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Tiger! Tiger!

Usually, I hear those words and I think golf.

But I get off the Number Two tonight, and there it is, burning bright (heh heh, sorry, uh, William Blake, right?) across ECB. Tiger! Tiger!, the tavern (3025 El Cajon Boulevard, North Park, 619-487-0401).

I blame Mary Beth Abate and Ian Pike. They've both been in and written about it.

Me, I couldn't resist either. For starters, this place is pulsing. We’re talking around nine at night. Plus I like the little island of warm lights and timbers. And then Derek. He's a bouncer who actually makes you feel welcome. And then the long plank tables inside, with lots of old exposed beams everywhere. Kinda urban take on a loggers’ social hall. Samoa Cookhouse, Eureka. What's not to like?

Guy behind the bar, Morgan, the manager, helps me scan the board of two dozen craft brews. Gives me samples. Names I’ve never heard of. Beachwood Hop Ninja (“Sneaky hops – deadly kick”). Petrus Monk’s Café Sour Flanders Red (It tastes sorta like lemonade).

I end up with a pretty good Bear Republic Hot Rod Rye.

But what I like best is that Morgan’s interested, not a beer-pro snooty.

Same with the chef. Aaron La Monica. Right now he’s stoking the wood-fired brick oven.

“This is a scratch kitchen,” he says. “Beer-oriented, of course. Oysters go so well with beer. Specially, say, an Irish stout. That’s why we have lots of oysters on the menu. They’re from Carlsbad. We go for local and organic. That puts the price up. Not like France. There you have to pay extra not to be organic.”

They’ve got a mushroom lentil sandwich for $7, a pork bratwurst for $9, and, hey, an oyster po’ boy for $10. “Chicken-fried oysters, cabbage, remoulade, pickled chili, shaved red onion on a baguette with a side of pickles.”

That’s the one, and it goes down great. Squishy, tasty, creamy, and tangy with the pickled chili and pickles.

So no, not cheap, but healthy, pretty delish, and with people who want to talk beer all night long.

Met the owners, too. Way-cool dudes.

More in Tin Fork, soonest.

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M. E. May 9, 2012 @ 4:48 p.m.

You pay extra not to be organic in France? Please explain!


Ed Bedford May 17, 2012 @ 2:28 a.m.

jhutt: Good point. I'll need to get back to Aaron to see if he was just making the point that the French were more organo-conscious than us, or if he literally meant it. Stay tuned!


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