Big League Chef Prepares Dishes With Precision


Charred Spanish Octopus (GF) with White Beans, Spanish Chorizo, Saffron, Smoked Lobster Butter and Salsa Verde

Celebrating its 90th anniversary, La Valencia Hotel, also known as “The Pink Lady,” is a Mediterranean style oceanfront resort in beautiful La Jolla, California.

San Diego Food Finds La Valencia La Jolla

Kampachi with Yuzu Sorbet

Located inside this luxury hotel, The MED ocean view restaurant is home to big-league Executive Chef Alex Emery, who offers a dramatic dining experience and mans a kitchen that’s humming with precision in presentation and taste. 

San Diego Food Finds La Valencia

Foie Gras Torchon with Toasted Brioche, Seasonal Jam, Duck Prosciutto and Tender Greens 

In many ways, Emery’s journey is a classic tale of climbing the culinary ladder, learning something special at every stop and adding more and more creativity to his skill level. “When I was 16 years old I started as a dishwasher at the Coronado Cays Yacht club, then moved up as a prep cook,” he told me. “Later, I fell in love with the industry and decided to go to culinary school at the San Diego Culinary Institute.”

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Classic New Zealand Eatery Welcomes Diners Home

Lamb Skewers with Roasted Veggies, Cucumber Slices, Hummus, and Pita Bread

Queenstown Public House serves all natural, organic American fare with a New Zealand twist in a cozy and comfortable house-like setting, including the parlor room where you can watch sheep grazing on the ceiling.

Queenstown Public House

Fried Green Tomatoes with Feta, Frisee, Poached Egg and Balsamic Reduction

Although executive chef Sergio Haro Sr. studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) in Ensenada, Mexico, he says most of the important skills he learned were from his older brother, who is also his mentor.

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Bull & Grain Coming To Hillcrest

Bull and Grain

Courtesy Rendering

With an anticipated opening in early September 2016, Bull & Grain (previously occupied by Tabletop Commons) is slated to offer a new-American style menu complete with handcrafted fare paired with unique artisanal cocktails. Located in the community of Hillcrest at 1263 University Avenue in San Diego, guests can look forward to a modern industrialist atmosphere complete with a full-bar and an outdoor patio decorated with fire torches.

Look for updates on their Facebook page.

Multi-Sensory Wine Dinner Series At Loews

loew coronado

Loews Coronado Bay Resort has turned wine dinners on their head with its “Entwined” series. The third dinner is on Friday, August 19th at 7pm in conjunction with Antinori.

The evening will kick-off with a reception followed by a five-course multi-sensory wine dinner. With each course, the experience will change dramatically, from the music and choreographed lighting to the spectacular presentations and other unexpected surprises. Executive Chef Chris Aguirre and his culinary team will host live action stations and Eric Jenkins, Director of Food & Beverage, along with Alessia Botturi from Antinori will lead the dinner in a conversational atmosphere that will extend to the community style tables. As guests enjoy each delectable course, they will be taken through a carefully crafted experience designed to delight all of their senses and, of course, taste-buds.

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Bracero Cocina Snags Two Prestigious Awards

Bracero CocinaBracero Cocina de Raiz, a vibrant Mexican restaurant that combines tradition and forward-thinking culinary expression, located in one of San Diego’s prime downtown neighborhoods is the recipient of two prestigious awards that praise the restaurant’s popular wine program.

Bracero’s wine program includes an impressive selection of over 125 wines that represent the essences of California, Baja California and internationally. With a selection of over 60 wines from the flourishing Baja California region, wine lovers alike can indulge in the vivacious flavors of these these Mexican vineyards. Bracero Cocina de Raiz also offers patrons the widely-popular “Meet the Winemaker” dinners, happening once every month. Customers are able to enjoy an evening of mingling, small plates from Bracero’s authentic kitchen, and a specific wine variation from the selected vineyard, understanding the workings of the wine-making processes and aromas more in depth.

