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Stories by Ed Bedford

Hot, cool, beautifully squishy at La Fachada

This courtyard is an oasis from the streets of Sherman Heights.

Sherman Heights. Around seven in the evening. I’m standing over the grilled onions, breathing in their fumes. And the blackened green jalapeños. Man. You cannot beat this. With most Mexican food trucks, the health authorities ...

East Village: Hot hot hot!

Bunch of eateries opening, but watch for The Parlour

Wow. Things are certainly taking off in East Village. Stone Brewery's setting up another Company Store at 795 J Street in the century-old Simon Levi Company building, tucked right in by the ballpark, where Proper ...

Bedford gets happy at the Factory

Unheard of in Yarrawonga

Trivia question: "Why are sliders called "sliders"?

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?

Coffee Bak, Vietnam style

Café Bien is straight from the streets of Saigon.

Very Vietnamese coffee place is where it's at with the local community. Coffee is all they have, but what coffee! Early morning is when the crowd really comes.

Evil submarines

Thousand-year-old eggs don’t exactly say “Eat me”

Determined to tackle something more adventurous, I find my answer in Vietnamese porridge.

Seaport Deli: Is there happy hour after happy hour?

Here, the sun tells you when happy hour is.

It's about the sunset. The water. The squawking gulls. The magician disappearing balloons down his throat. Say what? Oh, and the food ain't bad either. I'd just missed happy hour at the Cheesecake Factory, across ...

Tacos bulge with generosity at Mariscos Germán

Taco and beer, $2.69

Oh, man. Trolley’s crowded tonight. ’Course, Friday night, Blue Line, heading south, what else would you expect? Especially this front car. Everybody’s packed in here so they can get out closest to the line in ...

At the house of frog tacos

This food truck delivers top food and bottom prices

You notice it as you come in on the Blue Line: The pool of light. The clump of customers. The mariscos (seafood) food truck. Everybody's standing around, heads forward, chowing down. Lotta customers: good sign. ...

Bee Sting coffee: where is thy sting?

Missing the cayenne?

Crista's sister was down from Montana. She too had been a barista here, at Café Madrid, and now she had something to teach her kid sibling. "Bee Sting," she says to her. "You've got to ...

What’s this meatball deal at Rustic?

Follow the bear.

“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy,” I say to no-one in particular. Sigh. Actually, no chance of a bottle in front of me. Not tonight. Gotta work. Came ...

Inn of the Sixth Happiness

Hidden hotspot for Thai hot pot

So I was just leaving this kinda cute patio where I'd been having a late brekky with my friend Ernesto (La Mesa Bistro, more on this in upcoming Tin Fork), and, well, we talked a ...

Nobody knows Happy Hour in San Diego like Ed Bedford

The man has been chasing cheap chomps and chugs around San Diego (and telling you all about it) for over 20 years. Ed, we raise our discounted-drink glasses to you.

Sushi, SoCal-style, on a roll!

Sushi Freak wants you to play chef

What if you could walk into a sushi joint and invent your own sushi roll? Just tell the chef "Gimme some of this, some of that, and I don't care if they shouldn't go together, ...

Great, though not goat

The golden-brown steaming lake of birria sends wafts of beefy, spicy, cilantro-y, almost mole-ish richness swirling up my nostrils. And now the lime I’ve squirted on it makes it so purr-fect it almost sings as ...

Croce's happy hour: so-so food, go-go beer

At the new "Park West" location: baby-backs is it!

It looks kinda like a sheikh's tent from across the street. Cabana-style brown and black drapes and awnings half conceal the big sidewalk terrazza. We're at the "Fifth and Olive Building" up here at, well, ...

Cinderella’d into Acme Southern Kitchen

Wow. What a difference from last time. I stuck my nose in in early January. This is near the old Central Library, Ninth and E. The sign, “Acme Southern Kitchen” was up, but inside it ...

Cheap Buds, saintly salads

Crossroads at House of Blues has sweet food/booze/music deals

Will somebody please tell me where there is a better happy hour deal than here at the House of Blues' Crossroads Bar? Two-dollar pints of Bud Light! Five-buck quesadillas. Free live music! So okay, the ...

