If you've lived in San Diego for long enough, you've probably heard of Ruggy. He travels across the airwaves of the Brand X Morning show at 91X, spins tunes as "DJ Notorious R.U.G.," was invited to "Come On Down!" as contestant #1 on the "Price Is Right" showcase showdown and sang for his supper on the American Idol audition show! SD Yelp's own Meg M had the chance to ask "Ruggy J" a few questions about our fine city for our Weekly Yelp and his answers were so great that we just had to highlight his responses here!
Meg: What's your idea of a perfect 24 hours in San Diego?
Ruggy: A perfect 24 hours would be on a Sunday. Sleeping in from raging on Saturday night, grabbing some coffee and breakfast at Mission Cafe in Mission Beach or Cafe 976 in Pacific Beach. Then, tailgate before a San Diego Chargers game at Qualcomm Stadium. Then rip to McGregor's for a celebration shot after a Chargers WIN! From there, head to the beach to catch the sunset. Later in the night, checking out a cool show at the Casbah...then ending the night at Rudford's or Commonwealth Cafe for a late-night snack.
Meg: What makes San Diego unique?
Ruggy: San Diego is RAD. The best place you could ever live. Where else can you be at the beach, drive 1 hour east and be in the desert...and drive 2 hours north and be skiing or snowboarding in Big Bear? That's what makes SD special. Plus, it's December and while the Midwest is under ice, San Diegans are enjoying clear skies and temp's in the 60's.
Meg: With the holidays approaching, where might we see Mr. Ruggy J. shopping for friends and family?
Ruggy: There's a great spot downtown for hip, affordable "boutique" clothes called Luigi Vera. It's right by CoExist, kinda near the library. Really cool, unique stuff for the fashionista in your life! Also, I'm probably the only person in town that will admit to LOVING the mall around the holidays. I dig the hustle and bustle of the season. Downtown La Jolla is also a cool spot for a little Christmas shopping.
Meg: What do you think San Diego's signature dish is?
Ruggy: Fish tacos, fish tacos, fish tacos. This isn't a revelation by any means...but God bless Rubio's and Wahoo's fish tacos!
Meg: So when you're trying to impress the ladies... what's your favorite date place?
Ruggy: I really like going on dates in the DAY. I mean, COME ON...it's San Diego! We get paid in sunshine, might as well indulge, ya dig? It's kinda different, because everyone does the typical dinner/movie bore-fest. When I'm trying to impress on a date, a stroll around the Cove in La Jolla coupled with lunch on the deck at George's is pretty powerful. A day of frisbee golfing with a tall boy is kinda fun as well...on the low key tip.
Meg: What's your guilty pleasure food and where is your favorite place to get it?
Ruggy: Probably pizza. I've just LOVED pizza since I was a wee beeb. It's easy and ALWAYS good...even the crappiest pizza tastes pretty darn good. I dig on Bronx Pizza in Mission Hills, Lefty's Pizza in North Park, Ciro's in the Gaslamp and Basic in East Village! This question made me hungry...might hit up Basic right now!
Meg: It looks like keeping fit is a priority for you. What's your regimen and where do you work out?
Ruggy: I work out at Iron Core in Pacific Beach. I'm a certified Russian Kettlebell Fitness instructor, so my workout of choice is Kettlebells, for sure. This workout is the next big thing, but nobody has heard of it yet. You basically swing around big balls of iron with a handle. They range from 12-88 pounds. It's a kick-ass cardio/flexibility/strength workout that tons of athletes and celeb's are using! I even saw Ladanian Tomlinson working out with Kettlebells on 60 Minutes on Sunday! If he uses them, you should too!
Meg: Where are some of your favorite places to take out of town guests?
Ruggy: That kinda depends on the person. My parents-Something safe, like the San Diego Zoo , Sunset Cliffs or Blacks Beach (from the top, not on nudie-level). A friend from school-Casbah, Hash House , Chargers game, Deja Vu, Lou's Records.
Meg: Where is your favorite hidden gem (your favorite place or service) you would like to keep undiscovered but can't resist telling people about?
Ruggy: Spread the Restaurant in North Park. The most INSANE nut-butters you'll ever taste (nut butter sounds a bit gross, doesn't it?). Gourmet peanut, almond and macadamia butters in numerous different flavors. I think they have like, 200 different flavors! The white chocolate and pretzel is far-and-away my favorite. GREAT as a gift around the holidays!
Meg: What are some of your favorite dinner spots for: A special occasion? Dinner with friends? To impress a client? To eat at alone? To people watch?
Ruggy: Favorite spot for a special occasion-Gotta be Sushi. Sushi is SO sexy, I love it. It's such an event, so it goes hand-in-hand with a special celebration. I usually hit up Ono in Hillcrest, Zensi in North Park...and now, NOBU at the Hard Rock Hotel. Hot damn, that place is awesome! Dinner with friends-La Pinata in Old Town. Authentic, homemade mexican food and awesome margaritas! Turf Club is also a winner. To impress a client- Indigo Grill in Little Italy. They have the BEST mojitos in town, and when trying to impress a big-wig, alcohol is never a bad idea! To eat alone-This is gonna sound crazy, but the Nordstrom Cafe in the Fashion Valley Mall has the BEST tomato/basil soup I've ever had in my life! Plus, their mixed berry salad is pretty insane as well. I'll hit that place up solo everytime I'm in the area. People watching-Ra Sushi on any night is pretty good for people watching. Ton's of different styles collide at this spot in the gaslamp. Hipsters inside, homeless people outside. It's quite the melting pot.
Meg: Have a favorite cocktail, where is it poured?
Ruggy: A dirty martini with Blue Ice potato vodka from The Tractor Room in Hillcrest. Honestly, if I had to pick one drink to consume for the rest of my life, it'd be this! Make sure to rock the blue-cheese stuffed olives...aaaaaaaagggggggghhhhhh
Meg: Have any favorite hotels?
Ruggy: This one's easy. The Layfayette Hotel on El Cajon Blvd. It's oozing with history and the pool is amazing! I go there almost every single day in the summer as it's open to the public! They have a bar right next to the pool, so you can indulge in all sorts of alcoholic bliss while chowing down on food from the BBQ during the weekends. I threw a rager there last Christmas in a HUGE room with a ginormous balcony for practically NOTHING. Best Christmas party ever! I served nogasake (3 parts eggnog, 1 part SAKE).
Meg: Any places that you see both tourists and locals interacting in perfect harmony?
Ruggy: I'm a total hipocrate, because I love checking out new spots, but tourist's bug the bejesus out of me! I lived in Mission Beach for 2 years and it was the worst during the summer. Spend some time living in Mission around a bunch of kooks and barneys in their vacation rentals and Chevy Suburbans, and you'll be jaded too :)
Meg: Working in radio and as a DJ you must have a favorite music venue?
Ruggy: For sound, you can't beat the House of Blues. I know the get knocked for being associated w/ a huge corporation, but I love seeing shows there because the production crew is ON IT! I also love the Casbah and a place in TJ called Il Foro. It used to be a jai alai place back in the day...now, it's used to melt faces!
Meg: Best shows you've seen there?
Ruggy: HOB-Justin Timberlake (I know, I know...)
Casbah-Yo Majesty. Spittin' hot fire topless? Word, son!
Il Foro-Cafe Tacuba. Probably the best show I've EVER seen, period.