Archive for August, 2011

My Picks: Things To Do In San Diego, August 27-28

| August 26, 2011

While I would love to afford to go to Beer Con, I can’t. If you’re in the same boat and you’re looking for events that are easy on your wallet, consider these ideas for closing out August in San Diego.

Things-to-do-San-Diego-August-27-28

Saturday, August 27:

  • 2:00 p.m. Support the budding career of a local writer. My friend’s husband, Tone Milazzo, has published his first novel, Picking Up The Ghost. Pick up a signed copy at the release party taking place until 3:00 p.m. at the Mysterious Galaxy Book Store on Clairmont Mesa Boulevard.
  • 6:00 p.m. I learn to love new bands via M-Theory Music. I discovered Admiral Radley’s I Heart California at one of M-Theory’s listening stations. And I fell for April Smith & the Great Picture Show during a past in-house show. So, I have high hopes for Seattle-based band Seapony who performs their own FREE in-house session at this infamous Mission Hills independent record store. The performance will probably last until 6:30ish. Of course, Seapony will also play at Soda Bar starting at 8:00 p.m. but that show is $10.

Sunday, August 28:

  • 10:00 a.m. Brunch it up at Cafe Chloe. Enjoy a Croque Madame, a Lavender Lemonade, or any number of the delicious late breakfast treats at this quiet, East Village favorite. Meals run between $9 and $14 but are well portioned and well worth it. And since it’s Sunday, all of the nearby metered parking is free.
  • 7:00 p.m. One Night Only. Well, every month. But only for one night. On the last Sunday of each month, Kava Lounge, in collaboration with Community Work Effort, hosts a night of local music and artistry. A multi-media extravaganza, one might say. Four bands, 10 artists and one DJ are slated to show at this month’s installation and admission is only $2.

(Photo caption from left to right: Image of Milazzo’s novel from Horror-Mall.com; photo of the “Dreaming” album cover from the Seapony’s BandCamp page; photo of Cafe Chloe’s sign from Yelp as taken by Yelper Kwiri Y.; photo of Dead Animal Mod, a band performing at One Night Only, from the band’s MySpace page.)

  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Share/Bookmark

Marcel The Shell Made Me LOL

| August 22, 2011

Not ROTFL, but laugh none-the-less. Would that be LN-T-L?

See if he makes you laugh, too.


Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp.

  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Share/Bookmark

My Picks: Things To Do In San Diego, August 20-21

| August 19, 2011

Embrace your inner over-achiever. I’ve got five ideas of things to do in San Diego on this third weekend of August. Saturday starts off with a green opportunity and continues on with a food truck event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and a music show at the Lafayette Hotel. The list of ideas ends on Sunday with a photo craft event at MoPA in Balboa Park and a $3 bánh mì dinner.

Things-to-do-San-Diego-August-20-21

Saturday, August 20:

  • 10:00 a.m. Find a greener resting place for your old electronics. Old cell phones. Virus ravaged laptops. Outdated Palm Pilots and VCRs. They’re lurking in the dusty, dark corners of your closets, offices and garages. Bring your house and mind some rest knowing that you’ve finally disposed of them in a sustainable way. Simply roll up to the FREE electronics recycling collection event hosted by All Green Electronics Recycling and Swifttech Computer Repair. The event takes place in Mira Mesa and runs until 3:30 p.m. (Certified Data Destruction is available for a small fee.)
  • 12:00 p.m. Bet the ponies while sampling food truck faire. The Gourmet Food Truck Festival goes down at the Del Mar Fairgrounds from noon to 6:00 p.m. Admission to the event is free AFTER you pay to park and get into the fairgrounds. Up to 45 of San Diego’s food truck fleet will be in attendance. If it’s anything like a food truck event I attended in LA, stack the odds in your favor by coming up with a strategy beforehand. For example, consider working with a team who’ll split the overall tab evenly and target 3-4 trucks; learn what the trucks’ weekly menus are by visiting their websites; study the event map to know where they’ll be; arrive at the fairgrounds as close to the start of the event as you can, then FAN OUT — one or two friends to each agreed food truck line. Have one friend scope and keep a “home base” to which the rest of you will return with food for everyone to sample. Make sure those cell phones are charged! And break down your cash ($1s, $5s, etc.) to make transactions and paybacks quick and easy.
  • 7:00 p.m. Get bluesy in the Mississippi Room. The Lafayette Hotel continues to make good use of its recently remodeled Mississippi Room with their next concert, the Mississippit Ballroom Blues. This 21+ event goes on until 10:00 p.m. and features The BluesWailers with Harmonica John Frazer and The Soul Penetrators with Mark Abbott. Tickets are $10 and sold at the door.

Sunday, August 21:

  • 12:00 p.m. Bring the kids to a MoPA craft day. The Museum of Photographic Arts hosts their next Sunday Craft Sunday from noon until 3:00 p.m. For just $10, those in attendance will craft a photo mobile made from photo-strip photos they’ll pose for at MoPA that day! All supplies needed to make the mobiles, including the photos, are included in the event fee.
  • 6:00 p.m. Eat dinner for $3. That’s how much the husb and I paid last night when we visited Cali Baguette Express. Okay, it was actually a whopping $7 for a meal for two which was made up of two different $3 foot-long bánh mì and $1 for a small soda (with free refills). But we left full without being in-pain full. Since the bánh mì are cut in half, it was easy to swap halves with each other, making the meal a bit of a buffet, too. With three different San Diego locations — Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa, and College Area — there’s no reason to hesitate. Just make sure to bring cash because that’s all they’ll accept.

