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Lifeblood Harmony Apr 17, 2014 Malashock Dance and Art of Élan collaborate for the first time to present three evenings of original choreography set to live music by three of today’s most appealing contemporary composers: David Bruce, Judd Greenstein and Osvaldo Golijov. 61 other events on Thursday, April 17
 
Canvassed | Art & culture
A tale of near-death, bloody steaks and unprecedented opulence
News
Why the city can’t maintain enough emergency trucks
Editor's Note
I don’t really go for the caged-wildlife thing to begin with
Film
Documentary about ill-fated project leads our rundown of movies screening around town

 

 
 
Beer & Chees

Don’t judge Booze Brothers by its cover

Vista brewery offers more than just booze

By Ian Cheesman

As the craft-brew phenomenon grows and brewers are increasingly recognized for the sophisticated work they do, leading with a name that crudely touts its alcohol content just smacks as juvenile. 

Beer & Chees

La Jolla Brewing Company’s reinvention

An old brewery learns new tricks

By Ian Cheesman

The grand reopening of a restaurant usually guarantees little more than a change of ownership and a few fresh-faced servers. La Jolla Brewing Company (7536 Fay Ave.) has expanded on that by refreshing the restaurant interior, the brewer, the kitchen staff, the beers and the food.

Beer & Chees

Slater’s 50/50 shows the power of synergy

Bacon burgers and beer or bust

By Ian Cheesman

I remember when I first heard about Slater's 50/50. It was at a time when the Internet was riding the bacon hype-train as only the Internet can.

Beer & Chees

Worth the wait, to a point

Six years, three Double Bastard Ales and one happy beer writer

By Ian Cheesman

Courtesy of San Diego Beer Week 2013, I had the chance to sample vintages of Stone Brewing's Double Bastard Ale (DB) spanning six years.

Beer & Chees

We wish you a beery Christmas

And a hoppy new year

By Ian Cheesman

The words "Christmas beers" always give me pause. While that designation doesn't carry specific style guidelines, such brews invariably possess the same pitfalls: They carelessly bludgeon the ale with mulling spices.

Beer & Chees

North Park offers your newest Waypoint

These are coordinates worth tracking

By Ian Cheesman

Waypoint Public (3794 30th St.) has emerged from the ashes of The Linkery (there are some who say the grounds are haunted by the tortured ghosts of displaced sausages) as North Park's newest bistro and beer bar.

Beer & Chees

A day in the life of San Diego Beer Week

An epic tale of epicness

By Ian Cheesman

Waking on the Friday morning that kicks off San Diego Beer Week is like standing in the shadow of Goliath. I am faced with a behemoth that, as a professional beer journalist, I'm expected to conquer.

Beer & Chees

Manzanita Brewing offers variety and comfort

Oh, and, most importantly, pumpkin

By Ian Cheesman

I know pumpkin flavor is pretty overexposed presently, but it has a power over me that I can't fully articulate. 

Beer & Chees

How to get a degree in BEERology

Sometimes the student loans are worth it

By Ian Cheesman

BEERology is a collection of lore and artifacts that demonstrates how beer has proven to be a cultural touchstone since time immemorial. 

Beer & Chees

My fiery passion for chili beer

If you can’t stand the heat, you could be missing out

By Ian Cheesman

My journey with spicy beer began with Cave Creek's Chili Beer, a bottle probably most recognized for the actual chili buoying within. It was, in no uncertain terms, a massive turd.

Bottle Rocket

In the white room at The Flight Path

New Downtown wine bar offers sips and bites at a great value

By Jen Van Tieghem

One of the first striking features of The Flight Path is its décor—or lack thereof. The stark white walls, tables, chairs and countertops give the new wine bar an almost sterile appearance.

Bottle Rocket

Jakes on 6th is perfect for weekday winos

Atmosphere, selection and specials to suck you in at Hillcrest wine bar

By Jen Van Tieghem

Hillcrest, please accept my apologies. In my many wine-bar excursions, I've somehow neglected you. Hopefully, a recent trip to Jake's on 6th (3755 Sixth Ave.) makes up for that.

