Hillcrest Stories

It’s all a matter of relationship

Love is what we, as humans, were made for.

Membership: 185 Pastor: J.D. McQueen Age: 31 Born: Peoria, Ill. Formation: Eureka College, Eureka, IL; Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Nashotah, WI Years Ordained: 6 San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to ...

Not everyone can be all right

Ion's This Wide Night brings together two ex-cons who are still doing time.

Like Franz Xavier Kroetz’s Request Concert, in which a woman spends a wordless evening at home, Chloe Moss’s This Wide Night narrows the field of view. Often nothing happens, or Marie’s shabby London studio apartment ...

Space for a Shack in Hillcrest?

Troubled electronics store chain plans closings

RadioShack Corporation's September 11 announcement of second-quarter financial results strongly suggested that store closings are coming. Joseph C. Magnacca, chief executive officer, said the company “may need additional capital.” Magnacca also announced possible “debt restructuring” ...

Tajima lives up to its reputation

Hillcrest Japanese spot includes gluten-free ramen and variety of Japanese craft beer.

As far back as I can recall, every restaurant at 3739B 6th Ave — across from the Rite Aid — has been Japanese. I used to order from the "American Favorites" list back when it ...

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 ...

Senior sedan embarks on medical pot odyssey

Bud-hunting retirees seek respite from health issues in Hillcrest

Things sure have changed in the pot world over the past 45 years. In college, in order to score a joint, one had to have a friend who had a friend who had a friend ...

Hidden agenda in Hillcrest?

Business association seeks to exclude certain boardmembers

The Hillcrest Business Association's job as administrator of the local business improvement district is clear: improve the business district. In order to continue to do so, staff is proposing to change the bylaws. The proposed ...

Now Try This: Napa Valley burger at Cali "O"

Hillcrest burger joint wraps a good patty in Napa cabbage for a novel take on protein style

1290 University Avenue has been a half a dozen restaurants in as many years, but the current business has a thing or two going for it. Cali O Burgers takes the basic In n Out ...

It’ll probably involve offal

When I think of my ideal food day in San Diego, it doesn’t involve heavy white linens, maître d’s, or putting on a suit and tie. Maximum dining enjoyment in my laidback hometown comes from ...

Now Try This: Negroni in the Rye from Social Experiment

Name and menu change for Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen, and a fine version of the Negroni to boot!

Everyone should try Social Experiment’s Negroni in the Rye ($10) at least once. Hints of spicy rye whiskey hang out behind a veil of bitter Campari and Nonino, served with a twist of lemon on ...

Lunchtime starts clever, finishes sweet

Checking out the Pizza Salad Sandwich at d Bar in Hillcrest.

I've encountered a few hybrid lunch dishes before: the taco salad, the ramen burger, the teriyaki burrito. Not many have attempted to straddle three different concepts at once. I found one in Hillcrest: a pizza ...

Pride flag funding problem?

City auditor to send complaint to state attorney general

The Hillcrest Community Foundation, the group in charge of collecting donations for Hillcrest's Pride Flag monument, may soon be the subject of an investigation by California's attorney general's office. According to an email obtained by ...

Kato Sushi open in Hillcrest

PB sushi joint expands uptown, brings all the TVs and rolls you can handle

After a protracted remodel, Kato Sushi Hillcrest (a spin-off of the original PB restaurant) opened in time for Pride. The budget-minded sushi joint replaces the failed Pita Jungle, which had already sunk a surprising sum ...

Nunu's sees the light

Hillcrest mainstay tweaks the vibe but not the essentials.

Anyone who’s had the pleasure of tossing back a few cocktails at this 50-some-year-old Fifth Avenue landmark knows that a large part of the appeal comes from its shadowy interior lined with red Naugahyde booths. ...

Whew! Heritage Organisation says it’s okay

Historic Hillcrest hospital to become Japanese restaurant

The former Kelly's Treasures antiques and collectibles store at 801 University Avenue in Hillcrest is closed, and a sign says it's under renovation by AK Pro Construction Co. of Torrance. It will become a Japanese ...

Bylaws and sweethearts in Hillcrest

The Hillcrest Business Improvement Association has been forced to rescind what has been an effective method at keeping whistleblowers or other non-desirables from becoming a member or joining its board. That strategy? Rewrite the bylaws. ...

Monday thru Sunday suds soirées

Local beer events happening June 23 to June 30

June 23 | Beer U: Sensory Evaluation: There’s more to beer analysis than sipping and swirling. Join Stone Brewing Co. research manager Steve Gonzalez as he teaches students to differentiate between styles and detect defects ...

