Downtown San Diego Stories

Basted, Azeri-style

Lamb for $5? Think Gaslamp. think Azerbaijan

Sunset. Goin' with the flow like a pooh stick in a slow crick, sauntering with the crowd down Fifth Avenue. It's the height of happy hour. Conventioneers have been let out and are looking for ...

Navigate the San Diego River

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, September 18-September 24

Best known as Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” anchor with his trademark line, “And now the fake news.” He was on the show from September 1994 to December 1997, when he was fired. This year’s ...

Not a lie: minimum-wage ordinance is law

Officials publicize signature-gathering liars — Mayor Faulconer absent

Local and state legislators gathered downtown on Monday morning, September 15, to demand an investigation from county district attorney Bonnie Dumanis and/or California district attorney Kamala Harris into alleged misconduct by paid signature-gatherers seeking to ...

The warmonger Obama

Local veterans protest expansion of Middle East campaign

A handful of military veterans congregated along the Sixth Avenue overpass of Interstate 5 during the afternoon rush hour on Thursday, September 11, to express their dismay over president Barack Obama's September 10 statement of ...

Shame heaped on Justice Scalia

“He’s one of the justices who has consistently voted against women.”

Protesters lined West Harbor Drive in front of the Manchester Grand Hyatt during the lunch hour on Thursday demonstrating against a host of perceived injustices at the hands of the federal Supreme Court. From women’s-rights ...

Downtown jailbreak

Last seen in khaki shorts, slippers, and a blue shirt with a large star on it

Authorities were on the lookout Tuesday evening, December 9, for a 26-year-old that managed to escape from downtown's Central Jail shortly before 6 p.m. Don Andrea Torrillo was arrested in Santee on September 5 for ...

September events in San Diego

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, September 11-September 17

Celebrity impersonator Michael L. Walters portrays comedy icon Dame Edna Everage. Michael has a stamp of approval from Dame Edna’s manager/creator, Barry Humphries. Featuring hydroplanes, offshore boats, superlight tunnels, and many other classes of boat ...

Simply spoken, wonderfully played

The Pianist of Willesden Lane at the San Diego Repertory Theatre.

A Portrait of the Young Jewish Pianist in World War II. In the 1920s, Lisa Jura’s father was the best tailor in Vienna. But she dreamt of being a concert pianist. She’d debut playing Grieg’s ...

The last word in cheap eats

First up, I’m not an early-morning guy. But on this perfect food day, you’ve got to start at the crack of dawn. Because that’s when the dja kwai are at their freshest at Trieu Chau ...

Dog surfing in S.D.

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, September 4-September-10

Share a newly finished or in-progress poem, painting, dance, audition piece, or even a blog post. Receive feedback and plan your next steps. Three-session class: Thursdays, September 4, October 2, November 6. Enjoy food and ...

Library book, book, book, book

A San Diego Opera preview concert with young singers.

The book, the book, the book, the book, the book.” Believe it or not, someone was singing about “the book” at the Central Library. That someone was Jennifer Wu, and it was awesome. The Central ...

Overpriced underperformer

Gaslamp sushi contender Full Moon plays at being upscale, delivers mediocre quality at elevated prices

Gaslamp newcomer, Full Moon Sushi, spent extra time in the buildout phase, but that’s OK, since the restaurant ended up with a very chic look. Mid-century American cues combine with Japanese-ish touches, like the shōji-inspired ...

Pretty slick, City

Lawsuit challenges "euphemistically labeled 'assessments'" — taxes!

It's official, expanding the convention center through the use of a special tax on hotel guests is not going to happen. Yesterday, August 27, city councilmembers decided against appealing a court ruling that deemed the ...

Lotsa pork and onions

Ed slurps pork — tender like it’s been through a blender.

Wow. Pointed prow of a big ol’ Navy cruiser knifes right past. In the waters between us and the island of Coronado. It kinda fills the sky. Heading under the bridge and home port. The ...

Wiener Dog Nationals: San Diego Finals

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, August 28-September-3

More than a dozen majestic windjammers and other vessels from around the world, led by a vessel from the United States Navy, will parade into San Diego’s harbor, part of the 2014 Festival of Sail. ...

Audit notes sex incidents at downtown lockup

Metropolitan Correctional Center gets pass from prison-rape reviewer

Some San Diego County jails may be under the gun, but an auditor for the U.S. Justice Department has found that downtown's Metropolitan Correctional Center is in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, despite ...

Bar la carte at Fleming's

Ed discovers half-pound, six-buck burgers for Happy Hour

Usually I'd walk straight past. I mean Fleming's? Steaks muy caro. Thirty bucks? At least, probably. This is expense-account land. Plus when you do walk in, into the dark, where you can just make out ...

Unconventional logic

Combined stadium/convention center plan "ridiculous," says expert

Since the convention-center expansion was thumbed down by the appellate court, the corporate-welfare crowd — particularly the Chargers and U-T San Diego — has switched to touting a combined football stadium/convention center. "It's going from ...