Bottle Rocket

Riviera Supper Club caters to lovers of vino and music

New wine bar section offers enjoyment in La Mesa

By Jen Van Tieghem

Riviera (rivierasupperclub.com, 7777 University Ave. in La Mesa) has furthered its wine focus by adding a wine-bar section that opened on Valentine's Day. 

Bottle Rocket

2009 Old Vines Cuvee vs. 2012 Old Zin Vines

Two California Zinfandels present different sides of the same fruit

By Jen Van Tieghem

The Old Vines Cuvee was decidedly different, with the fruit up front in powerful aromas of fig and raspberry. The scents dissipated only slightly after time in the glass.

Bottle Rocket

2004 L.A. Cetto Nebbiolo is a precocious 10-year-old

Oldest winery in Mexico offers great, inexpensive wines

By Jen Van Tieghem

Recently, I've noticed L.A. Cetto wines at several markets around town, including Windmill Farms in Del Cerro, Bine and Vine in Normal Heights and Palm Springs Liquor in La Mesa.

Bottle Rocket

Bine & Vine is good and cheap

Normal Heights bottle shop’s as fine for wine as it is for beer

By Jen Van Tieghem

Wine buyer and professional sommelier Stephen Ansley takes a lot of pride in what goes into those bins. Chatting with him revealed his careful practices for proper wine storage and lessons learned working at BevMo for several years.

Bottle Rocket

San Diego Cellars adds diversity for drinkers

Wines are created and enjoyed under one roof in Little Italy

By Jen Van Tieghem

Most local winemaking operations set up shop on the rural outskirts while tasting rooms spring up in well-trafficked areas. San Diego Cellars (2215 Kettner Blvd.) balances both at a quaint spot in Little Italy where wines are both made and served.

Bottle Rocket

What lurks beyond The Red Door?

Chic ambiance and comfort await at Mission Hills wine bar and restaurant

By Jen Van Tieghem

Most wine bars serve up a trendy atmosphere and carefully crafted food alongside their selections from the vines; The Red Door Restaurant and Wine Bar (741 W. Washington St. in Mission Hills) does so in spades. 

Bottle Rocket

KnB Wine Cellars is perfect for sipping and stocking up

Del Cerro’s hidden gem offers quality and variety

By Jen Van Tieghem

K 'n B Wine Cellars, one part liquor store and one part beer-and-wine bar tucked in a Del Cerro strip mall (6380 Del Cerro Blvd.), leaves pretentiousness at the door.

Bottle Rocket

Red Rock Winery’s 2009 Reserve Malbec

It’s remnant-licking good

By Jen Van Tieghem

 After trying a few Malbecs that fell short of my expectations, I found a well-priced favorite in a California version—Red Rock Winery's 2009 Reserve Malbec, which is full of fruit flavors and balanced by a light acidity.

Cocktail Tales

Booze news

Native Spirits North Park retail shop, Polite Provisions' cocktail glasses and Hiatus' Gin Fest

By Kelly Davis

On the short list of retail shops that San Diego lacks are good liquor stores. That's not to say there aren't any—K 'n B Wine Cellars, for instance, will make your neck hurt with its sky-high shelves of booze.

Cocktail Tales

Ballast Point crafts a new way to drink

Brewing titan invites San Diego to see its harder side

By Ian Cheesman

Just because I'm best known as a beer writer doesn't mean that's all I have to offer. With my expansive literary pedigree, I'm capable of delivering witty and biting commentary on virtually any fluid. That's why I was the logical understudy to cover Ballast Point's new speakeasy in Scripps Ranch.

Cocktail Tales

That's amari

Learning to love bitter liqueur, one amaro at a time

By Kelly Davis

I considered writing about romantic drinking spots for this column, but I'm utterly unromantic. I have, however, been thinking a lot about a type of spirit that sounds romantic: amaro (plural "amari").

Cocktail Tales

Frogger and Fernet?

Well-played drinks at North Park’s Coin-Op Game Room

By Kelly Davis

Coin-Op's located in the space formerly occupied by Hubcap (and, just before that, El Take it Easy) and features a big, open front facing 30th Street.

Cocktail Tales

2013 in adult beverages

Here’s what a year of (good) boozing looks like

By Kelly Davis

Since this issue’s filled with reflections on 2013, I figured I’d use this space to look back at some memorable drinking.

