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While life can certainly be filled with many different surprises, the unexpected can at times really throw us off  –  some are good surprises that give us joy, hope, comfort, and happiness, and some…can hurt, really really hurt, and leave you hanging with uncertainties, and disbelief…

The days before, during and after my relatively short trip to San Deigo encompassed a mixture of these surprises which left me to ponder how truly fast and sudden events in life can change from one moment to another.

The month leading up to the trip was the beginning of a revelation, a test of  tolerance, and love. First of all, the trip itself was somewhat unexpected, but very welcomed. I was to accompany my boss who wanted to cheer on her daughter who was going with her school on an athletic competition.

Aside from her attending some of the games, the daily activities were to take photos at scenic locations, and look for good places to eat. The food was of course the best part for me. I searched and read reviews and looked at all the Yelp’s photos to decipher which would be the best choices for her and me.

Most of the ones we did try turned out to be excellent and delightful. The first place we stopped at was lunch at a restaurant named Baci Ristorante.  The restaurant was totally empty when we got there, which made me feel a bit uneasy, but we were told that the reason was because it was the day after Christmas.  Since we were there already, we decided just to stay and try. Being the only customers, the waiter was naturally attentive,  even the owner came over to greet us, and shared with us the history of his restaurant. Later on after the meal, took us on a tour of the whole place and explained to us the stories behind all the artwork, which turned out to have been created by a relative of his who had since passed away. Some of his work were in fact quite distinguished. And after that, he even took us next door to a much more casual restaurant run by his son.

The food turned out to be so much better than expected, in fact, they were excellent in taste and preparations. We started with a white wine reccommended by our waiter. The steamed black mussels in wine and garlic was exceptionally fresh, plentiful and perfect in flavor. My Veal Chop Lamberti topped with roasted garlic, appeared simple, and yet was outstandingly executed, and my boss enjoyed her Swordfish Oregonato, cooked also with white wine and garlic. Everything, the food, the wine, the ambience, the encounter with the owner,  made for a very special and magnificent afternoon.

Elegant yet unrestricted was how I woul describe  Mister A’s, one of San Diego’s finest restaurant on the twelth floor, minutes from downtown offering a spectacular view of San Deigo’s skyline. It had been a while since I felt the sophstication and polished attentiveness of the staff in a restaurant, “classy” would be the suitable word. THe restaurant offers modern American cuisine with influence from the French and the Mediterranean.

My Duck Confit with Fingerling potatoes and sauce Quercynoise was without a doubt the best that I had ever tasted. I usually choose not to eat the potatoes, but the ones on my plate were so different in taste and texture from other potatoes, that I ate them all with glee. There was not one thing that I could criticize about this dish!

The others at the table order the Surf and Turf , which included a Filet Mignon that was truly exceptional, as I was told.

I was again thinking of how very blessed I have been as we dined at George’s at the Cove, Ocean Terrace. The atmosphere and the view would certainly qualify this restaurant to be representational of the sun and fun of a beach town. Situated on the top level of a commercial building admist the bustling shops at the heart of La Jolla, we enjoyed our lunch overlooking the beautiful Pacific ocean with a gentle breeze and warm afternoon sun. I think this was what “being on vacation” is supposed to feel like, all the unpleasantness of life seemed to have disappeared if only for those moments.

The Spaghetti with Clams was an excellent choice for my boss, with ample amount of clams and huge shavings of parmesan. My Prosciutto and Fig Panini, though tasty, was just a tad disappointing because of the heavy bread. However, the ambience and the beauty of being there more than made up for whatever was lacking with the dish.

Foodwise, it definitely ranked amongst the top out of my recent trips, with the exception of Hong Kong. However, because of an incident that happened toward the end before returning to LA, I was reminded that with everything wonderful, there would be things to offset that a bit. The lesson taught me to try to be much more careful in all that I do as I move forward in life’s journey with God’s mercies.

Baci Ristorante – 1955 Morena Blvd. SanDiego, Ca 92110  Phone: 619-275-2094

Mister A’s – 2550 Fifth Ave, 12th Floor, San Diego, CA 92103  Phone: 619-239-1377

George’s at the Cove – 1250 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037  Phone: 858-454-4244