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

An unexpected fusion

Chopsticks in a Mexican restaurant

Sliced bits of cream cheese in a Mexican styled fried rice, along with spicy crab, avocado, micro cilantro
Sliced bits of cream cheese in a Mexican styled fried rice, along with spicy crab, avocado, micro cilantro

There are plenty of items I expect to find on a Mexican restaurant menu, but here’s one that I don’t: fried rice.

Place

King and Queen Cantina

1490 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

I’m at King and Queen Cantina, the upscale casual restaurant that took over the Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro’s Little Italy location last year, after that spot briefly replaced Bracero Cocina before that. It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for Baja Med restaurants at the corner of Kettner and Beech, so finding an entirely different sort of Mexican fusion catches me off guard.

Granted, I had to look past a lot of tantalizing dishes to spot it. The first page of the menu offers a litany of tacos, burritos, asada fries, asada plates, and a couple of burgers. I don’t know what inspires anyone to flip the menu in the face of all that, but I do it, and immediately get lost in descriptions of ceviche tostadas and shareable fajita platters tossing out terms like saffron rice, garlic chipotle butter, and guajillo achiote vinaigrette.

Only then, tucked at the bottom of the back page, do I see a small section dubbed “Japamex at King and Queen.”

I’m not sure I want to call anything “Japamex” out loud, but I am attracted to that fried rice, and I believe with good reason. It combines spicy crab, egg, cream cheese, sesame seeds, and avocado. I’ve had a lot of those things on the same bagel before, but not mixed with radishes, carrots, scallions, and micro cilantro, and there certainly wasn’t any rice involved. This mixed up dish is also flavored with what the menu calls “Chingon sauce” and “Chingon black sauce" – chili and ponzu sauces.

Crab fried rice with the addition of avocado would be interesting enough on its own — kind of a spin on a California roll. But the smooth tang cream cheese somehow cinches it for me, acting as the glue between two culinary traditions that don’t traditionally use a lot of the spreadable American invention.

The $15 dish is gone way too fast, before I can even come to grips with the fact I’m using chopsticks in a Mexican restaurant.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The revolving door of El Cajon Blvd.

Uber-Lyft car rentals gone; 44 Ollie North lofts looming
Next Article

Our Lady Peace, Taste of Cardiff

Events December 5-December 8, 2021
Sliced bits of cream cheese in a Mexican styled fried rice, along with spicy crab, avocado, micro cilantro
Sliced bits of cream cheese in a Mexican styled fried rice, along with spicy crab, avocado, micro cilantro

There are plenty of items I expect to find on a Mexican restaurant menu, but here’s one that I don’t: fried rice.

Place

King and Queen Cantina

1490 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

I’m at King and Queen Cantina, the upscale casual restaurant that took over the Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro’s Little Italy location last year, after that spot briefly replaced Bracero Cocina before that. It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for Baja Med restaurants at the corner of Kettner and Beech, so finding an entirely different sort of Mexican fusion catches me off guard.

Granted, I had to look past a lot of tantalizing dishes to spot it. The first page of the menu offers a litany of tacos, burritos, asada fries, asada plates, and a couple of burgers. I don’t know what inspires anyone to flip the menu in the face of all that, but I do it, and immediately get lost in descriptions of ceviche tostadas and shareable fajita platters tossing out terms like saffron rice, garlic chipotle butter, and guajillo achiote vinaigrette.

Only then, tucked at the bottom of the back page, do I see a small section dubbed “Japamex at King and Queen.”

I’m not sure I want to call anything “Japamex” out loud, but I am attracted to that fried rice, and I believe with good reason. It combines spicy crab, egg, cream cheese, sesame seeds, and avocado. I’ve had a lot of those things on the same bagel before, but not mixed with radishes, carrots, scallions, and micro cilantro, and there certainly wasn’t any rice involved. This mixed up dish is also flavored with what the menu calls “Chingon sauce” and “Chingon black sauce" – chili and ponzu sauces.

Crab fried rice with the addition of avocado would be interesting enough on its own — kind of a spin on a California roll. But the smooth tang cream cheese somehow cinches it for me, acting as the glue between two culinary traditions that don’t traditionally use a lot of the spreadable American invention.

The $15 dish is gone way too fast, before I can even come to grips with the fact I’m using chopsticks in a Mexican restaurant.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Sergei Eisenstein: purveyor in Russian formalism

October: Ten Days that Shook the World and Alexander Nevsky
Next Article

The Nutcracker: old traditions, new names

Goodbye, California Ballet, hello, Golden State
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close