Cocktail Tales

Gifts for drinkers

Wow friends and family with bitters, books and booze

By Kelly Davis

Bitters: A bottle of bitters is a perfect stocking stuffer. If you want to support a small local company with a damn-fine product, get a bottle or two of RX Bitters, currently available in two flavors—Aromatic #7 and Sarsaparilla.

Cocktail Tales

DIY whiskey

Getting creative with the amber spirit

By Kelly Davis

Recently, a couple of friends came up with an idea for a cocktail party: Pick a spirit—whiskey in this case—and have attendees buy a nice bottle of that spirit (in the $40 range) and use it to come up with a "signature" cocktail.

Cocktail Tales

A tale of two bars

Great Maple provides the antidote to Frauds and Swindlers

By Kelly Davis

I make it a point to use this space to recommend places to go for well-made cocktails. I’ve yet to call a place out—until now. I had high hopes for the Gaslamp bar Frauds and Swindlers. It’s owned by L.A. cocktail all-star Aidan Demarest and I’d heard only good things about the place.

Cocktail Tales

Cat Eye Club, Counterpoint and Rumbling Tins

A roundup of crafty new developments

By Kelly Davis

New bar alert! Well, sort of. The Cat Eye Club's (370 Seventh Ave., Downtown) not brand new—it's been around since February—but, it's new enough and it's outstanding.

Cocktail Tales

Queen of the (hotel) bar

Jen Queen takes the helm at SaltBox

By Kelly Davis

Only 31, Queen, on her own and with business partners Lucien Conner and Ian Ward, has created cocktail menus for 17 restaurants, including spots like Searsucker, PrepKitchen and Monello. 

Food & Drink

A way of life

There’s a hole at iconic Stardust Donut Shop, but the fryer’s still on

By Amy T. Granite

There isn’t anywhere to sit at Stardust Donut Shop in Imperial Beach. From inside, 69-year-old Cliff Arnold waits on customers as they walk up to the little stand’s window and choose what they want from the modest selection of cult favorites like cinnamon rolls topped with peanuts.

Food & Drink

Memorable wads of wisdom from our food writers

Ten excerpts that made us laugh and drool

By Kelly Davis

In the last decade, CityBeat’s food writers have hit up fancy spots, holes-in-the-wall, authentic ethnic eateries and even strip clubs (see below) in the hopes of turning readers on to the best places to eat or (we hope) offering constructive criticism to restaurants that miss the mark.

Food & Drink

Fun at Bunz

Mission Valley spot serves top-shelf burgers and hot dogs

By Jenny Montgomery

Build your own burger or choose from one of the creations they’ve already dreamed up for you.

Food & Drink

Bo’s Seafood is fresh and honest

Check out the best fish and chips outside of England

By Jenny Montgomery

There’s something timeless and humble about a fish sandwich, and with the recent uptick in fast-and-fresh fish houses in San Diego, there’s no shortage of variations to try.

Food & Drink

Hello to Santee’s Via Moto

Standouts include house-made mozzarella and a well-balanced panini

By Jenny Montgomery

I was pleased to discover the cavernous confines of Via Moto in Santee. The sprawl of Mission Gorge Road may not be the hippest of locales, but if you’re looking for something tasty that starts with the letter “p,” be it pizza, panini or pasta, this is the place in East County.

Food & Drink

Puesto change-o!

Mexican street food arrives in La Jolla

By Jenny Montgomery

In terms of layout and dining style, imagine the fanciest Chipotle you’ve ever been to—with far tastier eats.

Food & Drink

Will Hinotez rise to Yakitori Yakyudori status?

Sister restaurant of popular Kearny Mesa Asian grill shows promise

By Amy T. Granite

Less than a mile away and triple Yakitori’s size, Hinotez exudes more of a restaurant vibe than that of a boisterous izakaya (Japanese for “pub”).

Food & Drink

Dim sum off the beaten path

Rancho Bernardo’s Pearl is one of San Diego’s better spots for the Chinese tradition

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

Over the years, I’ve found that San Diego’s dim sum options aren’t plentiful, but there are some lesser-known gems.

