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Seafood cravings once again met, south of 8

Little Italy joins Tijuana in the growing Supernatural family

Fried calamari steak sandwich with sweet and tangy gochujang chili sauce
Fried calamari steak sandwich with sweet and tangy gochujang chili sauce

Last weekend brought good tidings for fans of saucy seafood sandwiches in the downtown area, namely me: Supernatural Sandwiches held its grand opening in Little Italy.

Place

Supernatural Sandwiches Little italy

2155 Kettner Blvd, San Diego

When I first got hooked on Supernatural, it was a pop up caterer I could reliably find at Hillcrest Farmers Market and the woefully short-lived San Diego Public Market. After that closed, it opened a shop in Miramar, not too far to travel for a serious craving, but only truly convenient to marines and beer writers.

A mural at newly opened Supernatural Sandwiches in Little Italy

I’ve been hoping the place would come back south of the 8 freeway, watching it expand instead to Pacific Beach (too out of the way) and Orange County (way too out of the way). It even opened a Tijuana location (too surrounded by tacos). But with the new Kettner shop, there’s finally a shop close enough to satisfy any sudden urges for a spicy lobster grilled cheese.

The new storefront is all west-facing windows, with a shade to pull down when there’s glare, and a sidewalk patio to enjoy when there’s not. However, the dining room and bar are set up to resemble an underwater scene. Murals wrapping around interior walls depict a shipwreck surrounded by sea life, including a sea turtle and mermaid, while wood beams overhead form a joint, echoing the bow of a ship.

Underwater references abound, including boat hull shaped rafters

Most of the familiar sandwiches show up on the menu, plus a pair of new, location-specific options. The first is Kaiju, an alternate take on Supernatural’s $22 Cthulhu lobster roll, this one described as “Cantonese style,” featuring ginger, scallions, and jalapeños. I went for the $12 Jaeger, a fried calamari steak sandwich, dressed with apple slaw and doused in a sweet and sour style sauce based on Korea’s sweet chili paste, gochujang.

If you’re thinking, that’s a unique sounding sandwich, you’re not alone. Fans of calamari should bite for a tender take on that distinctive calamari chew, and a crispy fried batter and sauce combo I can’t help liken to a spicy orange chicken. Fret not if you don’t dig calamari — and I know you’re out there — everything else on the menu is a go.

Blackened tombo served over garlic fried rice, drizzled with avocado ponzu sauce

Even if you don’t eat sandwiches, it turns out. All of the sandwiches are available served with rice and salad, instead of the usual, brioche style buns. I decided to give this a shot with the fish of the day, which happened to be tombo (albacore tuna). On the menu, the Hydra blackened fish sandwich ($11) is topped with lettuce and tomatoes, and dressed with avocado ponzu and a three chili aioli. When I ordered it as a rice plate (plus $1 to make it garlic fried rice), the fish came served over the rice, and dressed with the avo ponzu. Beside it, a salad of lettuce and tomatoes was dressed with the chili aioli.

Not as cohesively rich and saucy as the sandwich, but a fine deconstruction when anchored by the garlic rice. I almost liked the rice plate better. That’s almost. Supernatural remains my favorite local sandwich shop.

A west facing storefront in Little Italy
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Fried calamari steak sandwich with sweet and tangy gochujang chili sauce
Fried calamari steak sandwich with sweet and tangy gochujang chili sauce

Last weekend brought good tidings for fans of saucy seafood sandwiches in the downtown area, namely me: Supernatural Sandwiches held its grand opening in Little Italy.

Place

Supernatural Sandwiches Little italy

2155 Kettner Blvd, San Diego

When I first got hooked on Supernatural, it was a pop up caterer I could reliably find at Hillcrest Farmers Market and the woefully short-lived San Diego Public Market. After that closed, it opened a shop in Miramar, not too far to travel for a serious craving, but only truly convenient to marines and beer writers.

A mural at newly opened Supernatural Sandwiches in Little Italy

I’ve been hoping the place would come back south of the 8 freeway, watching it expand instead to Pacific Beach (too out of the way) and Orange County (way too out of the way). It even opened a Tijuana location (too surrounded by tacos). But with the new Kettner shop, there’s finally a shop close enough to satisfy any sudden urges for a spicy lobster grilled cheese.

The new storefront is all west-facing windows, with a shade to pull down when there’s glare, and a sidewalk patio to enjoy when there’s not. However, the dining room and bar are set up to resemble an underwater scene. Murals wrapping around interior walls depict a shipwreck surrounded by sea life, including a sea turtle and mermaid, while wood beams overhead form a joint, echoing the bow of a ship.

Underwater references abound, including boat hull shaped rafters

Most of the familiar sandwiches show up on the menu, plus a pair of new, location-specific options. The first is Kaiju, an alternate take on Supernatural’s $22 Cthulhu lobster roll, this one described as “Cantonese style,” featuring ginger, scallions, and jalapeños. I went for the $12 Jaeger, a fried calamari steak sandwich, dressed with apple slaw and doused in a sweet and sour style sauce based on Korea’s sweet chili paste, gochujang.

If you’re thinking, that’s a unique sounding sandwich, you’re not alone. Fans of calamari should bite for a tender take on that distinctive calamari chew, and a crispy fried batter and sauce combo I can’t help liken to a spicy orange chicken. Fret not if you don’t dig calamari — and I know you’re out there — everything else on the menu is a go.

Blackened tombo served over garlic fried rice, drizzled with avocado ponzu sauce

Even if you don’t eat sandwiches, it turns out. All of the sandwiches are available served with rice and salad, instead of the usual, brioche style buns. I decided to give this a shot with the fish of the day, which happened to be tombo (albacore tuna). On the menu, the Hydra blackened fish sandwich ($11) is topped with lettuce and tomatoes, and dressed with avocado ponzu and a three chili aioli. When I ordered it as a rice plate (plus $1 to make it garlic fried rice), the fish came served over the rice, and dressed with the avo ponzu. Beside it, a salad of lettuce and tomatoes was dressed with the chili aioli.

Not as cohesively rich and saucy as the sandwich, but a fine deconstruction when anchored by the garlic rice. I almost liked the rice plate better. That’s almost. Supernatural remains my favorite local sandwich shop.

A west facing storefront in Little Italy
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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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