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Refreshing Drink/Food in the Heat

Hi 'hounds,

I remember a post on the California board (before we got our own :) that was about the best refreshing items to have on a hot day. Can't seem to find it using the "wonderful" search option on CH. So, I thought I'd revive it!
It was through that post that I discovered the avocado smoothies at K Sandwiches and the idea of cold ramen (which would have never occurred to me). My current favorite relief is actually Som Tum (Thai papaya salad), which, when nuclear-arly hot, gives great relief in the form of the sheen of sweat which develops over your entire body, starting with your head. I live in PB, so this invariably ends up coming from Thai Village, but I am also a big fan of Sab E Lee's version too - when I dare to venture East of the 5.

What's your release from the heat? (Now that summer is here at last!)

K Sandwiches
7604 Linda Vista Rd, San Diego, CA 92111

Thai Village
4618 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

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  1. No necessarily something to get at a restaruant, but this is something I make at home when it gets hot. It's basically a Margarita Spritzer.

    6 oz. Blaco Tequila (I'm currently using El Jimador)
    3 1/2 - 4 oz Lime juice (from Key Limes, freshly squeezed)
    3 oz Cointreau
    Agave nectar to taste, usually somewhere between 1-2 Tablespoons depending upon how sour the limes are
    Shake it all together in a cocktail shaker with (or without ice)
    Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, pour the margarita in to fill the glass half way, fill the other half with club soda, stir to combine. This is a surprisingly refreshing variation on the margarita and goes down very smoothly and very easily on a hot day.

    You can, of course, vary the proportion of tequila and lime to suit your tastes

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Thanks DD - enjoying one right this second. Deceptively dangerous in lack of alcohol taste and wonderfully refreshing! The recipe is for a single, right ;)

    2. You've already covered the Summertime classic of Hiyashi Chuka Ramen (cold Ramen - http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayam... ), but along similar veins are the other Japanese Summertime staples of cold Soba and Somen.

      Soba is certainly easy to prepare yourself at home, and is also available at most Japanese non-specialty eateries. I personally like Kaito Sushi's version which is topped with a colorful and crisp combination of vegetables and seasonings. ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayam... ) It's a bit of an improvised dish so the mix may vary from visit to visit, but is always satisfying.

      Somen is a thin wheat flour noodle that's synonymous with Summer, and is sometimes served at festive occasions in the form of Nagashi Somen, which means flowing Somen. A hit with the kids, this version of Somen is served in a chilled trough of iced water which constantly flows along either in a closed looped or a linear track. (Marukai even sells such a table-top device, though of course it's not necessary at all...) Guests simply pull out a serving from the trough with their chopsticks, to be dipped into a cold soy-based broth.

      One of my favorite desserts is Milk Kintoki Kakikoori, which is a bowl of powdery fine shaved ice topped with sweetened Azuki beans and sweetened condensed milk ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayam... ). It used to be served at the concession in Mitsuwa where the Kabaya is now, but since then I can no longer find a proper version here.

      One can approximate it at the Korean cafes Cafe Venti or Big Joy Family Cafe by customizing their Patbingsoo "Five Easy Pieces" style (a reference to the movie with Jack Nickolson - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wtfNE... ), but it really comes out quite different due to the different starting ingredients. Rather I've given up "customizing" a Milk Kintoki at these cafes and instead enjoy a straight Patbingsoo. ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayam... ) It's an overload of ingredients compared to the much sparser Japanese ices, but it'll definitely chase the heat off and is a great snack to share with friends.

      If you want a nice Summertime beverage, Calpis / Capico always hits the spot. It's in the class of the Asian "lactic acid" drinks, which sounds terrible but is actually very delicious and good for you. Think of a drink with a sweet/tart yorgurt-like taste in a refreshing beverage with ice, and you get the picture. I like it non-carbonated, but you can find it pre-bottled in both versions. However I'd much rather mix it myself, as I find the pre-mixed ones to be too sweet. You can buy the concentrate, sold in a small milk-container-like package, and dilute it with either plain water or soda water to your liking. The concentrate could be found in any Japanese or Korean market.

