University Heights Stories

Umbrellas and a Vieux from Above

Another take on Madison

I’m always on the hunt for a spot to enjoy cocktails and shareables with friends. A handful of restaurants have opened within the past year that hit the bull’s-eye, and one of them is Madison. ...

Perfect “sapid” pizza

A new go-to at Pizzeria Bruno

Pizzeria Bruno is among my top three go-to places for pizza in San Diego (the others being Isola Pizza Bar in Little Italy and Buona Forchetta in South Park). I think I’m just a sucker ...

Palomar Card Club license revoked

Chips redeemable — send to Colorado address

Last December 9, federal agents led by the FBI raided the Palomar Card Club (also known as Palomar Casino) at 2724 El Cajon Boulevard, alleging illegal operations, bookmaking, and money laundering. The Reader previously reported ...

A salute to Swedenborgian Hall

Final curtain

On Sunday, February 7, parishioners lost their church, and local theater lost a space. After a farewell service in the sanctuary, where each member signed the paper of dissolution, the Swedenborgian Church of San Diego ...

Madison needs more seasoning

University Heights restaurant still finding its way

In recent years, Little Italy and North Park have become a dining destination. East Village is trying. University Heights seems to be the next big area with the addition last year of Park & Rec ...

In between the burgeoning hipness

Raw fish and more at Ceviche House

This small counter shop specializes in Peruvian seafood dishes tiradito (raw fish) and ceviche (raw fish cured in citrus juices. Organic and fresh caught local ingredients are the norm, and all dishes are made to ...

"Stunning" fast-food experience promised

El Cajon Boulevard developments include Starbucks and Wendy's facelift

The long-closed Coco's restaurant at 2644 El Cajon Boulevard in University Heights is finally scheduled for demolition. The site will become a Starbucks coffee shop. Realtor Mike Clark with Cushman & Wakefield said they “had ...

Vegan for lunch, whoops

Plumeria has been there this whole time

I never had anything against going to Plumeria. I always knew I’d get around to going. I knew it was a vegetarian and vegan restaurant, and as an omnivore of convenience I suppose I was ...

You cannot help but root for these actors and characters

Select elements shine but flawed execution dims Bright Half Life at Diversionary Theatre

Tanya Barfield’s Bright Half Life revolves around the lives of Erica and Vicky, two women who meet at work and eventually begin dating. Over the course of the play they fall in love, get married, ...

Precious Little inaugurates fitting space

Small, intimate production from InnerMission speaks to language as life

Diversionary Theatre has converted its old rehearsal space into an intimate blackbox theater. There are still some bugs to work out, sightlines in particular. But hey: any new performing space in San Diego’s a cause ...

Shrill, grotesque love

Amazons and Their Men at Diversionary Theatre is good and could be great

Hitler called Leni Riefenstahl “my perfect German woman.” The first time she saw him, in 1932, she said “I feel very happy that such a man has come.” Riefenstahl opened the movie camera’s eye. In ...

Feast! Uptown

Best restaurants from the Heights to the Parks

From Mission Hills to Kensington, in Heights both Normal and University, and in Parks North and South, UPTOWN residents don't rest on good looks or thick pocketbooks. They thrive on personality and artful presentation. So, ...

Brunch at Café 21

When the pancake did arrive, it looked impossibly huge

It was a happy coincidence that within a week of enjoying a dinnertime meal at the Georgian restaurant Pomegranate I happened by the similarly exotic menu at Café 21, just to learn that the owners ...

A Georgian-cuisine gem called Pomegranate

“Tasty Eastern European Food”

Tucked into a row of nondescript storefronts along the industrial main drag of El Cajon Boulevard is a Georgian-cuisine gem called Pomegranate, but you wouldn’t know that from standing outside. The sign outside simply reads, ...

Gratitude and resurrection in harmony

Diversionary Theatre presents a sharp take on A New Brain

What do we mean when we say A New Brain at Diversionary Theatre? We mean a show that’s mostly sung, a show about gay men and the woes connected to one man’s brain surgery, and ...

Right kind of mindless

The Silence of the Clams at Diversionary Theatre takes the low road, yet moments impress

Clarice Starling: “Most serial killers keep some sort of trophies from their victims.” Hannibal Lecter: “I didn’t.” Clarice: “No. You ate yours.” Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs can be funny, in a ghoulish sort ...

