Ian Anderson 5 p.m., March 23
Stories by Ed Bedford
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 ...
Wham and so-so
You know the theory: restaurants with great views rest on their location laurels.
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
“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 ...
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 ...
“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 ...
Eat, drink, wager
“Usually, you’ll hear the roar down here, guys yelling when a race is entering the last stretch.”
Clacking chops help save the world at Plant Power
“The methane that cattle produce warms the world 20 times faster than auto emissions.”
“No!” says Carmen. “Finish first. You will eat my camarones hot.”
“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 ...
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.”
“He wants some food,” says Marianna. “But he only eats raw fish.”
Get some, bring it
Hmm... Keep thinking of that warm bar with the hugging hostess.
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 ...
Chomp of a lifetime
Five minutes later she arrives with my steaming torta. All wrapped in its own papoose.
“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.
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 ...
“Our regulars?” she says when I ask what they eat. “Anything with gravy. Lakeside loves gravy.”
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, ...
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?”
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.’"
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?”
“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, ...
Late breakfast and happy hour at Caffe Primo
Good to have nice, big eggs with floods of bright yellow yolk.
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 ...
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.”
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
Amble into the Yemeni restaurant
Areekah? Eureka! Yemeni cuisine ancient and, in Southern California, rarified.
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.”
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 ...
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 ...
Generous crispy whale of a thing
Was Frederico's Mexico-style frutería the first across the border?
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 ...
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.”
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
"Tapioca is just healthier. And it’s our native food. Tapioca is a Brazilian plant.”