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Stories by Chad Deal

Tijuana speakeasy Nortico’s drink should be outlawed

Bar reflects the bounties of the Cali-Baja region

“This is an homage to Tijuana’s golden era, which was Prohibition time in the States,” says Nórtico owner and chef Ruffo Ibarra, who unveiled the West Coast–style speakeasy hidden within his restaurant Oryx Capital last ...

Tribute pays tribute to the world’s best pizza

Get a slice of hospitality

Tribute Pizza has been in soft opening mode for the past month or so, but this review begins about two years earlier. The setting is BLVD Market, San Diego’s premier prepared-foods monthly on El Cajon ...

Fluxing Quantum's recipes

Biochemist Martin Beaulieu leaves big-pharma biotech for small-batch beers

Quantum Brewing is going thorough a phase of uncertainty. The owners have changed, the beers are changing, and even the name is liable to change. Martin Beaulieu became officially entangled with the two-year-old brewery last ...

The surrealist did it

Foray into a suburban jubilee of vanilla expressions

One does not simply accompany their mother to an arts festival in Orange County without reverting to a cynical state of adolescence, while at the same time joining in the postmodern chuckle of it all. ...

A well-meaning gringo in Tijuana

One dish, one drink at a time, south of the fence

A few months teaching English in Colombia did little to prepare me for the elaborate linguistic pozole that stews in the streets of Tijuana. When I moved south of the fence three years ago, I ...

People have attacked us. It didn't end well for them.

Xtreme vigilantism

It’s 11:06 on a Saturday night and the superheroes are plotting outside the Hall of Justice on Broadway. “We’ll drive up Golf and meet the foot-patrol at Sixth and Lima,” says a large figure in ...

Escondido impromptu

EEGsynth jaw-jamming in the woods of Escondido

A crowd has gathered around Per Huttner. He stands upright in a dark room, not moving, eyes fixed on a white sheet of paper in his hand, wires snaking from his skull. Doctor Stephen Whitmarsh ...

Fun things to do in San Diego

A million things under the sun — we offer a few (some indoors)

County Administration Center Waterfront Park In 2014, 12 acres of former parking lots were converted into a public park facing San Diego Bay. Running both north and south of the county government headquarters established in ...

Dance your acid off

Kava Lounge's experimental electronic showcase turns two

“It’s pretty humbling when big names agree to come play our event here at the Kava Lounge,” says Tyler Detweiler, whose live, hardware-based electronic music monthly, Acid Varsity, curates members of veteran acts, such as ...

Surf and salad

Tijuana is exploding with vegetarian and vegan restaurants

Tijuana is an undeniable pescaterian paradise. Seafood influences from coastal states such as Sonora, Sinaloa, and Nayarit are well suited for the warmer climate of the North, making for adventurous reinterpretations of Sea of Cortez ...

Chiquibaby’s isn't trying to be anything but a bar

An evening of obscure karaoke corridos and two buckets of beer

San Diego is home to a number of Mexican bars that follow more or less the same format. You’re probably already familiar with it. You can hear the corridos blasting from blocks away. Buckets of ...

Yay: No festibro at Waterfront Park’s anti-rave

The crowd looked like understated Parrotheads dabbling in seapunk.

Coachella 2004 was kind of a big deal for me. Having no idea what we were getting into, a carload of friends and I drove 13 hours from the Humboldt State dorms to the desert ...

Captain Morgan, not Kill Devil, is the competition

No one knows what's going on

This year signaled a new era for local small-batch distillers. Assembly Bill 1295, also known as the Craft Distillers Act of 2015, went into effect on January 1, reversing archaic liquor laws that date to ...

Hard out here for a gimp

Wheelchair Sports Camp's handicapable MC rolls hard over social injustice

Themes of racist, classist, and sexist oppression have been central to hip-hop since its conception, but MC Kalyn Heffernan of Denver-based outfit Wheelchair Sports Camp rolls it out even further. “I grew up in kind ...

La Justina has grown up

Rootsy Baja cuisine on Revolución

A couple of years ago I stopped by the soft opening of La Justina to check out San Diego–based Bajaphile chef Chad White’s south-of-the-border debut. I was not disappointed. A creamy sea snail and almond ...