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It’s A Barkyard Beach Pawtay

Backyard Beach PartySummer in San Diego is conducive to days spent at the beach, and there is no better sandy companion than your pup! Add some excitement to your typical routine by heading over to Backyard Kitchen & Tap for a beach pawtay celebrating the dogs of the dog days of summer. Their upcoming Barkyard Beach Party is a perfect summer activity for the whole family- canines included.

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New Summer Olympics Cocktail At Loews Coronado

Loews CoronadoLoews Coronado is Paying Homage to the Global Games by Offering A “Melon Caipirinha” for Guests to Enjoy While Cheering on Their Favorite Team

Loews Coronado Bay Resort is raising Olympic fervor by inviting guests and locals alike to celebrate the Rio 2016 Olympics by serving up a distinctly crafted Caipirinha-inspired cocktail. Expert mixologist, Michael Olczak, developed the Melon Caipirinha by combining the fresh flavors of sugar, cachaça and lime for sport enthusiasts to enjoy while watching the global games from August 5-21.

“In the spirit of competition and with all eyes on Brazil, Loews Hotels is celebrating the Rio games with a twist on the host country’s Caipirinha that reflect the distinctiveness of our destinations,” says Mark Weiss, Senior Vice President of Food & Beverage at Loews Hotels. “We’re excited to offer guests a chance to toast their favorite teams and competitors.”

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About Town With Cool Comic-Con Cocktails


Check out these cool Summer cocktails during Comic-Con on July 21st-24th.

Searsucker San Diego

Located in the epicenter of downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, Searsucker downtown serves a playful menu of classic twists on New American cuisine and an array of moth-watering cocktails.  Just blocks from the San Diego Convention Center and offering a great patio on Fifth Avenue for superhero and zombie watching, Searsucker is transforming their entire cocktail menu from July 21 through 24 to pay tribute to some of Comic-Con’s greatest characters and blockbuster movies including DC Comic’s Suicide SquadGame of Thrones, The Simpsons, Iron Man and more.  The full Comic-Con cocktail menu can be found here

Name: Tai Me a River | Comic-Con Name: The

Rum Isn’t Always Gone

Name: Fizzy Lifter | Comic-Con Name: Jokes on Quinn

Name: Flower & Vince | Comic-Con Name: Ivy’s Sweet Relief

Name: Far South of the Border | Comic-Con Name: Fantastic Beasts + Where to Find Them

Name: Hearts on Fuego | Comic-Con Name: Mother of Dragons

Name: Buffalo Soldier | Comic-Con Name: Tony Stark

Name: Drunken Luchador | Comic-Con Name: Cloak and Cowl

Name: Fifth + Market | Comic-Con Name: I Said My Name Is Ajax

Name: French Squeezed | Comic-Con Name: Homer Sips On

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New Beer and Game Bar Opens In La Mesa

Coin HausSan Diego-based Cohn Restaurant Group, brings the region’s first self-serve beer and game bar to the downtown La Mesa neighborhood with the launch of COIN HAUS, a 2,400 square foot haven for the young-at-heart. Customers can enjoy more than 30 video game classics such as Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, and Frogger, as well as new releases like Game of Thrones and Ghostbusters pinball, all accessible using the same wristband key fob that allows guests to enjoy beer, wine, as well as Boochcraft Kombucha and Cold Brew Coffee pouring from the 50 self-serve taps. 

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New Westroot Tavern Hits Carmel Valley

Westroot TavernCarmel Valley’s eastern corridor sprung to life on May 23rd with long-anticipated WESTROOT tavern! In the heart of Pacific Highlands Ranch, this casual neighborhood gathering place features a thoughtfully designed dining room and bar that is serving up fresh, inspired plates crafted from land and sea in true Southern California style. Delivering an upscale tavern-like experience, with 30 beers on tap at two full bars and an impressive spot for nightlife, WESTROOT is staged to become a place for locals and visitors to plant their feet.

San Diego Food Finds

White Fish and Shrimp Ceviche

“We are excited to feed Pacific Highlands Ranch’s hunger for a neighborhood hotspot,” says local owner/operator Matt McBride.  The area has been calling for top-end cuisine in a California-modern way; WESTROOT has answered that call with scratch-made seasonal favorites that include the freshest, locally-sourced meats, seafood and produce.