Last call: Oedipus El Rey, You Can't Take It with You, Baby with the Bathwater

Three very different, beautifully performed shows must end their runs this Sunday.

Oedipus El Rey, San Diego Rep. This isn’t Sophocles’ Oedipus, its playwright Luis Alfaro’s Oedipus Gomez. He rises from prison to become a Scarface-like, L.A. drug lord who has faith only in himself (“God’s ego’s ...

The nice side of naughty

Cocktails and treats at S&M Sausage and Meat

I lost count of how many friends, aware of my proclivity for kink, told me I just had to go to S&M Sausage & Meat. I don’t think being a dominatrix gives anyone authority to ...

Genuine horror

Inferior superiors are a scream in Diversionary's Baby with the Bathwater

White bassinet, spot-lit center stage. Surrounding darkness makes it seem whiter, even more innocent. John and Helen, the parents howling over the child, couldn’t be more menacing if they sucked on crack-pipes and wielded chainsaws. ...

Linner at Cantina Mayahuel

Tacos, tequila, and guacamole fill an awkward spot in the day

When I find myself with a pocket of time on a warm San Diego afternoon, I crave a quiet spot to sip a refreshing margarita. Quiet is easy to find in the slow-restaurant hours between ...

Worldly flair

Hanna's Gourmet a jewel on Adams Avenue

Hanna Tesfamichael has been cooking for San Diegans for over ten years via her catering company. It was three years ago that she opened a small storefront, and six months ago that she expanded the ...

¡Ay chapulines!

University Heights tapas bar joins the thin ranks serving up bugs

Would you look at that. Insects are popping up just everywhere! The Reader’s other Ian gagged on some crickets at Tacos Perla over the summer. Recently, little fried bugs crawled onto the specials board at ...

Cursed with the whip

Diversionary stages the toughest act of Capote’s life, Tru

“I’m a writer, and I use everything. Did all those people think I was just there to entertain them?”

Circa tries to fill some big shoes

Neighborhood bistro faces memories of Farm House Cafe, and holds its own in the process.

Tempting as it is to mourn the Farm House Cafe’s departure from Adams Avenue until the prophesied reappearance of Olivier and Rochelle Bioteau’s restaurant in larger quarters somewhere far from University Heights, uptown diners ought ...

North Park vibe spreads north

Is the University Heights “dead zone” along El Cajon Boulevard resurrecting?

While the renovated Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard in University Heights has raised the bar, commercial properties nearby haven’t been so successful. Going west on El Cajon Boulevard from Louisiana Street to Florida Street, ...

The parking problem again

Audit Committee to look into better management of program

There's a shortage of parking in some San Diego communities and the city's community parking district program isn't much help addressing that shortage. In a recent audit, the city auditor's office found holes in the ...

Partial Monty

Uneven but heartfelt Calendar Girls debut at the Sullivan Players

Somehow D.J. Sullivan wrangled Tim Firth’s script for Calendar Girls from Samuel French — dispensers (and often hoarders) of the rights — and has staged the local premiere. For a “small” theater to land the ...

First Look: S&M Sausage and Meat

Sausage, bacon, and lots of wild ideas.

Carnivores don't exactly have a tough time finding good places to eat in this town. Still, you name a place Sausage & Meat, and you'd better be prepared to nourish those craving the flesh of ...

Last Call: Black Sunday

Some fine productions, including one of the city's all-time best, must close November 2.

These shows must close this Sunday, November 2 — aka “Black Sunday,” given their high quality. The Royale, Old Globe Theatre One of the year’s best directed shows is so well done you’d think Marco ...

Theatrical until the pain hits

Bold choices aim to strike a balance in Regrets Only at Diversionary

You’d think Tibby has it all. Husband Jack’s a mover/shaker attorney. They have a posh-plus, Upper East Side apartment (which, in Matt Scott’s fine set for Diversionary, looks down on Manhattan). Daughter Spencer’s an up ...

Wasabi burritos get my attention

La Mesa is not known for its food, but it’s a great place to raise a family and there are plenty of good places for tasty, reasonably priced food for my perfect food day. For ...

Europe would be impressed

The Whisknladle charcuterie plate might not transport easily, but it’s too good not to take on a picnic. House-cured chorizo, house-made pâté, several types of house-pickled olives.

Because cyborgs

Chad's account of his time as a soldier in the battle against chair loss.

Cyborg party at the Xoo brings in a few lawn chairs.

