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.

These tequila jello shots are the perfect party dessert this summer.

So technically there is no watermelon in these jello shots. It’s made up of tequila and strawberry flavored Jell-O, placed into lime shells. I love how cute they turned out though.

Because they are served in fresh lime shells, there’s even a hint of lime mixed in, which pairs perfectly with the tequila.

It’s Boba Time, a chain with several locations in Southern California, recently opened on Convoy Street, occupying the former Yoshinoya space. It’s a big space to fill and It’s Boba Time does so with its vast menu, offering more than 100 drink options, shaved snow ice, and shaved ice cups.

I was quite impressed with the menu, which seems to have every tapioca drink trend I’ve come across, with everything from the traditional milk teas, to frosty milks, sea salt coffees, smoothies and frappes.

I was also happy to see that the prices were quite reasonable. Most drinks were priced slightly lower than its competitors and they don’t charge additional for the tapioca pearls, which is quite rare. Most places charge $.50 extra.

Love this customized mural decorating the space.

Fruit Shaved Ice Cup

Old school shaved ice is given a pretty makeover, stacking it up in a cup with various toppings and ice cream. I like the tower cup appearance, but as Mr. K pointed out, this just looks like halo halo, the Filipino version of shaved ice which is also served in a cup.

Original Milk Fluff