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Stories by Ed Bedford

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 ...

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 ...

Newest Baja-Med pop-up?

Artisan Baja Tacos takes Coronado by surprise

One thing you can pretty much guarantee: when in Coronado you won't see food trucks. Or taco stands. But one guy who has slipped through the City's cracks is John Renison. Found him and his ...

Grow your own veggies at La Casita

City College standby will be the scene of a new experiment

A downtown restaurant growing its own tomatoes, veggies, grapes in its yard? Sure, here at La Casita (1247 C Street, 619-531-0044). It's the li'l place that City College teachers and students have been cramming into ...

For-real deal on Congress Street

Ed feels guilty for getting a lunch so cheap at Christopher’s on Congress. “You know, that’s the biggest complaint I get,” Chris says. “People say I’m undercharging."

Cheese-grabbing and wine-slurping in Tijuana

Ed visits Tijuana’s La Faraona, grabs cheese, slurps wine, learns about Aunt Lupita, who provides blended wines, homemade cheeses, and bread to her entrepreneurial nieces and nephews.

Some like it cheap

Ed takes his beer ration while watching a sailboat race at 1887 on the Bay.

Before Elisha Babcock built the Hotel del Coronado, he reputedly had his carpenters construct a many-sided boathouse as a training exercise. The building survived and recently became another new restaurant — 1887 on the Bay.

Celebrating Mexican independence in Sherman Heights

The food way is the good way at Ma Eugenia's.

Ma Eugenia would hear the cry every year. It was the cry of Don Miguel Gregorio Antonio Ignacio Hidalgo-Costilla y Gallaga Mandarte Villaseñor. Okay, Father Hidalgo to you and me. He gave that famous cry ...

Iron-gut hotshot hits Asia Wok

Ed raves about the offerings at Asia Wok (and the low prices!). Then he goes ahead and dispels the legend of Mongolian barbecue — another dirty lie revealed, kids!

Scrumptious nuptials

“Americans munch 10 billion of these a year...the size of the donut hole changes with the economy.”

Ed gets the "dough" part, but what about the "nut"? And why the hole? Our frugal fork finds the answers and a couple of guys who are redesigning the donut.

The Bedford files

Boy, so many good places to choose from, from O’side to the Other Side of the line. The major discovery for me has been the incredible bargains you can get in the exploding world of ...

Witches’ brew in a hotpot

I’m wiping the back of my neck and my brow more than my mouth.

Ed visits a hero's grave in Old Town, gets distracted by the smell of Tom Yum coming from D'O Thai Cottage. C'mon, Ed!

Totally stuffed at Sherman's

“Rich,” she tells me. “Too rich.” Dang. No way is it too rich for me.

Sherman’s Shack offers Ed interesting burgers and tacos… a garlic shrimp and cream cheese–stuffed burger topped with orange sweet & sour, for example.

Beautifully rinky-dink

Ed snags a free beer, gobbles among gobblers at Nate’s Garden Grill, on the same property as Bill Tall’s City Farmers Nursery

Soft-shell in the wilds of Kearny Mesa

Tarantula? The leggy thing lies on my plate staring up at me. Its ten legs claw out from under a shell of batter and a blob of tartar sauce. At least it’s not staring up ...

Late-night breakfast at Swami's Cafe

Two things catch my attention: First, the song coming out of this eatery — “You Don’t Own Me.” Leslie Gore. I know it ’cause Carla sings it every time she thinks I’m pushing my weight ...

We must be talking bánh mi

Mom's dream

At Linda Vista’s Bale Restaurant & Deli (serving Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai Cuisine), Ed attacks an egg loaf and other morsels.

Swordsman gets crowned in Coronado

Actually, it's not Coronado, it's the kingdom of Terre Neuve, thank you

It was all hack and slash in Spreckels Park over the 4th of July long weekend. Sir Clevwen Bardic and Sir Callon Bryn Corey saluted, then they started hacking away at each other with, well, ...

Plaza Bar's sixty slices of salami

Ed skips Paris, goes to the Plaza Bar at the Westgate Hotel instead.

Secret sushi society?

Ed stumbles upon Sushi on a Roll, gets an education — for example, eat sushi with your fingers, not chopsticks. And by all means, don’t stab sushi with chopsticks (bad luck).

Grant Hill: I’ll take my burgers stuffed

Is this the next generation of burgers?

Wow. This corner. Market and 25th. Every time I come up and over the hump here, seems like this place has a different eatery. Think it was a tamale place, an Urban Chicken place, an ...

Trevi: Ten inch pizza deal in the wilds of Chollas Creek

It’s the first oasis after you cross the deserted canyons from City Heights.

These are desperate times. I’ve promised Carla a meal and it’s heading for nine o’clock at night and I’m still traipsing across the bridges over the open wound they call Chollas Creek. No bus, no ...

Rockin' Baja, Toscana, and the perfect afternoon

Ed hits a wine bar and then a lobster restaurant

With a $30 budget (and on a mission to spend every cent of it), Ed hits Toscana Café & Wine Bar and the Rockin’ Baja Lobster.

The stomach rules

Ed hits up Pier View Coffee Co. in Oceanside

‘GIT N ’ERE:” That’s what the sign says, so why not? I’ve got time before the Coaster. That sign’s under another that reads “Pierview Pub.” But inside, a big neon sign above the bar reads ...

Tom yum and pizza on Park

Ed visits Bahn Thai and Red House Pizza in University Heights…eats tom yum and pizza for lunch.

Calafia confidential: mission accomplished

Ed Bedford finds a meal at Los Cristales, a restaurant at Las Olas Grand Hotel in Calafia.

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