Blog: Feast!

Entries for August, 2012

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#SourBeerDay: September 8

In 2011, a pair of Twitter-savvy beer industry insiders managed to rally droves of imbibers from here, there, and everywhere to down an India pale ale (IPA) on August 2. It started with a hash-tag—#IPADay—and, thanks in part to hordes of tweet-happy hopheads, evolved into something real. IPA Day is ...

Smoking woks and clairvoyant placemats

I feel as though Hong Kong Restaurant has watched fashionable spots and hip joints come and go as the Hillcrest scene has developed. After all, drunken scenesters are the number one candidates for late night Chinese food on the quick. Years of sitting there in semi-squalid pallor, neon signs glowing ...

Going crazy at Don Pancho’s

Dunno what came over me. One minute I’m standing outside the order peephole at Don Panchos Taco Shop (690 Highway 75, Imperial Beach, 619-429-7034), thinking I’ll buy a simple $1.99 fish taco. The next, I’ve come away $15.04 poorer with a carne asada flying saucer ($4.99), a carne asada fries ...

Uh, what's a chimichanga "de Wolberg?"

I've been to Perry's Cafe before (Barbarella also blogged it on Feast! a while back), and I loved the retro feel of the place, but wading through a sea of humanity and watching the cooks stagger beneath the weight of order after order turned me off a little bit. Lucky's ...

Ballast Point...Beer...Boobs...

O.K., now that I've got your attention... Earlier this month, while providing a sneak peek of Coronado Brewing Company’s soon-to-open Tecolote Canyon production brewery and tasting room, I mentioned having joined Beer For Boobs, a Susan G. Komen 3-Day walking group made up of members of the local craft brewing ...

Flamingo Fling

How’d I end up here? I zoned out on the 904 bus, the one that trolls Coronado island and takes you to the ferry. That's where I had been heading. Except I dozed, and ended up outside this hotel. Marriott. “This is the end of the line, sir,” said the ...

Ensenada trip part 2: Old Mission Brewery

As we meandered back and forth through the streets of Ensenada in El Jefe's van, looking for the tell-tale signs of a bicycle race about to happen, I spotted the word "microcerveceria" on a signboard. I assumed it was an advertisement for some brewery stationed elsewhere in town, but it ...

Italy meets Japan at Sora

Noriyoshi Teruya worked under world-famous chef Nobu Matsuhisa at his namesake flagship in New York City. From there, he went on to help Matsuhisa extend his reach at Nobu locations in Milan and our own San Diego. Recently, he decided to move on from the popular gourmet Japanese chain to ...

Why Don’t We Have A Conversation Café?

“An hour of conversation is worth a volume of letters.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Adams. This is the starting point for a movement of cafes all over the world where people gather just to slurp, nibble their tapas, and yak even if they’ve never met before. Conversation Cafés. In election ...

Cavin snacking, shacking up at El Take It Easy

Last week, in reporting chef Lhasa Landry’s departure from The Lion’s Share, I mentioned that restaurant was my favorite new eatery to open in 2011. This led many to ask me what other local places made that list. There were several ranging from haute spots to gastropubs to centers for ...

Ensenada trip part 1: Carbone's

Last weekend, I trekked down to Ensenada to spend the weekend with friends nearly dying of heatstroke during a bicycle race through the Guadalupe wine region. I incorporated as much local dining as possible into the trip because opportunity knocks almost constantly in the food- and drink-saturated hospitality zones. I ...

Lisa: Okra’s Okay

So our neighbor Lisa comes bouncing across - she’s a merry kinda gal - with a couple of green things in her hand. “You’ve gotta eat these darling!” She calls everybody darling. I always listen to her because she’s a registered nurse. Specializes in babies, lactation, nutrition. Knows a lot ...

30th Street Cafe

It's tough to look at the 30th Street Cafe in North Park and try to infer what made the owners think it was a good location for a coffee shop. Not all blocks are created equal, and the segment of 30th that splits the distance between University and Upas is ...

Just a neighborhood bistro

How many times have I passed by Au Revoir bistro in Hillcrest? Always, I thought, "I should stop in there sometime." But I had this impression, and I don't know where it came from, that I would be in for salads and panini with accordion music in the background. Usually, ...

Urban Kitchen, Jack Fisher get their just desserts

It’s not as well documented as my love for, say…beer, but I do have quite the sweet tooth. The reason I don’t write about desserts as much as I do savory fare is because, by the time I get to the final course of the evening, my stomach usually is ...