Food & Drink

There’s a reason Tapas Picasso’s been around for 20 years

Happy hour makes the Hillcrest spot’s Spanish small plates and sangria even better

By Amy T. Granite

The narrow, humble space is warm with colorful art and lively patrons equally engaged in food, drink and conversation.

Food & Drink

Albie’s Beef Inn is the restaurant time forgot

Mission Valley spot is the essence of retro cool

By Amy T. Granite

It’s best to leave your craft-cocktailing, farm-to-tabling, dining predispositions at the door and enjoy the no-frills meat-and-booze den for what it is

Grubby Bitch

The old soul of Harry’s Coffee Shop

La Jolla institution serves diner fare that’ll touch your heart

By Amy T. Granite

A visit to Harry’s Coffee Shop reminded me of many of the reasons why I love the blue-col-lar food beat. The family-owned, classic diner has been around since 1960, with Harry’s sons continuing to operate it much the same way, I’d imagine, that their father did during his lifetime.

Grubby Bitch

Leave these lame food trends in 2012

A Grubby farewell to another year in food

By Amy T. Granite

In lieu of new beginnings, here are seven drinking ’n’ dining trends to recycle along with 2012’s Christmas tree

Grubby Bitch

Oscar’s tacos are a big deal

Pacific Beach Mexican joint doesn't skimp on shrimp

By Amy T. Granite

Expect a tad more convenience from Oscar’s Mexican Seafood than you would from a mariscos truck: There’s a small patio out front with stools lining a counter and enough room inside by the cashier to seat a few more

Grubby Bitch

Don’t Su-mei, Plumeria is delicious

New healthy Thai joint in University Heights is up against a longtime favorite

By Amy T. Granite

More often than not, dishes with meat at Thai joints sound better on the menu than they actually are. One time, I wanted to impress a friend with what I thought at the time was the best hole-in-the-wall Thai food in town.

Grubby Bitch

Minh Ky Takeout pairs best with the couch

The secret ingredient at this City Heights joint, apparently, is ketchup

By Amy T. Granite

Chinese restaurants are fine places to eat, but sweet and sour pork pairs so much better with the couch. Chicken chow mein just tastes better when my feet are up and the bathrobe is on.

Grubby Bitch

Giorgino's burly Egg Roll

Eat it for breakfast and then go back to bed

By Amy T. Granite

I stopped reading the menu at “Pork Roll.” For some reason, it made me laugh. Not knowing what to expect, I ordered one, because, really—how bad could a sandwich be with a name like “Pork Roll”?

Grubby Bitch

Goodbye for now, Donut Star

One too many pastry orgies has tainted our love

By Amy T. Granite

A box holding the remains of a dozen donuts sits on a counter nearby. My stomach is angry—the usual morning-after effect—and yet, I haven’t brought myself to toss the tasty culprits into the trash.

Grubby Bitch

Breakfast on Voltaire Street

Add these three haunts to your regular rotation

By Amy T. Granite

At a party a couple of Friday nights ago, one of my Ocean Beach buddies started quizzing me on the food and drink joints I’ve been to in his neighborhood.

Grubby Bitch

Punjabi Tandoor’s magical oven

Mira Mesa Indian food is tasty for people and, apparently, dogs

By Amy T. Granite

As I searched for an eatery to write about this week, I was shocked to discover that one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego has yet to be covered by traditional media in more than just a two-line mention.

Grubby Bitch

Deli South Africa serves meat pies worth their weight in gold

Kearny Mesa place is hard to find, but unforgettable

By Amy T. Granite

Fact: Convoy Street is the most delicious stretch in San Diego. If you disagree, it’s time to put down the new-American Kool-Aid and venture away from North Park.

Nibbles

One last nibble

Irving Berlin and Paul Reubens help usher me out

By Brook Larios

I’ve been dishing nibbles of food news to you for a year now and, like most things in life, from restaurants to relationships, this column has run its course for me and, thus, will not flex its muscles in the new version of CityBeat that will be unveiled next week.

