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Stories by Ian Anderson

Jolla Shark moves across I-5 from Logan

View of Chicano Park murals

Food trucks offering fish tacos and ceviche usually go by the name Mariscos something or other, but a recent addition to Logan Heights goes by a more distinctive name: Jolla Shark. Until recently, Jolla Shark ...

Back to the brewpub life

A good hard day of making beer beats your desk job

Fifteen years ago, recent college grad Ignacio Cervantes moved to San Diego for what was supposed to be a six-month adventure living rent-free near the beach at a friend’s place around Del Mar. He didn’t ...

This is not my beautiful pasta

A new restaurant, an old favorite, and overcoming expectations

When I heard late last year that local hospitality group Whisknladle had sold its Prep Kitchen brand to a Las Vegas hospitality group, my gut response was, “What will happen to the Bolognese?” That would ...

Local house of pancakes

Because you don't get out of bed for a burger

History will only fitfully remember 2018 as the year national pancake chain IHOP changed a P to a B rebrand itself IHOB (International House of Burgers), then quickly bowed to public backlash and restored the ...

The Reader's 2018 burger issue

The most complicated of sandwiches The Friendly, Born and Raised, Balboa Bar, Viewpoint, Mishmash, Currant, Bleu Boheme By Mary Beth Abate We’re burger rich, y’all Craft House, Gourmet Sandwiches, Salud, Ty's, Bunz, Hamilton's. Chinatown Bar ...

We’re burger rich, y’all

Craft House, Gourmet Sandwiches, Salud, Ty's, Bunz, Hamilton's. Chinatown Bar & Grill

Having explored the county’s top burger spots over the past few years, I’m ready to draw two definitive conclusions. First: if the menu says a burger comes with the ‘house’ or ‘secret’ sauce, it’s always ...

Chinese food with Vietnamese subtitles

Super long menu covers at least three national influences

What do you order when there are 219 items on the menu? I should probably just ask the room. It’s the Monday lunch rush at Minh Ky Restaurant, a small Chinese joint in City Heights, ...

Why everybody's talkin bout tacos

A shiny new place for taco fiends and vegans

Even in this city, it’s rare for a taco shop to emerge as a city’s must-visit dining destination. Still only weeks removed from its first day in East Village, counter restaurant Lola 55 has proven ...

Local selling local

At least one supermarket chain banks on San Diego beer

On a Wednesday afternoon in August, managers overseeing the seven locations of local chain, Baron’s Market, sat around a long conference table at the grocer’s headquarters, drinking with representatives of Abnormal Beer Co. The office ...

Oak Park special

A good sandwich from a good place

I was just looking for a quick lunch on Labor Day, and found myself standing in a neighborhood market in Oak Park, the mostly residential neighborhood off highway 94 next to Chollas Creek. In the ...

Meatball sliders, hold the meat

New menu items and a bottle of soda

Nearly six years ago, I paid my first visit to the original, Adams Avenue, location of meatball-centric eatery, Soda & Swine. I ordered a couple of meatball sliders, with sides of brussels sprouts and mac’n’cheese. ...

A cider slushie oasis

Creativity has become the norm in Scripps Ranch

High heat and heavy traffic. That’s what I faced, as a detour led me through Scripps Ranch. Then, with fateful timing, the Newtopia Cyder tasting room appeared before me like a boozy oasis, and I ...

Getting to know rockfish

A class for foodies makes local seafood more approachable

I finally learned how to filet a fish. At least, I was taught. I eat seafood often, but I’m not in the habit of preparing it at home. I get uncomfortable handling it, as though ...

Vegans eat breakfast too

An eggless breakfast is one thing, but an eggless quiche?

The best part of a cinnamon roll is the gooey center portion, shielded just enough by the outer rolls that it doesn’t quite bake through, so instead of crusting up, it remains entirely soft and ...

Burger issue issues

Diet-friendly, but too good to be truly good

The Reader’s annual burger issue will soon be here, and we food writers have been hard at work, taking on the grueling task of eating many of the county’s best. Somebody’s gotta do it, right? ...

Underdressed at the donut shop

Nomad stakes out a fancy presence downtown

Whether its original location on 30th Street, or its larger, newer spot on University, North Park donut purveyor Nomad Donuts has not been one to fuss over design elements. When the latter took over what ...

