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TikiBeat May 22, 2015 CityBeat's annual start of summer kick-off party featuring DJs spinning tiki tunes, Polynesian dancers, a fashion show, burlesque performances from Roots Covenants plus Desi Realtor and Old Man Johnson. 74 other events on Friday, May 22
 
From the Editor
The taxpaying citizens of San Diego should not pay for a new stadium
Music feature
Providence duo are busting eardrums for the long haul
Seen Local
The media artist/designer wants women to challenge the idea of what’s expected of them
News
Lawsuit challenges city-funded nonprofit’s authority to make land-use decisions
Beer & Chees
The Lost Abbey opens a satellite tasting room in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

 

 
 
Beer & Chees

Green Flash and Duck Foot Brewing offer fresh tastes

Sobriety has been dealt another blow with the introduction of two new tasting room experiences in San Diego

By Ian Cheesman

Duck Foot Brewing (8920 Kenamar Drive #210) is the latest addition to the beer hive better known as Miramar. It's unique among its peers in a unilateral embrace of gluten-reduced brewing.

Beer & Chees

North County confessions

The Lost Abbey opens a satellite tasting room in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

By Ian Cheesman

When Lost Abbey announced the opening of a new tasting room called The Confessional (2007 San Elijo Ave), I was pretty excited.

Beer & Chees

Coming of age with Stone Ruination IPA

A classic beer is being retired, and a fan recalls a first meeting

By Ian Cheesman

I'll never forget the first time I met Stone Ruination IPA. Note my phrasing there. I didn't actually consume the beer. At the time, I thought it more prudent to regard the bottle in silent terror.

Beer & Chees

Finding the craft beer festival for you

One size does not fit all during San Diego brew fest season

By Ian Cheesman

A decade ago, brew festivals in San Diego were akin to an old-timey circus rolling into town. Their scarcity gave them an allure that kept me, and many others, captivated.

Beer & Chees

Kilowatt Brewing opens a high-voltage tasting room

Bright lights and underpowered beers arrive with Kearny Mesa’s latest brewery

By Ian Cheesman

Kilowatt Brewing represents the 99th brewery to be opened in San Diego. I'm not sure what that is in terms of geographic density, but it's safe to say we've crossed the threshold of "a lot" of breweries.

Beer & Chees

Toolbox brewing builds a better saison

I may be sour and funky, but it’s not this Vista brewery’s fault

By Ian Cheesman

Anyone even slightly familiar with this column has been introduced to my outlook on sour and tart beers. We're not on the most affectionate terms, to say the least. 

Beer & Chees

Beer to the Rescue raises pints and awareness

Yearlong charity effort to conquer Lupus with lupulins begins now

By Ian Cheesman

I'd like to think it was exactly that kind of suds-laden optimism fueling the launch of Beer to the Rescue, a yearlong charity initiative that partners San Diego breweries with the Lupus Foundation of Southern California (LFSC).

Beer & Chees

Wavelength Brewing has a full spectrum of potential

New Vista brewer has more crests than troughs

By Ian Cheesman

Should you need to beat a hasty retreat, Wavelength Brewing (236 Main St.) is the perfect storming distance away.

Beer & Chees

Three beer nog recipes without the egg nog

Our suggestions on how to add more happy to the holidays

By Ian Cheesman

It’s been another big year for craft beer. According to the Brewers Association, approximately 1.5 new breweries are currently opening in the U.S. daily, driving the number of licensed breweries to

Beer & Chees

Quantum Brewing favors substance over style

A promising Kearny Mesa brewery with some room to improve

By Ian Cheesman

I’ll admit that I set my expectations pretty high when first entering Kearny Mesa’s Quantum Brewing (5375 Kearny Villa Road). The name inspired fantastical visions in me of brewing taken to its mo

Bottle Rocket

Three Wente Chardonnays present a variety of styles

Only one is 'just right' for this taster

By Jen Van Tieghem

National Chardonnay Day is a thing I never thought I'd give a damn about. I'm typically turned off by California's golden grape, with buttery versions being too rich and lighter versions too bland.

Bottle Rocket

Grocery Outlet has, gasp, valuable wine options

Bargain hunters take note of the chain’s vino

By Jen Van Tieghem

I’ve mentioned that I’ve got champagne taste on a boxed-wine budget. Therefore, my interest was piqued when Grocery Outlet invited me to peruse their recent wine sale. Still, I was skeptical about what a discount store could offer in wine selection. 