Nibbles

Avocados and chocolate in the news

This week's items include tidbits about Jsix, Dallman's, The Red Door, Crush, the Coronado Grub Sprawl and California Avocado Grill

By Brook Larios

This week's items include tidbits about Jsix, Dallman's, The Red Door, Crush, the Coronado Grub Sprawl and California Avocado Grill

Nibbles

Boundless burgers—and bacon

The closing of a venerable establishment and recent and forthcoming openings, including a slew of hamburger joints

By Brook Larios

You know 50 Cent? He has nothing to do with Slater’s 50/50, a burger place with locations in Huntington Beach, Anaheim and, this fall or winter, replacing Point Loma Sports Grill & Pub (2750 Dewey Road, Liberty Station).

Nibbles

Smoking with Matt

New places to eat, a place to sleep and eat, The Cooking Channel and cigar food

By Brook Larios

New places to eat, a place to sleep and eat, The Cooking Channel and cigar food

Nibbles

TV makeover

Three new restos, one forthcoming and The Food Network's in town

By Brook Larios

Three new restos, one forthcoming and The Food Network's in town

Nibbles

Say your goodbyes

Two chef departures, a new farmers market, a new restaurant and where to grub at next week’s Pride fest

By Brook Larios

Two chef departures, a new farmers market, a new restaurant and where to grub at next week’s Pride fest

Nibbles

The good, the bad and the exciting

Chocolate, new restaurant openings and the closure of a local farm

By Brook Larios

Chocolate, new restaurant openings and the closure of a local farm

Nibbles

Happier still

Industry and late-night happy hours, Beer & Sake Festival, an award-winning cookbook and Eden’s new executive chef

By Brook Larios

Industry and late-night happy hours, Beer & Sake Festival, an award-winning cookbook and Eden’s new executive chef

Nibbles

Here’s your change

New menus, overhauls and a little drama

By Brook Larios

Keeping up with Peter Zakarian is akin to keeping up with a certain Armenian celebrity and her family.

Nibbles

Art, food and a new dude

AGRI*PLANET at Alchemy, Cavaillon’s new chef/owner, Eclipse Chocolat’s new brunch menu, a festival for the women’s museum and a food-truck anniversary

By Brook Larios

AGRI*PLANET at Alchemy, Cavaillon’s new chef/owner, Eclipse Chocolat’s new brunch menu, a festival for the women’s museum and a food-truck anniversary

North Fork

Wagon Wheel serves up cowboy kitsch

Solid diner food and a comforting, nostalgic vibe in Escondido

By Jenny Montgomery

Wife-and-husband team Nancy and Sumner Rollings have been running Wagon Wheel since 2001, and one or both of them will probably greet you when you walk inside.

North Fork

Café Topes is hip and happy

Grilled cheese with apple and fig is a standout in Carlsbad

By Jenny Montgomery

Café Topes occupies a busy corner one block off the main drag, with plenty of outdoor seating for watching the beach-bound go by and a great menu to fill your belly.

North Fork

Café Stoked brings originality to San Elijo Hills

Spanish-influenced menu and community vibe overshadow small kinks

By Jenny Montgomery

Café Stoked (1215 San Elijo Road) has a great selection of coffee, pastries and smoothies, including cold-brewed "Kyoto" style coffee that slowly drips, for 14 hours, through a twisty glass tube into the coffee pot below.

North Fork

That Boy Good excels at fried chicken, bluesy charm

Southern-flavored Oceanside barbecue joint welcomes hungry hordes

By Jenny Montgomery

Even if you're not a homesick Marine, That Boy Good delivers on making you feel like you've found your secret Southern hangout. Just save me some chicken skin. 

North Fork

Avant at Rancho Bernardo Inn: accessible yet refined

El Bizcocho re-launch is less fussy, more forward, and the roast chicken is exceptional

By Jenny Montgomery

Avant feels much more like how San Diego does fancy: no dress code, but still classy and casually elegant. I was looking for a date night away from our 2-year-old, and Avant gave me a great excuse to put on earrings.

North Fork

ZigZag Pizza Pie has terrible crust

Decent chopped salads, freezer full of ice cream in Oceanside will please most

By Jenny Montgomery

I've never been a crust snob. I take pleasure in gooey cheese and greasy toppings. But after experiencing the bizarre yuck of ZigZag's crust, I'm now a convert to the church of crust.

