Back to profile

Stories by Ed Bedford

Sunday chow

Out of the rain in City Heights, scarfing two rambunctious tacos

"Sorry about your leader.” “Thank you. But it’s been a long time. Thirty years since I left.” Raul’s from Cuba. I want to ask what he feels about Fidel. But conversation drifts. We happen to ...

San Diego Guide to Holiday Fun

Even if yuletide music burns your cochlea on contact ... something for you

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

Gateway drug to Indian cuisine

Zing follows every crunch at Bawarchi Dosa

They’re lining up to get in. The wedding party. Actually, not the wedding party. These are the aunts and uncles and parents who’ve come to sample dishes for their daughter’s wedding breakfast they’ve booked here ...

The Bar One sausage saps Ed's resistance

“That one is really good,” says Alex. “I like the spicy.”

We’re walking, walking — hold it! Swear this used to be a hair salon. But now we’re looking at a kind of Italian bar that spills out onto the sidewalk. I try to figure out ...

Straight into bed

Caramelized onion and short rib make crazy love together between the buns

"Uh, is that Russian you’re speaking?” Long silence. “Not Russian. Romanian.” The guy looks at me. “Excuse me for saying so, but next time you are not sure, it is better to suggest Czech, or ...

Fill up on tamed-tiger kung pao at Imperial Express

“True kung pao should have only ‘facing heaven’ chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns.”

"Midnight, dude.” This guy and I just happen to fall in step walking away from Father Joe’s, into the dusk of Imperial Avenue. “Midnight?” “Everybody’s waiting for midnight. Look around you,” he says. “There’s a ...

Sophisticated stuff at the Dog Haus

Dawgs off the chain

"Go!” This is Carla. “You can make it!” Eight. Friday night. Tapped out. Cupboard’s bare. Broke, broke, pelado. Except, heh-heh, just saw an ad that says free hot dogs today and tonight only, at the ...

From Paris to the I.B. pier

“Marc started this as Pretzels and More in 2008. By 2013 he was exhausted, about to sell up.”

This is your brain on veggies. I mean, look at it. You’d swear that’s what this was. It’s brain-shaped. It has all the wrinkles and bulges, the bike-helmet shape. Except it’s not a brain, it’s ...

Meet the sake master

“Drink out of the corner or you might get some...spill.” Too late.

Am I seeing things? Like, I notice a gal at the entrance of a crowded eatery, speaking Japanese, and giving elaborate bowing farewells to two customers. We’re near 13th and Market. A sign says “BeShock ...

Kebabs and the Dark Side

From Turkey, by way of the Hyatt

One thing about East Village’s Quartyard: they have a good turnaround of food trucks. Tonight it’s this flashy Ford F-350 towing a trailer into the space off Market Street where people, dogs, and bars and ...

The whole half-yard at Hungry’s

“You San Diego guys wimp out that easy? Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink!”

"Milwaukee.” “San Diego.” “Milwaukee!” “Saan Diy-egow!” “’Scuse me. Ever hear of Miller? Schlitz? Pabst? Old Milwaukee? And you’re trying to tell me San Diego is the beer capital of America?” Did I mention Saf is ...

Jump into a viper pit of ramen noodles

Island of goodies at Ramen Yamadaya

Wow. Downtown. This scuzziest part of Broadway, around Fifth, is suddenly taking off. Guess the facelift started with the opening of the park at Horton Plaza, but now eateries are opening one after the other, ...

Big on jork

The ancients called Chinese porridge the “first healthy food under heaven.”

The Eight Immortals are Crossing the Seas. They float by, riding paper mules, lotus flowers, flower baskets, aboard feather fans, storks, even a discarded crutch. People love the Eight Immortals. They represent prosperity and long ...

Something fat and juicy from the El Rorro taco truck

"The shrimp are from the ocean, not farmed. And my wife and I made all the recipes.”

"My latest review?” says Justin, “I got — see here? — 71,816 views.” OMG. He’s right. I’m staring at his phone. It shows stats from Yelp. He’s a Yelper. Has reviewed about 200 places he’s ...

Jazzed on the mango sauce at Bourré Southern Bistro

Southern enough

“This is the downtown of your dreams. All of the music and food, none of the parking hell.”

Happy hamburgers

Eat for a fraction of what regular customers pay

Hey, all this talk about how the rich are shutting out the rest of us? How come in the past ten years happy hour has increased by, oh, 3 zillion percent? No self-respecting luxury eatery ...