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Keep On Shuckin’ For National Oyster Day

National Oyster Day

For those shuckers who enjoy the brinier things in life, rejoice – NATIONAL OYSTER DAY is quickly approaching on Friday, August 5th and these shelled delicacies are primed and ready for a slurp-a-lious celebration.


Oysters are traditionally seen as classy fare to be daintily slurped with pinkies up, in between sips of martinis. Stake Chophouse & Bar keeps this sophistication alive thanks to Executive Chef Tim Kolanko, who serves up a cultivated selection of fresh oysters from both the West and East Coast. For the most shuck for your buck, devour $1 oysters during brunch and happy hour, or have your hors d’oeuvre and cocktail in one gulp with their happy hour Oyster Shooter, which blends citrus vodka, Bloody Mary mix, and horseradish.

1309 Orange Ave.

* Single Oyster | $1 at brunch and happy hour * 

* Brunch every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m * 

* Happy hour Monday – Saturday 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. and all day Sunday *

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Breakfast Republic Hatches In Liberty Station

Breakfast Republic

Breakfast Republic has officially opened its doors to hungry morning birds landing in Liberty Station. Having just hatched on July 16th, this new location has added an impressive cocktail menu to its flock of chirp-worthy dishes. You’re familiar with their location in North Park, but you’re sure to find some surprises in décor and taste at Liberty Station. I would love to invite you to start your day on the right foot (or claw) and see why BR will make you want to put all your eggs in one basket.

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Buffalo Wings Recipe Is The Real Deal

Chicken WingsThere’s no arguing that the Buffalo Wing is the King of all of party foods. Why? Well, first of all they are easy to share. Second, their flavor is enhanced by swigs of beer. Lastly, they even have their own national holiday celebrating their sauciness!

With July 29th being National Chicken Wing Day, Pillbox Tavern’s Fuego Wing Recipe is sure to spice up the dog days of summer with a hot twist on the traditional wing flavor. This backyard BBQ favorite starts with Franks Buffalo Sauce and butter and then adds the must-have ingredients of cayenne, black pepper, Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes and serrano peppers.

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Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen Comes To Little Italy

Pacific Standard Coastal KitchenOffering Bay Views And A Coastal-Inspired Menu By Executive Chef Giselle Wellman 

Anchoring the northern end of San Diego’s flourishing Little Italy neighborhood, Pacific Standard – Coastal Kitchen is downtown’s newest harbor side eatery perched at the corner of Pacific Highway and Hawthorn Street. The restaurant comes to fruition though a collaboration between Southern California-based hotelier T2 and veteran restaurant developers, New School—who draw on Executive Chef Giselle Wellman’s expertise to curate a menu influenced by the surrounding Little Italy community. Located at 2137 Pacific Highway, the concept breathes new life into the site of one of the neighborhood’s most distinctive landmarks, an iconic art-deco restaurant complex, and offers picturesque bay views from its expansive 4,100 square-foot indoor/outdoor property.

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ArtWalk at Liberty Station

ArtWalk at Liberty StationArtWalk at Liberty Station Returns to San Diego, August 13-14

San Diego’s original fine art festival producers host 11th year at the Arts District at Liberty Station’s Ingram Plaza-

The 11th annual ArtWalk @ Liberty Station will be held Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14 in San Diego. It will be a weekend full of art, food, live entertainment and fun for residents and visitors of all ages. This yearly art festival is produced by the same team that brings Mission Federal ArtWalk to San Diego’s Little Italy each year in April.

“ArtWalk @ Liberty Station is a free weekend long event that creates a platform for artists to showcase their work. The festival brings together families, art lovers, collectors, residents, visitors and more to one of San Diego’s most loved arts and culture districts,” said Sandi Cottrell, ArtWalk San Diego’s managing director. “The beautiful park-like setting and rose garden at Liberty Station’s Ingram Plaza, provides a scenic backdrop for artists to showcase their work. We are looking forward to putting on another successful ArtWalk @ Liberty Station this year for our 11th year anniversary.”