North Fork

Vista’s Chili Coast Burgers is greasy and friendly

Let’s embrace brown, canned chili as its own unique thing

By Jenny Montgomery

Chili Coast Burgers is in a rundown block of businesses in east Vista (1330 E. Vista Way), a hole-in-the-wall next to a battered Jazzercise building.

North Fork

Bratwurst and beer at The Regal Seagull

Leucadia bar serves up the best in sausage and ale

By Jenny Montgomery

The folks at The Regal Seagull have a good thing going. After the success of their first location, Mission Hills' The Regal Beagle, the "sausage and ale house" has expanded northward to beachy Leucadia (get it? Seagull?).

North Fork

Tony’s Jacal has been charming diners since 1946

Comfortingly familiar food done really well in Solana Beach, and strong margaritas

By Jenny Montgomery

Tony's Jacal is no secret hideaway. The Solana Beach favorite (621 Valley Ave.) has been around—and owned and operated by the Gonzales family—since 1946.

North Fork

Rim Talay a tiny dining room with big tastes

Food at Oceanside Thai restaurant is familiar and homey, staff kind and warm

By Jenny Montgomery

There are no surprises on the menu; Rim Talay is tasty, accessible Thai food. The green papaya salad is a crunchy, spicy way to start a meal.

One Lucky Spoon

Robata-ya Oton: home-style Japanese fare in Kearny Mesa

Go for the green-tea pudding

By Mina Riazi

There are no California rolls at Robata-ya Oton. For dessert, don't expect tempura-fried green-tea ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce and dressed with a paper umbrella. 

One Lucky Spoon

Ariana Kabob House’s menu is more diverse than its décor

Scripps Ranch mom-and-pop shop delivers Afghan home cooking

By Mina Riazi

Well into its seventh year in Scripps Ranch, Ariana Kabob House shares a colorless strip mall with the usual suspects: a Pizza Hut, a donut shop and a smattering of medical offices.

One Lucky Spoon

Hake Restaurant & Bar goes beyond your average brasserie

La Jolla newcomer serves seafood in a subterranean setting

By Mina Riazi

For folks whose pockets run deep, downtown La Jolla provides a wealth of dining options. White-tablecloth restaurants like Nine-Ten and George's at the Cove prevail in the posh seaside neighborhood,

One Lucky Spoon

Surati Farsan Mart: dosas and Samosas

Exploring informal Miramar eatery’s spicy vegetarian fare

By Mina Riazi

The dosa offerings at Surati Farsan (9494 Black Mountain Road in Miramar) run the gamut from savory to sweet, plain to stuffed. 

One Lucky Spoon

The versatile coconut: Thai Grill’s most valuable player

You’ll love the tom kha gai at the quaint Hillcrest eatery

By Mina Riazi

Thai Grill's tom kha gai is terrific. Loaded with chicken, straw mushrooms and tomatoes, the light soup boasts serious flavor. It must be chicken noodle soup's suave and snazzy older cousin.

One Lucky Spoon

Ristorante Kaz: two parts Italian, one part Japanese

Kearny Mesa newbie needs to turn up the creativity

By Mina Riazi

When the server at the newly opened Ristorante Kaz mentioned sea-urchin pasta among the eatery's most popular dishes, I couldn't help but recall tiptoeing through tide pools.

One Lucky Spoon

Hillcrest’s 100 Wines reinvents classics

Change is often good, but sometimes it’s just unnecessary

By Mina Riazi

Although far from the Quebec original, the poutine served at 100 Wines (1027 University Ave. in Hillcrest) is delicious.

One Lucky Spoon

Queenstown Public House is the newest kiwi in town

Little Italy restaurant offers a mixed bag of flavors

By Mina Riazi

Queenstown Public House is rooted in the peculiar. Located right across from the San Diego Firehouse Museum, the antiquated building—with its faded wooden façade and sprawling porch—seems better suited for a bucolic setting.

One Lucky Spoon

Sampling Balboa International Market’s hot-food counter

Don’t forget to ask for tahdig

By Mina Riazi

As its name suggests, Balboa International Market is mostly a grocery store. But beyond the aisles of canned veggies and boxed pastries and jugs of pomegranate syrup, there's a short strip of countertop dedicated to hot-food orders.

