San Diego CityBeat - North Fork http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/articles.sec-107-1-north-fork.html <![CDATA[Lotus Café cheers and enlightens with healthy food for all - Encinitas favorite has all-day menu, soulful vibe]]> Lotus Café made a go of expanding to Hillcrest a few years back but couldn’t make it work. The original beach location remains, however, and it embodies the spiritual side of much of Encinitas, located a few blocks from the golden domes of the Self Realization Fellowship.]]> <![CDATA[Irina’s Bar & Grill has great sports bar food - Unexpected German menu is worth visit to Oceanside tavern]]> Irina’s Bar & Grill (3375 Mission Ave.) in deepest Oceanside is such an unexpected charmer. At first entrance, it’s just another neighborhood bar, with industrial carpeting, a couple of pool tables and regulars who turn and give you a five-second stare when you first walk in.]]> <![CDATA[BLVD Chinese Kitchen slings flavorful, smart food - Oceanside eatery is a small space with big flavor]]> When I moved to a deep corner of North County (the kind of place where friends get lost trying to visit), I lamented the loss of easy access to food-scene bright spots like Little Italy and North Park.]]> <![CDATA[2GOOD2B provides tasty safe haven for gluten intolerant - Encinitas bakery and café hopes to expand]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[Plan 9 Alehouse balances quality food and craft brews - Escondido hangout has a killer grilled cheese]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[Masters Kitchen & Cocktail lands with a classy, unfussy splash - Upscale dining room brings craft cocktails to Oceanside’s busy food scene]]> 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. ]]> <![CDATA[Bistro West lacks the “wow” factor - Popular Carlsbad spot has its own farm]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[When Pigs Fly BBQ serves up meat in a gas station - Vista upstart is a delicious no-brainer ]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[Hacienda de Vega has old California style, great food - Escondido fan favorite serves up killer mole fries]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[Inland Tavern: international menu, killer tacos - San Marcos newbie out to up the inland restaurant game]]> 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. ]]> <![CDATA[Hello Betty charms with killer views and fresh eats - Go for the less-traditional at this Oceanside fish house]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[Pillbox Tavern feels casual yet polished - Solana Beach hangout excels at wings and American classics]]> 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.]]> <![CDATA[At Land & Water Company, the unexpected shines next to the familiar - Sustainable seafood is a passion for this Carlsbad star ]]> 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. ]]> <![CDATA[Local Tap House is the hangout Oceanside needs - Creative gastropub food makes it more than your average bar]]> “Revitalization” might not be the right word when talking about the various interesting eateries popping up around Oceanside, but there’s a brash energy to our county’s northernmost beach town that’s unlike its crunchier neighbors to the south. ]]> <![CDATA[Yoshino Japanese Deli serves up fresh, bright rolls and bowls - Fish so good, you should get to this Carlsbad shop early]]> I’m finally coming clean with my ineptitude after a visit to Yoshino Japanese Deli in Carlsbad, where the fishy delights are so good, I can’t be expected to eat as slowly as I’d have to with chopsticks in hand.]]> <![CDATA[Hungry Bear banishes bland sandwiches - Steak subs should lure you to this Escondido shop]]> Then along comes the plentiful menu at Escondido’s Hungry Bear Sub Shop (302 W. El Norte Pkwy.) to smack me upside the head and tell me that I do love a good grinder, especially one that’s done as brilliantly as this North County star does them.]]> <![CDATA[Beach Plum Kitchen: quality, charm and ice cream - Carlsbad outpost offers sweet and savory starts to your day]]> My taste buds, if not the rest of my body, are pretty pumped about working their way through the menu at Beach Plum Kitchen, a polished new locale in Carlsbad (6971 El Camino Real, Suite 201).]]> <![CDATA[The Curious Fork has passion, a few glitches - Solana Beach café and shop offers classes and Blue Bottle Coffee]]> The Curious Fork (512 Via de la Valle, Suite 102) is a café, shop and cooking school all rolled into one. ]]> <![CDATA[Expansive menu at KC’s Tandoor worthy of exploration - Small Encinitas outpost is tops at the exotic and the more familiar ]]> For such a sprawling swath of real estate that encompasses what’s called “North County,” there’s a surprising dearth of decent Indian restaurants.]]> <![CDATA[Café Cantata hits the sweet spot with good coffee - Caffeine is star at Del Mar café, while food is an afterthought]]> Coffee is clearly where Café Cantata shines and where its passion lies. I loved the deliciously creamy cappuccino, topped with a thick head of glorious foam.]]>