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Stories by Ed Bedford

Lake Lindo Grill brings kabobs to Lakeside

Mediterranean discovered inland

“99.99% of our customers love our food,” says the blurb. “It is known that Lakeside and Santee have many kinds of restaurants…but there was a shortage of Mediterranean (Greek) food.” This is from Lake Lindo ...

South Park stomach vibe

Bacon cooked with brown sugar? Oh, yes.

‘Listen,” says Wayne. He holds two tuning forks up to my ears. Silence. He brings them closer. Suddenly, OmmmmmmMMMMMMMmmmmm. They’re the most crazy-beautiful bell tones, in two different keys, like musical humming birds hovering right ...

Peckish, bookish

I go for the Jane Austen. Man, so glad I did. It has bacon, sautéed garlic, plus cream, gruyère, swiss...

As much as I love the new Central Library and kinda go “Wow!” every time the bus or trolley I’m in rolls under its beautiful dome, I’ve never gone inside. And the reason is just ...

Coronado’s crowned king of cocktails

Try to find a cocktail Jose Palma doesn't know.

“Every cocktail has a story,” says Jose Palma. And the man ought to know. He’s been creating, serving, and keeping up with cocktails for 26 years. And always here at the Hotel Del, where patrons ...

These are trotters!

Reaching for the banana ketchup in National City

Stop me if I’ve blurted this before, but I’ve always had a good feeling about the Philippines since I came across the Mangyan people. They live on the island of Occidental Mindoro, south of Manila. ...

Delicious bad stuff

Duska, who’s slim and svelte, says she doesn’t eat this kind of dish so much.

‘We could see the blizzard coming,” says John. “I was ten. Our school was small. Five students. Winnie, my pony, was waiting outside. This was winter, Wyoming. Had to get home ahead of it. It ...

Civico 1845 arrives in Little Italy

Ravioli, lasagna, penne alla vodka, pesto, pizza, eggplant — all vegan

Is Little Italy on the move or what? Latest opening is at the Piazza Basilone (named for San Diego’s Italian-American war hero). It’s in the spot that was Zia’s, on the corner of India and ...

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 ...

This public house is popping

Wow. Last time I met so many submariners at the same time was at the late, great underwater sailors’ hangout named the Horse and Cow, across from Liberty Station. Tonight, there’s a bunch of them ...

Jumbo Doggz, not your average wiener

Pop-up hot dog tent isn’t cheap but may have the best dogs in town

“Honestly,” says Carla. “This is the best damned dog I have ever had. Ever.” Is somebody paying her to say this? Not possible, because I’ve just brought this baby back to her from a pop-up ...

OB Sushi Sushi hooks Ed Ed Bed Bed

Get cheeky

“Alas, people usually throw away the whole head of the fish, where all the flavor is.”

Stanley Cup at the Stout

The most genuinely pubby pub in town

“Oh no!” I hear it from B Street, plus a racket of laughs and arguments and cheers. It must be Stanley Cup time. The fan clans have gathered at Sixth Avenue between B and C, ...

One mile into inland Oceanside, 52 years of practice

Know when to flip it

“You won’t regret it,” says Karen.“The iron rack. It’s totally seasoned.”

How different is Nepali food from lowland Indian food?

A promise of heat

What did the rest of the world do before the Spanish brought tomatoes back from New World?

The way figs feel

The charro and the pioneer lady set the kids into teams. “Now, don’t worry about breaking the eggs,” says the lady. “They’re made of wood. First team back with the egg still in the spoon ...

What makes a great taco?

Grill House at Big Ben’s Big Ben’s is a 65-year-old grocery outlet famous for its carnitas tacos right in National City’s Old Town. A disastrous 2013 fire was good luck for us. They did an ...

Get hot at Pho Hoa

I take a chunk of meat, collect some noodles and bean sprouts, and shove them in my maw.

This is a new burger day!

Sticky stuff force field at Main Tap Tavern

“The End is Beer,” reads a little sign. “Uh, you do food?” I ask the gal at the bar.

Banana burgers?

Caribbean Escape replaces buns with plantains

A burger with buns made of bananas? Welcome to the Caribbean, East Village-style! It takes the form of a big blue truck with “Caribbean Escape” pasted over its sides. It’s parked in the Quartyard space ...

The history of the world is written in food

Garlicky delish

So good to be back. I first came here two years ago. Then popped in earlier this winter when I discovered their happy hour. Devoured a totally delicious $3 eggplant roll. Promised more in this ...

Happy hour all day at La Mentirosa by Karina's

Seduced by scallops and sliders amidst a colorful lesson in Mexican history.

It’s not every day you get greeted by a president’s grandson. I’m in this oasis I’ve come across at the empty end of B Street, near City College. It’s called, uh, “The Liar.” Or, because ...

They treat you like a full-paying customer

Lou & Mickey’s If you can handle conventioneer types, this place has the best terrazza in town. It feels like a cross between a Chicago fish ’n’ steak joint and a Paris brasserie. Best of ...

Quartyard’s other eatery

The Quartyard Bar has scads of nosh and quarts of beer

The Quartyard is going great guns. It’s the empty lot that students from NewSchool of Architecture & Design have turned into a social gathering place for East Villagers. See Tin Fork for review of S&M, ...

Sausage party at the Quartyard

Sustainable pigs!