Bottle Rocket

Finding Mediterranean reds in the Temecula Valley

'Virtual tasting' highlights three picks from the nearby wine region

By Jen Van Tieghem

I was invited by the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association to take part in a "virtual tasting," which sounds stranger than it was. The wine was real. The virtual part came via an online broadcast where three winemakers presented their bottled goods and wine writers followed (and tweeted) along at home. 

Bottle Rocket

Le Parfait Paris lists tasty French selections

Downtown spot offers satisfying wines, unfulfilling specials

By Jen Van Tieghem

Downtown's Le Parfait Paris has quickly made itself known for coffee, desserts and decadent pastries. Since opening late last year, it's become a go-to for caffeine addicts and sweet-toothers.

Bottle Rocket

Idlewild makes Italian wines feel familiar

Winemaker wants to expand California’s palate

By Jen Van Tieghem

One of my worst habits is laziness. From laundry piles to idle Sunday mornings, it rules my life. It even affects my drinking. I know the varietals and regions I like, plus accessible, affordable bran

Bottle Rocket

Dallmann Confections introduces peculiar pairings

Bubbly wines and flavorful chocolates make a good match

By Jen Van Tieghem

Owner Isabella Valencia and husband / sommelier Jayson Knack host about two pairing classes at Dallmann (789 W. Harbor Drive, Downtown) each month, with beer, wine, cheese, desserts and, perhaps most uniquely, champagne. 

Bottle Rocket

Peachy Canyon’s Snow Zinfandel is all the cold we need

Weather may be frightful, but wine is always delightful

By Jen Van Tieghem

Peachy Canyon Winery’s reds have long been a mainstay on my wine rack, its Incredible Red both easy to drink and easy on the budget. 

Bottle Rocket

The Wine Pub is a reason to pause in Point Loma

Inviting spot is going strong after five years

By Jen Van Tieghem

I don’t find myself in Point Loma often, but I’ve found a reason to change that. The Wine Pub is a welcoming place for a drink—and a nibble—tucked between a bank and a Thai restaurant in a busy corner of the neighborhood (2907 Shelter Island Drive).

Bottle Rocket

Marina Kitchen breaks up the week with Wine Wednesdays

Themed pairings at the Marriott eatery are educational and tasty

By Jen Van Tieghem

When I was invited to Wine Wednesday at Marina Kitchen in the Marriott Marquis (333 W. Harbor Drive), I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Bottle Rocket

Claiborne and Churchill Gewürztraminer is deliciously dry

It’s hard to pronounce but easy to drink

By Jen Van Tieghem

I recently decided to cohabitate with my better half. In addition to blending our hodgepodge furniture, it also meant bringing together my love of dry red wines with his inexplicable desire to drink s

Cocktail Tales

Sarah Ellis takes the helm at Sycamore Den

Jaynes Gastropub, El Dorado alum says she learned from the best

By Kelly Davis

Sarah Ellis graduated with a degree in comparative literature, “which set me up perfectly to work retail,” she says. Just out of school, she was living downtown and working at Bloomingdale’s in Fashion Valley.

Cocktail Tales

The Balboa’s new cocktail menu has something for everyone

Jackson Milgaten incorporates classics and finds from his travels

By Kelly Davis

Last month, Tin Can reopened as The Balboa (1863 Fifth Ave.), with Tom Logsdon at the helm. Logsdon's burger-focused Dood's Foods moved into Tin Can in 2012—adding food service helped the club keep its liquor license—and, earlier this year, Logsdon was given the chance to take over the whole operation.

Cocktail Tales

George’s Mark Broadfoot knows mezcal

Tips for where to find the smoky spirit and how to drink it

By Kelly Davis

The best part of writing this column isn't the occasional free drink; it's the people I get to meet. San Diego's craft-cocktail community is populated by some rad folks whose creativity and depth of knowledge never fail to wow me. 

Cocktail Tales

Horton Grand’s Palace Bar gets a makeover

Medicine Show pop-up events will highlight diverse spirits selection

By Kelly Davis

The Palace Bar in the Horton Grand Hotel looks quite different than it did just a couple of years ago. 

