Yu Me Ya in Hillcrest

Yu Me Ya closed in 2013.

This is a post I wrote in June, after my birthday.  I had anticipated adding some photos, but none from the meal were really about the food, so I’m posting this without the pics.

I celebrated my birthday on Monday with a delicious dinner at Yu Me Ya (Yelp page here), located on 4th and University in Hillcrest. The reservation was at 7pm, which meant we just missed their happy hour specials (from 5-7pm), so if you ever want to try out some of their delicious tapas, check them out during Happy Hour!

We had a LOT of food. My favorite dishes were the carpaccio and the baked scallops & shimeji mushrooms. For the carpaccio, they used fried wonton cups and layered avocado and spicy tuna inside it. I hate spicy things, but I loved this dish; the spiciness was very mild. The baked scallops & mushrooms were mostly mushrooms, but my god, I love mushrooms, so I’m totally okay with that. It was creamy but not ridiculously so, which my lactose-intolerant stomach thanks Yu Me Ya for.

The tapas ranged from $3 to $7. They also served big bowls of udon and ochazuke for about $8-9, although I can’t recall the exact price. (Ochazuke is a bowl of rice, random toppings, topped with hot green tea, to make a sort of rice-green tea soup.) I was not impressed with either.

The food bill got up there, especially for 9 people, so be careful ordering. The tapas might be small, but they do fill you up! Order in waves, so you don’t over-eat!

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Knotty Barrel in East Village

Andrew took me to Knotty Barrel in East Village. (Check out their Yelp page here.) Knotty Barrel is a craft beer establishment serving appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees costing about $9-20, sandwiches and salads being on the lower and entrees being on the higher end.

They have great big chalk boards on the wall listing the bottled beer and wine selection, and the draft beer selection listed handily on a paper menu on the table, along with some pencils. More info on that later.

After taking a gander at the menu for a bit, we started off with the truffle and parmesan fries:

Knotty Barrel beer and food menus

Knotty Barrel truffle and parmesan fries with ketchup

I ordered myself a flight. The flights are $7 for four 4oz. tasters. But I want to note: Blind Lady has the same exact taster glasses and we tout them to be 5oz. Still, $7 for a 16oz flight (or 20oz…) is not bad! That’s the price you get for indecision. ;)

To order a flight, you take a copy of the draft beer menu and one of the provided pencils at your table, and mark off which four beers you want to drink. SIMPLE! And the menu has a description of the beer and alcohol content listed, so you don’t have to guess randomly if you don’t know anything about the beer. It’s a great, painless system.

I got Allagash White, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Alesmith Anvil ESB, and Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale. I’ve had all but the latter before, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. The beer tasted clean and not like they’d been sitting in crummy, uncleaned lines.

Knotty Barrel flight

And finally, my food came, a delicious ahi tuna salad. The salad was lightly dressed (which I prefer) in a sesame dressing. Very tasty. The only weird thing: the ahi was on the side on top of a tiny bit of seaweed salad. Huh? I mean, it was just a tiny mouthful of seaweed, which was tasty, for sure, but it seemed a little pointless. It also came with a couple of deep fried wontons. The first one I tried was empty, which I thought was weird. Then I had the second, which was filled with cream cheese. Ick.

Knotty Barrel ahi salad

Andrew got the grilled cheese sandwich, which used cheddar and tallegio, and included heirloom tomatoes and prosciutto to add some heartiness to it, a very good and cheesy sandwich. Andrew was raving about the chips that came with them.

All in all, a great gastropub. I would definitely eat there again. Their chicken piccata sandwich and bison burger are something I would like to try the next time.

Neighborhood in Downtown, San Diego

I have been to Neighborhood before, but it’s been a couple of years. Their food menu selection seems to have expanded, including a couple of non-burger options, which is what my friends and I opted for.

My friends both got the pulled pork belly sandwich, which came with a gigantic pickle and a side of chips. The pork itself was juicy and tender, cooked perfectly. I was definitely jealous after a couple of bites.

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In my head, I wanted something that would not be messy like a burger or pulled pork sandwich, so I ordered the grilled shrimp wrap instead. They came out huge:

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And it was also a huge disappointment. They were too big and too sloppily wrapped to hold together, and they fell apart instantly. BUT the shrimp was cooked well, although there were only about 2-3 pieces per roll, completely subsumed by the massive amount of veggies. And the mango sauce? Oh my God. Amazing. It paired very well with the shrimp and mango bits.

Next time, I’ll get a burger, like they’re known for, or the amazingly juicy pulled pork belly sandwich.

They also have a good selection of craft beer, including one on cask.