Underbelly’s second location in North Park opened a few weeks ago.

While I’ve never been to the original location downtown, I was curious about this new space, especially with how visually impressive the last few restaurants from Consortium Holdings has been. 

I immediately loved the design. The majority of the restaurant seating is outside on the patio, with an exposed bar and large communal tables. The bar features wood panels that are mesmerizing to look at, as well as large glass windows like the ones at the original location. I’m not quite sure what will happen when the weather turns bad, but luckily the weather is pretty good year-round in San Diego.

The setting, like the original location, is pretty casual. You order at the front, then grab an open seat. Water is self-serve, located behind the bar.

Pork Belly Buns

We started with an order of pork belly buns because I’m a sucker for sous vide meat. The pork belly was melt-in-your-mouth tender and served on pristine white buns. My one issue was the pickled cucumbers. Served on the bottom of the pork belly, the cucumbers were warm, whereas they are traditionally served cold.

Belly of the Beast

This was my ramen choice. I had mixed feelings about my bowl. I found the oxtail dumplings far too mushy and the smoked brisket lacked a smokey flavor. The noodles had a good bounce and texture, but the broth, while salty and milky, didn’t quite have the deep porky flavor that makes a really good tonkotsu broth.

These mini flourless Nutella muffins are so delicious! They are light, airy, and very chocolatey. One bowl, no mixer, ready in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. Do you need any more convincing?

The magical number today is 7. Because it took me seven trials before I got these babies to come out right. All the failed ones tasted delicious- the texture just wasn’t right. It’s actually dangerous when the failed ones taste good. (Mmm..moist chocolate cake pudding.) It makes me stubbornly push on and it also means I end up eating all the failed ones. But I’m really happy I got this recipe to work.

Común Kitchen & Tavern is the latest venture of Chef Chad White. After hearing quite a lot of good buzz, we recently went to go check it out with some friends.

We went for lunch, which offers some small plates, tostadas, salad and rice bowls, and acai bowls.

It was such a nice day, we chose to sit on the patio rather than inside.

Lunch started with some complimentary chili dusted popcorn.

Chicharron

Fried pork rinds were loaded with chunks of tuna belly marinated in sesame oil and lime. It was crunchy and flavorful, though a tad over-seasoned.