My sister and I ate our way through a world-tour in Oceanside! We went into each restaurant with an open mind and asked what the most traditional or most popular dish was – and just blindly ordered the server’s recommendation! We definitely ate some menu items that we never would have considered in the past – i.e. the tail of an ox (spoiler alert – it was ah-mazing!). We focused on nine different restaurants east of the I-5 with various cultural cuisines and ate extremely delicious food along the way.
A sign saying “Hafa Adai” (pronounced “half-a-day”) hangs over the bar and greets guests as they walk in. Hafa Adai is a friendly Guamanian greeting similar to the Hawaiian version of aloha.
We ordered the “Maga Lahi” plate which translates to “chief” and it’s easy to see why this plate is called the chief! The plate is stuffed full with chicken, ribs, steak, rice, salad, and your choice of a side. For an appetizer we ordered the traditional chicken fried rice and lumpia; all of which was delicious!
We got there in the peak of the lunch rush and the service was great. The food was hot, delicious and very timely! The server recommended the yellow curry dish which came with chicken, vegetables, a heaping mound of jasmine rice. We also ordered the chicken and vegetable drunken noodles plate and picked our spiciness level from 1-10. To top everything off, we ate Coconut milk ice cream (dairy free, but did not taste like it) covered with caramel and nuts and garnished with mint leaves.
We came at the peak of the lunch rush and the service was great. The food came out quickly, hot and fresh. This place definitely has the local lunch crowd vibe, which makes sense because it’s located at the 78 and Plaza, a perfect stop while you are out shopping or running errands.
We ordered egg rolls, spring rolls, vegetable and tofu pho, in addition to the “B11” plate - chicken, beef, shrimp, egg rolls, rice noodles and veggies. We had plenty of food to take home for dinner that night - always a plus!
It is a mom and pop family-owned restaurant with a friendly staff. The bread and pastries are baked fresh daily. It’s located just west of Mission San Luis Rey, at the corner of El Camino Real and Douglas, across the street from Heritage Park.
We ordered the Combo #1 which came with a cheese enchilada, chile relleno, taco, rice and beans. We also ordered chicken fajitas. Again, tons of food to take home for the next day! The food was freshly cooked, timely and hot. Later we learned the owner is the head chef and bread maker.
We ordered the shawarma chicken, tekah chicken and gyros – the shawarma was our favorite, but all were spectacular. Each dish came with jasmine rice covered in sumac (herb) seasoning, humus, pita bread, various sauces and a side salad. The food was incredibly fresh and tasted as if it came homemade from a traditional household kitchen in the Mediterranean.
The servers greet you with warm, freshly-baked cornbread as soon as you sit down. We ordered the sample platter which comes with four meats and four sides. We chose catfish, shrimp sautéed in garlic butter, pulled pork, and fried chicken. As our sides we had the Hoppin John (black-eyed peas), mac-n-cheese, candied yams, and collard greens (a sautéed vegetable similar to kale or spinach). The sample platter easily fed two people for lunch plus leftovers for dinner! The food was extremely flavorful and delicious without being too heavy – the perfect combination. Our favorites were the Catfish and the Pulled Pork, although it was hard to choose favorites.
We ordered the popular Oxtail and Jerk Chicken as our two entrees, and we had plantains, steamed cabbage, dumplings and butter beans for our sides. The Oxtail was one of the best foods we’d ever eaten! They pressure cook a cow’s tail, and the tender meat falls right off the bone. It was a unique “melt-in-your-mouth” type of deliciousness. We both agreed we had never tasted anything like it before. The Jerk Chicken and sides were extremely tasty as well. One Love Island Cuisine is also a food vendor at the Sunset Market on Thursday nights.
We ordered tuna Nigiri-zushi (the simple slab of fish on top of rice), a super crunch roll (cooked), and a rainbow roll. Either plain or topped with ginger and wasabi, all were mouth-wateringly delicious. Go-go Japan is also known for amazing teriyaki chicken. There are local craft beers on tap, a variety of choices of sake and Japanese drinks, and ESPN playing on big-screen TVs – many reasons to check this place out.
The owners of the store are from France; the husband is a professional baker and the wife a pastry-chef. They moved to the U.S. and opened Le Rendez Vouz ten years ago, and the business is the product of their combined talents. They take their art seriously, and it shows. They arrive to work at 2:00 am every day to make everything in-house. They make all their menu items from scratch, including the custards and creams. Their savory food is so in-demand that not only do they sell directly to the public in the store, but they supply bread to local restaurants, and are at weekly farmers markets in Vista and Carlsbad.
We ordered lemon and pistachio macaroons, a cream puff, a croxnut and a petit four (translates to bite size) fruit tart – all of which were incredibly savory. We paired these treats with cappuccinos, and we felt like we were in France!