Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cheap paradise

 Amazon is our go-to [virtual] place when it comes to books. And I guess 80% of people for that matter.

 But no matter how convenient online shopping can be, you still need that feeling of being able to touch the thing you've been longing to buy, to see it in person and gauge how big/tiny or what material it's made of, before you eventually decide whether your hard earned penny is really worth spending on it.


 A few months ago, we happen to stumble upon Book Off. We've been ignoring this place for the  longest time. It's a Japanese chain store that sells mostly pre-owned items. Whether it's DVD, electronics, toys and even instruments. But they carry mostly books which was the next best thing besides Amazon, as I mentioned.

 Zion, Prime Grill, K-Bbq, Kura, Somi-Somi, Mini Cooper, Bonchon, H-Mart, Murakai, Costco Business and etc. We have added Book Off on our long list of places to go in Clairemont as another "excuse" to drive up. In fact, the drive does not matter when most of the things or stores we like are all located in one place. And it's a soiree of our so-called cheap paradise.

Address: 4240 Kearny Mesa Rd #128 San Diego CA 92111
Website: BookOff

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Manna (Po) Bbq

Our one and only AYCE (All You Can Eat) Korean Bbq place in the south, closest to us would be Manna by Southwestern College. It's been years since we last came here and this was the second time. It was not impressive on our first visit considering that a lot of people we know have been raving about it.

Manna Korean Bbq

I may not be the best critic when it comes to Korean Bbq, but we've had our fair share of places we've eaten at. And by far, Manna [East Lake] is at the bottom of our list. The only reason we went this time was because I wanted meat and I insisted we go despite Anna's warnings of possible disappointment.  She even added we might as well drive over to Clairemont I really want good meat.  But I wanted to give this place another chance and see if there might be any redeeming factor.

Manna Korean Bbq

I was mistaken.

It was a Saturday and normally, K-Bbq restaurants have premium prices on weekends, even during lunch time. Given that, even the cheapskate in me was willing to fork out that much $. Beef brisket is a staple and a popular favorite on our K-Bbq table anywhere we go. But this time, it was a disappointment. What was supposedly described as thin on the menu was thickly cut and naturally became chewy when cooked. Since I was being generous on that day, I ordered another plate of it thinking maybe the first plate I was handed was a fluke. 

But fluke it all was.

Manna Korean Bbq

A2 tier Menu

The rest of the meat were ok.  So-so. But then again, I'd rather drive and be satisfied with the food I eat with  the money I pay for. I would only consider coming back a third (and last) time just because I'd want to go with my food buddies and be able to criticize and prove that Manna should be, and stay for that matter, at the bottom of our list.

Price: 2 out of 5 ($25 per person/lowest tier)
Customer Service: 3.5 out of 5. We had to call somebody to have our grill replaced all the time compared to most of the places we've been to. It's good they have a "ringer" if we need anything instead of waiting for a staff member to pass by.
Food: 3 out of 5. Quality of the meat is as not a good considering their price against other better places we've been to.
Parking: 4  out of 5. There were a lot of parking space. However, even our Mini barely fit in the slot. You'd see a lot of SUV taking up two spots and not judge them.

Address:  724 Otay Lakes Rd. Chula Vista, CA 91910 b/t H St and Canyon Dr.
Website: Manna Korean Bbq