Prepkitchen Del Mar preps for re-open

Yesterday’s post was all about a high profile restaurant (The Lion’s Share) losing its head chef. Today’s is the opposite. Another popular eatery in need of a strong captain, Prepkitchen Del Mar (1201 Camino Del Mar), has found their new executive chef. Whisknladle Hospitality (WNLH) recently hired Mark Bolton, a ...

Now That’s My Cup of Tea

Hidden Gem Alert: My buddy Rick's giving me a ride home from Chula Vista. We're heading up Third Avenue when he cuts into an angle park in that section you might call Old Town. “Gotta pick up supplies,” he says. Rick’s a good-natured, super-fit ex-Marine who spent 2010 in Afghanistan ...

Plan 9 Alehouse

Escondido resident Aaron Calles loves his community, and has a plan to give back to it. Plan 9! OK, that was cheesy, but so was the low-budget sci-fi flick, "Plan 9 from Outer Space," his upcoming Plan 9 Alehouse (155 East Grand Avenue) is named after. Known in cine circles ...

Don't forget Paris

When it's shuttered and closed for the day, Paris Bakery on El Cajon Boulevard (between Highland and 45th) looks like it's been out of business for ages. The sign needs repainting and the roll-down security gate gives the impression it might never open again. That impression bleeds away during business ...

Recalculating The Lion's Share

It’s getting to the point where numerous chefs are becoming household names in San Diego. Seeing people care not only about their food, but who makes it, is a good thing. It illustrates a level of recognition that’s as important as understanding ingredients or where they come from, or respecting ...

Two Kids Brewing

Do what you love. Rob and Sam Dufau — 25-year-old lovers of beer, brewing, and each other — take that as more than just a platitude. For this husband-and-wife team, it’s a dare that led them both to jump the tracks from unfulfilling careers in the science and food service ...

Heure Heureuse comes to Tenth Ave

Café Paris (455 Tenth Avenue, East Village, 619-674-5571) - see this week’s Tin Fork - is starting a happy hour (“heure heureuse” in Paris-speak?). “We will have it 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., seven days,” says Loris Compiano, the owner. “And for your readers, please say they will have one ...

Communal nibbling in the presence of wine

There's a dense little block of restaurants on 6th Avenue in Hillcrest just south of Robinson: two different Japanese places, a good Thai spot, and Jake's on 6th (a wine bar). I've noticed the inviting patio at Jake's a few times. "I'll have to stop in there," I've thought, all ...

Intergalactic Brewing Company

A pair of out-there brewers will be looking to “pilot” their way through the San Diego craft beer nebula when their Intergalactic Brewing Company debuts next year. Born just five days apart, 25-year-olds Alex Van Horne and Anthony Fusco enjoy variety and creating brews both traditional and experimental, and plan ...

Late Nite, Hot Food, Cool Place

Here’s a really nifty option for late nite foodies. It was started by a couple of bachelors, brothers, in their East Village loft on 10th Avenue just around when the ballpark was going up. Davin and Cooper McLaughlin still run The Corner (369 10th Avenue, on the corner of 10th ...

Cinnamon Rolls and the Sea Breeze

If not for the slight rise of Santa Clara, you could see the ocean from the patio seats at Baked in Mission Beach. As it is, the waves are just out of sight but the cool, salty air that blows in off the sea is a welcome respite from the ...

RPM Brewing / Analog Ales

As stated yesterday, there are over 20 brewing companies in the developmental stages within San Diego County. While those that are closer to opening are typically ready to shout the details about their soon-to-debut breweries from the rooftops in hopes of eliciting tasting room traffic, those that are closer to ...

Opening next Monday: Ogawashi, at… Oga Wa Shi?

“In Korean,” says Mr. Yi, “‘Ogawashi’ means ‘5th and C’. Oga means ‘Fifth,’ wa means ‘and,’ and shi means ‘C’.” Which is why Mr. Yi’s calling his new downtown sushi restaurant “Ogawashi”: 5th and C is exactly where it’s located. All going well, he should be open for sushi business ...

Indian Joe Brewing

The Brewers Association, a trade association representing U.S. breweries, recently released official numbers indicating there are 2,126 breweries operating within the country. That’s an increase of 350 since 2011. Of that total, 2,075 are craft breweries. It makes San Diego's 50-plus brewery count seem a bit small until one does ...

Hip-hop inspires brewing

I stopped in at Bottlecraft in Little Italy the other day to replenish my supply of wacky, special occasion beers and pick up a bottle or two for a friend. It's tough to overstate how cool of an idea Bottlecraft is; with it's boutique selection of beers, tasting room, and ...