Haydeé Jiménez was born to make connections

Noise is at the center

I first met her three years ago at a Chinese-Mexican pop-up dinner that her brother was hosting in Tijuana. At the time, Haydeé was living in Berlin working for global collaboration platform Rockajoint. She moved ...

Colour Vision's got an island vibe

DJ/producer cut his teeth poolside in Palm Springs

“Paradise ULTD. is essentially about escapism,” Corey James Hurley remarks of his burgeoning label and blog. Hurley, listed on showbills as Colour Vision, knows a thing or two about getting away. The North County native ...

In search of a party and Star Wars relics

No Yoda in dunes near Yuma

when I glanced over the Facebook event page advertising a Star Wars cosplay convention in the dunes outside of Yuma, I automatically assumed it would be a party. I pictured spacetini-sipping Slave Leias and inebriated ...

Even the dogs are down and out

La Zona Norte is a single-minded mistress.

It’s the end of the road for the Wild West, except the crooked sheriff now carries an automatic rifle, the saloon women dress like school girls (and might not be girls), the horse bandits use ...

The Cali-Baja art scene

Whether you’re a pending Picasso or an underactualized E.E. Cummings, or only a dabbling fan of surreal cinema, song, and dance, the greater Cali-Baja region has something for you. Come with me on a tour ...

Brunch was a lie...and then, Tobey’s

Toss back too many ’mosas and check out the best pisser view in town

If you’d have asked me about brunch a few years ago, I would have laughed in your face. Brunch is just breakfast with booze (hardly a novel concept). Brunch is where saps take new girlfriends ...

Dorkbot One

Electronics meets music meets ears at Whistle Stop on Wednesday

Dorkbot: “people doing strange things with electricity.” It was founded by Douglas Repetto 15 years ago as a music and technology conclave in New York and has since spawned meet-ups in about 140 cities worldwide. ...

A slosh through Tijuana’s afterparty epicenter

The most Tijuana thing you can do is drink and debate what the most Tijuana thing you can do is

“Remember one thing: la city is not a utopia or a dystopia, it’s the afterparty where you hear the last call.” The words of the late Rafa Saavedra, a culture writer and champion of Tijuana ...

Zine lovers laugh in the face of print’s death

Crashing the third annual Zine Fest at Bread & Salt

Maybe the multiple breakfast beers deserve some credit, but when I arrive at the third annual San Diego Zine Fest at Bread & Salt community center on an early October afternoon, the place feels brimming ...

The re-reinvention of Pasaje Rodriguez

Tijuana is all about experimentation

When Luis Montijo came upon downtown Tijuana’s Pasaje Rodriguez, the arts and culture alleyway was losing steam. “It wasn’t really going anywhere,” the 32-year-old Tijuana native recalls of his 2013 visit from Mexico City, where ...

Sex and psychedelia at the intersection of sight and sound

Listening station invites you to interpret a Miles Davis tune with paper and pens

San Diego Museum of Art’s Art of Music exhibit welcomes visitors with a giant ceramic auricle and protruding ear trumpet that, upon detecting the voices of passersby, proceeds to emit Beethoven’s “Grosse Fuge.” It’s a ...

Rumble Fest II coming at you!

"My friends used to call me Danger Dave, now I'm Decent Dave"

“I guess it was just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” says Tijuana Rumble Fest organizer David Villegas. “This random crook popped out of nowhere and tried to pick ...

Surreal suds at Mexico's epicenter

Craft beer fests explode in the warm desert nights of Mexicali

A couple of years ago, Mexicali’s craft beer culture consisted of loosely associated biannual affairs drawing on the region’s growing collective of home brewers. Today, you can’t toss a handful of hops without hitting a ...

The Office ain't all bad

Happy hour, a tuned-up focus on music, clean bathrooms may lure the wary

Supporters of long-standing punk haven Scolari’s Office had a knee-jerk reaction of disdain when, in 2008, the place traded hands, remodeled, and reclaimed its title from the ’50s, “The Office.” It felt off. Its manicured ...

International art and music converge on Cabrillo National Monument

A Ship in the Woods lands at Point Loma monument

The Cabrillo National Monument at the southern-most tip of the Point Loma peninsula depicts a towering Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo gazing east over San Diego Bay, where, in 1542, he was the first European explorer to ...

