Feast! Entries for February, 2013

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Ali Baba’s in Sorrento Valley: Fast company, fast fish

Ed discovers a bar in the middle of nowhere, packed with the IT in-crowd

I guess it’s because I’ve been dreaming, looking over the bridge rails of Los Peñasquitos (“The Little Cliffs”) river, watching ...

Approaching a new brewing Benchmark

AleSmith alum setting up shop in Grantville

The first time I interviewed long-time AleSmith brewer Matt Akin about the brewery he’s building was last March. Nearly a ...

Heat Bar and Kitchen

New restaurant for North Park outdoes itself for happy hour.

Despite the fact that it’s right up in my neighborhood, I seldom travel Park Boulevard south of University. What can ...

Little Italy Waterfront happy hour: Free is good

And this HH is specially hard to beat when it includes free crab legs

Good news you forgot you knew: I was on Kettner around six in the evening ''t'other day and heard the ...

There's Culture brewing on Cedros

New brewery brings Solana Beach’s design district customized suds

I believe in multi-tasking and love killing two birds with one stone. The evening I ventured to Pizza Port Solana ...

Next Door: wine for La Mesa

A charming wine bar on an unexpected stretch of El Cajon.

Next Door Wine Bar is almost all the way out at the end of El Cajon Boulevard, past the college ...

Chiquibaby's, Logan Heights: Tostada and Karaoke

Neighborhood bar brings out the (Mexican) musician in you. And the appetite

The little cream stucco building shines out into the dark. From across Dewey Street you can hear the crack! of ...

Ai Sushi and Teriyaki

Downtown Japanese hole-in-the-wall is "good enough."

It was probably some form of internet advertising that led me to Ai Sushi and Teriyaki on Sixth Ave downtown. ...

Pizza Port Solana Beach: The next generation

The new brewer (wo)manning one of San Diego’s classic brewhouses

One of the county’s eldest brewhouses resides below-ground in an inauspicious picnic-tabled pizza joint—Pizza Port Solana Beach (135 North Highway ...

Project Pie making progress in Hillcrest

"Build your own pizza" lands at 4th & University

Fourth and University is a tough piece of Hillcrest real estate to make a restaurant stick. Project Pie is the ...

Broadway bargain: Taking Time Out for a quesadilla

Surprising food and drink deals at language students’ downtown hangout

This place right next to the Converse language school for foreign students is great to hang out at, partly to ...

Home Brew Mart to debut The Homework Series

Ballast Point taps its homebrewing component for a new line of suds

Home Brew Mart (5401 Linda Vista Road, Linda Vista) is one of the most significant locales where San Diego’s craft ...

Beer of the Week: Celebrator 25th Anniversary Double Pale Ale

Debuting a beer with personal local ties from Sierra Nevada

Yes, this is a feature all about local beers…usually. At face value, spotlighting a beer from Chico, California’s Sierra Nevada ...

Espresso on the go at Ride On

Bay Park's drive-through coffee is as good as most full-sized shops and twice as convenient.

Cruising up Morena Boulevard in Bay Park the other day, I decided it was finally time to check out the ...

Santee Anny’s: The burger at the end of the line

Do South Koreans make the best burgers in California?

“We would kill for winters like this,” says Rick. He’s from New York City. “You call this cold?” The truth? ...

Piatti Ristorante, La Jolla classic

This restaurant may not have changed much in recent years, but it doesn't seem to need it.

I got some great service the other day at Piatti (2182 Avendia de la Playa, 858-454-1589) in La Jolla Shores. ...

Stout downtown: It’s hockey time. Eat your poutine!

Ice hockey season brings the annual pilgrimage of puckista fanatics

Why does Stout always look crowded these days? Ice. And we’re not talking immigration. http://sandiegoreader.com/users/photos/2013/feb/20/40481/ ’Tis the season for San ...

Martinis Above Fourth

Stick with the silly drinks and you'll be OK.

Martini’s Above Fourth (3940 Fourth Avenue) and I disagree on what, exactly, constitutes a “Martini.” I’ll argue in favor of ...

Aphrodisiac? Sexy pupusas at I.B. Farmers’ market

El Salvador's Gastro-Embassy's right by the pier...

Aphrodisiacs at a farmers’ market? That’s what they say about pupusas with the loroco flower buds in them. Seems loroco ...

Homebrews for guide dogs

Local Habit hosting homebrew-driven fundraiser for service dog trainers

On Saturday, February 23, the statement “this restaurant’s gone to the dogs” will take on new meaning when Local Habit ...

