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The crew at Wax & Whimsy in Solana Beach give Lick the Plate readers some of their favorite places to eat around town. Photo by Jean Vavra
The crew at Wax & Whimsy in Solana Beach give Lick the Plate readers some of their favorite places to eat around town. Photo by Jean Vavra
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Licking the Plate with Wax & Whimsy in Solana Beach

It’s that time again to get to know a local business and where they like to eat around town.  I was turned on to Wax & Whimsy when I was searching for candles as a gift for a friend who is quite discerning in her taste for them.

I found out that they have a re-candle service where you bring in your empty candle vessel, select an aroma, and they pour you a brand new pure soy candle.

What a great idea!

They also have bath and body products, women’s clothing and jewelry and a naughty room for bachelorette parties. It is family owned and operated and has been voted Best Gift Shop on San Diego’s A-List.

Let’s get started with owner Jean Vavra who likes to keep it local in Solana Beach with Tony’s Jacal because it reminds her of happy times and celebratory events.

“Tony’s Jacal has become our Wax & Whimsy go-to for staff holiday dinners,” Vavra said. “We recently celebrated our San Diego A-List win for Best Gift Shop there. My favorite item is the Anniversario where you can get a taste of four different items, rice and beans, and flavorful sides.”

She’s also big on Wild Note Café.

“I drive out of my way just to sink my teeth into their Filet Mignon sliders and fries,” she said. “Their creative menu often has interesting flavors such as Kimchi mayonnaise, Sriracha ranch, as well as a plethora of interesting aioli’s.”

Her going out big pick is Market in Del Mar.

“I want to open another location there just to be a little closer to their mouthwatering creations and decadent desserts. Their fresh sushi and wine selections will not disappoint.”

Employee Judith Burns is an Encinitas local and chimed in with these selections.

“I’ve seen a lot of great restaurants come and go but most of my favorites have been around for a long time.  For turkey tacos Tony’s Jacal in Solana Beach are second to none. Just the right crunch and flavor, and their Mexican Slaw is amazing. For appetizers the bar at the Brigantine is a great location. You can watch the ocean or the track and the Fish Tacos are the best I’ve ever had. You can also eat in the restaurant where they have some really great salads and entrees as well. For burgers it’s The Bully Burger at Bully’s Del Mar. It’s huge and the fries that come with are so crisp and yummy! Vigilucci’s off Tamarack Boulevard. Beautiful view and really romantic as well! They have a great steak and delicious pasta.”

Thanks for the tip on the Bully’s Burger Judith, I will have to check that out.

Michelle Rubel focused on Karina’s in Leucadia and had great things to say about it.

“What makes a restaurant great, is something as simple as the sights and sounds you notice as you walk in; it could be the quality of the food you have come to expect over the years, or the way you are greeted with a smile and a hello.  Karina’s on 101 in Leucadia is all that. Karina’s has been around for as long as I can remember and has been a source of quality Mexican food for the 10-plus years I have been living in Leucadia. Heck it might not even be the best taco stand in the 92024 zip code but for good quality food with a smile and an “Hola” from the owner each and every time I am there. Nothing beats it.”

I’ve overlooked Karina’s Michelle and it’s right in my backyard, too!

Sales associate and merchandiser Sam Modugno believes when you are looking for the perfect dinner spot you have to go with Casa Sol Y Mar located just one exit from the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

“Casa Sol Y Mar provides the atmosphere and menu lineup to make you feel you are in the heart of Downtown’s Old Town district, but beachside here in Del Mar,” he said. “My go-to order is the Tostada Sabrosa which has black beans, grilled chicken, avocado, red bell peppers, tomatoes, roasted corn, olives, cilantro and chopped lettuce, served with cilantro lime dressing on a crisp flour tostada. In my opinion, it is the ultimate mix of traditional Mexican flavor, but with a healthier spin to it.”

Another one to add to the Lick the Plate must try list, thanks Sam!

Sales associate Melissa Calderon is a Vigilucci’s in the Carlsbad Village fan.

“Bring your appetite with you because everything is decadent and authentic Italian even down to your waiter,” Calderon said. “It’s the perfect romantic getaway. The menu is packed with wonderful food and it really is hard to choose a favorite, but if I had to narrow it down to two things I must order, I would recommend starting with a Caprese salad with imported buffalo mozzarella; it’s absolute deliciousness with every bite. For your main course it would have to be Capesante ai Pomodorini Secchi Pan Seared scallops with Risotto Cakes. I would like to mention that they have an authentic market next door with the best customer service in helping you pick out wine and cheese. Dining there is a great experience.”

It’s been a while since I’ve hit up that Vigilucci’s Melissa, I will have to revisit!

It’s Kennedy’s Karne in Escondido, a family owned restaurant and market, where sales associate Elaine is taking us.

“The Escondido location not only has a meat market, a salsa bar (which are all made in-house mind you), tortilla chips of every kind, and alcohol and sodas. It also has a top-notch taco shop at the front. They have two kinds of carne asada, better and best. The cilantro salsa is my favorite, and won a local salsa contest last year. Their guacamole is also amazing, and you can get multi-serving meals to go. They also have everything for a beach BBQ, so you can do it yourself. On the sweet side, Esco Gelato located just off Grand Avenue, is great place to grab dessert after dinner at one of the restaurants or breweries nearby. With constantly rotating flavors like Candy Bar, Strawberry Basil, or Passion Fruit, you never know what delicious options you will have.”

More new discoveries for LTP and thanks to the team at Wax & Whimsy for contributing! Check out this cool shop at 665 San Rodolfo Dr. #109, in Solana Beach. Call (858) 755-1775 or go online to