Tin Fork

The hidden food of Barona

Feisty Kate's, Ho Wan Noodle Shop, Barona Oaks Steakhouse

‘The long and winding road,” sing the Beatles on this bus’s sound system. And, boy, have they nailed it. I look out the bus window and see rocks, bluffs, isolated houses with dusty trucks in ...

You want more chicken

Carlsbad Mexican broilers — yum

Three armed guys come through the door. They’re all chunky hardbodies, wearing what look like bulletproof vests. Written across their backs, one word: PROBATION. They head for the counter. Maria, Rosana, and Carmen face them ...

Pick and poke at a delicious yellowtail head

“And the eyes. The fatty deposits at the back of the sockets are delicious. Use your chopsticks.”

"Eight bucks,” says my friend Jim. “For a fish’s head?” I ask. “You’d be surprised how much meat’s on it.” He tells me about sitting next to a Kenyan couple in Saiko, the sushi place ...

Comfort food was never so needed

Thank God for Franco's large menu. It becomes my shield.

It’s Carla. She’s been ailing. Today, down here in Bonita, in a hospice, her suffering melted away. It was indescribably beautiful. Me, family, nurses, had been in close, talking with her, looking for even nods ...

Unlimited toppings for $10!

Aspirations for that 30-story East Village tower

"J ó étvágyat!” says Zorka. It means “Bon appetit,” in Hungarian, she says. She’s from Budapest. We’re sitting in this brand-new, two-week-old pizza-and-salad joint, in East Village. Man, I’ve been waiting for this place to ...

South Park corner store morphs into Paris bistro

A cafe is born

We haven’t quite got things ready,” says Jordan. “We’re working on a small-plates menu and a wine-by-the-glass menu, but we’re not quite there.” Don’t rush it, I say. Because this is big. We’re here at ...

Little Italy's exotic happy hour

Morning suit and top hat in Mexican cantina

"Buona sera, signore,” I say. “Buona sera, buona sera,” says Nick Pecoraro from his gold-encrusted porch. I’ve stopped by to pay my respects to Little Italy’s unofficial ambassador. This is the time of night when ...

One-man band in East Village

"He makes the dough, adds everything, puts it in the oven."

I’m on the Orange Line. Where I get out at Park and Market in the East Village, a whole gang of kids is sitting on the railings goofing off, hanging out, clacking skateboards. And behind ...

Cháo, one of the great porridges of the world

Slurp it like an emperor

There ain’t nothin’ in this whole wide world as comforting and warming and tastebud-caressing as Asian porridge. Known as jok in Thailand, baw baw in Cambodia, cháo in Vietnam. At this very moment, I’m chowing ...

Crowded launch at West Pac

What do you expect from Navy town?

"WE APOLOGIZE. This is our first day of business and we are SOLD OUT for lunch food at this time.” Bummer. The sign’s on the front door of the brand-new West Pac Noodle Bar. People ...

Carla’s country, oozy Benedict at Clayton’s

A non-Hollandaise sauce on Christmas

"Benedict?” says Carla. “Actually, the name’s Ed.” “I know, you... But I have this insane desire for Benedict. Oh darling, please. For moi?” I know what she’s talking about. Eggs Benedict. She’s officially addicted. Especially ...

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