One Lucky Spoon

At Mama’s Bakery and Deli, it’s all about aubergine

Go for the fried-eggplant wrap in University Heights

By Mina Riazi

Years later, I'm reminded of my grandfather's gift for roasting eggplants while dining at Mama's Bakery and Deli in University Heights (4237 Alabama St.).

Table Scraps

Return to Hot Dog Station

Horton Plaza joint still serves a great wiener

By Martin Jones Westlin

Horton Plaza’s Hot Dog Station, operating from a cute little ground-level send-up of a train engine, is still the city’s monument to that most legendary summertime delicacy and the condiments that define it.

Table Scraps

Shelter from the storm

Wet your whistle and dry your eyes at Neighborhood

By Martin Jones Westlin

Try some of the greatest bar food in the Major Leagues.

Table Scraps

The food’s the thing

Following the Dionysian tradition to Encore! Café

By Martin Jones Westlin

You might recognize the name Dionysus in connection with live theater. Some people think this Greek mythological figure is the god of the performing arts, when, actually, he just used to see a lot of shows. He’s more the central spirit of fertility and drunken revelry.

Table Scraps

The skinny on fat

Babycakes sticks to your heart (and ribs)

By Martin Jones Westlin

Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes? Chocolate chips and cream cheese? Custard and whipped cream?

Table Scraps

Sound advice

Revisiting the drive-in

By Martin Jones Westlin

Sonic has about 3,500 eateries in 43 states, including one in Santee—and if this locale doesn’t dredge up the best memories of days gone by, then no such locale exists.

Table Scraps

I’ll never forget it

The Living Room's colossal salmon sammie

By Martin Jones Westlin

Even as you know you’re doing your waistline no favors, you cannot stop eating this monster amid its succulence and tremendous size.

Table Scraps

Cycle of life

O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant's Double-Cut Pork Chop

By Martin Jones Westlin

This month marked my 6 millionth visit to Carlsbad, the frequency owing to my play-going duties and the fact that I used to stop over after visiting family in neighboring Oceanside.

Table Scraps

Witness to history?

Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café's grilled cheese

By Martin Jones Westlin

I’ve always thought it would be pretty cool—and innovative—for some entrepreneurial types to throw their weight behind an eatery that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches.

Table Scraps

A good old time

Don't forget about the food on the Ocean Beach pier

By Martin Jones Westlin

The World Fare

Tabe BBQ: Korean-Mexican fusion, street-food style

This taco truck definitely isn’t a ’bertos on wheels

By Michael A. Gardiner

The food at Tabe (pronounced "tah-bay") is at its best when it's closest to the core idea: Korean-barbecue fillings inside tortillas.

The World Fare

Too much smoke at Jones Brothers BBQ

The soul food is better than the barbecue at Jamacha Lomita restaurant

By Michael A. Gardiner

My mother always told me that if the meat is high enough in quality and properly cooked, there's no need for a sauce. It's a lesson that Jones Brothers BBQ (6911 Imperial Ave. in Jamacha Lomita) ought to learn.

The World Fare

Discovering Palestinian cuisine at Haritna Mediterranean Restaurant

Familiar Mediterranean flavors to be found in La Mesa

By Michael A. Gardiner

An excellent place to explore the cuisine is at Haritna Mediterranean Restaurant in La Mesa.

The World Fare

New Orleans Cuisine & Catering truck is all-American

Give the fried-oyster po’ boy a try

By Michael A. Gardiner

Cajun cuisine traces its roots to French-speaking immigrants to Nova Scotia, driven out after the French and Indian War, subsequently settling in French-speaking Louisiana.

The World Fare

Halphen Red Burgers shows why the hamburger is our national dish

Chula Vista joint started as a sauce-maker

By Michael A. Gardiner

The hamburger is our national dish because of backyard barbecues, neighborhood diners and family-run burger joints—places like Halphen Red Burgers (1550 E. H St. in Chula Vista).

The World Fare

Ota protégé shines at Shino Sushi + Kappo

High-end lunch specials at reasonable prices in Little Italy

By Michael A. Gardiner

San Diego has a lot of sushi: high-end stuff, like Sushi Dokoro Shirahama or Sushi Ota, as good as anyone's; see-and-be-seen bars, like those at Nobu or RA; and that strangest of concepts, "budget sushi."

