We stopped at a gluten-free restaurant in Encinitas on the way down to get some cupcakes for the shower (and also a chicken pot pie, pizza margherita, cinnamon roll, coffee and tea for lunch). Really good stuff. In LA, gluten free baked goods tend to be vegan as well, so it was refreshing that 2Good2Be did not have that hang-up. That cinnamon roll was bangin'!
We arrived at Hotel Solamar at about 4, after a little snafu at the hotel next door. They had a sign that looked very similar! We checked in, made ourselves comfortable, then changed into our evening attire. We enjoyed the complimentary wine service in the lobby. Pretty decent Torrontes. Our dinner reservations weren't until 9:30, so we changed into our bathing suits and got drinks by the pool.
We had a little swim in the heated pool, then another costume change, back into evening attire, and walked to dinner.
I did some advance internet research on where to eat. We were staying in the Gaslamp Quarter, so there were a few options that sounded good. I settled on Searsucker, conveniently located 3 blocks from the hotel. The restauranteur, Brian Malarkey, was on Top Chef. Kinda seems like every hot restaurant has a Top Chef contestant behind it these days.
Overall, Searsucker was a win. I loved the decor: open industrial space with artfully hung rope and Edison bulbs. I'm such a sucker for Edison bulbs!
I had a delightful cocktail called a Peter Rabbit that involved a lot of basil and a pickled carrot. When mixology goes right, it tastes like that. We went pretty big with the whole thing. We got 2 appetizers: a "crabcake" that was really just crab with some roe on top and a little wasabi sauce, and a tuna tartar with taro chips and spicy peppers.
Tuna. I think the green stuff is baby chive. The black stuff is caviar. Posh!
The tuna was outstanding. Alex ordered the hangar steak for his entree and it was insanely good as well. I opted to order a few sides of vegetables for my meal. I got the jalapeno chorizo corn (yum!), fennel and fingerling potatoes (yum!), snap peas and carrots with pistachios (yum!), and cauliflower with manchego (yawn). Alex helped me with the veggies. We had a splendid bottle of Barbera, and a scrumptious buttermilk panna cotta for dessert. The menu is kind of fun and cryptic. Lots of things in quotes. The only thing that wasn't fantastic was the cauliflower. I wish I had photographed our dessert. It was beautiful, but by that time, I was too tipsy to remember to take a picture. We stumbled back to the hotel, where even though we assured the doorman that yes, we were going out for round 2, we did not.
I let Alex sleep in a bit, then I dropped him off in Balboa Park to entertain himself while I was at the shower. I was almost tempted to stay with him. Balboa Park is so pretty, and the weather was so nice. But the baby shower was nice too! The girls really outdid themselves. The tea party was super-feminine, super-classy, and really just perfect. Allow me to refer you to another afternoon tea baby shower: http://rosehastimeonherhands.blogspot.com/2012/07/flashback-jessies-baby-shower.html
The pups want to come to the party!
The beautiful mother-to-be
I ate way to much sugar with all the gluten-free sweets to choose from. Shame on me. But the stomach ache was almost worth it. I picked Alex up from the park, and we headed home to LA, happy and relaxed. If only we had one more day...