A branch of the Manila Sunset chain recently opened in Mira Mesa. DH and I have never been to any locations, but they are quite popular, so we thought we’d try the newest location.

The decor included some interesting drawings. You place your order at the front and then grab a table. It’s a little different from the popular turo-turo (point point) places where food is already prepared and sitting in the hot steam tables, but it’s still a fast food type atmosphere.

Pancit Malabon

The pancit noodles were broken into small pieces making this quite hard to eat. Everything was cut more like a salad, even the hard boiled egg was finely diced. I found the plate to be too salty and didn’t really enjoy it.

Lumpia (Shanghai style)

The lumpia here were quite a bit smaller than what we’re used to. They also used a thicker wrapper, further reducing the amount of filling in each one. I wasn’t a fan of the wrapper they used or the size of the lumpia.

Lechon Kawali

After two misses, we finally had a winner. The pork belly was crispy and the meat wasn’t dry or too salty. The pork belly had been deep fried to the point where even the fat layer had a nice chew to it.  A lot of lechon we buy ends up being dry and overcooked, probably partially a result of it sitting on the steam tables. This made to order one was much better.

Low Fat Pound Cake

My RSS feed has been flooded with healthy recipes and posts about resolutions to eat better. I’m not really good at dropping sweets my from diet. It just makes me really grumpy and want desserts even more.

So rather drop them cold turkey, I’m still eating my desserts, but trying to lighten some of them up.

This is actually my second attempt at making a low fat pound cake. My first attempt at modifying a recipe did not turn out well. Then I came across this recipe from Bakers Royale and it was much more successful.

There have been so many new restaurants opening in the UTC mall I’ve been keeping track of, but I completely missed the opening of Bottega Italiana and any news of its impending opening. So I was delighted and surprised when I spotted it on my way to watch Les Miserables at Arclight.

Bottega Italiana is a gelato cafe which originates from Pike Place Market in Seattle. The gelato is also sold at Nado Gelato in Coronado, which has been one of my favorite places to get gelato in San Diego. Since I love gelato so much, I’m super excited that there is now another location that serves Bottega Italiana gelato in San Diego, especially since I don’t make it out to Coronado much.

The cafe is located next to Arclight theater. It’s fairly small inside, offers around ten flavors of gelato as well as coffee. They also sell Chuao chocolate bars as well.