Photo courtesy of Visit California
Octopus tostada at Galaxy Taco
I like to think I'm not the kind of person who'd be put in front of a firing squad. I don't commit crimes, other than the occasional parking violation, and I rectify those malparkages immediately, I assure you. Maybe Donald Trump being elected president might provoke me into doing something irrational, but even that probably wouldn't land me on death row. The highest probability of an early demise for me would likely be getting crushed by several hundred pounds of vinyl records, or the off chance that my cats would suffocate me in my sleep.
As my vinyl collection and cats' corpulence expand, it's probably best to live every meal like it's my last. And thankfully it's easy not to waste a meal in San Diego. But as I face the possibility of having a half-ton of plastic come tumbling down upon my fragile bones, I have some specific ideas in mind in terms of the flavors I want lingering on my palate as I sail into the great beyond. And the first thing I want going down my gullet is octopus.
My preferred octopus dish—and this is a tough choice—is the octopus tostada at Galaxy Taco in La Jolla (2259 Avenida de la Playa). I often have trouble convincing anyone else to partake in its tentacly goodness, but my wife and I frequently indulge in its smoky char, with acidic orange-habanero salsa and avocado.
Tempting as it is to maintain a Mexican motif with my meal, I'm opting for a different national cuisine for my main course: French. Before I part ways with the living, I'm having steak frites from Cafe Chloe downtown (721 Ninth Ave.). I'm a carnivore by nature. I don't by any means eat meat with every meal, and if I did, this last meal could only be the result of reincarnation. I like to make my red meat count, and this tender and savory cut of beef is one of my favorites in town. Better yet, it comes with some golden, crispy fries (Belgium's greatest export), thereby satiating my greatest vice: fried potatoes.
For dessert, I'm turning the focus back on some American classics. Cookies and ice cream are two sugary treats I couldn't pass up before getting fitted for a harp and wings. So why not combine them into one cold, chewy, messy, gooey whole at Baked Bear in Pacific Beach (4516 Mission Blvd.). Sandwich some chocolate ice cream between two peanut butter cookies and top with whipped cream.
Three meals, full stomach—time to close out the evening for a nightcap at Noble Experiment (777 G St., behind the wall of kegs). A "speakeasy" with a team of bartenders who tend to know what I want before I do, I'm leaving it as a dealer's choice, something with bourbon and ginger. It's been a good night, I'm feeling a little tipsy and definitely full. Why not cap it off with one of my favorite records? I just have to reach up to the B section and oh, gooood noooo...