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Best of 2001: Best Fusion Cuisine, North County

150 Grand Café
150 West Grand Street, Escondido
760-738-6868
www.150grand.com

A mural on one of the walls shows the restaurant's interior and its personnel but includes a mysterious clown. The food at 150 Grand is such a fine balancing act, perhaps the painter should come back and substitute a tightrope walker. The cooking style here could be called "worldwide adventure food" (and what could be more appropriate after a trip to the nearby Wild Animal Park?). A daily-changing menu takes advantage of the best and freshest ingredients of the season, assembled in bold combinations that chefs less imaginative than Riko Bartolomei would never dream of. Consider melting-soft sweetbread nuggets stir-fried with pineapple, Chinese lap chong sausage, and bitter rapini greens. There's more where that came from. And if you arrive in the right season and you're very, very lucky, for dessert there may be mango tarte Tatin (a sort of upside-down pie) with a crisp under-crust, luscious mango slices, and a topping of faintly earthy "goat cheese fondant" with the texture of whipped cream -- all surrounded by sweet basil syrup, sliced strawberries, and basil leaves.

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150 Grand Café
150 West Grand Street, Escondido
760-738-6868
www.150grand.com

A mural on one of the walls shows the restaurant's interior and its personnel but includes a mysterious clown. The food at 150 Grand is such a fine balancing act, perhaps the painter should come back and substitute a tightrope walker. The cooking style here could be called "worldwide adventure food" (and what could be more appropriate after a trip to the nearby Wild Animal Park?). A daily-changing menu takes advantage of the best and freshest ingredients of the season, assembled in bold combinations that chefs less imaginative than Riko Bartolomei would never dream of. Consider melting-soft sweetbread nuggets stir-fried with pineapple, Chinese lap chong sausage, and bitter rapini greens. There's more where that came from. And if you arrive in the right season and you're very, very lucky, for dessert there may be mango tarte Tatin (a sort of upside-down pie) with a crisp under-crust, luscious mango slices, and a topping of faintly earthy "goat cheese fondant" with the texture of whipped cream -- all surrounded by sweet basil syrup, sliced strawberries, and basil leaves.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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