NY Times pooh-poohs Comic-Con spending

But U-T says money flows

The headline in a New York Times story this morning (July 28) is "Large Crowds Spend Little at Comic-Con." The story — written by two reporters with help from a third — quotes a panelist ...

San Diego Zombie Walk turns ugly

Woman struck by vehicle suffers broken arm

The annual “Zombie Walk” started at Children’s Park, near the corner of Island and First avenues in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter shortly after 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 26. Soon, about a block away, a ...

Comic-Con spilling over like so many suds

Sampler flight of beer events from July 22 through 28

July 25-27 | 4th Anniversary Extravaganza: Every year, Urge Gastropub goes big with its anniversary, starting with its celebratory burger, which weighs at least a pound and is piled high with exotic ingredients. Ditto the ...

Late latte with Lulu

Ed finds the perfect people-watching spot in the Gaslamp.

Café Lulu is the nearest thing to a Bohemian hangout in downtown's Gaslamp. Great for late-nite lattes, hubble-bubble pipes, and street-life people-watching.

Suds from Santa to Sierra Nevada

Sampler flight of beer events from July 15 to July 21

July 19 | Christmas in July: There’s no chimney, so Santa’s using the roll-up entrance to get into the tasting room at Port Brewing Company / The Lost Abbey and deliver this year’s batch of ...

Everyone's a wiener at Sausage Fest

July 16 event lets foodies try the best of the würst

"Last year Tender Greens won Sausage Fest,” says JSix executive chef Christian Graves. “They haven’t been invited back this year because they peed in the bushes, and jumped in the pool.” Now in its third ...

SD Fringe: 146 Point Flame and word-of-mouth last calls

Hasty, vivid reflections that struggle to be heard and a unique set of recommendations for last-call shows.

146 Point Flame They called a snake in Vietnam “Two-step Charlie.” A rock asp — get bit and you went down in two steps. So you had maybe 10 or 15 seconds to curse or ...

SD Fringe: Ceremony and Nightbird

Entwinement and separation at play in two fine Fringe pieces.

Ceremony, by Michael Kass “Michael,” she said, “it’s not going to work out.” Michael Kass was a 35-year-old white male who, along with other “First World problems,” looked to go zero-for-eternity in relationships. He had ...

Welcome the children

Speakers at vigil for immigrant children blame NAFTA & war on drugs for influx

Hundreds of protesters descended on the plaza outside federal government offices downtown on Wednesday evening, July 9, as part of a nationwide day of action in support of a stream of Central American children and ...

Hoary gents & brandy

Ed’s eyes lock on a knockwurst-on-waffle sandwich.

"Come in, sir,” says this voice. It’s a guy looking through a partition. We’re inside an ancient, 100-year-old building right by the ballpark. I just wandered in here looking for food. We’re in this passage ...

SD Fringe: Getting word of mouth out

The Fringe has been a work-in-progress for everyone, reviewers as well.

Some discoveries: 1 — No non-bionic reviewer can cover everything. Maybe not even a team of pundits, since each day has nine time-slots and usually five shows on at once. That’s 45 shows per day, ...

SD Fringe: The Hideout

Haste delivers a must-see from the "boudoir of Dionysus."

It’s too bad San Diego can’t just adopt the Haste Theatre. Give them a nice, intimate space and let them showcase their fantastical (sometimes tragical) tales. Not only that, the London-based group would give locals ...

SD Fringe: Red, White, and Blacklisted

Tale of the Weavers' exile on Main Street brings out an icon and highlights the power of a space.

Ever hear of the Weavers? No? Well for over a decade the government wanted to keep it that way. The Weavers were a folk music group long before it became popular. They composed and sang ...

Off the chain, in the flow

A rambunctious festivus finishes this year's Mainly Mozart Festival

The final concert of the Mainly Mozart Festival was off the chain. "Off the chain" — what does that even mean? From Urban Dictionary: "Out of control, wild fun. Just like when your pitbull gets ...

SD Fringe: Red Shoes Revamped and other works and Long Way to Midnight

Red Shoes Revamped and other works Though I used to do a mean James Brown (“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”) and a so-so “Electric Slide,” I’m no expert on dance. I can appreciate the ...

SD Fringe: Fire in the Meth Lab and Ray’s Last Case

One-off spellbinder from Jon Bennett and a shallow look at Mr. CHON-dluh from Scripps

Fire in the Meth Lab A Fringe frustration: when a group from France cancelled their appearance, the Lyceum Theatre had an open slot. For one hour only, on Saturday Jon Bennett performed a work-in-progress, knocked ...

SD Fringe: Nothing With Nobody, Vucciria Teatro

Passion, tragedy, isolation in one act

Rosaria: “Then I’ll take him by his hand and we’ll jump straight down into the blue sea. He will think it’s a game.” Three characters. Sicily, 1980s. The uncredited lighting for this one-act tragedy from ...

