Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day around the corner, so lets add a little sexy vibe in our step. What do you get when you put together a kickass local bar with a kitchen that puts out really good food? Well you get the best coupling ever: American Grub and The Swinging Door Saloon in Old Town Tustin. One of our all time favorite bars was a former bikini/dive bar, Swinging Door in the heart of Old Town Tustin. MaryAnne has been coming to this local favorite for years with her husband.
A little background to this love story. Kim Conway was a former bartender at The Swinging Door years ago until she took over and became the current badass owner. (Fun fact: She is also the owner of the Salty Dog Tavern in Anaheim!) When a retail space became available four years ago, she and her boyfriend, Gerard Montes, transformed the space into a hip, cozy burger joint. The vibe is definitely hip casual but in no way pretentious.
We love our neighbors to the south. Our families love San Diego and visit often. MaryAnne recently posted a fabulous overview of the Westin Hotel and nearby restaurants. We will continue to add to this because San Diego is such an ideal getaway for us OC folks. Also, I lived in San Diego for several years since I did my undergrad there, so I would love to share some of my favorite local hangouts!
Best burger in San Diego: Hodad’s. Go there! Seriously. Although there are a couple of locations, including one in Pet Co Park (there are so many good food and drink options-and yes, we will definitely share a post of this fabulous ball park). There is one in the East Village, an up and coming neighborhood just east of Gaslamp District and Horton Plaza. However, my favorite spot for a Hodad’s burger experience is in Ocean Beach, or as the locals fondly call OB. It is just south of Pacific Beach, which is the more popular beach frequented by lots of rowdy frat boys and tourists. Don’t get me wrong, PB is a fun hangout and eating destination, but OB is my kind of beach town. Many moons ago when I was a San Diego local, OB was the quieter, local beach community with that boho, hippy vibe. Although it has gotten more populated with touristy bars and souvenir shops, it still retains a bit of that hippy charm. View Post