Homeless and at home in Hillcrest

He said he was slightly retarded, blind in one eye, and deaf in one ear.

The first time I saw him he was stumbling out from behind a bush near the Starbucks on University Avenue telling anyone who would listen that it was his birthday and he was 60. He ...

Shadow Mountain church sets up in Hillcrest

Here comes the light to "what would be a dark, dark neighborhood"

The evangelical Shadow Mountain Community Church of El Cajon now occupies the Grace Campus at 3844 Georgia Street in Hillcrest, the former site of Grace Baptist Church. Pastor David Jeremiah's views are similar to the ...

Backpacker fave lost in translation

But the macarons do it every time.

Making a sandwich from three ingredients takes a lot of brass. But mostly it takes three pretty terrific ingredients, and clearly one of them is going to be bread. So what do you get when ...

Big donations help fund Mission Hills/Hillcrest library

To replace Mission Hills Branch Library, built in 1961

The San Diego City Council on May 20 unanimously accepted $10 million from two donors ($5 million each) to complete funding for the long-overdue Mission Hills/Hillcrest Branch Library. The San Diego Public Library Foundation had ...

Art scavengers to sift Hillcrest

Stashed canvases of Louiegee “Strider” Faustino lead to free publicity

Artist Louiegee “Strider” Faustino hides his work for you to find. In a scavenger hunt he calls “The Lost Cause,” he has a populist vision of an art that is for everyone, can be seen ...

Have it both ways at 100 Wines

Hillcrest eatery adapts to near-vegan diet while serving great pork belly

My wife is vegan. Actually, she’s a vegetarian who doesn’t eat dairy. Since she has long ago made peace with the fact that I don’t care what I put in my body, we get along ...

Love without reason

Ion gets heartbeat-close for Passion

Fosca blazes with such fervor that her fierce, unconditional devotion appears grotesque.

Hillcrest hat trick

Three bold styles on the streets of Uptown

Some of the best shopping found in Hillcrest begins on the 3800 block of Fifth Avenue and runs through the 3900 block of Fifth. On that stretch you will find Buffalo Exchange, Lost and Found, ...

Hazardous waste and asthma? What hazardous waste and asthma?

Barrio Logan community plan proponents aim anew at ship industry

A group of labor and environmental activists gathered Wednesday morning, April 23, outside the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest to kick off a campaign in support of Propositions B and C, which will be put ...

Three years until Hillcrest fire station is replaced

In 2013, personnel responded to over 4500 calls

San Diego Fire Station 5 at University and Ninth avenues, is small, has asbestos, and is understaffed, but it still shoulders a full load. Placed into service in 1951, the Hillcrest station serves an area ...

For better or worse: the late-night Cali burrito

Go-to post-bar staple wins every time

Burritos are tough to write about because they're not photogenic. That probably says more about what people want to read than it does burritos. But some nights, when the bar shuts down and a stomachful ...

Major upgrade for Hillcrest crosswalk

Dangerous intersection to be made safer for pedestrians in July

A crosswalk in Hillcrest is getting upgraded after reports of serious accidents and complaints from residents. The crosswalk with no traffic light is at the southeast corner of Park Boulevard and Cypress Avenue, near the ...

Ichiban: with rolls at $2.50, this hour is happy

It's one of the originals, still cheap, cheery, and very Japanese

Ichiban ("Number One" in Japanese) has been here three decades, and still gets as crowded as when it first opened. Why? All-Japanese crew, real bargains, and a real easy atmosphere. And did we mention a sushi happy hour?

No pigeons, rats, broken windows

City posts Abatement Notice at 815 University Avenue

A longtime antique and collectibles store at 815 University Avenue in Hillcrest closed down sometime back. The code enforcement section of the City of San Diego posted a Notice of Abatement (Vacant and Unsecured Structure) ...

La Bonne Table open in Hillcrest

French bistro replaces Voyou, delivers disappointment and high prices

Hillcrest’s Voyou Wine Bar is no more. Following a quickie remodel, the restaurant has re-opened as La Bonne Table. Where Voyou aimed at a modern look, the new place looks to evince a kind of ...

The Mission Hills Greek District?

Pick your pita time: fast or slow

At the nexus of Hillcrest and Mission Hills, on Washington Street, in the generically named Mediterranean Café, a sign reads "Good food takes time." A block over, the fast food franchise Daphne's California Greek doesn't ...