Hanna's Gourmet: Neat meat loaf

BeHe brunch spot excels at dinner too

As if Adams Avenue didn’t already have enough good dinner spots. Now Hanna’s Gourmet, long a popular weekend brunch spot, is serving dinner — and it's good. Hanna’s has been expanded from its original use ...

Trying to live up to the fish tacos of lore

Local family-owned restaurant brings just enough Baja to work

I'm not sure what's more disturbing, that I hold every fish taco I eat up to the standards set by a greasy street cart selling them for 85 centavos apiece on some desolate stretch of ...

Tropical wave strikes 30th at Chris' Ono Grinds

Island-style cuisine just like mom used to make it

Over the past few years, the food and drink corridor of 30th Street has grown beyond its University Avenue origins to extend past El Cajon Boulevard and clear through BeHe up to Adams. Locales such ...

From innocence to evil

Thrill Me at Diversionary a solid effort with a tricky piece

Leopold and Loeb: the dark-eyed, slick-haired, “thrill killers” of 1924 could have posed for Arrow shirt ads. Nathan Leopold, 19, and Richard Loeb, 18, were intelligent lawyers-to-be. Leopold had a 210 IQ and claimed to ...

This is not my zereshk polo

The pains of getting an off meal at a favorite restaurant

Some of the most enjoyable salads I've eaten have come from the kitchen of Soltan Banoo, a Persian restaurant maintaining a low key presence on Park Blvd in University Heights. The place never seems to ...

Wings were not meant to be seen by daylight

Accidentally wandering into a fast food chain and regretting it.

It looks like a fast food restaurant, and operates like a fast food chain, but it focuses almost exclusively on wings, by all rights a bar food. Yes they serve beer and have a TV on, but the place would never work as a sports bar, and doesn't actually serve food quickly enough to qualify as convenient. It is extremely cheap though.

University Heights school building followup

San Diego Unified provides notes from closed-session meeting

A recent Reader article dealt with a long-stalled-plan to renovate the historic Teachers Training Annex #1 at 4100 Normal Street, turning it into a public library. The empty and deteriorating building is owned by the ...

Folk for sale

If things go the way Lou Curtiss hopes, by the end of summer, he will have handed the keys to his Folk Arts Rare Records shop over to its new owner, whoever that may be. ...

Boys and Girls at Diversionary Theatre

Tom Donaghy’s comedy-drama asks: can people change? And will that change be for the better? Boys and Girls (2002) puts a relatively new social phenomenon on stage: same-sex couples having children. In the process differences ...

Historic building to become University Heights library?

Shared–use space for the community and school district envisioned

For several years, the University Heights Community Development Corporation has been pushing to acquire the old Teachers Training Annex 1, owned by the San Diego Unified School District. The development corporation’s plan would renovate the ...

Dog-Friendly Dining: made in the shade at Mama's

Dogs made to feel welcome, but not environmentalists

Most of the time, even dedicated dog-friendly dining establishments don't allow a pooch inside. I'm sure this is due to some issue of sanitation or municipal regulation, etc. So, as pup and I walked up ...

Group fights for University Heights boundary rights

Is the dividing line west of Texas Street?

While it may not matter to those who don't live there, one group is fighting another over the boundaries of University Heights. The University Heights Community Development Corporation (UHCDC) is battling with the University Heights ...

Record-release roundup

The new year is kicking off with a herd of earworms, including the debut full-length from jazz-funk dancehall drifters Mafard, whose first single, “Finger Lickin’ Chicken Pickin’ Mexican,” has been stirring the controversy pot. An ...

Creative sandwiches with artisan toppings? BFD

Urban deli's ambitious menu not just a big front.

In this age of text and twitter shorthand, it's tough to say whether branding your storefront with the bright bold letters "BFD" should be taken as a bold declaration, or act of self-deprecation. Fortunately, the ...

Hang a flag for rock and roll

El Cajon Business District to honor San Diego musicians with its new banner project. Beryl Forman marketing manager for the district, says she’s had no trouble getting local musicians involved.

Cafe Massilia open in University Heights

French coffee shop takes over the former site of Eclipse Chocolat after a long downtime in the ECB space

For whatever reason, 2121A El Cajon Boulevard went tentantless for an eternity after the departure of Eclipse Chocolat. Downtime for empty restaurant buildings is usually minimal. Landlords want rent paid, and there’s no shortage of ...

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!

Close