Taste of Hillcrest 2015 - recap
Another year, another Taste of Hillcrest! Can you believe it's been going on for 15 years? This year I was provided a pair of media tickets for their event on April 18, 2015 between 12-4pm. Faye of Faye's Fork came as my plus one.
Here's the map and ticket. It was advertised as 40+ restaurants but there were only 33 locations listed on the map. Perhaps this would be the year I get them all? I only made it to 28 of 40 during last year's Taste of Hillcrest 2014.
This year's recap will also be more photos than text. Let's get it started in here!
Our first sample was this beer braised pork shoulder po' boy from Local Habit. Carbs right off the start! Oh boy...
Nearby, the chicken sa-tae with peanut sauce and cucumber salad from Taste of Thai were downright delightful.
I was excited to see East Coast Pizza again. Their scrumptious meatball from last year was joined by a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie!
Juice Crafters had a ginger, cayenne and lemon shot. That spicy combo was not for me but Faye LOVED it.
I believe Buffalo Public House had the same chicken coxinha sample as during Taste n Tinis 2014. It's a brazilian style breaded chicken with onions and peppers that was served with chimichurri aioli and a second one but was a little dry without them.
I'm always happy to sample Luna Grill and I enjoyed their refreshing Mediterranean Chicken Salad. I totally want to cook some israeli couscous now (those ball shaped pastas).
We also grabbed some almond croissants from Bread & Cie but my picture was too blurry to post (oops).
Urban Mo's had mild buffalo chicken wings and pink lemonade for the patrons.
It was no shocker that Fiesta Cantina sampled their Santa Monica roll. I've been sampling this yummy bite at every Hillcrest tasting event for a while. A small house margarita adds to the the allure of stopping here.
Last year's sample at Empire House was amazing so we stuck it out here for our longest wait, maybe 20-30 minutes. Unfortunately the carnitas tacos didn't wow us, especially for the wait. We also passed by Mary from This Tasty Life as we were exiting.
The French restaurant Au Revoir provided a classic beef bourgion with an apple crisp sample as dessert.
Einstein Bros Bagels had a couple of different bagel bite flavors to pick. This one is a blueberry and an everything bagel with cream cheese.
Crest Cafe sampled their brie soup again but this time I thought it was a promising blend of creamy soup accented by brie. The tortellini pasta on the other hand was pretty blah for me.
Popular items like naan, chickpeas, and chicken masala were served at Tandoori Hut. You can't go wrong with that!
I grabbed two tea samples from Trinitea Tea, their trinitea milk tea and thai tea. They were so refreshing after walking around in the sun.
D Bar served this little beauty. The mini torta was on a fluffy bolillo bun but the carnitas flavor was a little underwhelming.
Faye ran off to buy more water at Rite Aid and I spotted Mary again near Lotus Thai. We waited together for some yummy massaman curry and corn fritter samples.
Mary had already sampled Tajima Ramen Bar but joined us for a quick breather. This place had an almost regular sized bowl as a sample as well as takoyaki (octopus) and karaage! Hitting this near the end was breaking our bellies!
At Whole Foods, the bell pepper crostini-type sandwiches actually made for a great breakfast the next day. The red tomato juice was just dreadful and we couldn't even finish it!
The girls seemed ready to go but I convinced them to keep going for the last hour. We trekked across the highway toward the east side of Hillcrest.
At 100 Wines Kitchen, they took something healthy like cauliflower and fried it with pancetta then drizzled it with balsamic port sauce. Who knew cauliflower could taste so good! The watermelon gazpacho shooter was somewhat refreshing only because I was so thirsty but it's really not my kind of liquid.
I was super curious about Lava Sushi because they had wagyu sliders during San Diego Burger Week. The tuna sushi was standard fare but I'd pass on the vegetarian eggroll.
A simple margarita pizza sample was served at Wine Steals. I'm sure people visit more for their *wines*
We were running low on time so I began wandering off to cover more ground. I brought the girls this rice sample from House of Kahn but it was a bit dry.
I headed toward Hillcrest Brewing Company and reached the front just in time for some of the last wings of the day!
Mary and Faye had gone to Oscar Wilde's Irish Pub to pick up this super plain pasta so I met them after my wing haul. At this point, the taste was over and we had missed a few places. I count 25 this year for me! Once again the completion of Hillcrest slipped out of my reach but at least it was nice to have girlie company that day. Mary / Faye have their own take as well. I'm just waiting until next year's attempt...
Disclaimer: We got complimentary tickets to the event but the opinions are strictly our own.
It was a lot of food and it was a great work out walking from restaurant to restaurant. There was definitely more food at this event than Bacon and Barrels. I still can't believe the sample portion size Tajima handed out that day.
Tajima sample was crazy! This event has lots of food but it is spread out. Bacon and Barrels has less food but hardly any walking! I think they both have their own perks. B&B just happens to have plenty of alcohol! And the bacon.
You were an awesome taste of hillcrest cheerleader, egging us on into the final stretch! Maybe if they added ONE more hour to this event you could finally make all of the stops (or split up with someone, but that's never any fun).
i like going out with the girls. we're just awesome like that. next year i'll cheer harder =P
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