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Stories by Ed Bedford

Avocado-smooshed toast and sweet, beety beauty

Halcyon and Stella bring the unusual

I was passing 15th and J the other evening. The pinnacle apartment tower was all lit up, advertising rental apartments from $2K to $10K per month. But where do all those gentrified renters go to ...

Tastebud invasion by a Tijuana torta

Chomp of a lifetime

Five minutes later she arrives with my steaming torta. All wrapped in its own papoose.

Wiggling fish wig

“No. Not alive. They’re just so thin, they wave around in the lightest breeze.”

Running into the god of fertility and foxes in the Gaslamp.

Out of the rain, into some turkey

God’s Extended Hand

It’s 6:30 at night. Dark already. The rain’s dropping in sudden downpours and then disappearing. Tents line the chain-link fence of the vacant block on J Street. And then, in the gloom, you realize those ...

An omelet as big as a pregnant armadillo

Too big!

“Our regulars?” she says when I ask what they eat. “Anything with gravy. Lakeside loves gravy.”

Naughty breakfast

A bulging, steaming egg breakfast at Anna’s

‘Do you know how to operate this projector?” asked H.R. Haldeman, President Nixon’s chief of staff. “Sure,” said Tony Vasquez. And from that day on, Tony, the guy sitting next to me at the counter, ...

Disgustingly good

A triumph of degustation at Vigilucci's

“Let’s stop right here, take it all home. Then fry it all up for breakfast tomorrow. Yes?”

While I.B. is still I.B.

Chewing the fat (and mussels and chicken) with Ken

“Name’s Ken,” says the guy on the right. “As in ‘Ken, still looking for Barbie.’"

Chicken climax

Lope into Harney for Late Night Social Hour

“It’s fresh, not processed, and have you ever seen a fat Japanese guy? Except for sumo wrestlers?”

IB Street Tacos

“You should try it. They’re the real thing. ’Specially the battered shrimp. Or the octopus.”

The sign looks new: IB Street Tacos. Now Open. It’s been slung up on a banner above the street frontage. Always suspicious when a place says it has “street tacos.” Means it’s actually middle class, ...

Man’s brekky here

Late breakfast and happy hour at Caffe Primo

Good to have nice, big eggs with floods of bright yellow yolk.

PhD in coffee and tea. Plus couscous.

The new Copa Vida keeps coffee complicated, food simple

My knowledge of coffee? It ranges from joe with milk to joe “au naturel.” So when I happened upon this new (couple of months, max) Place-With-No-Name (at least as far as outside signage) at J ...

The fridge between worlds

Where’s Reagan when you need a wall torn down?

“It’s the border,” Rodrigo says. “So crazy. It stops good things happening all the time.”

Au revoir to noir

It's all Café La Rue now, but a fitting tribute to Paris

I went here before the Paris massacre. Now I’m glad I did. Because it makes you remember what it is you love about the French. Like, Paris, and the café life they gave the world. ...

Smokin’ big

Under the bun, a big patty, an avalanche of blue-cheese crumbles, and glistening tongues of bacon.

You feel a little awestruck just walking around here. This is Scripps, maybe the biggest concentration of brainpower west of Harvard Square. Everyone has to have a PhD to even get in the door, seems ...

The bars of El Cajon Boulevard: 56th through 70th

Gimme an effin beer

Zzzzooooommm! It’s 11 p.m. A roar like a fighter jet in trouble heads right for us. Actually it’s a squadron of bikers, taking off at the light here at ECB and 70th. First one, then ...

A grape mission

He has a cutting from one of the original Mission vines from 1769

He won’t say how he got it, but Steve “Kim” Moreno says he has a cutting from one of the original Mission vines that Father Junípero Serra brought up with him from Mexico in 1769. ...

These big chunks are swoon-worthy

Had asked for tender. It is tender. Had hoped for tasty. Oh, man...

I knew it the moment I hauled open the door. This. Is. A. Mistake. Could see the businessmen inside cracking their chopsticks apart, flattening down their silk ties. I mean, this is Nobu, right? The ...

