al dente and provided some additional texture to the dish.

Lobster Risotto – maine lobster + sea beans + lobster chili oil. This risotto was creamy yet chunky– so silky, yet filled with lobster meat…and I kind of just wanted it to sit in my mouth forever!

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Course three:

Gelato + Sorbet Sampler – watermelon + apple pie + chocolate marshmallow pecan.  This sampler had the most unique flavors I’ve ever tasted–watermelon sorbet with pickled watermelon rind, apple pie gelato with pie crust (nothing is better than ice cream and pie crust!), and a spin on “moose-tracks” with candied pecans and toasted marshmallow mouse.

Chocolate Almond Torte – white chocolate ganache + strawberries. This torte had a little bit of acidity that kicked in at the end to curb the sweetness and just made me go mmm.

We had an amazing experience at Fish Public from start to finish.  From the ambience, to the service, and the impeccable food, I would highly recommend trying out Fish Public for SDRW!  I’m excited to go back and try more of their menu sometime.

And in general, I feel like San Diego Restaurant Week provides a decadent and romantic experience, allowing you to taste more of the menu than you might normally.  You have now until September 26th to check out a new restaurant and get a full feel for the menu during SDRW!

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Fish Public
4055 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116

 Thank you to Fish Public for hosting me!  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.



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