Ambrose Martin

Articles by Ambrose Martin

Christmas is never not coming

What did the Grinch hate about Christmas?

Somewhere well into the wee hours of a Christmas in the not-nearly-distant-enough past, as the adults in my family labored to finish with the wrapping of presents, the curling of ribbon, the printing of tags, ...

Shrimpquest 2018

City Tacos. Lolita's, Oscar's, Mariscos Alex, Blue Water

For pure evocative force, it’s hard to beat the Germanic. “Shrimp” — taken from schrimpfen, “to contract” — works well in this way: the thing is basically a shrunken lobster. But for culinary loveliness, it’s ...

Fancy beef joints serve fancy burgers

Cowboy Star, Morton's, Fleming's, MCormick & Schmick's, Lou & Mickey's

Last year’s visit to the bar at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for a burger confirmed my suspicion that fancy beef joints serve fancy beef, even when it’s ground. So this year I stuck with steakhouses. (I ...

A slice of Chicago

Lefty's, Regents, Chicago Bros., Berkeley, Chicago Pizza

You don’t “grab a slice,” you order it and then settle in. Check your phone. Read a novella. There is no getting around the time it takes until — as the Regents Pizzeria reheating instructions ...

Customers order two, four, six at a time

Think of a Tijuana-based version of In-N-Out.

Un Mundo An impressive lineup of hot sauces stands guard along the front window counter of Un Mundo, defending the cheerful interior from the curvy corporate brickwork and congested parking lot outside. The motto here ...

The sort of meat you’d expect to find at an upper-tier butcher shop

Tickled every part of my palate

When I’m having folks over for burgers, I like to buy the premade ground-chuck patties at Iowa Meat Farms ($4.99/lb). The pack and portion are perfectly consistent, the price is close to supermarket ground beef, ...

It’s not news, but it’s love

Critics have to eat even when they’re not critiquing

As a critic, you eat for your readers. It’s not enough to enjoy, say, a burger and tell folks, “It was yummy!” You have to judge the grind, the pack, the cooking, the seasoning, the ...

Old familiar ways

Forty years in, you start to feel it. Unless you’re a certain sort of hardy soul — I’m looking at you, Ed Bedford — the thought of finding a new place to eat is no ...

San Diego's Best Fried Chicken

The background photo on my brother’s iPod shows a plate of fried chicken and waffles from Roscoe’s up in Los Angeles. Before dining there, he had never enjoyed the two foods together, and he was ...

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