Cocktail Tales

In search of a great Manhattan

Seven Grand’s Meghan Balser talks about the classic drink

By Kelly Davis

As famed bartender Gary Regan wrote, “[A] truly great Manhattan can be made only by someone who truly understands the magnitude of what’s at hand.” And by that he means: If you’re a bartender who can’t make a great Manhattan, you’re screwed.

Cocktail Tales

Cheers to San Diego cocktails

Highlights from 2014 include smoke, shrubs and Jagermeister

By Kelly Davis

Let this 2014 retrospective serve as a glimpse of how far San Diego’s cocktail scene’s come in just a few years.

Cocktail Tales

Our adult-beverage gift guide

Books, booze and other presents to make you tipsy

By Kelly Davis

Booze makes great a gift. Things having to do with booze make great gifts. And, for that reason, here’s the Cocktail Tales 2014 Holiday Gift Guide.

Cocktail Tales

Return of the Smashing Pumpkin

A to-do list of drinks at Grant Grill, Polite Provisions and Sycamore Den

By Kelly Davis

Since 2010, when San Diego food writer Troy Johnson featured Grant Grill’s Smashing Pumpkin on the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, I’ve had “try that” on my bucket list.

Cocktail Tales

Don't fear the Jagermeister

German herbal liqueur makes its way into craft cocktails

By Kelly Davis

"Fernet is like Jägermeister for adults," a friend told me recently. Surely you know what Jägermeister is. You probably know what Fernet is. One's German, one's Italian. Both are herb-based liqueurs with long, strange lists of ingredients and an up-front black-licorice flavor.

Cocktail Tales

Starlite celebrates seven years with new drinks

But the Mule in the copper mug is still the OG

By Kelly Davis

There seems to be consensus (or everyone's reading the same source material) that the Moscow Mule saved vodka from becoming a Cold War casualty. 

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

2GOOD2B provides tasty safe haven for gluten intolerant

Encinitas bakery and café hopes to expand

By Jenny Montgomery

Diana Benedek, founder of 2GOOD2BE Bakery & Café in Encinitas suffered from myriad debilitating health problems—from fibromyalgia to migraines—until she started to change her diet and learned, through genetic testing, that she suffered from non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

North Fork

Plan 9 Alehouse balances quality food and craft brews

Escondido hangout has a killer grilled cheese

By Jenny Montgomery

Plan 9 Alehouse has a great balance of food and brews that'll please lager lovers as well as those who just want root beer.

North Fork

Masters Kitchen & Cocktail lands with a classy, unfussy splash

Upscale dining room brings craft cocktails to Oceanside’s busy food scene

By Jenny Montgomery

The Oceanside food scene is exploding, and Masters Kitchen & Cocktail has landed with a splash, bringing an upscale dining room and craft cocktails to the neighborhood. But upscale doesn’t mean fussy. 

North Fork

Bistro West lacks the “wow” factor

Popular Carlsbad spot has its own farm

By Jenny Montgomery

Occasionally, a restaurant leaves me in a muddle. And not that pleasant muddle that comes from just a bit too much food and the perfect amount of fuzziness from a few cocktails.

North Fork

When Pigs Fly BBQ serves up meat in a gas station

Vista upstart is a delicious no-brainer

By Jenny Montgomery

Tucked inside a shiny Chevron on a busy suburban corner of Vista is When Pigs Fly BBQ (1211 E. Vista Way), and its owners hope you'll back away from the Slim Jims and tuck into some brisket.

North Fork

Hacienda de Vega has old California style, great food

Escondido fan favorite serves up killer mole fries

By Jenny Montgomery

Hacienda de Vega is one of those San Diego County charmers that feel like they've been there forever. The restaurant (2608 S. Escondido Blvd. in Escondido) has been open for more than a decade, but the hacienda itself dates to the 1930s.

North Fork

Inland Tavern: international menu, killer tacos

San Marcos newbie out to up the inland restaurant game

By Jenny Montgomery

San Marcos’ Inland Tavern (1001 W. San Marcos Blvd.) has taken over the former confines of divey Brit bar Penny Lane and turned it into a clean dining room and bar with a coastal feel.

North Fork

Hello Betty charms with killer views and fresh eats

Go for the less-traditional at this Oceanside fish house

By Jenny Montgomery

The rooftop bar at Hello Betty Fish House in Oceanside is my new favorite place to gaze at the horizon and pretend that I totally saw the green flash—not to mention you’re perched right over Kelly McGillis’ house in Top Gun, so get ready to have your breath taken away.

