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Perfect Bday Weekend in SD – Travel Diary



If you are ever planning a little mini getaway, I highly recommend San Diego because the scenery is beautiful, the people are nice, and there are so many things to do! I only live about two hours away from San Diego but when I visit… I feel like I’m a tourist in another country; compared to L.A I feel that San Diego is more chill and just a great place to relax.

Check out Reviews for these wonderful restaurants ūüôā

* Very picture heavy and text heavy.

It was supposed to be a perfect birthday weekend in San Diego…..

I planned a birthday trip to San Diego for my boyfriend because he was turning 24 (so old..), and since we both love San Diego so much I decided to book a hotel there and go to two restaurants that had amazing reviews – Hash House A Go Go and C level.¬†To find these restaurants, I simply just went on Yelp and clicked “most reviewed” because I trust my fellow yelpers, and of course…. they did not let me down… But, I digress. Since I paid for the whole weekend, I wanted to be smart and choose the best places around – but not have to drop out of school due to being broke… here’s what I came up with.

My tire hit a nail and we had to take it to the auto shop.

Seriously. Everything bad happens to me, if you’re hanging out with me … don’t worry, it’ll happen to me and not you; bad luck just seems to follow me everywhere I go. Brandon was driving my car (I’m a horrible driver) when I decided to put the window down, we had just finally¬†found parking for Hash House, but as we were parking I heard a terrible thumping noise; I asked him to step out and see what was wrong because I had a flat once and have been paranoid ever since. We decided to find the closest auto shop but I was still paranoid that we weren’t going to make it to the shop and we would have to end up pushing it; I was also worried that it would cost so much money to patch it up (I don’t know much about cars..) I was freaking out, thinking that we had to leave the car there and all my plans would be ruined because I wouldn’t have enough money for dinner, etc.

TIRE DEPOT fixed it for free!

Brandon insisted we go to TIRE DEPOT since it had good reviews on yelp (and also 244 reviews), we drove about one mile away from Hash House and found it. It was pretty hard trying to get into the garage and finding parking (some people had to park alongside the neighborhood and a technician would come and drive their car to the garage) and after about 15 minutes (literally) of driving around and around the garage, we finally found parking a few cars down. We gave our keys to the technician and he told us it would take about an hour. After we returned from our meal, we found that they had fixed our car for free and told us, “Merry Christmas!” How nice of them ! Also, service was very friendly and fast… and if you’re in the area- walk around instead of waiting! The street was littered with restaurants, and even a thrift store..

1.  El Zarape Restaurant & Tequileria


After walking around, we finally settled on having brunch at this mexican restaurant. With 422 reviews, and being only two shops down from the auto shop this seemed like a good choice. This place was HUGE, the dining area was very nice and modern. I loved everything about it, it was perfect for us- romantic but not too fancy where it would make us uncomfortable. I was already impressed with their dining area, when I went to the restroom I was surprised to find out they had another separate area for their bar !

Picture Credit:  Archie


Free chips and dip! Usually places only give you Salsa, but since I hate Salsa I was very happy ūüôā It tasted delicious and we got two helpings!


My dip is almost gone… but on the other hand, look at that Bloody Mary. Brandon said it tasted great, I’m not much for it… but I ate all the olives.


I got the¬†Carne a la Tampique√Īa (I think…I might be wrong, its been a while!) which is¬†Arrachera steak with a Tradicional chicken enchilada , poblano rajas, grilled¬†queso fresco and served with fresh corn tortillas, beans and rice. You can’t see the tortillas, but they were great. She even gave us a couple of more… service really was impeccable.


I think Brandon got the¬†Carne Asada, Nopalitos y Elotito –¬†Arrachera Steak served with nopalitos, corn on the cob with butter and chili¬†powder,fresh corn tortillas on the side, beans and rice.

Both of our meals were 13.50 each, which was a bit above what we were used to at other Mexican Places (i just went this weekend and got something similar for less), but I really do believe it was worth every penny! Service was fast, and friendly (take it from a server… she def. deserved her tip and more). She was very patient when we asked her for her favorite dish and what she recommended. And the enviroment was great! Perfect for a casual lunch or a night out with friends… next time we visit, we will make sure its at night because I just can’t wait to see how it’ll look.

Thrifting Fun!

