The original location for Puesto recently got a makeover. The fast casual taco joint now serves a full bar and dinner menu, having expanded into the space next door. (During the day it’s still a fast casual taco spot, but at night both the original space and lounge next door serve a full service dinner).

Puesto at The Headquarters has been a favorite spot for me. I love the decor there and the extensive menu, so I was curious to see what they had done to the original location.

The expanded La Jolla branch now offers the full dinner menu that is offered at The Headquarters as well as an extensive bar. I also noticed that they brought over the dinnerware used at the downtown location too.

Dinner comes with complimentary chips and salsa. I really love the chips here. They are thick, wide, and perfect for dipping. I wish the salsa had a little more heat to it though. It’s a little too watery.

Ahi Tuna Tartare

Mr. K enjoyed this more than I did. I found the flavors of the tuna too muted and the chipotle aioli overwhelming.

Crab Guacamole

I’ve been dreaming of this dish since we had it back in December. I really need to figure out their recipe. I’ve attempted to make it at home a few times and my version always tastes like two separate elements, but in Puesto’s version, the two are blended together harmoniously, creating a delightful combination. I would never think to pair crab with guacamole but it really works. This is my favorite version of guacamole I’ve come across.

Iced Tea meats Margaritas in this festive fusion cocktail.

Happy National Tequila Day! To celebrate, I created these Iced Tea Margaritas, or Iced Teagaritas.

I had so much fun with my Iced Tea Sangrias that I started to brainstorm what other variations I could make. I was waiting around for some repairmen in the morning and decided to test this out. Probably not the best idea to be sipping on tequila and cocktails in the morning, but it sure was delicious. This drink is a great balance of sweetened iced tea and classic margarita flavors.

Union Kitchen and Tap recently opened a second location in the heart of Gaslamp. In addition to the extensive bar selection which they are known for, this new location has a menu prepared by Executive Chef Sean Langlais (Oceanaire), Executive Sous Chef Jimmy Tessier (appeared on Food Network’s Chopped) and Sous Chef Luis (Searsucker).

We were recently invited to check out the new spot.

Spicy Pear Cocktail

I loved the scent of the sweet pear. The jalapeno added a mild and pleasant burn.

The menu had quite a few dishes I was interesting in trying, such as the fried quail waffles, but our server highly recommended we go the seafood route because of Chef Langlais background, so we trusted his recommendations.

Carolina Style Blue Crab Cake

We were told that this was exactly like the Oceanaire crab cake where Chef Langlais was previously at. Oceanaire’s crab cake remains one of my favorite bites in San Diego, and I’ve definitely missed it since we haven’t been back to Oceanaire in quite a while, so I was excited by the prospect of getting it again here. Unfortunately, this was not the same. It was immediately apparent from the appearance.