Pigs make a smooth landing in downtown Vista

Music festival tickets motivated restaurant founders

The Ginos thought they were saving money on tickets into a music festival, but it turns out they were opening a tasty BBQ restaurant in Vista Village. Granted, the entire process took over a decade. ...

What's new in bottles and cans

A Sore Eye Cup winner, and other beers for your fridge

A good beer is never hard to find in San Diego, but recent developments have made it easier to stock your fridge with a few of the city’s most highly sought brews. Burgeoning year-round cans ...

Not exactly nature’s bowl

Does a pineapple expression add to the dish?

Ten years ago this summer, the stoner comedy Pineapple Express had a surprisingly profitable box office run. I’m guessing everyone who went to see it wound up working in the food and beverage industry, because ...

Pizza crust doesn't get any thinner

And this pie named after a movie villain is killer

Catching up for a quick lunch with a friend, I found myself back at the Little Italy Food Hall, scanning its several restaurant counters for something we can agree on. As often happens in such ...

It's not just for homebrewers

Bear Roots brings good taste to Vista Village

When I go to Vista, it usually has something to do with beer. Seventeen brewhouses call the hourglass shaped North County city home, offering at least that many reasons to visit. However, twelve of them ...

Take a seat at the big table

Bites and wine pairings in Oceanside

There’s an actual table at the center of Oceanside eatery, The Miller’s Table. It’s a large, stoutly constructed wood high top, about 6'x6', topped with plants, candles, and eclectic décor. The community table is not ...

What happens when you're too late for sesame

Big City does the boiling before baking

Devoted fans of the Hillcrest bagelry Big City Bagel Cafe had to go about two months without this spring as a fire forced the 24-year-old breakfast and lunch spot to close temporarily. I don’t know ...

Cheap eats before a pricey flick

Meze Greek Fusion at Liberty Station

The LOT theater at Liberty Station offers a posh moviegoing experience: you sit in cushy, reclining seats, each furnished with a swing out tray so you can eat and drink while you watch. There’s even ...

This week keeps on rolling

A North Park rolled taco specialist with family roots

It seems like just yesterday I was writing about a new hand roll-only sushi bar, and finding a way to compare its seaweed wrapped fish and vegetables to tacos. But here I am, today, stumbling ...

That’s what I’m temaking about

Sushi hand roll bar prevails by keeping it simple

The next sushi trend to conquer America could be something way simpler than we’re used to: the dedicated hand roll bar. To many, the sushi means sushi rolls, a.k.a. maki, wherein fish, rice, and sheets ...

Good Fridays on Third Ave.

Beer and food trucks make a beautiful sight

It’s Friday night on Third Avenue in Chula Vista, and it’s no easy decision where I’m going to drink beer. Looking south from E Street, I see lots of activity, evidenced by a squadron of ...

Why did the cheesesteak guy cross the road?

A neighborly collaboration emerges in Golden Hill

On the block of 28th Street where South Park becomes Golden Hill, the small diner Giorgino’s has made a name for itself over the years for all things Philadelphia: cheesesteaks, pork rolls, Tasty Kakes, and ...

A sub sandwich joint

Where college kids with the munchies eat

If I didn’t already know the word cheba is slang for marijuana, I figured it out soon after walking through Cheba Hut’s door. It might have been the colorful mural of a surfer smoking a ...

Reader 2018 Feast issue

Writers and their favotrites

When dinner is a gift El Jardin, Cowboy Star, Coasterra, Born & Raised, Charles + Dinorah, Nine-Ten, Juniper & Ivy By Mary Beth Abate I burst with hometown pride George's, Himitsu, Kokoro, Starlite, Gelato Vero ...

A bear who cooks cows

Cow by Bear, Herb & Wood, Dija Mara, Little Lion, Riviera Supper Club, Addison, Extraordinary Desserts

There are many places I might enjoy a nice night out, and only one of them provides its most crucial component: good company. Which could be anybody. Probably the nicest night out I’ve had this ...

How to eat and pronounce Uyghur

Lunch served with a geography lesson

It’s an old joke by now, something along the lines of: "going to war is how Americans learn geography." I’ve laughed about it myself, but I’ve been able pick out Kuwait and Vietnam on a ...

New again after 70 years

El Carrito's return to Barrio Logan

A fixture in Barrio Logan for more than 70 years, the tiny restaurant known as El Carrito sits inside a retired trolley car, a relic of nascent San Diego’s cable car era. After a stint ...

Do you like lamb?