Beloved Egg Nazi

Six-dollar bacon, eggs, and toast

“Now I have taken over this place. And that will soon be my mobile kebab business.”

Skip the steak; leave Garden Kitchen happy

"Our customers are big on vegetables."

Peppers as dinner? Never would’ve done this, except for one fact. It’s a Friday. Not a payday. Low on dough but high on peppers. I’ve just spent four bucks on “blistered red shishito peppers, in ...

Tear off and eat the blanket covering Bosnian street food

“If we could bring in young calves and lamb from Bosnia, we would.”

"Dobro vecé!” This is me, greeting Ismet Sahic beside his truck. It’s 8 p.m., and Quartyard, here at Park and Market, is Sunday-night mellow. A floodlit rack of people sits drinking and chatting at the ...

A week to finish a stack of Du Par's hot cakes

This could take awhile. Turns out I’m his first full-stack order since they opened.

Uh-oh. Last Chinese restaurant in Chinatown just bit the dust. Lucky Liu’s has closed. And before Unlucky Liu’s, Red Pearl came unstrung. Silver lining? Today, where Red Pearl used to be, I discover a brand-new ...

Israeli food is drenched in history at 2Brothers

Genuine Mediterranean

“Our pita bread? We import it from Israel. U.S. pita is made from different flour.”

Eat your torta

Overdoing it at Oscar's in Baja La Jolla

"Where are we?” I really want to know. Lord knows I’ve bounced by here often enough in the #30 bus. Mike and his lady Rachel and me and a dozen other people are sitting on ...

This human thing going on

Small, original restaurants with real people

Could there be classier places than the ones on this list? For sure. Cheaper? Yes. Cooler? Of course. But the places I find myself going back to have this human thing going on. They’re small, ...

At Jimmy's Famous, stuffed like an overnight bag

Zing to it

Just imagine: A shipload of starving, scurvy-ridden Spanish sailors struggling ashore through the tidal mud flats and seeing...this? A deck full of tourists and well-heeled Diegans scarfing away at ribs, burgers, and cervezas? They missed ...

Like the real chitlin

“They’re pasta, not actual pork rinds,” Amy warns. But, three bucks, so I get them anyway.

It’s Winona! Winona Ryder! You would swear. Straight out of The Age of Innocence. Those eyes, that quizzical smile. Okay, Winona turns out to be Amy. She’s helping run the bar of this terrazza in ...

Tender is the meat at Center Cut Steakhouse

“Chef Ramon ages each steak for two weeks and slow roasts it for six hours.”

At first, I’m thinking Tacos El Gordo, because it’s near Chula Vista’s H Street trolley. Then I go in. Wall-to-wall! Three lines stretching right to the doors. Fuggedaboutit. And, actually, a steak’s what I’ve got ...

Dumb and tender

“Maine lobster’s sweeter. West Coast lobster can be downright chewy.”

"Over here!” It’s the beautiful Carla. Fresh from her frou-frou session at Diane’s salon (“Diane is the only person in this world who understands my coiffure needs, darling”) here on the Emerald Isle of Coronado. ...

A shrimp taco at the Market Hall

Greed is good

This was where I learned to appreciate the humble carrot. It started simply enough. I was heading along Market past that cool newish condo tower Strata, when I came across this sign: “Café Now Open.” ...

Pupusa ceremony

“These foods we cook are ancient and more healthful than Mexican or American food.”

"You can sit over here if you like,” says this guy over in the booth. He’s noticed me craning my head to catch the Costa Rica game. Against mighty Colombia. Copa América. David and Goliath. ...

No mashed gristle

Tomato and lettuce are nice and crisp. Cheddar’s sharp, onions give it sweetness.

Hmm... Which whiskey? The Glenfiddich 40-year-old costs $1049 per shot. A jigger of Benchmark costs $1. I hesitate. “Gimme the Gl…Glenfid…d’uh, no. I guess I’ll take the Benchmark,” I say. The $1 Benchmark is part ...

Too much deliciosity

“You should come back any night during this Ramadan season. We have a special feast.”

I arrived too early. For Ramadan, that is. This was before last Sunday, when Ramadan began. I came because I was curious about what you eat if you are Muslim and fasting for the month. ...

Goat-bloated from Café Royale

Most coffee roasters throw away the shell, but it has the best flavors!”

