With summer quickly approaching, I’ve been in shopping mode for new summery dresses, sandals and accessories. SoCal is known for having outdoor malls, and San Diego’s Fashion Valley Mall is no exception. I like that you can go from Forever 21 or H&M to Hermes or Prada. There’s also Bloomie’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. With more than 200 stores, there’s something for everyone. The non-shoppers can enjoy the live succulent walls, palm trees and water fountains, then catch a movie or grab froyo. Parking at the mall can be tough on weekends or near holidays, but their interactive parking structures tell you how many spaces are available on each level.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite from that contact sport known as shopping, head to True Food Kitchen for a healthy meal. With lots of anti-inflammatory foods on the menu, True Food caters to those with dietary restrictions, and includes many vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. The menu changes seasonally across the restaurant chain’s 12 locations. True Food San Diego recently kicked off a monthly community dinner series with a spring harvest dinner on May 18, which included a pea terrine, Mediterranean pizza, pan-seared sea bass, and a French berry tart. The four-course meals in this dinner series are $55/person and come with wine pairings (which is a really great value, BTW).
The meal was wonderful, and the courses tasted very light and healthy to me – perfect for spring. All the dinners take place in their private dining room and provide many opportunities to interact with Executive Chef Nathan Coulon. Coulon’s mom, dessertier Michele Coulon who owns a dessert shop in La Jolla, also made an appearance at the first dinner to provide a delicious pastry course. The next dinner in the series will take place June 15, featuring local, sustainable seafood; followed by a dinner on July 20 to showcase Estancia grass-fed beef; and finally, a dinner on Aug. 3 to celebrate fresh summer ingredients. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant directly.