SD Fringe: 7 Deadly Sins

Rare staging of the terse, bitter masterpiece makes the case for the Fringe fest itself.

Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s 1933 “Ballet chante” — sung ballet — encapsulates many of Brecht’s themes in a short, spare piece. The full title’s “The Seven Deadly Sins of the Petty Bourgeoise.” In nine ...

SD Fringe: Dr. Frankenstein’s Traveling Freakshow and The Peacock and the Nightingale

Freako-centric Vaudeville done right, Marilyn and Edith done wrong

Dr. Frankenstein’s Traveling Freakshow, Tin Shed Theatre Company The Fringe’s “Off Broadway” space is the stage of the Spreckels Theatre. Tiers of folding chairs, their backs to the house seats, provide an intimate atmosphere. Tin ...

Streetcorner to Spreckels and back

Internationalized SD Fringe Fest an update on the international arts scene

The first San Diego Fringe Festival was such a hit last summer, this year’s has doubled in size. It now runs eleven days, and offers over 80 entrants. Most will give five performances instead of ...

Last Call: El Henry, Milvotchkee, Visconsin, Miss Firecracker Contest, Spamalot!

Hate to see these go. But they will, come Sunday.

El Henry, Herbert Siguenza, of Culture Clash fame, has written a rousing, funny, and eloquent script based on Shakespeare’s history play, Henry IV, Part one. We’re at Aztlan City — i.e. post-apocalyptic San Diego in ...

Faulconer’s wife: master of cops and conventions

Gaslamp BIO party’s security force tries to block videography

It was the culmination of a year of elaborate planning at city hall and a major source of income to Katherine Stuart, wife of mayor Kevin Faulconer. And word was out to private security forces ...

Making up my own mind about Mozza

Pizzeria Mozza turns out to be another gem at Headquarters

I’m not much of a Yelper, but when I was searching to verify the address for the new Pizzeria Mozza restaurant at the Headquarters two weeks after it opened, Yelp was the first site that ...

Top of the food chain

Fine dining at Eddie V's

I wouldn’t have expected top-notch fine dining from a mammoth national organization like Darden (which owns 2100 restaurants, including Olive Garden), but because my fancy foodie friends Bill and Jane approved of and recommended it, ...

Jobless, with children

Illegal workers and union renew call for immigration reform

"Even though the politicians have stopped talking about it, we still need immigration reform," said Genoveva Aguilar, one of about two dozen protesters who gathered outside the federal courthouse downtown on Friday afternoon, June 13. ...

Ploughman's ten-year-old lunch at The Headquarters

Old cheese is good cheese at Venissimo

What's the best lunch deal at The Headquarters downtown? Four slabs of ancient cheese in a stretch of crunchy baguette and a fresh pear for $6.50. That's a deal? You betcha. Those four golden slabs ...

Words and ideas trickle away in Milvotchkee, Visconsin

A devastating portrait of dementia from Mo`olelo

If you’ve seen that look, that frozen Alzheimer’s stare, on the face of a loved one, you have to wonder what’s inside. If, that is, you can get past the unthinkable horrors a.) of no ...

Downtown windfall on the down low

City and Civic San Diego sit on $23.5 million in developer impact fees

Surely downtown residents would be thrilled to discover the city kept a secret stash totaling $23.5 million that could only be spent filling downtown's potholed streets, building parks, leveling uneven sidewalks, or funding public safety ...

Good food for the fourth day

Spike Africa's seafood spot does it right in the Gaslamp

You ever spend a few days with people who are showing you their city and all the hot spots in the tourist guide? By the time the fourth day rolls around, if you’re lucky and ...

Last Call: Book of Mormon, Happy Days, Mud Blue Sky

Three high quality shows must close this Sunday, June 8.

The Book of Mormon Maybe THE most hype-heavy show ever to come to the San Diego Civic lives up to all the accolades. Witten by the creators of South Park, the musical is guaranteed to ...

From Don Draper to Don Ho

Cat Eye Club transitions from toney to tiki

“This place looks out of my league,” my friend texted me hours before we were planning to meet downtown for drinks and appetizers. He was referring to the Cat Eye Club, which, during its first ...

Sophisticated simplicity

Fresh grapefruit is the key to Tipsy Crow’s Salty Dog

‘We have signs outside that say, ‘Home of the Salty Dog,’ so people think we’re claiming we invented the Salty Dog,” bartender Daniel Baker says with a laugh. “But I have to tell them that, ...

Beer events to help quell heat

Sampler flight of events from June 3–9

June 4 | Archives Night: Escondido’s youngest and smallest brewing operation, Plan 9 Alehouse, is teaming with the North County municipality’s eldest and largest brewery, Stone Brewing Co., to present a wide array of the ...

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