Tower 23 is situated right on Pacific Beach in San Diego. It’s cool, modern, and comfortable, it’s all you need for a no-fuss, swanky getaway. In our room, we were greeted with a chilled bottle of white wine, cheese, fruit, nuts and a view of the ocean. Not a bad way to start the day!
Our “Sanctuary Suite” was huge and spacious, with an adjoining patio that crept out onto the large common patio facing the beach and the gorgeous Crystal Pier with cute little bungalows perched on it. Now, Tower 23 does not have a pool on their deck, but their fountain is definitely big enough to sit in. I don’t know if anyone actually does this (our host claimed it’d been done), but I do know that if it hadn’t been freezing outside, I would have sat right down in there. Nick and I walked around and scoped out the place. There’s a great fire pit on the patio and a glass partition saving us from the beachcombers, so we planned to get up in there to catch the sunset. Just below the deck was the JRDN restaurant where we had dinner reservations later. Cool, now we know where everything is, time to get out and play.
We decided to take up the bike rental discount offered to us upon check in. It’s cool that there are lots of shops, cafes, and restaurants within walking distance (as was the bike shop), so you don’t have to get back into your car at any point, really. Totally got our $20 worth.
We hopped on the bikes ($10 for the day) and cruised waaaaaaay down the beach, sticking to Mission Blvd. Once we decided to turn back, I thought it would be cool to ride on the beach. Nick, as usual, looked at me like I was an alien. I figured since we were on ‘beach cruisers’ didn’t it seem appropriate to actually cruise on the beach? Yeah, duh. So he conceded. We got about 4 feet in the beach sand before we both fell over. Ok, well at least we tried. I mean, why are they called ‘beach cruisers’? Seriously. We dragged our ‘cruisers’ back up the dunes onto the street and headed towards the hotel. It was a beautiful breezy, sunny afternoon in PB! I couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday to celebrate your birthday, Nick! Sorry I got so carried away with the beach cruising.
So, when we got back, we took in some sun and ordered coffee drinks on the patio. The cappuccinos we got there, no lie, were some of the best I have ever had. Now, it is customary for me to nurse a coffee, yes one coffee, over an entire day. I am not kidding! I sip it a little while it’s hot, and then literally sip on it all throughout the day, hot to cold. I’ve even been known to refrigerate the last few sips of a coffee and bust it out the next morning. Disgusting? Hey, to each his own. Anyways, the cappuccino was so effing delicious, I downed 2!
We lounged around until the sun set, and I took a million pictures because it was stunning. Plus there was a guy walking around on the beach with a surfboard and nothing else. Yeah he was naked, walking around with a surfboard. It was awesome. I tried to get some pictures of him without him noticing, but it was kind of crazy how he kept looking right at me whenever I pointed my camera at him. I guess that’s how they do it down there.
Once the sun was gone, it got super cold and windy, so we went inside to clean up and primp for our dinner reservation! Now, I didn’t mention the bathtub earlier, but I had been thinking about it all day. I was about to get the full effect. The water spout for the tub COMES FROM THE CEILING!!! Yes, the water comes out of the ceiling. That is not a joke. You sit in this bathtub and let the water pour out onto your head from a hole in the ceiling. I won’t say it again, but dude…where’s my car??? Haha! THE CEILING! It was hilarious. And messy because the water bounces off of your head and splashes all over the floor. But once the tub is full of water, you can turn on the JETS! Woo-hoo! I didn’t think we were gonna make it to dinner. It was so much fun! The soap and shampoo they provided was really nice-smelling too.
But we had a dinner reservation at JRDN, so we called it quits on the crazy overhead water spray situation and got dressed up for dinner. But not before I jumped up and down on the big giant bed. I think it was a California King with a feather bed on top. It was heavenly. How did they ever expect us to get to dinner? Nick had to drag me off of the bed, and I’m so glad he did.
The restaurant is super slick with this big wall with some kind of fiber optic wave effect on it. It changes color throughout dinner, so I guess you could say it’s a ‘dynamic’ dining experience. There’s also the awesome looking wine room, where it looks loke you can sit at a conference table and drink wine. Fun?
Our server was super nice, professional, and well-versed. The wine list is out of this world, which wasn’t really a shock given the aforementioned wine-drinking conference room. And the food was incredible. We each had a really nice salad, and I indulged in a Dungeness crab cake appetizer. WOW. Delicious crab cakes! Nick ordered grilled fish with fingerling potatoes, which he loved, and I had a steak. Steaks are a big deal here as there are 6 or 7 choice cuts for you to choose from (porterhouse, top sirloin, rib eye), 5 ‘Rubs’ listed (blackened, maitre d’hôtel butter, tri peppercorn, JRDN rub, and charmula), and 8 sauces classic béarnaise, chimichurri, salsa verde, etc). I chose a 6oz tenderloin, JRDN rubbed with 5 peppercorn marsala, pan roasted wild mushrooms and asparagus. It was PERFECT. Perfectly cooked, perfectly rubbed, and perfectly joined with perfect vegetables. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, we had the most delicious flourless chocolate cake ever, a dollop of coffee ice cream, and some of that scrumptious coffee. Oh, what a night.
-Amy Jo Diaz
723 Felspar Street
San Diego, CA 92109