      Kaito Sushi
      130-A N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024

      Big Joy Family
      4176 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

      Cafe Venti
      4681 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

      2 Replies
      1. re: cgfan

        Very descriptive post, your more pedestrian Japanese restaurants might have zaru soba on the menu. Very nice in the summer.

        1. re: thirtyeyes

          Thanks 30! BTW I didn't mention Zaru Soba as for me it's a year-round dish, but it certainly is a good choice when you have a feel for something "not hot".

      2. A drink that my parents simply called "melon"

        Get strings of cantaloupe.
        Mix with sugar and water to taste.
        Add ice, let chill, and serve.

        There are equally delicious variations of this.
        I've had one in a taco shop in which the cantaloupe was cut/mushed into a pulp, allowing you to drink bits of cantaloupe with every sip through a straw.
        I've also it in a (Japanese?) beverage that had no cantaloupe meat but instead added milk to the mix.

        For me no other drink offers such a combination of heat-busting refreshment and childhood nostalgia in such a deliciously simple package.

        1. Last summer I became a big fan of White Sangria. Very light and refreshing. It's a very simple standard recipe with infinite variations:

          - 1 bottle white wine
          - 3 cups sparkling water (lemon-lime soda if you like sweeter)
          - Cut fruit (citrus, berries, melons, pears, apples, etc)
          - a couple tablespoons of sugar or honey if you wish to be sweeter.

          1 Reply
          1. re: steveprez

            That's pretty much what I've been enjoying lately-

            White wine, fresh (homemeade) limeade, and lemon-lime soda in equal parts- serve with sliced fruit and ice.

            I tried it with sparkling water during my grueling taste-testing session in the hammock a few weeks ago, and it seems to work best for me with the soda. So good on a warm afternoon!

          2. The foot of Chalcedony St is my relief...that and a Vuelve a la Vida or a good ceviche from any number of places,

            1. Ozanza noodles from Okan are perfect for this weather! Cool, slightly slippery wheat noodles in a cool broth w/ julienned cucumber, diced Japanese mountain potato and deep fried egg inside tofu skin. Add some heat by mixing in wasabi.

              naeng myun (sp?), the Korean yam noodles in cold beef broth with sliced daikon or Asian pear and slices of beef brisket. Sometimes served w/ ice cubes. Customize your broth w/ a shot of white vinegar and mustard. The best one I've had was in Koreatown in LA where the broth was dark like soy sauce and full of sesame oil and sesame seeds. In SD, Convoy Tofu House does a pretty decent naeng myun.

              Cold hung dao xa, aka red bean soup, is very refreshing and filling. Even better w/ tapioca and coconut milk.

              Ching bo leung, aka sam bo leung at the Vietnamese places, is a mixture of lotus seeds, grains of unidentified origin and other Chinese stuff in a darkly sweet "juice."

              Just did a small round of Yogurt World after dinner tonight!

              2nd cold soba and somen.

              5 treasure ice, which is mixed fruits, azuki beans (sometimes kidney beans are substituted), grass jelly/tapioca/boba and sweetened condensed milk over shaved ice is very, very refreshing. I think Cafe Venti has a variation on it but I've never tried theirs.

              refrigerated Chino Farms watermelon did it for us last night!

              Kaito sushi/sashimi

              Convoy Tofu House
              4229 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

              Yogurt World
              4646 Convoy St Ste 113, San Diego, CA 92111

              Cafe Venti
              4681 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

              6 Replies
              1. re: daantaat

                Wow, daantaat, you just made me very hungry :-)

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  Glad to have returned the favor! :-)

                2. re: daantaat

                  Great list daantaat, especially the Naengmyeon! How could I have left that one out! I too like Convoy Tofu House (the one next to/attached to Katsura)...

                  Your post also reminded me of the simple Cafe Su Da, or Vietnamese coffee.

                  Also there's also Mugicha, or barley tea, which for some might be an acquired taste but is very refreshing. (It's the cold tea served gratis during lunch at Yakyudori Ramen.)

