Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream recently opened a second location in Pacific Beach. I’ve been a fan of the original location, known for their ice cream flights and offerings from Tropical Dreams (manufacturer of super premium ice creams) in Hawaii. The Pacific Beach location is a little bit closer to us, so I was excited to go check it out.

I can never resist getting an ice cream flight here. Everything is cuter when it’s mini and it gives me a chance to try more flavors. I don’t know why more ice cream shops don’t offer flights.

Chinese pineapple cakes (鳳梨酥, pronounced Feng Li Su) are a famous pastry in Taiwan. Usually square-shaped, it has a buttery, shortbread-like casing with a pineapple filling similar to a very thick jam. It is often served and gifted around Lunar New Year and for years I’ve been wanting to attempt to make my own.

A lot of research went into perfecting these treats. Wasted hours, failed trials, curse words, vows to never make them again all occurred these last several days. But the end result was wonderful. I could barely contain my excitement when this batch was done and bit into one before it had even cooled. There really is nothing quite as satisfying as eating something you made yourself, especially when you finally got it right. This post includes very detailed step by step photos and instructions so that hopefully you won’t go through the same frustrations I did.

Village Kitchen, a Hunan cuisine Chinese restaurant recently opened in San Diego. It is the sister restaurant of Dong Ting Chun in LA and has so far garnered pretty positive reviews. After reading Kirk’s take on his multiple visits, I was quite excited to check it out.

There was a small wait when we first entered. They had a water station in the waiting area, which was much needed because the restaurant was uncomfortably warm. There was also a very distinctive smell of fermented tofu, a smell I’m used to and don’t mind, but I know that it can be off-putting to some.

The menu was a single, two-sided ordering sheet. No larger menu with photos was provided. Perhaps they’ll get to that eventually. I’d recommend you look at a few blog posts, articles, or yelp photos before dining here. Luckily, I had done my research and already knew what I wanted to try.

Mashed Eggplant and Green Chili Pepper with Century Egg

This was my favorite dish of the night. It arrived in an oversized mortar and pestle. Inside is a mix of soft eggplant, sweet green chilis and preserved egg. All of it has been mashed together to create a comforting, creamy dish. It’s mildly spicy, with some fermented black beans mixed in as well. I was surprised that I couldn’t really taste the century egg, which usually has a strong sulfuric aftertaste, but it seemed to be masked by the peppers.

Steamed Fish Head with Red Chili