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Stories by Kirk K.

All over the map

The diversity of cuisine that San Diego County offers

I’m usually at a loss when asked what the “best restaurant neighborhood” in San Diego is. The truth is, we log in some miles going to our favorite places. South to Chula Vista for Mariscos ...

From under the radar: Antojitos Colombianos

Cali, as in Colombia

In spite of the ever-rising price of gas, I try to get out of my neighborhood(s) and see what’s going on elsewhere. And so, one morning about three months ago, I took a drive along ...

Lunchtime in Kearny Mesa

I’m just an average guy who likes to eat, cook, and travel. Food is the window through which I see the world. It’s through various cuisines that I learn about history and culture. It’s the ...

Sweet, Salty, Sticky

Always order the fish sauce chicken wings at Que Huong.

Flavors Like Life

Try your luck at the Thai-Lao-Chinese-Vietnamese 777 Noodle House in City Heights.

But I Did Eat at a Holiday Inn This Morning

Chinese breakfast at Chin’s Seafood & Grill, in Miramar’s Holiday Inn.

Most Important Meal of the Day

That’s what they call breakfast, right? But, honestly, most weekdays, I’m not very good at getting my day started off right. Our household does enjoy breakfast on weekends, and we always take note of what ...

A New Gaijin-neration

I wasn’t sure what to think when I first heard about Gaijin Noodle + Sake House. Taken literally, the word “gaijin” means “foreigner.” In actual usage, it means “non-Japanese.” But growing up in Hawaii, “gaijin,” ...

Borrego Bonanza

The broaching of the subject is inevitable: in any extended conversation, I’ll always find a way to sneak in a “Have you eaten anything good recently?” And, quite often, that little question bears fruit. A ...

Wonderful Wagashi

It’s amazing what you can learn sitting at your friendly neighborhood sushi bar. Back in 1999, when we were still living in the greater Los Angeles area, I took on a consulting gig here in ...

The Bun Bo Hue Dossier

Nothing gets my Vietnamese friends’ blood boiling more than when some foodie calls bun bo hue “spicy pho.” They tell me, “Bun bo is about as close to pho as chicken noodle soup is to ...

Neighborhood Restaurants

Café 21 began as a lunch joint in University Heights, moved to a larger location there, and has now accepted the dare of downtown. It’s the zesty creation of a young couple from Azerbaijan, a ...

Dinner at Mom’s

I recall that first sniff on a warm September evening in 2008, the sight of various nimono (simmered dishes) piled into oozara ryori (large plates) lining the sleek wooden bar, the light crunch of the ...

Turkish Treats

The missus had decided on the destination for our yearly vacation: it was to be Greece. From a little kernel of an idea in my wife’s head comes a locale, in this case Athens, along ...

Tenured Trucks

On bright, sunny, San Diego days, I often crave a crisp, Ensenada-style fish taco. With apologies to Ralph Rubio — and the popular bar-and-grill that tops their fish tacos with a concoction that includes ranch ...

Bring in the Banh Mi Brigade

You could say that the missus and I were stalking the banh mi lady through the streets of Hanoi. Winding through unfamiliar enclaves and avenues, she was easy to spot with the tall wicker basket ...

Ramen-mania

Have you ever run into a ramen-maniac? And how would you know? It’s pretty simple: Query the suspect with a simple question regarding ramen, and you’ll hear an amazing amount of ramen-based jargon and slang. ...

Pho Forager

It came to me four or five years ago as — surfacing to catch my breath — I looked up from a steaming bowl of pho: there were more non-Vietnamese patrons having lunch in this ...

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