On our third day in Southern California, we decided to take a morning and head down to San Diego and check out a few sights off the beaten path. We ended up hiking most of the length of Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, which was a pleasantly quiet and nice canyon, considering that it’s nestled in between dense subdivisions to both the north and south. I still recommend it if you are looking for a nice urban-area hike. After our hike, however, we were a little hungry. We already had dinner plans back up in Temecula that involves copious amount of food and wine, so we were looking for something light. Luckily, I actually follow several other blogs that cover San Diego, including mmm-Yoso!!! (several contributors of which were my companions on the Yuma taco crawl a few years back) and A Radiused Corner (whose owner Dennis and I have been trading recommendations, and occasionally visiting the same places, for a few years now). Both blogs recommended stopping by Nijiya Market, one of San Diego’s best Japanese grocery stores, as a good place for both Japanese groceries and light meals.
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m often having to travel to Cleveland to meet with clients at NASA Glenn Research Center. As a result, I’ve ended up having a number of Cleveland restaurants that I get to semi-regularly visit and enjoy. I always get a hearty welcome from the folks at Greenhouse Tavern and Bar Cento, both of which I’ve written up in the past (and I visited both this trip as well, I’ll do an update post on Greenhouse Tavern later). But one place I’ve frequented several times, but haven’t yet written up is AMP 150. The AMP in AMP 150 stands for “America’s Modern Palate”, and that’s basically what AMP 150 is about, modern American food. Nestled into the Cleveland Airport Marriott, it’s the sort of place that you’d probably drive by several times wondering “Is that place good?” but never going inside, especially since the Cleveland Airport Marriott isn’t exactly the area’s most photogenic hotel. But inside, they’ve done a great job renovating the restaurant space, making for a ~200 seat restaurant with a nice lively decor. I should mention that I’m always a bit skeptical of restaurants in hotels, since the manager of the restaurant has to play to several crowds: the hotel bar crowd, the people coming for a good dinner, and the people staying at the hotel for which the restaurant is primarily a convenient option (or, if they don’t have a car, probably their only option). So this makes the restauranteur have to cater from everything from bar snacks, to modest dinners, to fancy entrees and tasting menus. And a lot of places can do some of these well, but not all of them. Luckily, AMP 150 seems to pull off the whole menu well…