We didn't want the sandwiches to stop

Root beer and steak strips and onion-pepper tangles and cookies and lots of everything

‘Ya-hooo! Drink Mountain Dew!” I’m in a museum here. On a side street in Lemon Grove, looking at this ancient wall ad. I like the last line, too: “It’ll tickle yore innards!” Next to it, ...

How to hang out in the Gaslamp

Simon Says makes it easy

For Bad Coffee! That’s what it says at Simon Says, the coffee kiosk at on F and Fifth, the coolest area of the Gaslamp. It’s five o’clock on a Friday night. Everybody’s your friend. They ...

Eat it with your gums

Amble into the Yemeni restaurant

Areekah? Eureka! Yemeni cuisine ancient and, in Southern California, rarified.

Get thrown a bone and ball at Po Pazzo

No time to dither if you are going to snatch that happy hour sugo deal

“This rib of yours is the bone they cut the ribeye steak out of.”

'Wiches and brew at La Mesa Oktoberfest

Santa Maria-style BBQ from Oceanside and root beer from right-here in the Village

The two old crones stir the vats surrounded by circling bats. Okay, no bats. No quoting from Macbeth. No crones. But these gals really are stirring up brews in vats, with billows of fog coming ...

Go-slow dough: Secret weapon?

Napizza’s yeast lives longer

One thing I like about Napizza is that they were serious about going green from the get-go. They claim to be the first pizzeria in San Diego certified by the Green Restaurant Association. They try ...

Go for the fruit and score a bulging torta also

Generous crispy whale of a thing

Was Frederico's Mexico-style frutería the first across the border?

Wine, nuts, and ghosts in Little Italy

Snacks and vasos de vino at M Winehouse

Wine. Because no great story starts with a salad. This is what stops me. It’s a sign scrawled on a chalkboard outside a beautiful old Victorian cottage, huddling between three concrete buildings. It makes you ...

Palate and wallet favor cod over lobster

Taste of three dollars in a tale of two gastrotrucks

“This truck’s been open in this spot for three weeks, and already they’re popular.”

McDonald's out, well-being in — but some treats remain

Barely moving the needle on the sin meter in Coronado

Did you see how Cleveland Clinic (5 million patients a year, 3000 doctors) has kicked McDonald’s out of its hospitals as of September 18? They want to put their money where their mouth is in ...

In the land of tango and empanadas

Chomp 'n' charge in the pampas, or Little Italy

"I tell you,” says Patrick Brown, “San Diego has the most competitive happy hour on the whole coast. And I’ve researched happy hours from Seattle to San Francisco to L.A. We have the best.” I’m ...

Himalayan Dine Inn's herbs and lentils could start a knife fight

This food should be a spread for a crowd to share, fight over

"My name is Bhim. The name means ‘bravery.’” Bhim’s as tall standing as I am sitting, but he’s stocky, fit-looking, and confident. He’s wearing a Nepalese-style cap, with a little replica of two crossed knives ...

Weak at the knees — That's What Cheese Said!

Cheesy dream of a gastrotruck docks at Mission Brewery

Fact is, I’m in a bit of a hurry. Bus to catch in 20 minutes. Just time to down a couple of those $2 quickie beer tasters they have here at Mission Brewery on 13th. ...

Chez Loma creates super quackos

Duck tacos for the win

This is the kind of place where only Beautiful People need apply. Looking in, you expect silk scarves, stilettos with red soles, and people taking phone calls on their Apple watches. But turns out this ...

A trolley view and Brazil's latest export — the tapioca crêpe

Jungly flavors

"Tapioca is just healthier. And it’s our native food. Tapioca is a Brazilian plant.”

Kentucky chicken Somali-style

Sweet mishmash

“We do have what’s called ‘breakfast,’ for eating in the evening after prayers, breaking the fast.”

Country breakfast? Ribs and cornbread

Bonnie Jean just heard they’ve been named to the Top Sixty Soul Food restaurants. In the nation.

Skull Creek: I’m bouncing past in a 955 when I spot it. Want to yell “Stop the bus!” Instead I just pull the cord and wait while we cruise another country mile up this long ...

Farewell, bus angel

How’s your Italian? Nonja worry, Victoria’s got you covered.

“My family were dairy people from the Azores. We adore things like cheeses and anchovies.”

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.”

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