Downtown San Diego Stories

Tchaikovsky menagerie

The Pops concludes this weekend

Suddenly Labor Day Weekend is upon us. The ship is turning. Summer is slipping toward the western horizon and frivolous activities are being replaced with serious endeavors. The pastoral Major League Baseball begins to yield ...

Himalayan Dine Inn's herbs and lentils could start a knife fight

This food should be a spread for a crowd to share, fight over

"My name is Bhim. The name means ‘bravery.’” Bhim’s as tall standing as I am sitting, but he’s stocky, fit-looking, and confident. He’s wearing a Nepalese-style cap, with a little replica of two crossed knives ...

The Rep plays Violet fast and loose and the Globe plays a thin Comedy of Errors

Bus ride to salvation

Violet studies faces. She even sketches their features in a book. For her own, she’d like a composite: Rita Hayworth’s skin, Ingrid Bergman’s cheekbones, and Grace Kelly’s petite nose. Violet’s obsessed with facial features. When ...

All are welcome in the Yours Truly family

Anaheim-based rapper Phora gets real in the Voodoo Room

Phora connected with fans, his “family” to use his words, with intimacy in the House of Blues’ Voodoo Room. At a time in hip-hop when artists are preoccupied with describing often fictitious material possessions and ...

Brews and food and music and more brews

Thursday | 27 Dr. Andreas Marks, Japanese and Korean art curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, introduces the museum’s vast Japanese art collection, which, at almost 8000 works, is one of the largest and ...

Beer hall and study hall overlap in the Gaslamp

Prime vantage point to witness Gaslamp bedlam

What’s this? Craft beer on Fifth? That’s right. Our downtown strip is straying further from its time-honored formula of tourist traps and EDM cesspools to bring West Coast suds to the Gaslamp. Nearby establishments such ...

A trolley view and Brazil's latest export — the tapioca crêpe

Jungly flavors

"Tapioca is just healthier. And it’s our native food. Tapioca is a Brazilian plant.”

Cosplay Dreams, Impossible Science, and Top-Shelf Cocktails

Thursday | 20 Dr. Callen Hyland will discuss how some animals can regenerate a missing body part or even reconstruct their entire body from a small fragment. Discoveries about these remarkable creatures may one day ...

Prices paid for San Diego public loos

Annual cleaning tab is $99,720 for two; in Portland, six cost less than $105K

A lot has, and hasn’t, happened in the decades since downtown’s public restroom shortage came to light. Two grand jury reports and vast sums of money have been aimed at the problem, the homeless population ...

Spend it before San Diego schools can!

Civic San Diego has until December to find a use for $28M

One good thing about the dissolution of redevelopment tax in San Diego: tens of millions of dollars seemingly appear out of thin air. The most recent pot of redevelopment gold was discussed at an August ...

Birds in your garden

Thursday | 13 Pablo weaves together an arsenal of characters to create stand-up comedy that’s like an hour-long jazz riff. He began on MADtv as a featured player and has toured as part of “The ...

Filipino cuisine gets contemporary

Ocean Pacific Grille reads “of the moment”

Filipino cuisine has been tabbed by food experts and national magazines as “the next big thing” for several years now. While San Diego does offer a number of restaurants serving traditional dishes such as lumpia, ...

Get on it!

Move fast if you want to do a half marathon in August

If you’re thinking about doing a half marathon event this month, you better get on it. The Stairway to Heaven trail half-marathon is already sold out but it looks as though the America’s Finest City ...

Last Call: Kiss Me, Kate, and the Fringe winners are...

The Old Globe’s mega hit must close Sunday and the most Fringelicious selections for 2015

Kiss Me Kate. The Old Globe’s mega hit must close Sunday. No if’s, and’s, or could we start again please’s. In 2013, Darko Trasnjak, former artistic director at the Globe, brought us a gem of ...

Music Box winding up, Avalon on the horizon

Latest news on the San Diego nightclub scene

After being dark for two-and-a-half years, the Little Italy space formerly known as Anthology has been renamed the Music Box and crews are racing to have the remodeled restaurant/bar/music venue opened in time for the ...

CityFest, David Koechner, and the Guardians of the Galaxy

Thursday | 6 Actor, writer, and producer David Koechner is best known for his roles as Todd Packer on The Office and Champ Kind from Anchorman and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Koechner stars in ...

Last Call: The Quality of Life & Fringe Fest best

The Fringe Festival ends this Sunday. As does one of San Diego’s best dramatic productions in years. The Quality of Life. Intrepid Theatre Company mounted Jane Anderson’s heart-wrenching, gut-busting play at the Carlsbad Village Theatre, ...

Will CivicSD approve Trump-like sign for old Sempra HQ?