Korea BBQ House

Enduring Kearny Mesa BBQ spot is long on portions, short on excellence.

Seeing as how it’s next door to the legendary Min Sok Chon karaoke emporium, and how it’s been operating successfully ...

Tent City Intensity: Harry D’z BBQ sets I.B. nostrils a-twitch

Harry’s reinvented the BBQ sauce, and the nation's most SW farmers' market is richer (in aromas) for it

Was at my favorite farmers’ market. It's the one in IB (Imperial Beach Pier Plaza, 10 Evergreen Avenue, Imperial Beach, ...

Big-time brewhouse additions

New brewers for Modern Times Beer and Monkey Paw

Over the course of the past few months, more and more questions have been answered about upcoming San Diego craft ...

First look at Soda and Swine

North Park's new "concept" restaurant is here, but it's a tough meatball to swallow.

I can’t pass binding judgment on Soda and Swine since it’s only been open for three days, but I did ...

Beer of the Week: Sweet Tea Session IPA

Monkey Paw brews up a beer for Hillcrest farm-to-tablers

Of late, I’ve been writing a lot about breweries crafting beers for specific bars and restaurants. Typically, the impetus for ...

Beer Touring: Thorn Street Brewery

New North Park brewery has all but one element for success

The last stop on my latest San Diego brewery tour was a recently opened spot called Thorn Street Brewery (3176 ...

Acoustic in Middletown: Unplugged beer comes to oldest brewery!

Expect noise. Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment about to rock old Mission Brewery

Actually it was the nose, not the noise. Started twitching as I walked up Washington from the trolley. That sexy, ...

Bread Canyon turns up the heat

An update on the "bread CSA" that I found out about last year.

I don’t know if anybody remembers, but I was clued in to a secret sourdough bread baking operation last fall ...

Beer Touring: Coronado Brewing - Tecolote Canyon

Off-island offshoot offers expanded look at Crown City operation

Coronado’s a beautiful place, but unless you live in the Crown City, it’s someplace you don’t likely frequent. The lure ...

Beer Touring: Helm's Brewing

Dark side of the equation is brightest at Kearny Mesa newbie

The first time I had a beer from Helm’s Brewing Company (5640 Kearny Mesa Road, Suite C/N, Kearny Mesa) was ...

Buona Forchetta opens in South Park

New pizzeria occupies long-empty building and brings Neopolitan style gusto.

The building across Beech Street from Alchemy sat empty for years until Buona Forchetta moved in with a wood-burning pizza ...

Gaslamp: Oceanaire on the cheap

Happy hour opens the gates to another swank eatery

Above: Bartenders James and Ron rock this place So the search for Chinese at Red Pearl Kitchen (see blog below) ...

Gaslamp: Red Pearl Kitchen's woks go cold

Hollywood-style Chinese eatery closes just before Chinese New Year

Heading by the Mardi Gras party downtown. Folks are rattling around with a ton of beads round their necks. Russian ...

Beer Touring: Belching Beaver Brewery

New Vista brewery offers more than nomenclature would suggest

For over a year, there have been over two-dozen work-in-progress breweries for me to monitor at any given time. And ...

Haute caffeine at Better Buzz Coffee Lab

The coffee's super serious, but the atmosphere is pretty chill.

The Better Buzz “Coffee Lab” in Mission Beach is yet another entrant in the melee of next-level coffee purveyors. They ...

Free tea! And $4 hummus: Darband in Center City

Persian food and games at Cedar and Fifth

Ah. So this is the place where the tea’s free. I’ve been climbing up Fifth heading for this place, at ...

Beer Touring: Offbeat Brewing

A progress report on Escondido’s other craft brewery

My December excursion to Europe to visit craft breweries left me thirsty for tasty San Diego beer, which I indulged ...

Lofty Aspirations at Chaplos Restaurant and Bar

Downtown restaurant was nicer than I'd expected...and a little snooty.

Chaplos is far enough removed from downtown’s hubbub that parking isn’t impossible, although the nearby pay lot ends up looking ...

Paon Restaurant & Wine Bar Presents a Stone Brewing Company Dinner

Move over wine, beer is looking for a place at the table! Paon Restaurant in Carlsbad hosted a pairing dinner ...

Adam's Steak 'n Eggs

Fifty years of sirloins and booze breakfasts in Hotel Circle.

With dreams of steak and eggs I set out for Hotel Circle and Adam’s, home of the eponymous specialty and ...