Can afford to sin

Sapori makes Ed feel virtuous, light, healthy, and smug.

“Darlin’, best way you can help is getting your butt out of sight,” says Carla.

Duck egg: cure for happy hour blues?

Grant Grill has novel dish that it, uh, curates

I swear. If I see the word "curated" one more time I'm gonna scream. "Curated," "hand-crafted" "flights" of booze, food, you name it... the hand-ringing pretentiousness has swept like a virus through the menus of ...

Fresh and fluffy

Ed gets a quick class in cheesemanship at Venissimo.

“It’s Hook’s cheddar. Costs $40 a pound. That would come to about $15 per sandwich.”

Drinking in history

Toasted cheese sandwiches Ed's choice for Gaslamp on cheap

"Sometimes," says Wes, "late at night, when I'm cleaning up and nobody's around, you feel them. You don't exactly hear them or see them, but you feel them. The spirits." He's talking about the women ...

You want fast food? This is fast food

At Big Kahuna's, ask for the slow-cooked pork

This time I really was in a hurry. Had a limousine departing Imperial Beach in ten minutes, and a three-minute run up to the bus stop. So I'm on Rainbow Drive, heading up from Palm ...

Sausage-wise

After a salad day, Ed sneaks a sausage at Fathom.

I sit here shivering. Ends of fingers white, no blood. Only my hands are warm. And that’s because I’ve got them wrapped around a toasty-warm glass of, uh, beer. No kidding! I was just as ...

South American salad in hidden Old Town

Ed discovers Andes superfood with Berta and Marta

When you think about it, Mexican restaurants are everywhere. But South American restaurants? Not so much. Tonight, I'm wandering away from the crowds on San Diego Avenue in Old Town, heading down Twiggs in the ...

Firehouse closed

Coronado' s newest sports bar closes its doors

The Firehouse, one of the newest sports bars in Coronado, has closed its doors, after only 3-1/2 years in business. The signs are already down, and the interior is being cleared out. The Firehouse may ...

Pork chops and nostalgia at YMCA’s Grand Central Café

Army & Navy brekky

“Don’t get me wrong. If I didn’t love my place up in the Hollywood Hills, I’d come live down here.”

Dancing in the moonlight...

Ed finds a dancing happy hour

"I'm in a phone booth baby. Your number's scratched up on the wall. I'm new here in San Diego. Ain't got no-one else to call..." It's that Robert Cray song, "Phone Booth." Boy. Christian Hastings ...

Aztec salad?

Aztec in East Village does only one, but it's hot

A salad! A salad! My kingdom for another salad! Running out of time, getting closer and closer to 12th and Imp and the bus I've got to catch in, like, half an hour. Without a ...

Trust me. I’m a chef.

Ed gets protective of his egg-topped pizza in the Gaslamp.

“Hi there!” “Hello. Care to see...” I notice they target the man every time. Good strategy.

Eating with the bigwigs

Is Primavera Coronado's classiest joint?

Condoleezza Rice was here. Bigwigs of the PGA eat here. That's the kind of place it is. Only reason I'm here is their happy hour. And that's not in the luxe back room. It's at ...

Deep South arrives downtown

Acme Kitchen promises grits, green tomatoes and angel cakes

"I like being early," says Terryl Gavre. She's the wunderkind gal who started up Café 222 (remember her on posters wearing a waffle on her head?), and then Bankers Hill Bar/Restaurant, and then Bankers Hill ...

Larb at first sight

Ed eats another salad, this time with beef bile and fermented fish

You don't think of "Asian" and "salad" in the same breath. But here I am up in the wilds of 47th street, heading behind a garage/tire shop. Looking for a low building with the sun-faded ...

Nunu's, the hoppingest place

“Gimme the basic burger,” I say. “Uh, no,” says Leighanne.

Ed gets punched by a nubbly, crunchy, and salty burger at Nunu’s in Hillcrest.