Texas smoked BBQ shank begs the question

“What can you tell me about the lamb shank?” I ask. “Well, do you like lamb?” comes the answer. At first, it sounds like a silly question. Actually, a non-answer to my question. But it’s ...

A cool patio on a hot day

Parkside property in East Village gets Amplified

When two-headed business Halcyon Coffee and Stella Public House launched in a new East Village construction in 2014, it created one of the best outdoor drinking spaces in all of downtown. Its perch overlooking Fault ...

Does your momma's birria taste like this?

The sizzling hot cow platter is just a bonus

When the server placed it on my table, she warned me the platter would be sizzling hot. I appreciated that. And also the fact it was shaped like a cow. It’s place called Not Your ...

Oh good, more Italian!

Unexpected hospitality experience in Nolita

Attempts to make food halls viable in San Diego have come and gone over the past five years, and when I heard about Nolita Hall opening recently at the north end of Little Italy, I ...

Drink 'em while we've got 'em

A pair of beloved local breweries to sell last beers this summer

Every time the San Diego brewery count starts to creep toward the 160 mark, word breaks that another local brewery or two are closing. Sure enough, even as a handful of new beer companies have ...

Cold cuts to remember

Put down the sub and dive into this banh mi

A new sandwich shop has opened in Point Loma, right beside Bookstar, that book store doing business in a 1930s Art Deco theater. This sandwich shop is notable for crusty rolls (sourced from a local ...

How they drink beer on the other side of the county

An overdue visit to Legacy Brewing Co.

It’s my first time passing through the doors of Legacy Brewing Co., and I’m not sure what to expect. The place has been here five years this fall, but. I count about forty miles and ...

Stop eating poke bowls

Choose donburi instead, at the new Little Italy Food Hall

After years of construction, Little Italy’s pedestrian-friendly Piazza Della Famiglia has opened, and the ten-thousand square foot, Euro-styled plaza has proven an ideal venue for the neighborhood’s Saturday farmers market. When I showed up on ...

Local spirits rise from the ashes

Nine months after a fire, San Diego Distillery returns bigger and better

Back in September 2017, San Diego Distillery was poised to grow out of its small warehouse space in Spring Valley. The craft spirit maker’s “beer whiskey” approach — distilling craft beer into barrel-aged grain liquors ...

This gelato shop won't clean your clothes

But this summer a great time to love ice cream in San Diego

“Confused?” asks the web site for An’s Dry Cleaning. A fair question, considering An’s is an ice cream shop. Better than that, it’s a small batch gelato and sorbet shop, devoted to local sourcing, freshness, ...

Blimey, that's my local!

There's a different beer scene next door

For those of us in South Park, a visit to our friendly neighborhood brewery means a short walk to South Park Brewing Company. It’s not always a no-brainer. Owner Scot Blair opened the brewery right ...

What's inside this burrito?

It may be chilaquiles, bacon & cream cheese, or chicken & waffles

On the opposite shore of the Sea of Cortez from Baja California, due south of Arizona, sits the Mexican state of Sonora. Despite our relative proximity, San Diego doesn’t see a lot restaurant dishes attributed ...

Buck It All, Unchartered Watermelons, Bolt Fan Blues, Devilish Grin

I know you don't have an hour to read about mead

If I tried to tell you everything going down at Miralani Makers’ District, reading this article would take an hour. Let this suffice: in a pair of neighboring Miramar business parks, nine individual beer and ...

These noods are for nubes

Tourists aren't coming back, so why bother to impress?

In military parlance, West Pac refers to the western Pacific, which may include Hawaii, Japan, and much of southeast Asia. As a military brat, I grew up familiar with the term, and ultimately spent time ...

A-frame over an open flame

The oldest salmon cooking technique proves best

Though the cooking technique dates back countless centuries to natives of the Pacific Northwest, here in latter day America, cedar plank salmon has largely become the provenance of upscale dining venues. But don’t tell that ...

Morning beers flow in Terminal 2

The only measure of time that matters is how long before your flight boards

In all the tasting rooms, representing all the breweries, within the entire county of San Diego, there’s only one requiring that even local residents buy an airplane ticket to get there: Stone Brewing in Terminal ...

Campy names for serious beers

The pride of Hillcrest Brewing is a scotch ale

It’s noon on a warm Sunday, and I’ve just come from pinching produce at the Hillcrest Farmers Market to quench my thirst a flight at Hillcrest Brewing Company. It’s a journey of about twelve feet. ...

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