The World Fare

Kous Kous: not one of the usual suspects

Familiar food with exotic differences in Hillcrest

By Michael A. Gardiner

There's only one good reason not to order the b'stilla roll appetizer at Hillcrest's Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro & Lounge: It would be difficult for any meal to go uphill from there. This tapas-s

The World Fare

Shabu World’s do-it-yourself hotpot

Convoy District restaurant offers Japanese version of Mongolian mainstay

By Michael A. Gardiner

One of the best places to get shabu shabu in San Diego is at Shabu World (3904 Convoy St., Suite 117, in Kearny Mesa). 

The World Fare

French Concession: A piece of Convoy in Hillcrest

The food is great, but will it last?

By Michael A. Gardiner

In late 2013, Alex Thao closed his Thai restaurant in Hillcrest, Celadon, and reopened it as a dim sum stop called French Concession. It's a little piece of the Convoy District six miles south.

The World Fare

Pizzeria Mozza soars despite suspicions

This super-group pie chain is no super-flop

By Michael A. Gardiner

The pizza at Mozza definitely lived up to the hype. The crust—what a pizza is about, really—was perfect: thin, charred underneath with spotting on the rim and featuring a puffy lip.

Wandering Appetite

Adios, San Diego

Mine is a Midwestern Appetite now

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

By the time you read this, I will be settling into my new hometown of Omaha, Neb. After 14 years in San Diego as a student and then a chemist, I'm pursuing something new: medical school. 

Wandering Appetite

Meet Stone Brewing’s latest

Liberty Station might be a step up from Escondido

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

In my experience, the food at Stone’s Escondido bistro can be inconsistent, and I found it an afterthought to the beer. Liberty Station, however, has been more consistent for me.

Wandering Appetite

My father’s daughter: a coffee-and-pastry roundup

Sweet treats and something warm to drink, no matter the time of day

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

As a belated Father's Day nod, I thought I'd cover some great places for a tasty pastry or a hot drink.

Wandering Appetite

Simple dinners and kooky desserts at Terra

La Mesa restaurant appeals to a diverse clientele

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

Welcome to Terra: an unpretentious place that serves food so good that most will find something they love.

Wandering Appetite

Burrito bliss in Tijuana

The daily-made flour tortillas at Burros El Tocayo are worth the trip alone

By Kristin Díaz de Sandi

Twenty-three years ago, a street-food cart with the name "Burros El Tocayo" painted on the side began serving up massive carne asada burritos to locals in Tijuana.

Wandering Appetite

J&T Thai Street Food does chicken and rice right

Linda Vista restaurant serves it up with well-known Thai dishes.

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

I spoke of my envy of current collegiate food options when I wrote a few months ago about the Secret Cookie Service. Apparently, there's more to envy with J&T Thai Street Food (5259 Linda Vista Road) right outside the University of San Diego campus.

Wandering Appetite

Santee’s Sab-E-Lee carries on

Thai restaurant’s delicious fare remains unchanged

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

Sab-E-Lee was a food-lovers' darling when it made the rounds through blogs and Internet forums. Like all popular restaurants, it grew and expanded.

Wandering Appetite

Downtown’s Donut Bar reimagines the donut

They’re a little pricier, but totally worth it

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

Ah, the doughnut (or donut, if you will). So humble, but so many possible permutations. Every few years, it seems the doughnut undergoes another renaissance. 

Wandering Appetite

Soda & Swine serves small bites for the indecisive

Try a little of everything on a menu of comfort food and sweet drinks at new North Park spot

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

I’m one of those people who can’t decide what they want for dinner. Soda & Swine (2943 Adams Ave. in North Park) is very kind to the indecisive, with small dishes and a flexible menu that facilitates mixing and matching.

Wandering Appetite

The Blind Burro mixes it up

East Village restaurant hits all the right notes with tasty fusion dishes

By Marie Tran-McCaslin

Two bars, a bustling crowd and libations galore usually mean that I'm meeting friends and drinking away life's worries. The food's just there to soak up the alcohol, meaning I don't give much thought to it.

 
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