Epic. That is the one word I would use to describe the Coast Law Group’s office location just north of Swami’s on Coast Highway 101. I mean really, these folks work in a spot people travel from all over the world to visit. And of course it’s dog friendly and they have a “board room” filled with surfboards for that they can literally carry down to Swami’s for a quick paddle. While they go to work in paradise every day, this is a serious law firm but hey, when the lawyering gets stressful, they can always walk across the street for a moment of Zen at the Self Realization Fellowship meditation garden. I was curious where these lucky lawyers like to eat around town and caught up with some of them recently to find out.
Marco Gonzalez is a co-founder and partner at CLG and despite having represented a number of restaurants around town yet he always seems to find his way back to two favorites: the Bier Garden and the Lumberyard Tavern. “The Tavern’s craft beer selection is top notch, and I’m stoked to find Deschutes Black Butte Porter on tap among some of the best local offerings. But the real secret here is the menu that goes well beyond the typical beer-house fare both in terms of quality and healthy options. The grilled Ahi and sweet ginger slaw Waterman salad can be had as a wrap and is always amazing, and the grilled mahi tacos are second to none. The Bier Garden is the place to try the latest and greatest in San Diego beers, but truth be told I always opt for Ballast Point’s popular Sculpin IPA. I’m all about their Shrimp and Grits. No, it isn’t the best for the arteries, but after a long surf or bike ride, you really feel like you’ve earned that big old bowl of Southern buttery goodness.” Nice picks Marco, and you forgot to mention you can walk to both from your office!
Dave Peck is another partner at CLG and prefers a wide spectrum of flavors when he eats out. He also likes the flexibility of ordering additional items without feeling like a complete glutton. For those reasons he is a huge fan of restaurants specializing in tapas or small plates. “One of my favorites for both is Yu Me Ya Sake House in Leucadia. The tiny Yu Me Ya dining room could not be more intimate if it tried. And that’s part of the charm – this Japanese family run operation makes guests feel like welcome relatives. While I don’t typically order sake, I do at Yu Me Ya. The nuanced flavors are intriguing on their own but the ritualized presentation makes it a must try. On the food side, the menu offers impressive lists of both hot and cold tapas, plus hot pot and sushi. My favorite dish is the Octopus Balls - mind blowing little flavor bombs, usually served scalding hot. I’m never too proud to order a second plate.” That’s funny you mention the octopus balls Dave, when I wrote about Yu Me Ya, I described them as “undulating” as a result of the heat and the crazy visual it gives them.
Paralegal Erika Cueva joins LTP as a huge fan of Seaside Market. She shared this story from a recent birthday. “When my boyfriend surprised me at the office on my birthday to take me out for a gourmet lunch (my Marine works nights,) I redirected him to the deli at family-owned Cardiff Seaside Market. Items in the deli case vary, but their daily specials are usually the highlight. Today’s special: Hanalei Wrap - sesame seared Ahi, fresh mango, shredded cabbage, brown rice, sesame ginger dressing. My go-to is the chicken breast veggie rice bowl with teriyaki sauce. Nate and I enjoyed my fancy birthday meal at the benches overlooking Swamis. There’s no reason to pay and arm and a leg to eat at a beachside restaurant when Encinitas’ many beachfront benches offer the best seat in SoCal .” So true Erika, and thanks for reminding me of that lunch option.
CLG partner Seyamack Kourtetchian finds his true Zen (a common theme here) at Darshan Bakery, right around the corner from his office. “This small, unassuming bakery turns out one masterpiece of pure flakey heaven at a time. I often sneak out the back door of our office and walk the quiet two blocks to step into a secret wonderland where, against the background of classical music, wizard bakers work their magic in the form of individually crafted croissants. Peeling a warm, light, crunchy finger off the end of a simple butter croissant while sitting under one of the towering Eucalyptus trees outside can bring true inner joy and peace. When, however, my soul (or is it my stomach) craves something sweeter, I prefer “meditating” over one of Darshan’s blissful almond croissants. It is enlightenment, but maybe with a few extra calories.” Dang Seyamack, you ought to try your hand at food writing, that was very eloquent.
Attorney Amy Johnsgard wraps things up and represents the self-proclaimed finicky and mainly herbivorous, gluten-free eaters yet she also enjoys being able to dine out with friends so her pick was Lotus Café. “It really has something for everyone,” said Amy. “Practically all of the menu options can be made vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. But even meat lovers can be satiated with poultry and fish dishes. Many items are also organic and non-GMO. The tempeh or fish tacos are delectable. After a satisfying and nourishing, natural meal, you would be remiss not to treat yourself to one of their desserts. My personal favorite is the vegan chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting. The relaxed ambiance is part of the experience—on a sunny day, bring your pooch and relax in the shaded patio on South Coast Highway.”
More about Coast Law Group at www.coastlawgroup.com