                  And I second the indirect mention of Aguas Frescas - I particularly like the cantaloupe Aguas at Tacos El Paisa in Logan Heights.

                  Tacos El Paisa
                  840 S 47th St, San Diego, CA 92113

                  Convoy Tofu House
                  4229 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

                  1. re: cgfan

                    thanks! and thanks for mentioning barley tea. I forgot about it and still remember the first time I had it, ice cold, at an ex-SO's parents' house.

                    1. re: daantaat

                      Thanks to you I had my first of season Naengmyeon today for lunch! Indeed, perfect for this weather...

                      So do you know if Okan still has the Ozanza? If I recall your posts, it was a limited time menu item. Last time I was there I went for lunch and found out that they serve it only at dinnertime; just my luck...

                      1. re: cgfan

                        Okan had Ozanza two weekends ago when we went for dinner. I was very pleased, excited and made a point of ordering it. :-D Make sure they put a dab of wasabi on the bowl. The first 3 times I had it, the wasabi was there. Last time they forgot, I think b/c they had a private party of 20 people that took up over 1/2 the place. Noodles were still awesome w/o wasabi.

                3. I love a glass of lambrusco in the summer. It's a sort of sparkling red wine served cold. Always have it at pizzeria mozza. I found some at bevmo in Encinitas.

                  1. Oolong milk tea with pudding from Tea Garden on Convoy. The oolong has a nice bitter bite contrasted with the sweet eggyness from the pudding. That bitterness is refreshing, actually, when it's ice cold.

                    1. A simple salad of cubed watermelon, fresh italian parsley and crumbled feta. Maybe a very light drizzle of reduced balasalmic vinegar.

                      Had this at a party this weekend and it was wonderful in the heat.

                      1. Enjoying gin drinks this past weekend. particularly liked a gin buck
                        1 1/2 oz gin Tanqueray at my house
                        1 Tbs lemon juice
                        6 oz of ginger beer

                        serve over ice in highball glass. that's living.

                        1. I just love a good Pimms! I havent found anywhere that does it quite how I like it, although Starlite's 'Timms cup' is pretty good. Anyone have any pimms recs?

                          3175 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jennywenny

                            I don't know if they do it, but have you tried Jayne's Gastropub?

                            1. re: foodiechick

                              They do. I also like to make spritzers with aperitifs (Campari, Aperol, Lilllet) white wine and sparkling water. Also cold cucumber soup, Trader Joes green and white iced tea with mint over lots of ice and iced espressos. I find when it's really hot I start to get drowsy in the afternoons - at least I did when I worked at home (in the E. County, with no air condtioning!) An iced cafe cubano also does the trick - pack the espresso machine with half coffee and half raw sugar - brew and pour over ice - it's like rocket fuel!

                          2. Love a good gin and tonic with lots of lime and a I make a fresh mango with jicama, red onion, sesame oil, freshly squeezed lime/lemon juice, red chili flakes, served with lots of cold grilled jumbo shrimp.

                            1. When it's hot and I'm in the mood for something sweet, I crave halo-halo, a filipino shaved ice dessert.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: jbol

                                where can you find halo-halo in SD?

                                1. re: daantaat

                                  My folks usually get it at Conching's but there are a lot of other Filipino (and Filipino-owned) restaurants that serve it.
                                  ie) Tita's, Chowking, the Nestle cookie shop at the Otay Ranch mall, etc.

                                  1. re: Haranaguy

                                    Where are Conching's and the good Filipino restaurants?

                                  2. re: daantaat

                                    As said previously, National City is where most of the Filipino restaurants are but you can find halo-halo in Mira Mesa too, like Manila Fast Food, Red Ribbon, Chow King, New Manila. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few other places.

                                    When I went to the Cooks Confab benefit for ARTS last week, Trey Foshee and Trang Huynh from George's had a great coconut dessert where the flavor profile was very much like halo halo. Needless to say, I went back for thirds :)

                                    Chow King Restaurant
                                    2220 E Plaza Blvd, National City, CA 91950