San Diego Eats
Via Italia is an Italian trattoria stuck in what was formerly the most depressing shopping mall ever (Clairemont Square), now gussied up with some brightly colored stucco but still an odd place for a restaurant that has better Italian food than most of the slick and expensive places in the Gaslamp. This is Italian food like you get in Italy--fresh, simple, good ingredients. I'm annoyed that nobody told us about it when we lived here. I had a pizza bianca with porcini and parmesan. Debbie had gnocchi with an olive puree sauce. I started with a caprese, which is just fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Add a little oil and vinegar, and it's delicious as long as the tomatoes are good, which these ones were. Debbie had a salad of arugula, prosciutto, and parmesan, as featured previously in this blog.
We had breakfast at Hash House a Go Go in Hillcrest. Big food lives! It's the place to go for a huge breakfast in a kitchen run by a pro. Stuart had a Snickers flapjack bigger than his head (he ate about 1/3 of it). The Tractor Driver's lunch fed both Liz and Catherine, with food left over. I had smoked salmon benedict, which is an amazing architectural pile on a long plate, with things sticking out of it (fried shrimp tentacles, maybe?), roasted asparagus and a chile cream sauce. The benedict was tasty, but I think I'd get something else next time--it was a bit of a muddle, and "cream sauce" and "hollandaise" aren't the same thing, man. Good coffee. Lunch and dinner have gotten good reviews as well.
I had a frankly disappointing carne asada burrito at the Roberto's on Convoy. The meat was mushy, the guacamole was brown. I might have to stop by my old 'hood standby, Don Lucio II, before I leave. Arturo wouldn't let me down.