(Photo caption, left to right: photo of a previous All Green Recycling event from the group’s website; flyer image from the Gourmet Food Truck Festival page on the Del Mar Scene website; flyer image from Lafayette Hotel’s event website; flyer image from MoPA’s website; photo of Convoy Street’s Cali Baguette Express taken by Christine Pasalo.)

  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Share/Bookmark

Bánh Mì A La Cali Baguette Express

| August 18, 2011

Cali-Baguette-Express-Convoy A couple of Fridays ago, I decided to treat myself to lunch. I was craving a Vietnamese sandwich, also known as bánh mì, the way Carrie Bradshaw aches for a pair of Jimmy Choos, so it was a good time to check out Cali Baguette Express, the bánh mì shop featured in the August issue of San Diego Magazine.

I rolled up to the shop on Convoy — there are also shops in the College Area and in Mira Mesa — around 1:30 p.m. Having arrived at the end of peak lunch hours, the shop’s adjoining parking lot was pretty much empty. I chose a spot in the shade near the service entrance, a spot the MacGyver-ish Cali Baguette owners reserved for their customers using a sign attached to an empty bread cart.

The shop was practically empty, too, but in an in-between-rushes way. There was one shirt-and-tie gentleman enjoying his sandwich purchase, his tie thrown over his shoulder so that his lunch wouldn’t spoil it. A young woman sat alone at a round table near the entrance of the shop, her wadded up trash awaiting disposal after her smart phone session. Two customers came in to pick up their take-out orders, customers who I assumed were regulars with the way they joked with the man at the register.

One look at the menu above the register and Quiznos and Subway this is not. The foot-long sandwiches run between $2.75 and $4.50 and are built up from proteins like fried egg, cajun shrimp, bbq pork loaf, Vietnamese ham and pâté. Not wanting to play favorites, I placed my order for the bánh mì called “Cali Express” ($3) which consists of bbq pork loaf, Vietnamese ham and pâté, paid cash (since it’s cash only) and took a seat as my order was prepared.

My wait? 10 minutes. Enough time to notice the framed painting that hangs on the wall adjacent to the soda machine, a painting that features a 19th century woman tending to a chicken she is roasting in a wood-burning stove. Because when I think of Vietnam, I see Colonial Williamsburg.

I’d originally placed my order “to go” thinking that I’d eat one half of the sandwich in the shop and the other half at home for dinner. By this time, the shirt-and-tie gentleman and smart-phone girl were gone and it was just me. Everyone else worked there and they were in the back. I unwrapped the sandwich, the sound of crinkling paper bouncing off the whir of the ceiling fans, then thought to myself, “Screw demureness.” I began to eat up the whole sammie in one sitting.

In hindsight, it isn’t that big of a feat. The fresh-baked French baguette is hollowed out in order to fit the thin slices of meat with the usual bánh mì suspects: sweet, pickled strips of radish and carrots, refreshing cucumber and cilantro, and green chili pepper slices. Pressed tightly, the girth of the sandwich isn’t much bigger than a sandwich one might make at home. Or so I tell myself.

It was the kind of chewy yet crumby lunch that clings long after you’ve finished — on your collar, your pants, the corners of your mouth. I fully understood why the shirt-and-tie gentleman had his tie over his shoulder. When you’re finished, there’s no leaving the table unnoticed. Evidence the likes of bread crumbs and a cilantro leaf or two mark your former territory no matter how carefully you crunch down.

Was it worth it? Well, put it this way: Should I ever make it to another Padres game this season, I’m stopping at Cali Baguette Express first to order a couple of bánh mì to take into the park.

Just be careful of one thing: If you, like me, pull the membranes off of sliced peppers before eating them, remember not to touch any place on your face with those fingers before you’ve washed them. Don’t use the tissue that you wiped your fingers on to dab your nose, either. “Slow burn” is just the short of it.

Cali-Baguette-Express-Convoy-collage
Column 1, top to bottom: The other use of bread carts; Cali Baguette’s camera security sign; cross-section view of the Cali Express bánh mì. Column 2, top to bottom: top view of the Cali Express bánh mì; the after-lunch-hour crowd; also for sale at Cali Baguette are teddy-bear-shaped plastic containers filled with lychee jellies. Column 3, top to bottom: the colonial painting on the wall adjacent to the soda machine; crumby bánh mì evidence. | Photos taken by Christine Pasalo.

  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Share/Bookmark

Stick Your Neck Out

| August 15, 2011

True, the women of the Stone Age may have been rustic, living indoors and outdoors depending on the situation, sleeping on dirt floors and amidst brush and stone. But one thing’s clear:

The ladies had style.

In fact, we can thank them for our love of adornments that hang down over our collar bones, for that subconscious pull we feel towards display cases and jewelry counter turnstiles featuring pieces that drape above, over or below our décolletage.

Throw up your fist in Paleolithic solidarity and check out these necklaces I found perusing ModCloth.com, Avalaya.com and Ofina.com.

Necklaces
Photo caption, clockwise from left: Fly Like Paper Cranes necklace from ModCloth.com; Fossil Flair necklace from ModCloth.com; Snake necklace from Avalaya.com; Clothes Seahorse necklace from ModCloth.com; Cuffs necklace from Ofina.com.

  • Reddit
  • Facebook
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Share/Bookmark