Tin Fork

Try a Burek for breakfast at Balboa Perk European Coffeehouse

“We Serbians live by another clock.”

What is the difference? I’m sitting here trying to figure it out. Across Park Boulevard, there are two cafes, both smart, cool, new, and library-quiet, except for the piped music. Everyone in the modern building ...

Mr. Peabody’s: I love this bar

“Please: No Assholes. No Hookers. No Tweekers.”

Mr. Peabody’s gets right to the point. “Please: No Assholes. No Hookers. No Tweekers.” It’s on signs behind the bar. It’s on the backs of tee shirts the bar crew wear. But up here in ...

Birria and bone marrow in deepest San Ysidro

This never-forgotten taste

‘Suck the marrow, drink the beans,” says the guy coming out. “And watch out: the birria squirts.” I’ve just walked the half mile down from the Beyer Blue Line trolley stop. Deepest San Ysidro. I ...

Art history, Korean beef at The Prado

“San Diego’s greatest sculptor, yet people like you don’t even know him.”

Little things mean a lot: the first little thing that makes me like this place is the, well, amuse-bouche. Wedges of crisp flatbread stacked vertically like surfboards. They have sesame and other seeds baked on ...

The Hole In The Wall: Karaoke and tons of avocado cool it down

“We’ve made about 130 burgers already tonight.”

Flaco plays the flames like a conductor. He thrusts his hands into them and flips half a dozen patties in short order. Smoke bulges up like a Nevada test cloud. “Sundays are always crazy,” he ...

A jolly holiday at Mary’s Family Restaurant

Then, crazily, I ask for a chicken basket as well

It’s Sunday morning. I’m in this mom and pop diner in downtown Oceanside. My friend Mary told me about it. Said it had won the prize — okay, in 2004 — for best cinnamon bun ...

Cafe La Maze: star stopover for Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich, Errol Flynn

Starpower is one thing. Steakpower is another.

So this young couple slipped into the dimpled red booth. “They sat apart. They were shy,” says Tula. But this is Cafe La Maze. Big portraits of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard and a bunch ...

Blue Jay Lodge: right out of Davy Crockett!

“Here’s the thing about this food. It’s not Cordon-anything, but it is delicious.”

These places! They all look right out of Davy Crockett! Where we’re heading is this 1919 lodge 6000 feet up on Mount Laguna, 100 years old this year, actually serving nosh and hauling grog up ...

Happy hour at The Henry

“Fact is, right now, it’s it and that’s that.”

I swear. You blink in Coronado, and something has changed. This time it’s the musical chairs of bars. Suddenly, as of this month, the brand-new and lavishly-built The Henry is open, beaming out lights, with ...

Sab-E-Lee: Isaan expression for “Delicious and Spicy.”

I practically broke down too, in tears. So-oo deelish.

‘What is the one dish you would take to a desert island if you had to eat it for the rest of your life?” Interviewers are always throwing this out at celebrity chefs. Tonight, what ...

Chinatown Bar & Grill: “We don’t do Chinese”

Chinatown Burger anyone?

I’m up near Euclid, on University. Looking round, choosing the place that’s gonna fill my belly. Ethiopian? Cambodian? Mexican? Chinese? I swear. This underrated neighborhood has just about any food you could ask for. At ...

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