Ed does — eek! — salad

New year, new eating habits to gain (and 10 pounds to lose)

Oh Lawdie. Some much gunk. This whole holiday season I have gone ape on burgers, spuds, chocolate cakes, Cool Whip, donuts, burritos, donuts, grog, beers, vino... Time to pull back. Take the higher road. Eat ...

Almost hog wild

Ed doesn’t pig out too much at Doña Tina’s kitchen

Hoo-wee! Zingy, but tasty. And this little pot of fire is a meal in itself.

Is Downtown eating its own?

This week's departure of Croce's makes you wonder why the good places downtown so often die young.

Croce's is on the way out — of downtown — and on the way in, to Bankers Hill. Like Café Bassam before it, the beloved live music icon had to abandon downtown and retreat up the hill because it had been too successful. It sounds as though Croce's Park West will be pretty much the same, but the Gaslamp won't. A bit more life has just been sapped from it.

9/11 is the best thing that ever happened to Baja cuisine

Is this Baja med?

Cool cats from both sides of la linea rip away at Tijuana’s new food.

May as well eat

Ed tries the Doormat at the Joint in Ocean Beach. It’s a sushi roll.

“Sushi chefs’d freak,” says Big John. “We have sushi that we just make up, like our Dr. Eel Good, the Betty, the Joint, the Mary Jane, the O’Beef. That has seared filet mignon on top…” ...

The making of a taco

At Kokopelli, it's as much about history as taste

Some people express their thoughts by making speeches, joining movements, speaking out, singing protest songs. Guillermo “Oso” Campos Moreno does it through cooking. Cooking tacos with a message. On the street, in Tijuana. Which is ...

Big bites at Little Oaks

The nachos at the Bier Garden bring sweetness to happy hour

“Over there,” says the bouncer. He points across Highway 101. I’ve just asked him where the best happy hour is around this town. I’m up in Encinitas (“Little Oaks”). He’s nodding towards a low modern-looking ...

Sidewalk Sicilian

Ed roots out the hidden meat at Nicolosi’s

Perfect night for sitting out. If you have a heater. And that makes it a perfect night to be in El Cajon. Because, by my reckoning, the City of the Valley has the best sidewalk ...

Coronado gets a steak house

Will replace La Terrazza

Island native David Spatafore and his cousin Leroy Mossel are on the move again. In recent years, the cousins created MooTime Creamery, Leroy's Kitchen, Village Pizzeria, Lil' Piggy's Bar-B-Q, and Coronado Coffee Company, all successful ...

Lotus Thai Happy Hour: where's the Thai?

Ed is underwhelmed at the HH offerings, but learns a lot about seasonings

"Uncle Jerry was from Baton Rouge," says David. He's at the next stool, sipping his ruby-red Zen of Zin ($5). "He'd make his own seasoning and for the holidays, send it out to our family ...

Steak and no mistake

Ed shrieks to find he could have had the steak at Hexagone.

“Well you know you can get half-size entrées for half off the normal price during happy hour.”

Tri-tips and home-made pickles: Hot!

New eats in downtown's oldest drinkery

They're smoking, upstairs above the Tivoli Bar. Smoking tri-tip, that is. JJ and Ashley, his wife. They're the new proprietors of the grill at the far end of the ancient bar, the one with the ...

Somewhere in India

Ed sinks his fangs into some Indian food.

‘These are the eight elements to a perfect meal,” says Kais. “Sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and umami; then smell, texture, and temperature. Your appreciation of taste and flavor evolves from the basic senses.” Huh. Kais ...

Is this OB's best food deal?

Newport Quik Stop is a liquor store where you stay and eat

Chilly night in OB. Just hopped off the 35 at Cable and Santa Monica. Walking down towards the ocean, no particular place to go. The feeling kinda wraps around you as soon as you get ...

Breakfast, Bonita-style: $5 roast beef and $5 Guinness

All Stars Sports Bar: Forgettable name, memorable food deals

"Even you can afford this," says my friend Joe. I've been doing my usual moan about lack of lettuce in the pocket. He turns off Bonita Road and into one of those '70's-style woodsy strip ...

Fatty, hot, tender

Ed corners the New York on Rye food truck. They can’t leave until he pushes a big sandwich into his face.