Nearest thing to Paris in the morning?

Paris, San Diego? In my books, it's gotta be Soleil @k, the street level café at the Marriott (660 K Street, Gaslamp quarter, 619-446-6088). It’s got a curvy-railed streetside patio eatery that just feels French. Specially now, around 7:00 a.m. And yes, you’ll pay a bit for breakfast. But if ...

Digestives for days at Mona Lisa

Someone suggested that I try the octopus salad at Mona Lisa Italian Foods. I'm a game sort of individual, so I made the trek to Little Italy with pulpo on my mind. Mona Lisa is two business under one roof. One half is a full service restaurant that serves up ...

Bub's: Flying on 5 Wings

One thing you know: Bub’s is going to be rockin’ tonight. I know, ’cause I was there Wednesday night and it looked like Bub’s @ The Ballpark (715 J Street, 619-546-0815) had sucked the crowd from every other place nearby. A rockin’ island. Of course, yes, this was Wing Wednesday. ...

TGIF: Happy Hour at Truluck's

Truluck’s, just off the I-5 at La Jolla Village Drive, routinely tops various local polls for service, seafood, wine list and happy hour specials. Part of a Texas-based chain, and located at the Hyatt Regency at Aventine, it’s popular with expense account wielding road warriors and well-to-do tourists. It’s way ...

First Look: 100 Wines Hillcrest

In some cities, diners are just as interested in who designed a new restaurant as who designed its menu. While San Diegans definitely appreciate good design and flock to nicely put-together and aesthetically appealing eateries, few get hung up about the interior/exterior masterminds behind them. Yet, many a local foodie ...

Torta: America's Next Hamburger?

Things are looking good for Bolillo (Bolillo Tortas, 417 Fourth Avenue, downtown, 619-203-2728), the torta place in the Gaslamp that Mary Beth Abate discovered last December when they were brand new. http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/16/29779/ In two months’ time, a year after they opened here, they’re opening a second place in UTC (4545 ...

The Difference Between 'Good' and 'Great'

Here on Feast! we often gloss over the service at a restaurant. Dismal service seldom goes unnoticed and the offending businesses are justly upbraided, but table service usually merits little more than a footnote in most reviews. This is because we don't receive service in most restaurants. Of course, there's ...

Glutton for Spicy Punishment

Something about that Suicide Sauce lit a fire in me. Not surprising, at least gastro-intestinally. But seriously, folks. Ever since I took on that mega-spicy sushi roll challenge at Sabuku Sushi, I’ve been craving similarly scorching fare. Usually, such desires go unsatisfied as dishes made using obscene amounts of scotch ...

Guaca: Meet Mole

It's one of those historic downtown buildings. Hundred years old. Gutted, filled up with bars and investment businesses. You figure the bars are here to capture the ballpark crowd, but you wonder how they make out for the other 200 days in the year. http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/16/29718/ So, just to help them ...

Chamoy in Chula Vista

So, during my Baja lobster trip over the weekend, I also got a quick inauguration to some of the tasty snacks from the line. Then, while marooned in Chula Vista doing errands of an industrial nature, I got re-acquainted with some off those special tastes when I stumbled into La ...

Coming Soon (Finally!): The San Diego Public Market

It’s remarkable that San Diego doesn’t have a permanent public market, like most major and many small cities. We all know about the destination markets – the Ferry Building, Pike's Place, Borough Market, La Boqueria and Grand Central Market, but a surprising number of them exist in cities like Dayton ...

Tin Fish: Still the Best Deal, Post-Comic-Con

Sigh. Nothing could compare with the Comic-Con costumed Tin Fish down here at the Gaslamp. The Grimm show’s promoters had dressed this fish and chippery/bar/outdoor café like a forest... http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/15/29667/ http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/15/29670/ ...where you’d find goblins and vampires. http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/15/29671/ It was magic. Specially because everybody so played along. That first Comic-Con ...

Coronado Brewing New Beer Notes & New Brewery Photos

Last Friday, I headed out to the Tecolote Canyon area between Linda Vista and Bay Park. What brought me here? I was headed to Coronado Brewing Company’s new 14,000 square foot facility (1205 Knoxville Street) to check out a new beer that’s very near and dear to my heart. http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/11/29487/ ...