Dazzling musical feats

“For me, this concert began about four years ago, when I was wondering to myself if it might be possible to gain access and play artistically with the Giant Dome Theater at Reuben H. Fleet ...

100 Wines making its mark in Hillcrest

Cohn restaurant proves itself worth of a full-time chef and a committed menu

100 Wines looks like it’s going to be OK. The Cohn Restaurant Group has never been afraid to shutter an ailing property — just look at what happened to Kemo Sabe after 15 years — ...

Edgar & Annabel at Ion Theatre

Edgar and Annabel are “the perfect couple.” They’re economically viable, eat healthy foods, and never utter a discouraging word about the government, which also makes them perfect citizens in a hard-core totalitarian state. Trouble is: ...

Far Away at Ion Theatre

Ion Theatre’s double bill — Sam Holcroft’s Edgar & Annabel and Caryl Churchill’s Far Away — combines one-acts that have so much in common they feel like deliberate companion pieces. In Edgar & Annabel rebels ...

Dayum delicious

When I say “dayum,” I’m referring to this viral video, of a man whose contagious enthusiasm for a sandwich turned him into a meme, but we'll get to that in a moment. In terms of ...

Johnny's Fire & Berry Old Fashioned

According to bartender Faith Taylor, the Tractor Room offers high-quality cocktails with a low-altitude attitude. “It’s kind of like Manhattan meets Montana,” she says. But if the restaurant tries not to take itself too seriously, ...

Business as usual for Local Habit

New ownership keeping Cali-Creole craft beer haven true to original vision

Last July, I reported the establishers of Local Habit (3827 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest) were selling the business. Immediately, regulars at the “Cali-Creole” spot were worried it would veer away from that unique style of cuisine ...

In for a sandwich, out with a slice

Nostalgic market turns up some nontraditional pizza

From the outside, The Market Place looks like a convenience store four or five decades past its heyday. But, like other nearby fixtures Hobnob Hill and Nunu's, the place must have been doing something right ...

The art of the spoon

Local twosome hope to bridge gap between art and commerce, one spoon at a time

Where does the line between art and industry lie? Rachel Eva and Shawn Michael, a Hillcrest couple who together make up Work of My Hands, are in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to fund ...

The best würst place to take your pup

A "very dog friendly" beer and sausage spot

When a restaurant describes itself as having "a new dining concept based on the ancient art of sausage making," a lot of thoughts pass through my head, but two words that don't leap to mind ...

Arm candy

Purses worn in San Diego

“You're never too fat for a new purse.” ― Nia Vardalos I gained a couple of pounds over the holiday season. As a result of my refusal to go up a dress size, I have ...

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo

What brought you to this bookstore? “I found it on the internet and thought I’d like to come.” Have you found anything interesting? “Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo. It looks like a Russian story. ...

Hillcrest’s Uptown shopping center due for “re-do”

Makeover prompted by business closures?

The Uptown District Shopping Center at 1030 University Avenue in Hillcrest, built in the early ’90s, is a busy location. But vacancies have been popping up in the 148,638-square-foot urban center, anchored by Ralphs. The ...

Food as entertainment at Hash House a Go Go

Dinner in Hillcrest with a week's worth of leftovers

For me, Hash House has always been a scene-y brunch spot for the not-hungover-so-much-as-still-drunk group of friends. There’s a somewhat-annoying, but “fun to mingle in if you know a bunch of people in the hood” ...

Claudio Raygoza: the acting process at Ion Theatre, part two

Read part one of this interview. Claudio Raygoza, artistic director of Ion Theatre, and Glenn Paris, the producing director, stage plays in a 49-seat theater, with obviously special demands. They include others for the plays ...

Claudio Raygoza: the acting process at Ion Theatre, part one

Ion Theatre has earned an impressive reputation — and a number of Craig Noel Awards to back it up — for quality acting. I asked Claudio Raygoza, the artistic director, to provide a behind-the-scenes look ...

Bino's Bistro adds full dinner service

Hillcrest crêperie lands beer and wine license, expands menu, still makes lots of French pancakes

As happens with so many restaurants, Bino’s Bistro fell victim to protracted delays as the Hillcrest crêperie sought a beer and wine license. Kudos to the restaurant for soldiering through a drawn-out permitting process (which ...

Bug at Ion Theatre

A rogue male aphid’s dining on Agnes and her new friend Peter? No, he says. Must be a female, a “matriarchal aphid,” and she isn’t just slicing skin, she’s spawning a world-wide infestation from a ...

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