Monday, October 10, 2011

heidi's birthday - encinitas

spent this past weekend in encinitas celebrating heidi's 30th birthday - definitely a milestone to remember. we stayed at the kate stanton inn, an exquisite b&b we previously visited one year ago for my birthday. innkeepers liz and carol are two of the sweetest people you will ever meet, so they took care of every single one of our needs for the weekend.

we had lunch at the healthy lotus café before taking a stroll to the self-realization fellowship & gardens for some meditation at the tranquil locale. afterwards, we hit up union kitchen & tap for a pint of sculpin IPA, before heading back to kate stanton for a birthday toast.

j street viewpoint
entrance to self-realization gardens
nature at work
union kitchen & tap
at about 6pm, we returned to kate stanton, where liz & carol surprised heidi with birthday balloons and the bottle of moscato d'asti i previously picked up for her for christmas - one of the very few alcoholic beverages she likes and can actually drink. from there, we drove to kaito sushi, where we both went omakase for the first time under head chef kazuo morita. the couple next to us were in the same boat, so it was great fun anticipating just what was coming next. a quick rundown of what we had to eat:

* amuse bouche w/salad & tuna
* freshly sliced conch
* japanese snapper sashimi
* amberjack sashimi w/yuzu kosho (a spicy green paste made from zest of a japanese citrus fruit)
* anago (saltwater eel) tempura
* saba (japanese mackerel) sashimi
* fresh salmon roe sushi
* toro (fatty tuna) done two ways

not only was the meal memorable in many ways, but the company and conversation we carried on with chef kazuo created a fantastic dining experience. he told us a lot about his childhood growing up in chiba, japan and how he is only as good as the fish he has to work with on any given day.

kaito sushi
130-A north el camino real
encinitas, CA 92024

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