Beer of the Week: Silva Stout

Green Flash’s brewmaster explains his renowned namesake beer

There are a lot of “special” beers out there. That descriptor can mean many things. Sometimes it signifies a brew’s ...

Crawfish & Euphoria Brass Band highlighted at Saltbox and Local Habit

Both local eateries host separate Crawfish Boils this weekend complete with signature beers and music by Euphoria Brass Band.

Two 5th Avenue eateries are celebrating Mardi Gras a touch early with the time-honored Louisiana tradition of a crawfish boil. ...

Stand Bayou? Lincoln Park has Louisiana frogs a-fryin’

At last! Red Rooster’s specialty: Toad in the Hole-in-the-Wall…

Yes! Just frog-marched myself back to Euclid after discovering Frank in his hole-in-the-wall Louisiana food kitchen last week. He's behind ...

Downtown’s Local: Simple soup’n suds

If in doubt, tortilla soup will fill you out

Downtown can be daunting if you just want a pick-me-up but don't want the big deal of a full-on meal. ...

Isola serves lovin' from the oven

Pizza’s the focus, but its upstaged by unexpected stars

Italian in Little Italy—what a novel idea. Nowadays, with trendy ramen joints, second-story comfort food perches, and burger joints popping ...

Lemon Grove: Best California steak?

For forty years, people have been trekking here for the steak-avo-cheese sandwich

Oh man. This steak of Alfredo's is da bomb. Has avocado, pepper jack, and a raft of sautéed onions. I'm ...

Pop-ups taking over Market

San Diego Public Market fundraiser realizes chef’s makeshift resto concepts

Last year, farmers market maven Catt White and business partner Dale Steele went the Kickstarter route in search of funds ...

Louisian style at Red's Espresso Eatery

Point Loma coffee shop might be a little weird, but it has a certain kind of charm.

As my server battled with errant extension cords and flounced about the mostly empty dining room in a state of ...

Richman’s food, poorman’s prices: Late luncheon at the Westgate downtown

Hidden bargain at the palace built for Richard Nixon

They say this Westgate Hotel building was built to accommodate Richard Nixon and a hoped-for Republican National Convention back in ...

Incoming on Washington!

The old Brian's building is finally getting a makeover after a long dormancy.

I mourned the loss of Brian’s American Eatery like I’d experienced the passing of someone who was almost, but not ...

Is everything still tasting great?

A call for an end to an ill-advised yet ubiquitous service question

Good service can turn even a bad meal into something with redeeming memory hooks, and can turn a great meal ...

Voyou: Great little wine bar but…

Looking for best bang for Le Buck at Hillcrest's French wine bar

I’m not the first to burst into this cubby-hole of cool. Ian Pike gave a connoisseur’s four-course breakdown last year ...

Lunch at Saigon on Fifth in Hillcrest

The Vietnamese food place that's Actually on University Avenue

Finding an available parking meter in the heart of Hillcrest is like finding a stiletto in Ocean Beach. Fortunately, there's ...

Non-native Native Foods in Encinitas

Newly arrived veggy-vegan chain committed to speedy delivery

A new restaurant just opened in Encinitas and its staff is officially on the clock. I’m not talking about 15 ...

Wackness at the Joint

Ocean Beach sushi bar is best when things get weird.

A Newport Street hotspot, the Joint is a weird place. It appears appropriately seedy and OBecian from the outside, promising ...

Beaucoup Banchan at Grandma's

Endless array of tastes at Grandma Tofu & B.B.Q. on Convoy

I thought Tofu House was the only Korean boiling chili tofu pot joint in town, but this week, David proved ...

Lincoln Park: Red Rooster’s got catfish, if you can find it

It’s a hole in the wall, but the word is out: for catfish, frogs’ legs, call Frank

You’d never find Frank in a thousand years, if you didn’t know where to look. Like, get off the Orange ...

Pacific Beach eateries cook up culinary tribute to Super Bowl

California Kebab and Papa Luna's Empanadas pay homage to 49ers and Ravens

Two Pacific Beach eateries are celebrating the Super Bowl this Sunday with special dishes inspired by the Baltimore Ravens and ...

Beer of the Week: SD TapRoom Coconuts on Rye

Vista’s Latitude 33º goes ‘nuts over PB’s SD Tap Room

I love it when I effectively spot a trend. Granted, trends, by their very nature, are relatively easy to spot ...

New wine bar in Talmadge

Romeo and Julieta's Wine Cafe is open for business.

I Followed a tip out to Talmadge’s sleepy neighborhoods and the unlikely corner of Monroe and 47th. There, lo and ...