As I’ve probably mentioned before, I love breakfast food, but going out for breakfast food is potentially a healthy diet’s biggest foe. Well, for a carb queen, such as myself, it is anyway, so when I planned a breakfast date with my friend, Amanda, I purposely picked a joint I knew had plenty of healthy choices, Isabel’s Cantina in Pacific Beach. A vegetarian will not want at this Asian Mexican fusion restaurant. Yes, I said Asian Mexican fusion. Whether you want a quesadilla or stir fry, everything I’ve ever had here is light, fresh, and delicious. “Fresh how?” you might ask. Fresh, like they grow most of the ingredients on their own farm, that’s how. Dang, I love that.
Amanda ordered chips and salsa cruda as a breakfast appetizer (of course). Naturally, I had a few, even though I should not have. I loved the salsa. Perfect amount of kick with still a bit of chunk for a well-blended salsa (rather than fresca). The chips were clean, not greasy. For our actual meal, Amanda had the breakfast tamales, and I had the Cantina Rosemary.
I almost ordered the breakfast tamales myself, so I was excited to try Amanda’s. Her sweet corn tamales came with a side of eggs, black beans, roasted chili verde, sour cream, and cheese. Ah, and it was beautiful to boot. The tamale was sweet (obviously), but not overly so. The filling had a hint of spice to counter the sweetness of the corn, and the doughy outer layer had the warm and soft qualities that make tamales a classic comfort food, and with only one bite, I don’t have too feel too bad about it.
My dish included roasted rosemary potatoes, scrambled eggs, sautéed tomatoes, green onion, and grilled rosemary bread. My plate was gorgeous – colorful and bright, and there was sauce on it – salsa and ketchup. Yes, it was a saucy and sassy plate, just like me. Zing! Anyway, a lovely crisp on the potatoes and well-done, but not overly done eggs (thank you). And the cilantro! Plenty of it! Bless them. But the real star for me was the rosemary toast. It was unbuttered, and it was fantastic. I love rosemary anyway, so the bread had that going, but it was sweet, too. I actually would have loved to taste it untoasted. I may have even liked it better, but really, it was truly delicious.
I really like this place. The service was great, and hello, a dragon meets you as you enter what almost looks like a classy garage, and by the time you make it to the back of the restaurant, you’re hanging out with a giant Buddha. Nothing wrong there. I love the openness in the front. We are so lucky to live in such a magnificent place, and this place lets us enjoy it. Go on a sunny morning, and take a walk after you eat. You’re only a couple blocks from the beach, and there are tons of little shops all around. Make it the start of a lovely and warm San Diego Saturday.
Isabel’s Cantina is located in PB at 966 Felspar, almost on the corner of Cass, right next door to Cafe 976 (which I also love). Parking can be a smidgen of an issue, but who cares if you have to walk a bit – you’re at the beach! Isabel’s is open for breakfast and lunch Monday – Sunday from 8am – 3pm and for dinner Monday – Thursday and Sunday from 5 – 9:30pm and Friday and Saturday from 5 – 10:30pm.