Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Birthday America: Soltan Banoo and Candelas by the Bay

On July 4th, CM and I originally wanted to try Alchemy in South Park. However, when we got there, we found out that they were only doing a BBQ, given that they'd given the rest of their staff the day off. I love BBQ, but the problem with that is that CM is a vegetarian, and I wasn't about to subject him to cole slaw and potato salad as a meal. So off we went, in search of alternatives. Nearly everything in South Park and North Park was closed, so we went to University Heights, where we finally found ourselves a few options.

We settled on Soltan Banoo, which, to be honest, I'd never noticed before. It's a Persian place, right across from El Zarape and nestled next to Muzita, but for some reason always flew under my radar. They were very much open, and had tons of good veg and non-veg options. Everything on the menu looked fantastic, and I was torn. What is great about lunch is that they do a half portion on some of their platters, and then give you a side salad, which can be any one of their delicious salads. I decided to exercise this option by ordering zereshk polo with lamb (basmati rice with dried cranberries, barberries, almonds and carrots) along with their strawberry tabouli salad. It came out with chicken by accident, so they brought me a side of lamb. It was really good, the lamb tender and the rice a nice combo of flavors. The half portion was perfect, because it wasn't too heavy. The salad was also really tasty.

CM ordered the goat cheese salad, which was pears, walnuts and goat cheese on top of baguette. It looked delicious.

Not your typical July 4th lunch bbq, but really good nonetheless!

For dinner, we wanted to watch the fireworks on the water in Coronado, so we made reservations at Candelas on the Bay. We lucked out and got a table right near the windows, a perfect place to watch the fireworks.

First of all, their cocktails were delicious. I had a mango-chili martini which was good -- there was a slightly savory tart chili rim. This is a picture of their horchata cocktail, also very delicious.

And the tamarind cocktail.

For dinner, I had the Mexican bass, which was on top of a tomato stuffed with crabmeat. It was good, though the pistachio sauce on top felt a little over reduced.

CM ordered the ensalada cuernavaca, which was a salad with artichokes, goat cheese and plantains over spring mix.

I also ended up getting a dessert which was advertised as a strawberry tres leches. To be honest, this I wasn't all that impressed by. Too much cream. It seemed like a strawberry shortcake to me. I'd skip dessert here.

The ambiance here is very nice, and it was a perfect place for the fireworks because we didn't have to fight anyone out there. The food was decent, though nothing particularly spectacular, considering the price. I'd come back for cocktails though. Really yummy.

Happy July 4th!

Soltan Banoo
4645 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 298-2801

Candelas on the Bay
1201 1st St
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 435-4900


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