Manchester Financial Group seeks vanity sign

Manchester Financial Group now owns 49 percent of the downtown building that formerly housed Sempra Energy, at 101 Ash Street. It bought the minority share in the property for $20 million, reported the San Diego ...

Oz-Con, Surf Dogs, and Watermelon Days ...

... and other things to do as we enter August

Thursday | 30 The morning starts with a hosted, sit-down breakfast in the Casa del Rey Moro Garden overlooking the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, where a group of presenters will speak about the future of the ...

Full disclosure

Brace yourself for a gratuitous personal plug. With all due respect to my esteemed colleague, Jeff Smith, I thought my “review” of Kiss Me, Kate would mark a first and last move away from cinema. ...

San Diego Fringe: Big Kitchen: A Counter Culture Musical

Big Kitchen: A Counter Culture Musical. San Diego should confer the equivalent of knighthood on its special ones — those who have devoted decades to making some part of “America’s Finest City” approach that inflated ...

San Diego Fringe: The Other Don Quixote and 120 Years

The Other Don Quixote. Three clowns – replete with red noses – represent three after-hours workers at a film studio. The set, like most at the Fringe, is rudimentary, made up of bare bone essentials: ...

San Diego Fringe: Yellow Heaven and A Date with Death: Hollywood Confidential

Yellow Heaven. “One performer’s journey” — that’s the way, according to the old joke, you refer to a show about which you’re uncertain of the specifics. Yellow Heaven, performed by author Debi Ham, has sympathy ...

San Diego Fringe: Scenes From Mars One: Now With 68% Less Gravity! and Los Dorados (The Golden Ones)

Scenes From Mars One: Now With 68% Less Gravity!. Mars One Productions’ Scenes From Mars One is an irreverent spoof of disastrous theatrical experiences. A depressed director puts on a never-before-produced show, written by his ...

San Diego Fringe: Falling Man and Hikari

Falling Man. In his one-man, completely improvised dance/theater piece, Leonard Cruz tackles topics that range from 9/11 to his own days as a troubled frat guy searching for acceptance at UCLA. Wildly different themes? Sure. ...

San Diego Fringe: Blamed: An Established Fiction and Work Schmerk

Blamed: An Established Fiction. In Rose & Rue Theatre Company and the La Habra Theatre Guild’s new play, a troupe of ladies, dressed as if fresh off the boat at the turn of the 20th ...

San Diego Fringe: ¿Y Tú Qué?

¿Y Tú Qué? When the prima ballerina couldn’t use her legs, she created a “dance on wheels.” Rossana Penaloza performed in Peru (her home country), Havana, Cuba, and Mexico City, always to robust applause. For ...

San Diego Fringe: So Small a Thing and Breaking Waves Festival

So Small a Thing. Even tragedy can be played for comedy. Dominique Salerno’s scripts opens years following the gruesome events in Euripides’ Medea. Stuck together on an elevator for the deceased, the angry Medea (Jennie ...

San Diego Fringe: Bodies Are Not Borders and Men and Juliette

Bodies Are Not Borders. A woman and two men sit with their backs against a stark orange fence patched by sheets of corrugated steel. A second woman, on her back, slides out from a doggy-door-like ...

San Diego Fringe: The Hustle, A True Historie of Prince Prospero, and The Golden Age of Burlesque

The Hustle. Lion Fludd, from Las Vegas, Nevada, may start out nervous in his one-man magic act. But he eases into his most impressive skill, his humor. His concept is street-style hustling magic, from card ...

San Diego Fringe: Put Your Face On and Train of Thought

Put Your Face On. Touted as a parade into the complex human psyche, Put Your Face On is The Great Borealis & Pisces Dance Project’s two-part modern dance expose of the dark emotions that bubble ...

San Diego Fringe: 84 Gradini and Jay & Charlie Get Drunk

84 Gradini. Kinetic Giuseppi Mortelliti tells his story as much with his body as his words. His character, Fabrizio, learns that “life is made of stairs, of obstacles, of ups and downs.” But he has ...

San Diego Fringe: Tears of the Knife and My Mother’s in the Audience

Tears of the Knife. Ah, the Fringe Festival! Where else in San Diego can you walk into a theater and see a hanged man, his head in a gunny sack, looming above the stage? And ...

Lizards, snakes, and the famous Madagascar hissing cockroaches

Thursday | 23 Join Slow Food Urban San Diego for a pre-screening event featuring honey-bee experts and mead and honey from local producers. Join the conversation and the community. Then you can head across the ...

Bust those eyeballs!

