Today is Saturday and I ended up not getting my tattoo. I couldn't get a hold of the artist and I wasn't going to cross the border on a weekend unless I knew exactly where I was going. Ah well, maybe next time. So I picked up my friend at the airport and these are the places we ended up going to:
What and Where? Lunch at El Pollo Loco located in Mission Valley
Why? Fast-food cheap prices but very tasty and healthier type of food. This location has jazz as background music, seating looks modern, fast courteous service and even a guy coming over each table offering us whatever we wanted from a platter filled with hand wipes, toothpicks, condiment packets, etc. Not to mention the view, the big windows show a bunch of small palm trees, blue skies and a glimpse of the outdoor mall. All of which is normal to us, but looks awesome in the eyes of a visitor.
Money saving tip: They have $5 combos (hope they stay for good)
Why? Blue, clean ocean, street vendors with very unique items, Urban Jungle sculpture exhibition all over the pier. As you stroll you see the USS Midway aircraft carrier, the Hornblower yachts, an occasional cruise ship, The Star of India sail ship and submarines.And when you finally look away from the ocean & ships and see to your right on Harbor Blvd, you see a line of palm trees against a blue sky (very Cali!). Turning your back to the ocean is the Downtown skyline with buildings made of glass, it looks very futuristic.
Money saving tip: Get there near or after 6 PM or on Sunday so you don't pay the parking meters.
What and Where? Dinner at El Camino in Little Italy
Why? Passing through Little Italy is always a treat, looking at all the shops, restaurants and pretty people. We went to El Camino, in my view the best Mexican food restaurant in San Diego. With a small menu, every choice is a good choice, the place is an explosion of Mexican culture with items from Lucha Libre, bull fighting, Mexican Bingo, pinatas, Day of the Dead symbols, icons from the revolution, colonial style chandeliers and of course La Virgen every you look. The variety of 80's / 90's music, makes it feel like you're inside a piece of art and I love the bathroom, it looks so cool!
Money saving tip: Happy hour every day from 5 - 7 PM (even weekends) not to mention Taco Tuesday all taco plates 1/2 off.
What and Where? Stroll through The Gaslamp ending up at Jolt'n Joe's and then The Field.
Why? They were having $2 beer specials at Jolt'n Joe's so we took advantage of that, pretty cool and very big place. They're two floors with a bar in each floor, pool tables, dance floor and areas to sit down. The outside deck overlooks Dick's Last Resort, I liked it!
As for The Field, I just love it, it's "turn of the century Irish pub shipped literally piece by piece from Ireland and relocated in the heart of San Diego's Historic Gaslamp Quarter". And everyone I take there love it as well, you get a cozy feeling and if you go upstairs you can have a pint and have a chat with friends without being in the middle of the crowd.
Money saving tip: If you're not planning on having a late night, get to Horton Plaza just before 9 PM and get your ticket validated inside the mall (no purchase neccesary) that will mean three hours free parking. If you get to the mall after 9 PM it'll be a $20 flat rate, so you might as well look for other parking lots that cost $10 - $15, since street parking will be nearly impossible to find.
As for deals on drink, walk around the Gaslamp and you'll see people advertising their bars and specials on the sidewalk and go right in! And for The Field if you're on foursquare, you get a discount on the meals with every check in.