North Fork

Pillbox Tavern feels casual yet polished

Solana Beach hangout excels at wings and American classics

By Jenny Montgomery

I love the beach as much as the next SoCal native, and I yearn for the day I can move just a little closer to the sand. But if I hear “Margaritaville” one more time, I’m going to stick my own head in a blender to see what it will render.

North Fork

At Land & Water Company, the unexpected shines next to the familiar

Sustainable seafood is a passion for this Carlsbad star

By Jenny Montgomery

Fear not, squeamish eaters. This splashy new Carlsbad restaurant (2978 Carlsbad Blvd.) has an incredibly fun menu to explore, with fresh offerings that manage to be comforting as well as creative.

One Lucky Spoon

Yakitori utopia at Hinotez

Grab dinner by the skewer in Kearny Mesa

By Mina Riazi

Still, the Yakitori menu's porky offerings are the most tantalizing. Tender and lined with chewy, bursting bits of fat, the pork neck is richly flavorful.

One Lucky Spoon

Discover Belgian beers and grub at South Park’s Brabant Bar & Café

Just hold the salt

By Mina Riazi

My summer fling with the Liege waffle four years ago was a sweet affair. Dense and chewy with a thin sugar crust, the waffle effortlessly colonized breakfast, lunch and dinner during my week in Brussels.

One Lucky Spoon

Fresh fish is the name of the game at Blue Water Grill

If you haven’t been to this Mission Hills staple, be ready for no-frills eating

By Mina Riazi

There’s something fishy about Blue Water Grill. Maybe it’s because the seafood market and grill only doles out fish. You won’t find a token cheeseburger or pork chop on the menu.

One Lucky Spoon

Pan Bon dishes out around-the-clock Italian

Brand new place in Little Italy beckons with pastries and other fare from morning till night

By Mina Riazi

I visited Pan Bon on Day 3 of its new life—my server said Luciano and Giancarlo recently shuttered the Verona branch. I didn’t expect the place to be busy, and it wasn’t.

One Lucky Spoon

Trilogy Sanctuary packs a three-in-one punch

An imaginative vegan menu sets the La Jolla eatery apart

By Mina Riazi

Mere mention of kale doesn’t cause eyebrows to rise in confusion, and restaurants serving up vegan, gluten-free fare are no longer the oddballs. Take Trilogy Sanctuary, which opened recently in La Jolla (7650 Girard Ave.).

One Lucky Spoon

Get your fill of pupusas at El Salvador Pupuseria & Restaurant

Why try anything else at this City Heights place?

By Mina Riazi

El Salvador Pupuseria & Restaurant is loud and messy on a Sunday night. Each tabletop bears its very own, perfectly unique constellation of chip crumbs.

One Lucky Spoon

Table No. 10: uncommon precision

East Village joint’s brunch menu reimagines the classics

By Mina Riazi

My late grandfather, stubbornly devoted to his usual breakfast of thick-sliced ham, sunny-side-up eggs and hash browns, would find the brunch menu at Table No. 10 aggravating.

One Lucky Spoon

Chicken Charlie’s FryBQ comes to Claremont

County-fair staple promises (some) gut-busting favorites at its new location

By Mina Riazi

Charlie Boghosian is the king of deep-fried food. It’s a well-deserved title, considering the ever-growing list of foods Boghosian has dunked in a deep fryer throughout his decades-long career.

One Lucky Spoon

Eclipse Chocolate delivers a serious sugar rush

Desserts eclipse entrées at South Park bistro

By Mina Riazi

Few sentences fill me with more anxiety than “Pass the chocolate.” Though an early adopter of the mom-administered “sharing is caring” mantra, I struggle to part ways with the sweet stuff.

One Lucky Spoon

Homespun comfort food at Trieu Chau in City Heights

Decades-old eatery offers a crowded menu in a cluttered setting

By Mina Riazi

On a sun-scorched twist of University Avenue, beneath a cloudless blue sky, sits Trieu Chau. The restaurant’s faded exterior and barred windows begin a visual story that develops inside.

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

A Dapper Dipper in Mission Hills

Best sandwich on the planet, Part 7: Rubicon Deli

By Michael A. Gardiner

The "French Dip" is Southern California's entry in the Best Sandwich on the Planet derby. The version at Rubicon Deli (3715 India Street, Mission Hills), the Dapper Dipper, may be the best I've tasted.

