I have a firm policy about eating when traveling: Don’t eat at a place on the road that I can eat at while home.
Sure, a burger is a burger and macaroni is macaroni, but I feel better about myself if the dining establishment can't be found where I live.
Hence, a new feature here in Direct Flight: Eat Local.
We’ll begin with JRDN in Tower 23 in San Diego, Calif. Pacific Beach, to be precise. It has the look of a fancy-pants New York City joint, but the feel of a pants-are-optional beachside spot.
JRDN is hip and trendy, to be sure, but you can roll out of your beach chair, walk in and grab a table with sand still in your suit and the smell of Banana Boat oozing from every pore. That, my friends, is a fine afternoon.
The lunch menu is somewhat limited, in the sense that it has one of this and one of that, but it’s very affordable. Two people can grab lunch, inside or outside, for about $30 (drinks not included). The kobe burger is pretty good, too. The fried calamari is light and airy.
There’s plenty of seating both inside and out, and if you’re going to sit outside and enjoy the sun and people watching, you’re in luck. There’s a small glass wall separating the patrons from the passers by. This gives you the enjoyment of outside dining without having to feel gawked at from beyond the table. A sense of privacy, if you will.
JRDN, located at 723 Felspar St., is a perfect place for vacationers searching for sun and perishables in the same place. There’s even parking validation for customers, which is huge. Not too much available parking nearby. But, if you park in their lot, you can spend up to three hours strapping on a tan and dining. Nice deal.
Definitely grab a drink or two here as well. It’s a chill scene. Swanky and relaxed, if such a combination is allowed to exist in your mind. Play it right and you can get one of the few seats on the side of the bar that faces the beach. Hello, sun tan!