Peeper and palate appeal

The Flight Path offers a global selection at down-to-earth prices

Sharing walls with the Stone Company Store in the historic McClintock building by Santa Fe Depot, the Flight Path juxtaposes the 1928 warehouse’s original exposed columns and polished concrete flooring against all-white minimal modern Italian ...

Saving Ray

New leadership injects life into longstanding event

it’s Saturday night on North Park’s Ray Street and the pavement is humming with life. A dude in zebra tights and a tank top twirls around with a hula hoop while a crowd gathers to ...

San Diego’s first Baja-centric beer fest

Craft beer hops the border

Baja California is currently home to around 100 craft breweries, but many San Diegans have never tried a Baja craft brew. While southbound tourism has been picking up, borderphobia and long return lines have led ...

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 ...

Farm to table? How about farm to barrel?

So gosh darn cornpone beautiful

The scene at Nopalito Farm & Hopyard’s mid-June grand-opening party in Valley Center was something straight out of a Geico ad-exec’s wildest dreams. Cute-couple band the Dawsons played on a stage hosted by Grampadrew’s Flim ...

Now you know: Ditches

Experimental rock trio drops teaser EP, Scraped Off

“There’s a dude named Emilio, who’s an older barber guy, and he’s kind of the star of the video,” says Tim Donnelly of Encinitas trio Ditches. The music video for “Break-In” depicts a figure going ...

Any port for A Ship in the Woods

Cultural collective loses Del Mar den and is looking for new digs

A Ship in the Woods, a nonprofit arts collective, set sail from the north end of Del Mar in July following the expiration of their lease after about five years at the location. The wooded ...

Sidecar doesn't ride shotgun

Linda Vista bar has dialed in the obscure location in a way that none of its predecessors had

Blame the humidity, but my first instinct upon entering Sidecar was to draw a cynical correlation between the place’s name and the thought that they were more or less riding shotgun to the passing fancies ...

Goes great with Mexican food

Mezcal is not just a cheap version of tequila

I first met Mark Broadfoot back when we were Scouts in middle school, and ever since then I’ve known him to be fond of sharing. The first time it caught my attention was on a ...

I want you to understand the spirit

Cervantes Magaña has a bigger bar at home than most bars in San Diego

“The way I approach cocktails is like sailing the most difficult route, because I know how to navigate the waters, and I take pleasure in turbulent seas,” says Cervantes Magaña, beverage consultant with Medicine Show ...

La guerra de la cerveza empezó

Council in Mexicali suggests moratorium on craft-beer permits

The Mexicali craft-beer industry is in hot water after a Tuesday, June 30, meeting of the Consejo de Alcoholes de Mexicali: the regional alcohol council's members expressed opposition to issuing new permits to artisanal brewers. ...

Acid means freedom

“Anytime a genre of music is basically outlawed and pushed out like that, it makes my blood boil.”

The fresh, the fried, and the funky at La Palapa Nayarit

A treatise on 99-cent fish tacos and mariscos cocktails

With the first hills of Baja California rising on the horizon, South Bay is home to a number of mariscos joints that follow in the seaside tradition of Baja and beyond. La Palapa Nayarit is ...

Between punk and the park

The Balboa trades aluminum for glass in Bankers Hill

The Tin Can Ale House, a Bankers Hill live music go-to and canned-beer wonderland, has traded in their aluminum for glass. The Balboa debuted in March with a cocktail menu designed by Jackson Milgaten (who ...

Poker refugees in Mexico

I could lose $5000 right now and I wouldn’t feel anything.

“Now, I have a much better understanding of money. I understand that it goes in and it goes out.”

Punk rock ain’t no bitch, Mom!

Half-empty cans, cigarette butts, rubbers, and blood stains mark the end of a good time.

Chad, 11:45 a.m.: “Aye dawgy, what time are you all headed south?” Derek, 11:46 a.m.: “It might be later than we originally planned cuz I have to go to the hospital. But I will be ...

Customers flock here constantly

Tacos El Paisa There’s a lot to be said about a San Diego taco shop that is mindful enough to press fresh masa tortillas with every order. It speaks to a certain authenticity, one that ...

South of the border comfort food

Voodoo Stu brings Southern home cooking to Tijuana

Voodoo Stu probably could have gotten away with calling his cooking “Rural-Creole-Baja Cuisine” or some drummed up stuff like that, but he didn’t. Instead, the Atlanta-raised chef simply calls it “Southern comfort food,” and it ...

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