After lunch, we had some more time to kill (the auto shop would call us, how¬†convenient). We went across the street to the thrift store and shopped around. The ladies were so nice! I felt right at home (read my thrift store post a few posts below), they were friendly and didn’t hover over me. I ended up getting a pea coat. It was only ten dollars! Shortly after buying it, our car was finished!


Here is me, wearing it out with Brandon on one of our dates.

2. Goodnite Inn


This was our second time staying here, and I love it! Its a no frills type of place, and is right behind another, more popular, hotel but I like it because its practical. I would rather save up my money to spend on sight seeing or eating, than where I sleep. The staff is very friendly and professional, and they have a huge parking lot. It’s across the street from Denny’s and another Mexican place, where me and Brandon went to grab some more chasers… hehe. But, overall- very cheap, and a decent place to stay.

Some yelp reviewers are saying that it’s dirty and very ghetto… but I disagree. But to each their own.


The room didn’t seem that small when I stayed there (about less than a month ago) but then again, the chair wasn’t so awkwardly placed there lol. They also have a T.V. (with good channels!!!) and an ice machine. No jacuzzi (at least I don’t think so). I even had about 7 friends with me in this room, drinking and playing games and it was very spacious and held all of us..Either way, I love it!

3. Romantic Dinner at C Level

I’m going to be honest.¬†Please for the love of god, take your loved one here.¬†I even joked about Brandon proposing to me here… thats how great it was! C Level has 947 Reviews and is $$ on yelp, it also has 4 stars! Its a restaurant that rests on stilts facing San Diego Bay, also it has happy hour…


Call me a country girl… but this was the nicest restaurant that I have ever been in! I’m dead serious. Look at that amazing view! It was located right on the pier, parking was great (they had their own private lot) and the funny thing is- C level is actually connected to another restaurant which is more upscale and expensive. I was a bit scared that I wouldn’t fit in going into the restaurant, but it turned out to be an amazing experience.


Pardon my phone, I rarely use my camera because I am the worse person when it comes to keeping things (I left my passport in the bathroom once and had to run a mile to get it before the plane left..)


The lobster truffle mac and cheese! This was the most talked about on yelp so I went ahead and got it! It was delicious…but at the same time very very heavy on the stomach (not like I care). Although me and Brandon shared it… we had to bring it home because it was too big! Trust me, the picture makes it look small but its really huge!


I’m sorry, I don’t remember what Brandon got… even after looking at the menu. Maybe its because this blog entry is turning out to be really long and tiring me lol. But, it was great!

Our server recommended all the items we got and was very nice. I remember going up and asking her about the birthday dessert and just not knowing how to ask her without Brandon knowing. I finally told him I needed to use the bathroom and walked around the restaurant and found her, then I asked her if there was anything for birthdays and she told me that the Chef would make a dish and she would bring it out for me.


His birthday dessert! Doesn’t he look so happy? It was big! It was like a muffin? Not too sweet, but sweet enough that I wanted to order one, but we didn’t even finish it!!! We were too full from all of our food… But, overall it was amazingly good.

The bill wasn’t too bad at all, I think it was around 60-70 dollars? I was very happy with everything, the enviroment (Im pretty sure people get married here or maybe thats just my naive way of thinking), the food was great, and service was fast and friendly. After dinner, we got to walk outside and stare at the beautiful view…

3. Hash House a Go Go


Ahh, I’ve always wanted to try this place. It has a whopping 3,783 reviews on yelp and I know why. Hash House a Go go is always so crowded… but if you get tired of waiting then you can just walk around and check out the other restaurants instead. That whole street is a tourist’s heaven. The wait was going to be about a hour long so we walked to the nearest Starbucks and sat down and talked instead of waiting outside in the sun. Good news for people waiting: they have free coffee on the side of the restaurant, how nice of them.


Starbucks was a bad idea because after they called us, I was a bit too full to eat to my full potential. We ordered the Chicken Benedict, and it was yummy (I feel like yummy and delicious are the only adjectives I know when it comes to describing food), but it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. The picture to the left is of it AFTER it was cut in half. The portions are HUGE, the girl next to us took her food home in a freaking PAN.

The enviroment was pretty nice, we sat on the bar and the bartender was friendly; it felt like a diner enviroment- where everyone knew each other only I think half the people there weren’t locals. I just love that about a restaurant, where the conversation is so friendly between the servers and customers it seems as if they’ve been coming here to eat for years!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed all my food pictures! This trip took place on December 14-15, and I just got back from San Diego yesterday! so I’ll be sure to talk more about that later.

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