Food Truck Lunch: Devilicious

Grilled cheese sandwiches have come a long way from the white bread, Velveeta stuffed concoctions I used to make as a kid. I loved them then, and I still love them, although I’ve sworn off the Velveeta. Now, I’m inclined to use fancy-pants ingredients, stinky cheeses, thin slices of tart ...

New in University City: Amardeen Café

Ian Pike did a nice piece on Aladdin’s Mediterranean Café a while back, so I was happy to see that the same family has opened a sister restaurant, Amardeen Café, within walking distance of my place recently. Located in the Renaissance Towne Center on in University City, hopefully three times ...

Lobsters on a Rooftop by the Sea

My friend had a birthday and he wanted to go to Mexico so we took a trip to Puerto Nuevo for some famous lobsters. I got all the travel info I would need from puertonuevolobster.com. Barring an immediate wrong turn just after crossing the border and some impromptu, map-less navigation, ...

Which 'Wich is Best?

The Olympics are over. Now what am I supposed to do? I still want to root for people based on nothing more than the fact that we hail from the same place. Luckily, the opportunity for me to do that will come later this week, and it’s for a competition ...

Beer and Pancakes

In an effort to chase away the last ghosts of the night before, I stopped in for Sunday brunch at Cueva Bar in University Heights. I wanted pancakes, partly to fuel my trip to Mexico (more on that later) and partly because I felt like a little starch bomb would ...

A Different Kind of B&B

When I wrote my piece about two of the owners of Bailey Wood-Pit BBQ pulling out of that business venture, I was bummed, but there was a silver lining—the fact they’d be taking their new found spare time and energy, and applying both to another of their businesses, La Mesa’s ...

Stone Age Eating

For a few reasons, the Paleolithic Diet appeals to me. Despite the fact that the reasoning behind it is highly conjectural, the logic at play makes a lot of sense to me. The basic theory is that, because homo sapiens' primary evolution happened before the advent of agriculture, modern humans ...

Ice Creams: Last Call At…9:46pm?

“You’ve got oh, about six minutes,” says Sarah. “We close at 9:46.” Sarah Mattinson. It’s her place, so she should know. This was in Mission Beach last night. I’d just popped into the Olive Café (805 Santa Clara Place, at Mission Boulevard, 858-488-1224). http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/10/29472/ It was about 20 to 10. ...

Ice Cream and Hot Waffles

I have been seeing the sign on the side of Lighthouse Ice Cream in Ocean Beach for ages. "Home of the famous hot waffle ice cream sandwich," it says. I have yearned for that sandwich since first glimpsing the sign and my dreams finally came true in a moment of ...

First Look: KS4S

There was a time long ago when I drank Karl Strauss beer with greater frequency than suds from any other local brewing company. My location of choice was their Sorrento Mesa outpost (9675 Scranton Road). A buddy of mine worked close by, so many were the afternoon our circle of ...

At Seaport: Pandaswag?

“Hebrew? It reads from right to left,” says Lev. “Like Arabic?” “Like Arabic.” It’s a strange place to be getting lessons in ancient languages, but that’s Seaport Village. Everybody here seems to be from somewhere else. Turns out “Lev” means “Lion” in Hebrew. My buddy Richard and I are here, ...

Subs by Any Other Name

Maybe you prefer grinders, bombers, torpedoes, or hoagies. Whatever your preference, Hungry Lu's in Ocean Beach sells them on the cheaper side of normal. The sub shop doesn't have much space inside--there's a short counter and a couple of tables out on the sidewalk--because the interior is packed with cookies ...

A Heated Triple Threat Sushi Challenge

It’d been a long time since I saw that cheesy photo of me donning a sombrero and poncho, sporting a set of plumped purple lips. I don’t consider myself particularly photogenic and generally avoid pics of my mug. Despite that, I took a quick glance of my victory Polaroid from ...

Stop the Presses! TJ Draft-Craft-Beer Revolution Coming This Friday

Just heard: Opening Friday for the first time in TJ, place with 30 craft beers on tap, including plenty from San Diego and elsewhere in Alta California. But what’s really cool is that a whole bunch is from the burgeoning craft beer movement in Baja. Including, hopefully, Rámuri (see “Black ...

Drinking Black Tears in TJ

“It was a school project,” says Sergio Michel. “That’s how it started.” We’re standing in the stark sunlight of a Tijuana afternoon at the Culinary Art School, looking at a row of beer bottles. http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/08/29349/ His beer. Rámuri beer. We've just emptied them. But what started as a school project ...

