Being a Southern California native, there’s nothing particularly original in stating that summer is my favorite season. But having lived in other cities—cities with legitimate seasons—there’s nothing like the change in the air that signals beach weather in San Diego. And yet the other summer reality is that my interest in spending time in the kitchen putting food to flame decreases in inverse proportion to the mercury rising.
Come summertime, I want food that’s lively, flavor-packed and cooked by someone else. I’d also like a mojito. Enter Azafran Cuban Restaurant.
The family-run restaurant along Highway 101 in Oceanside has a worn, ramshackle charm, evoking romantic notions of colorful Havana streets and the world’s largest antique-car collection, without any of that messy political stuff. The staff is friendly, attentive and multigenerational, serving up casual warmth along with your meal.