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San Diego part 3 — Loving Hut

Posted Oct 18 2012 6:43pm
It's surprising how much lots of sunshine, fresh air and walking on beaches can tire you out. Not that I'm complaining — we thoroughly enjoyed our third day in beautiful San Diego, but by evening we were pretty tired out, and ambivalent about whether we wanted dinner or not. But my husband was really eager to try the local Loving Hutpart of the restaurant chain founded by The Supreme Master Ching Hai, so we headed out to University Heights for a late supper. If you're not familiar with Loving Hut, you can read my review of the Seattle restaurant here. We generally refer to the restaurant as "the cult," and sometimes I can't remember the real name, but we like Loving Hut, and family members have eaten in Loving Huts all over the world. Although part of a worldwide chain, each restaurant is individually owned, and the owners control the menu. All the food is vegan, but you never know exactly what you'll find at the different locations.

We were both feeling a little overfed and our stomachs were a bit wonky so we were looking mainly for soup. Specifically, my husband was craving pho. We started with fresh spring rolls, pictured at the top of the post, and we each ordered a medium-size bowl of soup. The spring rolls were tasty but we actually didn't finish them — very unusual for us. Ken loved his pho (fresh rice noodles, soy slices, soy ham and white fungus flower served with basil, bean sprouts, cilantro and onion), and ate the whole thing.

I ordered Noble soup, (fresh asparagus, carrots, king mushroom, bean curd, enoki, cilantro), and it was exactly what I wanted. There was a odd, squeaky-crunchy -not-in-a-good-way, item in the soup that I couldn't identify that the waitress said was enoki, but I could see the enoki mushrooms in the broth and this didn't look like any enoki I've ever seen. Could it have been the bottom part of the enoki cluster that usually gets cut off? Other than that, the soup was perfect. We were both very happy with our dinners and left the restaurant feeling a lot better than when we had entered. We would happily return to Loving Hut in San Diego.

Sunday was our last morning in San Diego before catching a flight back to Seattle. We didn't have much time because when you fly somewhere with my husband you get to the airport VERY early, but we wanted to go for a walk near the hotel and get some exercise before heading to the plane.

I really liked the look of the street we walked down, especially the tiny patios on the right filled with plants, interesting furniture and art objects, and could easily imagine living in one of the brick townhouses.  I wish I had photographed some of wonderful porch settings.

We headed to the Gaslamp District — an area filled with shopping and restaurants — and  happened upon the 4th Annual Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase. While I'm not a classic car aficionado, it was hard not to be impressed by the assortment of classic autos that had been lovingly restored by their owners.

I took a few photos of some of my favorites. The only disconcerting thing is, if some of these cars are antiques, then I must be an antique, too.

Last but not least, I finally got to see, if not actually eat at, Croce's  Restaurant and Jazz Bar, founded by Jim Croce's family after his death in a plane crash.

San Diego is a beautiful city, and I hope to visit again soon.
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