The World Fare

You know it when you see it at Kabob House

Superb falafel and great grilled meats in Golden Hill

By Michael A. Gardiner

In Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964), Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart declined to define "hardcore pornography," writing, instead: "I know it when I see it." The same might be said of Middle Eastern food.

The World Fare

Authentic, or not, at Szechuan Taste?

Incendiary heat and numbing, flowery flavors at Convoy District spot

By Michael A. Gardiner

Authentic: It's a word we think we understand. Take "Chinese food," for example. We think we know "authentic Chinese" right up until we realize that deep into the '60s, chop suey was the hallmark, though chop suey is hardly a Chinese dish at all. 

The World Fare

Las Gueritas: Highly unique street food

Grilled quail and rabbit served here in the Valle de Guadalupe

By Michael A. Gardiner

The World Fare

A new spin at Kula Revolving Sushi Bar

Nigiri, rolls and fun on Convoy Street

By Michael A. Gardiner

There's something about sushi. Maybe it's the simplicity: an itamae, a cutting board, a knife and some fish. Perhaps it's the minimalist aesthetic. It could be the spiritual sense, the connection to tradition, the itamae's role as chef, tour guide and confidant.

The World Fare

Fine-dining picnic at Deckman’s

Octopus with pork belly, beef tongue with clams in the Valle de Guadalupe

By Michael A. Gardiner

Much has been made about the battle between upscale-casual and fine dining. Deckman’s takes the debate to another level. 

The World Fare

No need for silverware at Harar Ethiopian

Find injera flatbread and savory stews at North Park

By Michael A. Gardiner

The building housing Harar Ethiopian Restaurant (2432 El Cajon Blvd., City Heights) is barely more than a shack, though a colorful one.

The World Fare

Best lunch in town, Part III: Do Re Mi House

Brilliant banchan and bibimbap at Convoy Korean joint

By Michael A. Gardiner

The old gang would have loved Do Re Mi House (8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Kearny Mesa). For starters, take the banchan, the array of intensely flavorful small plates (think kimchi and similar dishes with daikon, bean sprouts, cucumbers, potatoes, fishcakes) that arrive at your table to accompany a Korean meal.  

The World Fare

Behind the Red Door

Find excellent, farm-fresh comfort food at Mission Hills restaurant

By Michael A. Gardiner

Owner Trish Wattlington describes The Red Door Restaurant (741 West Washington St.) in Mission Hills as "farm-to-table." It's easy to see why. Most of the produce comes from Wattlington's own farm.

The World Fare

Tacos El Yaqui does backyard barbecue Rosarito-style

Tacqueria specializes in carne asada

By Michael A. Gardiner

It used to be my Sunday ritual: wake up early to play 30-and-over Huff-n-Puff soccer—a gringo on a mostly Mexican team—then slowly sidle into the afternoon eating carne asada, drinking Tecates and telling exaggerated accounts of in-game exploits.

Urban Eats

No shushing in beer study hall

Quad AleHouse opens above it all in the Gaslamp Quarter

By Ron Donoho

This place doesn't feel like it's on the oft-raucous main drag in the Gaslamp Quarter. The address is 868 Fifth Avenue, but Quad AleHouse is on the third floor, literally and figuratively above it all.

Urban Eats

Sandwich loyalty

The District in East Village is worth multiple visits

By Ron Donoho

It was time to start over at The District. My customer loyalty card finally had 10 holes punched in it. It'd been in my money clip for months.

Urban Eats

Shellfish pleasures

Water Grill in East Village banks on raw bar offerings

By Ron Donoho

It's pricey at Downtown's gargantuan, two-story Water Grill (615 J Street). It's a place for tourists, or conventioneers with corporate expense accounts

Urban Eats

Come morning or night

Halcyon & Stella Public House light up East Village

By Ron Donoho

East Village deserves any oasis it can get. Sister restaurants Halcyon and Stella Public House are beautiful respites that must seem like conjoined mirages. Airy and cheerful despite

Urban Eats

The Half Door Brewing Company opens wide

East Village brew pub already popular with locals

By Ron Donoho

A few friends have taken to calling the newest East Village eatery "The White House." Far from presidential, the new spot is an Irish brew pub called Half Door Brewing Company (903 Island Ave.). It

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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