It’s the kids. They’re all over the table. And into the spaghetti and goat. All except Anas and Khalid. The two older boys are plowing into their own plate of chicken drumsticks. Their dad has ...

Raise an unlimited joe to long-dead Yankee Jim

Real seducer

He thought they were joking. Even when they had him standing on a horse-drawn dray with a rope around his neck. All he’d done was go for a joyride in a rowboat. He called it ...

Burger phase continues in Carlsbad

Worth the Hamilton

“But whatever you do,” he says confidentially, “don’t eat crabs from Southern California.”

Hit Cabo Wabo #2, scarf a big burger

Yes! Dive bar

Fish tacos, 99 cents? With all the taco talk this week, how come I missed this place? I should have seen the taco deal on the signs outside. But I was busy trying to figure ...

Tacos where you least expect them

Looking beyond standard tacolandia

Here’s what I was thinking: ever since Glen Bell ran with the hard-shell taco idea and created Taco Bell back in the 1950s, tacos have become part of our landscape. Except now the real taco ...

Glass Door fails to grab my gut

Wham and so-so

You know the theory: restaurants with great views rest on their location laurels.

Carlsbad Aloha

Vacuuming up french toast, sausage, and fried rice at Al’s

"Drink this. It’s 9500 years old.” The lady’s thrusting a glass of what looks like water at me in front of this food truck, “California Braise.” Truck’s new around here. And they serve this Carlsbad ...

The best duck larb I can remember

Beautiful suffering

Took a gamble tonight. I spotted this sign: “Lucky Lady, Casino Restaurant & Bar.” Hmm... Casino restaurant? Looking through the windows, I see about a dozen gaming tables, all crowded. And this is a Monday ...

Lunging into a burger in the People’s Penthouse

Come on, li’l burger

I am the captain of my ship. I stride my bridge deck. I scan the scuddy blue seaway ahead of me. Tallships bob everywhere below. That’s how it feels anyway. Star of India, HMS Surprise, ...

Gaslamp prices, but Lazy Hippo is still a find

In deepest Stingaree for brekky

Mary Smith sat here. So did a lot of her ladies of the night. So did the mayor of San Diego. They say he was a client. But that was the Gilded Age. It was ...

Crisp Fish ’N’ Chips makes dreams come true

“I wipe down the tables, grandpa cooks the fish, and mom takes orders at the register.”

Oh, man. Ria wants nuts and twigs. I’m dreaming of fish and chips. Splots of malt vinegar. Cocktail sauce. Greasy, crispy chunks of cod. “Ho-kay,” says Ria. “Your funeral, buddy. Know how many calories and ...

There’s always the Hyatt

Market One Café is open around the clock

So it’s like two. In the morning. Everything is closing down, or they’re not happy to see you walk in. But you’ve gotta have a snack before you head home. Gaslamp may have a few ...

Cuckoo for cucarachas at Mariscos El Pulpo

“You’ve got to eat the whole thing: head, legs, shell, and all, except the tail.”

Cucarachas? Never thought I’d be eating them tonight. But, Barrio Logan is full of surprises. This new Baja bar-eatery, El Pulpo, has sprouted up in what’s becoming “downtown” Barrio Logan. Tonight, Friday, sunset’s glowering over ...

Squelch, tang, and crunch at Striders Clublounge

Eat, drink, wager

“Usually, you’ll hear the roar down here, guys yelling when a race is entering the last stretch.”

Future fast food

Clacking chops help save the world at Plant Power

“The methane that cattle produce warms the world 20 times faster than auto emissions.”

Order up: the most expensive thing at El Carrito Nuevo

Sabroso!

“No!” says Carmen. “Finish first. You will eat my camarones hot.”

Unhinge your jaw for some luscious Oh My! tacos

“People love us. We haven’t stopped since we got here.”

Out on Park. Just come from NewSchool of Architecture. Lecture by this guy who wants to “depave” the world and “rewild” the cities. Oh, man, if only we could. Of course, the talk and questions ...

Raiding Lucky Liu’s kitchen to say Happy New Year

Dim sum is a big deal in China. Right?

“Shin-nyen kwhy-ler,” says Dong Ha. “Happy New Year! Mandarin. What they’d say in Beijing.”

Misunderstanding at the Wow Café

Gurk!

“He wants some food,” says Marianna. “But he only eats raw fish.”

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!

Close