Shipping containers, Porka-cola, 'roo sausage, and downtown denizens brought to the 'yard.

Legit salad

"This is our tradition from Israel. Make everything."

“People around Nazareth only harvest the olives every second year, so the trees have time to recover.”

Grandmother's tongue at sunset

Happy hour, Georgian-style: eggplant, Russian beer, and Marko

Broadway? This must be the narrowest patio west of 25th. I mean, two people can sit at each of the half dozen tables, but nobody can get past you. You have to scrinch in from ...

Place for schminkas

Mouth-bulging umami at Jrdn

Joining the in-crowd between wavy walls and infinite oceans.

Pop-up BBQ pops up downtown

Don Ellis brings his BBQ roadshow to Mission Brewery

I smelled it first: BBQ. Then, as I crossed 14th Street, a block from the ballpark, I saw the flare of flames bursting up from a gas cooker on the night sidewalk. It was right ...

Double dose of taste

North Park's Awash puts Ethiopian favorites on an edible plate

"Yes,” says Habtamu. “This bread is two days old.” Okay, sounds like a confession. But, no, it’s a statement of pride. “Our bread,” he says, “needs time.” We’re talking injera, the famous Ethiopian bread that ...

Satisfactory clank!

Total taste heaven in the shape of an artichoke, a burger, mussels

Getting escorted out of Lou & Mickey’s...to the redesigned patio.

Downtown baa-becue

Saltbox's lamb sliders ain't sheepish

If you can get in through the two-ton door, this place has some surprising bargains. It's Friday afternoon around fiveish. I have just resisted the temptations of the House of Blues and its $2 Happy ...

Chefs’ secret

Flavor, taste, and pleasure materialize in a most unexpected location.

“Oh, no. This is free. You get this when you order a main dish.”

Nachos: Respect at last?

Ed makes a meal of a big messy plate at Costa Azul

Is this the most beautiful mess of food you ever saw or wot? And maybe the best belly-filling deal too. I've just had a kinda revelatory reminder here at Costa Azul that nachos are suddenly ...

East Village: Contain yourself! Your temporary town square's almost ready

Meshuggah Shack first to open in Quartyard

“Ring for kisses,” says the red bell at the counter. “See how it feels.” Oh, I see: The "See how it feels" bit is talking about the tip jar. Still, the bell sets the atmosphere. ...

Like rich people

Scarfing remnants of beer-fed cow and lobster bits

"This is crazy,” says Carla. We’re climbing up the stairs toward the most expensive watering hole in downtown Coronado, if you’re after steaks. A $120 steak, anyone? News of this ran like an electric shock ...

Cavemen ate these

Get stuffed on Meze-Greek’s fusion foods

Two ancient tastes and methods, one downtown fusion joint.

Fire + Fly: brand-new artisan pizza joint already hot

The pizza of personal responsibility has arrived

Father and six-year-old son leave Fire + Fly Artisan Pizza, the just-opened joint on Coronado's Orange Avenue. Dad's carrying four boxes of pizzas. "Dad, I'll take them." "Nope." "Can I hold in them in the ...

I.B.'s menudo institution

Back from the dead with the whole hog

The hoof stares me in the face. “Eat me!” it says. Oh, Lordy. But this is what I came for. It’s Sunday. Feeling a little hung over, truth to tell. “You sure this works?” I ...

Upscale harem

Ed skips the hookah and inhales a panini

“Hookahs are definitely cheaper there,” she says. “But you get less of a head-rush from them.”

Under the eating tent

Finding religion and comida in Barrio Logan

It’s dark in the Barrio. Seven o’clock, Sunday night. I’m hoofing it along Logan Avenue. Muttering to myself. “Late again...” Because everything is closed. Carla will have eaten. Gotta have something. I hurry past Cuatro ...

City's Secret: Happy hour even students can afford

The Hive's stellar cellar atmosphere rocks on Friday nights

This is where professors come to start affairs with their students. Okay, kidding. But it's easy to imagine. This dive called The Hive sits right across the street from City College. It has a kind ...

Gold Rush–era gluttony in Little Italy

Plain Nirvana

“This used to be a brothel upstairs and liquor place down here.”

Voilà, instant burger

Smoked pineapples and nuked burgers not so bad.

“This place is old-fashioned, like a Cairo café. We don’t do loud music and DJs.”

The restaurant at the end of the universe

Endless Joes

His dream was always to make this the #1 jazz spot in the country. Or at least the county.

Squeaky cheese?

Poutine means "mess"

She looks like Renée Zellweger. Wait. Maybe she is René Zellwegger. Maybe the real Renée got sick of the movie life and paid another chica to come out to the cameras after the “facelift,” pretending ...

Quartyard courts the Village

Disruptive architecture grads setting up "experiment in flexible temporary urbanism" on vacant lot

Pork sandwiches and beer in a garden in an empty downtown lot? And next to them, a folk concert tent next to a farmer's market next to a play park for your dog next to ...

Poetry on a plate

Drawn in by the sign, “Japanese Tapas and Noodles.” Huh. Japanese tapas?

Under the stainless grill is a fire with a pleasant resinous flavor wafting up from it.

Breakfast or bust

"Best Breakfast in Town Coming Soon.” I’ve been watching this sign for months. We’re up on Hancock in the courtyard of 57 Degrees, the wine barn that hosts a monthly food-truck get-together. Not to mention ...

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