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Stories by Ed Bedford

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.

Little Manila: Eating dinaguan, watching disaster

At Point-Point, all eyes are on the TV screens

Typhoon. It's the one thing you think about, down here in Little Manila. In the restaurants, the TVs are tuned to TFC, The Filipino Channel. Telethons are going on between soap operas, reports are coming ...

Tuna tune-up

Ryan Bros lead the way to guilt-free tuna melts

My friend Sorin and I have come through the sunny doors of Ryan Bros Coffee here in Barrio Logan. Beautiful place they gutted after taking over from Chuey's old school Mexican bar/eatery/dance spot and transformed ...

I.B. Pier’s Tin Fish cures Ed’s queasiness

On the map!

Ed sinks his fangs into some hot Indian food at 8Elements.

Farewell, Bulgogi

Fat Cat Café started with such hopes, but... location, location, location

Sad to see Fat Cat Cafe didn't make it. Saw they were closed, passingly on the trolley. This location, 819 C Street, between 8th and 9th, has been the graveyard of one eatery after another. ...

Stealing a happy hour at Loews

If you can get there, there's bargains to be had

This place you've gotta come to. Except, be prepared to hike, if you're coming by bus. When you get here, the nearest stop is a quarter mile further south, so you have to walk back ...

Where beer is liver

Ed gets some goat and the requisite banana in Little Mogadishu’s Fatuma Restaurant.

“We have the sweetest bananas in the world growing in Somalia. We Somalis have a sweet tooth.”

Freebies to keep you downtown after work

Downtown Johnny Brown's happy hour takes off on Fridays

Mark this for Friday. I came in here around six last Friday evening, on the hunt for Stone Brewing's November "Enjoy By" beer. It's a series of brews that last for a month and are ...

Little Italy: Don't knock the gnocchi

Ed discovers that LI's latest arrival delivers on more than just beer

I'd heard Ballast Point was open. (See Brandon Hernández' extensive pre-opening report.) Loved the idea that this bunch of guys who started as a home brew outfit in a tiny uncool strip-mall got voted small ...

Salvation soup

Ed drops in at the Salvation Army kitchen in Tijuana, where he fills his gut for $1.30.

“I spent my whole life in the U.S.,” says this guy Nick. “This is a foreign country to me.”

Looking for camel for dinner

Ed has to settle for goat...and banana

Suqar, beer, ukun for breakfast? That's the choices here at Fatuma, the Somali place up in Little Mogadishu, in City Heights. Guy behind the counter says “suqar” is ground beef, “beer” is liver, and “ukun” ...

Time Warped

Ed damns the torpedoes, ups the cholesterol at Goody’s Café

Goody’s Café was Kozak’s Coffee Shop from 1964 till 2000. Briefly a Chaldean restaurant, now they’re serving up classic diner food again. Ed lets greed take over and orders an egg skillet…and biscuit and bacon and coffee and…

Moo Burger: Nutty but nice

How to unite burgers and ice cream!

Walking down Orange Avenue, on the sceptered isle, waiting for the beautiful Carla to get her hair done, feeling pangs of hunger spiking my gut. Think of dropping into Clayton's coffee shop for a, well, ...

East Village Chinese, open at last!

This will be your go-to take-out, Villagers

Been trawling up and down 12th, Park Boulevard, in the trolley, waiting for the moment. This time I stop and jump out, because yes! "Open," says the sign. It's the Chinese place that's been building ...

Gorging in the court

Ed is summoned to José’s Courtroom on Taco Tuesday

Tuesday evening. La Jolla. Swanning along Prospect. Glimpses of the pearly Pacific flashing up from between buildings. That beautiful old pink monster La Valencia Hotel looks like it’s been through quite a makeover. Huh. Bet ...

Eating goat like a kid in Little Jamaica

Island Spice is as near as you'll get to Bob Marley's paradise this side of the Rockies

Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble... The two huge ollas, pots, roil and steam away over the flames. Donna takes a big stick and stirs them around, adds more water. "Oxtail," she says. "Getting it ready ...

Green surprise at the Greyhound

Downtown's shabby corner is reborn - healthy

Trotting down Broadway around nine at night, heading to the brick hotel where the Greyhound Depot used to be, at First Avenue. Used to be a pretty shabby corner, too. But recently I'd seen signs ...

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