The Hopping Pig

Much as I've been fatigued by "yet another gastrobpub," I can't help but be drawn in by the promise of pork and beer. Such restaurants may have become de rigueur in 2012 San Diego, but it's hard to grow weary of such a delicious trend in gastronomy. And so, girding ...

Sunshine Smoothie Bar

I have long thought that the corner of Bacon and West Point Loma Boulevard in Ocean Beach is a weird place to put restaurants, but the intersection there has been home to a surprising variety of eat- and drinkeries for a while. All four corners of the intersection have a ...

Chef Shake-Up at Brooklyn Girl

As reported in my review of Brooklyn Girl (4033 Goldfinch Street), the three-months-young darling of Mission Hills, has been quite the success story, entertaining packed houses most nights. However, into every restaurant’s world, a little rain must fall. Former executive chef Tyler Thrasher resigned from his post today. Clearly, conceptualizing ...

Testing the Waters

I was first introduced to Waters Fine Foods and Catering by Andrew Spurgin. At the time, the chef (well known in Slow Food circles as a renaissance man with a devotion to classic cooking techniques, an insatiable appetite and interest in esoteric international cuisine and ingredients, and a passion for ...

Plumeria: New Vegetarian Restau in University Heights

Despite the fact that I'll leap at the chance to eat something while it's still alive, I love a good vegetarian meal. It always makes me feel like a better kind of person to eat a meal containing nothing but plants. Whether or not that's silly, I was excited to ...

The Buddhists Are Coming!

Just in time for the new library... http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/03/29021/ ...a Buddhist bookshop with a cafe attached, Jing Si Books & Cafe, is opening right across from it, at 302-304 11th Avenue, East Village, tomorrow (Saturday, August 4th). http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2012/aug/03/29020/ Word is they will have coffees, teas, and sandwiches, and I saw lots ...

Ice Cream Month: Out With A Bang!

“Know what other month we’ve just missed?” says Carla, as we’re crumpling the wrappings of the hot dogs we've just chomped (See “Hot Dog Month”). “Whatever it was, I don’t have room for it,” I say. “No, seriously. It was National Hot Dog Month, right? But also National Ice Cream ...

Hillcrest's Newest Sake House

Well, I liked Tre Porcellini, the Italian place that was next to Baja Betty's and closed down a little while ago, but I was happy to see that the new place in the location was my current favorite sort of restaurant. Akinori is the fourth (4!) izakaya to arrive in ...

Sundays at Mika Sushi

In a bid to try something new, my man and I broke out of our comfort zone one recent Sunday to seek out uncharted sushi territory (at least, uncharted for us). We turned to Pacific Beach, an area we usually reserved only for quick visits to Great News!, our favorite ...

New Belgium Taps SD Twice for Brewing Innovation

Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing, the country’s third largest craft brewing company (behind The Boston Beer Company and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company), is prolonging a fermentation-based fling with San Diego breweries via its Lips of Faith special release series of beers. Each quarter, the company puts out a pair of more ...

National Hot Dog Month: It Ain't Over Till I Say So

“Hey!” says Carla. “Did you realize we’ve just missed National Hot Dog Month?” “Uh, yeah?” “July. And that’s my favorite food of all time. So let’s celebrate, quick!” This was last night. ’T’was early evening on Ms. Carla’s hair day, in Coronado. Now she’s all frou-frou’d up and good to ...

Last Ditch Late Night Pizza Quest

This terrible thing happened to me the other day. It was late, on a Monday, and I had been "doing stuff" in some form or another all day. I wanted pizza, so I started calling all around. Everywhere was closed. Seriously. Every place I like for pizza, that I could ...

Super Jr. Market Grows Up

Even if downtown’s Best Damn Beer Shop (1036 Seventh Avenue) were a one-trick pony, it’d be one to bet the farm on. With over 1,000 craft beers in stock, including hard-to-come-by varieties that draw beer geeks like bees to honey the day they hit the shelves, it’s easily one of ...

Scenes from The Sky Room: Part Two

The elevator doors open. That was a relief. The chief reason the La Valencia’s white linen restaurant, The Sky Room (1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla), had been closed before its recent revamp and reintroduction to the La Jolla village, was the fact this ancient lift had finally broken down. The ...

Food Truck Lunch: Super Q

The Kaminski family, who also own Kaminski’s BBQ and Sports Lounge in Poway, operate the two Super Q food trucks that cruise around the county at lunch time. A meat smoker with a 900-pound capacity, along with a bit of long ago experience running a catering truck, made getting into ...

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