Our meeting place was Carlsbad Premium Outlet mall. She drove down from the South Bay area to meet us. With ongoing horse races and California State Fair, traffic was heavy in the vicinity of Del Mar while driving on I-5.
It was past 11:30 am when the 3 of us arrived at the designated meeting restaurant, Motto Japanese Grill. Post COVID challenges are repeated everywhere. Many establishments were closed and only a few sit-down restaurants are open for lunch.
Cafeteria style, you place and pay for your order and your service number is on the receipt. J.J. had Miso Ramen with a side of gyoza while my sister and I chose the healthier platter of shrimp and vegetables tempura combination with salmon, rice, miso soup and linguine salad Asian-style :-). The quality of food was ordinary and for the 3 of us, it was $70 inclusive of mandatory tip and tax. Jeff said that for similar food, we will pay 30% more in Hawaii.