11 days, 430 events: the third-annual San Diego International Fringe Festival is here

There’s that eyeball-buster logo again! The third annual San Diego International Fringe Festival begins Thursday, July 23 and runs through August 2. That’s eleven days. As fans of the first two found out, they go ...

No to Starbucks, yes to Calabria

Calabria expands in leisurely Italian style

Later this summer, longtime North Park coffee roaster Caffé Calabria will launch its first offsite expansion in 15 years, opening a satellite coffee bar in a ground-floor storefront at the 1 Columbia Place high-rise in ...

Comic-Con rocks!

The Reader breaks down the Con's companion concerts

Comic-Con-themed music events around town on Thursday include Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions at Embarcadero Marina Park South, with orchestral arrangements performed to visuals drawn from video games. The House of Blues will host its annual musical ...

Swanky 22nd-floor loft in the heart of downtown

Beds: 3 Baths: 5 Current Owner: Eleanor Jaffe Asking Price: $4,900,000 On the block this week is an “alluring, stylish, and swank” 22nd-floor loft in the heart of downtown, featuring three bedrooms, five baths, and ...

Iron Chef Vietnam comes to San Diego

The fancy and flavorful at Sovereign Kitchen & Bar

I’ve tasted my way around gỏi cuốn (salad rolls), phở (rice noodle soup), and lemongrass chicken; I’ve sampled “classic dishes” such as ca kho to (fish in a clay pot), and several versions of bánh ...

Delivery.com needs more restaurants

The service works, but it’s short on options

I’m amazed how many restaurant delivery apps and web sites have sprung up in San Diego the past few years. Read about some of them here, here, and here. As I dig deeper into available ...

July is busting out all over!

Theater preview for the month to come

T’is the season. Count some of the ways: NOW PLAYING: La Jolla Playhouse: Come From Away. The world premiere musical, by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, creates a comedy within a tragedy. On the morning ...

Certified fat cat at Sevilla

Taking stretch-dollar business to the Gaslamp

It’s sunset on Fifth, Friday night. Gaslamp’s rocking. Pedicabs strain by with tourists squeezed three across in the back and reggae music blasting out. The cyclo guy’s calf muscles bulge as he hauls his load ...

Racy conclusion

Beethoven contemplates but Mozart drives fast

As of June 20, the Mainly Mozart Festival is done for 2015. The final concert was a study in contrasting styles of music. Or perhaps I should say contrasting moods instead of style. The entire ...

Shining, happy people

Mainly Mozart musicians deliver a Biblical experience

“As he [Jesus] was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus...As the ...

John Legend makes the ladies squeal

Neo-soul singer launches his European tour from Copley Symphony Hall

There’s nothing as entertaining as seeing an artist at the top of his game in an intimate venue. Such was the case when nine-time Grammy-winner John Legend made a stop in San Diego prior to ...

Top-notch Mozart by way of Bach

San Diegos request to classical music might just be "talk to us a little"

Saturday night’s Mainly Mozart concert was a wonderful experience of musicology. Conductor Michael Francis spoke before each piece instead of having a printed “Maestro’s Notes” in the program. This is the type of approach which ...

Sinatra suits singer — and so does the suit

British performer Richard Shelton celebrates Ol' Blue Eyes at the Grant Grill

Richard Shelton has a very good reason to keep in shape: he owns a tuxedo once worn by Frank Sinatra — and it fits him perfectly without any alterations. “We’re the same height and weight,” ...

Convention center sails in some choppy financial waters

Ragged condition, ragged balance sheet

There is no way to justify a convention center expansion when the insides are coming apart, and so are the finances. Grand jury, independent budget analyst raise questions.

You need an epic to describe an epic

A Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra experience only Homer can describe

“No more words — he dashed toward the city, heart racing for some great exploit, rushing on like a champion stallion drawing a chariot full tilt, sweeping across the plain in easy, tearing strides — ...

Wide open to interpretation

Talent's not the issue with Everybody’s Talkin: The Music of Harry Nilsson at San Diego Rep

“Goin’ where the sun keeps shining/Thru the pouring rain/Goin’ where the weather suits my clothes…” To those who recall when Midnight Cowboy came out, the lyrics conjure up Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight scuffling down ...

Tomato dominates fish at Mr. A’s

The “fritos” were fun to eat and inspired another round of drinks

I’ve long heard that Mr. A’s has the best view in town, but I’ve avoided finding out for myself. For a while, the jacket-and-tie dress code kept me away (I couldn’t even tell you the ...

Storytime on Broadway

Plans for towers 21- and 41-stories tall on blighted downtown block

Under review before Civic San Diego is a proposal to build two mixed-use towers downtown — one 21 stories and one 41 — on a blighted block along Broadway. The project, temporarily called “Broadway Block,” ...

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