Tin Fork

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 ...

The Whistlestop Cafe: a Mexican revelation

“People do become addicted to these meat pies.”

Heading south again. Blue Line. Chula Vista. Glaring sunny day. Have to transfer at H Street. I cross the tracks. This is when I notice a pop-up tent right between the northbound platform and the ...

Salad days: Souplantation or Cafe de l’Opera?

This is perfect hot weather food

‘Salad’s the way to flat-belly health,” says Hank. “And I know the perfect place to make that happen.” Half an hour later, we’re in line with a zillion other people, waiting to pick up our ...

The Protein Plate: under the shadow of mighty Mount Miguel

“The guy who started this is a body builder”

Okay. Still trying to get on that weight-loss bandwagon. “I have the perfect place,” says my friend Hank. He’s calling from Eastlake. “You’d better be sure,” I say. “Because this is going to be a ...

Red House Kitchen’s “Donax Don’t Tell” — a beautiful, scrumptious mess

Look at the pile of bread slices, a mound of ham, bacon, pastrami, a big over-easy egg, and a blanket of béchamel on top

My friend Hank and I are both desperately trying to lose weight. I can’t seem to break 210. That’s why I’m coming to meet Hank at this brekky/lunch place he told me about. It’s a ...