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“The Lady Is a Tramp” plays on the sound system.

That forties-style Sinatra song somehow fits this little piece of Tuscany.

Sitting in the one sunny spot on Fifth Avenue.


We’re outside Toscana Café & Wine Bar (238 5th Avenue, Gaslamp at K, 619-231-5788) at marble tables with orange-cushioned chairs beside geraniums that glow electric green and red in this last blast of golden light from Huey hisself.

This is around 5.45pm. Final fifteen minutes of sun, last fifteen minutes of happy hour (it’s every day 3:00-6:00 p.m.). Irina the welcomer...


...got me hooked when she mention they have 14-ounce Stone Arrogant Bastard drafts for $4 in HH.

And also mentioned a half-price ($6) plate of “Toscana Sausage Plate…Slices of grilled Italian sausage and chicken apple wood sausage served on a bed of baby arugula tossed with olive oil and lemon.”

Actually the salad’s sauced up with a sweetish basil vinaigrette. And the sausages look like skinned cat tails, but actually they’re herby, light, vertically-sliced curled sausages.


Tim the server brings my sausage plate

The combo of herby sausage and sweet arugula is totally delicious, specially with this beer.



One thing missing: bread to sop up the vinaigrette and leaven the herby, salty, sweet-sharp tastes.

Not a problem. When I ask, Tim brings me three toasted crostini with dark sweet balsamic vinegar squirted over them. No charge.

But it’s when the horizontal sun suddenly floods in and warms our little corner of K and Fifth that you tell yourself Yes! Time, place, drink, food, price, you’ve hit it right for once.

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