4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Naomi Wise

Naomi Wise (real name Joan Goodwin) spent her teens living in the Carnegie Hall Building and eating in Manhattan's ethnic restaurants. She waitressed her way through the University of Michigan, then returned to New York. Following a motorcycle-camping trip across the U.S., she and her then-husband moved to San Francisco, where she worked a civil service day-job while writing film criticism for every low-paying publication in the Bay Area, plus a stint as restaurant critic for Francis Coppola’s City Magazine.

Meanwhile, she traveled the Pan American Highway from SF to Tierra del Fuego in a '57 Chevy pickup; visited England, France, Italy, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and Thailand; and made numerous trips to New Orleans, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Hong Kong, collecting flavor-memories and scribbled recipes. She served as restaurant critic for the East Bay Express and the San Francisco Weekly. She wrote/cowrote four cookbooks, an unauthorized biography of Francis Ford Coppola (On the Edge: The Life and Times of Francis Coppola), and served as consulting editor on several cookbooks, travel, and gardening books. She relocated to San Diego In 2000 when the Reader made her an offer she couldn’t refuse — a salary.

Naomi passed away on December 15, 2011.

Articles by Naomi Wise

What restaurant staffs eat, Eleanor Widmer, how far San Diego's food comes

What Insiders Eat Restaurant staff gab and gobble. Travis Murphy, also a cook, planned the staff’s daily dinner. At Nine-Ten, he said, the hardest part of arranging the staff meal, also called the “family meal,” ...

October 18, 2020
What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

What Insiders Eat Travis Murphy, also a cook, planned the staff’s daily dinner. At Nine-Ten, he said, the hardest part of arranging the staff meal, also called the “family meal,” was “to find something to ...

July 4, 2020
More than one point of view on Thanksgiving

The ideal hipster Thanksgiving As I’ve pointed out before, no holiday lacks the potential for a hipster makeover. Thanksgiving is no exception. Not only is it nestled comfortably between epic Halloween costumes and ugly-Christmas-sweater parties, ...

November 26, 2019
The Last Supper

San Diego Reader food critic Naomi Wise (Joan Golomb Goodwin) 1945–2011 ★★★★★ (Superb) Ratings reflect the reviewers' affinity for the critic and reaction to food, ambience, and service. December 14, 2011 We all gathered around ...

January 11, 2012
Tale of Two Fishes

It’s been ten years since I last ate at Top of the Market. Back then, the menu was similar to the downstairs Fish Market (plus a few luxury bites), with higher prices for identical upstairs-downstairs ...

November 30, 2011
Harvest Fests at Your Ease

It’s no longer difficult to find a restaurant serving Thanksgiving dinner, in part because, in these hard times, it’s a good opportunity (like Valentine’s Day) for a restaurant to reap a little profit and possibly ...

November 16, 2011
Secret Love

“Once, I had a secret love/ That lived within the heart of me./ All too soon, my secret love/ Became impatient to be free.” So sang Doris Day in the Eisenhower-era film Calamity Jane. My ...

November 2, 2011
Neighborhood Restaurants

Café 21 began as a lunch joint in University Heights, moved to a larger location there, and has now accepted the dare of downtown. It’s the zesty creation of a young couple from Azerbaijan, a ...

October 19, 2011
Muted Magic at Alchemy

The menu of Alchemy has expanded considerably since I first ate there after its opening, and the restaurant has become a South Park neighborhood favorite. Of course, there’s not much else to eat in the ...

October 5, 2011
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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