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SoCal Food And Wine Festival

SoCal Food And Wine FestivalThe SoCal Food and Wine Festival will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm at Ramona Mainstage located at 626 Main Street, Ramona, CA  92065. The event features a variety of cuisine and wine pairings from ten top chefs and ten premium wineries in the Southern California area. The Ramona Mainstage indoor venue will also include live entertainment. The event will benefit Center for Community Solutions – a local San Diego organization whose mission is to end relationship and sexual violence by being a catalyst for caring communities and social justice.

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True Food Educational Dinner Series

True Food KitchenTrue Food Kitchen is kicking off its educational community dinner series with the first event taking place today at 6 p.m. Each dinner will take place in the restaurant’s beautiful private dining room and will provide diners an opportunity to interact with Executive Chef Nathan and experience a custom four-course menu reflecting a select theme using locally sourced ingredients.

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Ponsaty’s Restaurant Comes To Rancho Santa Fe


The Grand Restaurant Groupone of San Diego’s most distinctive dining groups, today announced Ponsaty’s, its latest restaurant venture, is set to open on July 28. Located in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Ponsaty’s will occupy the former Delicias Restaurant space and will combine elements of classical French and Spanish cuisine with an upscale, yet comfortable dining experience in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe. 

“Ponsaty’s will offer a dining experience for everyone—from a beautifully designed indoor dining room, to casual and comfortable outdoor dining areas perfect for families,” said Sandy DiCicco, Chief Executive Officer and Operating Partner, The Grand Restaurant Group. “We could not be more excited to open our doors this summer and bring Chef Patrick Ponsaty’s unforgettable cuisine to the Rancho Santa Fe community.”

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Celebrate the Science of Beer

The Science of BeerOn Saturday, July 23rd, SILO in Makers Quarter will transform into a liquid laboratory for a one-of-a-kind “SCIENCE OF BEER” festival fueled by beer ‘science’ activities with UC San Diego Extension’s Brewing Certificate Program, and beer tastings from nine of the city’s premier breweries. Local food trucks will be on-site providing amazing eats. Entertainment will include yard games such as life size beer pong and giant Jenga, along with live music on behalf of the event’s charity partner, the David’s Harp Foundation—a local 501(c)3 focused on empowering at-risk and homeless youth to achieve academic success through music education and multimedia production. 

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Clever Chef At Catania Hits All The Right Notes


Whole Roasted Branzino with Manila Clams, Spring Onion Pesto, Grilled Asparagus and Chili Bread Crumbs

The smell of wood-fired pizzas hits you as you walk in the door at Whisknladle Hospitality’s Catania, nestled on the top floor of the La Plaza center in La Jolla, California.

San Diego Food Finds Catania Restaurant

Ahi Tartare with Melon, Calabrian Chili, Yogurt, Shallot, Lemon, Sesame, Pistachio and Tarragon

Inspired by Whisknladle Hospitality Owner Arturo Kassel and Culinary Director/Partner Ryan Johnston after their two-week, 1,400-mile road trip through Italy, this innovative 3,750-square-foot restaurant, with an expansive patio and outdoor bar space, puts diners right near the ocean and within walking distance of shopping.

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Life is Beautiful Music and Art Festival


Shepard Fairey, Felipe Pantone, Etam Cru, Poetic Kinetics and Silent Room among the numerous global artists and installations gracing festival grounds

Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival announces an unprecedented 2016 art program with murals and installations carrying global influences. Dominating the festival art scene, Life is Beautiful will continue its legacy of showcasing iconic pieces that provide a memorable, interactive and inspiring experience for attendees, Sept. 23 – 25.

Returning for the fourth consecutive year, Charlotte Dutoit of JUSTKIDS has once again commissioned artists from around the world to make their mark at the Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival. Fans can expect newly-created, grandiose murals and installations to be added to the already existing ones that have remained from past Life is Beautiful festivals in Downtown Las Vegas.

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New Chef At Paisano’s Italian Restaurant


Pechanga Resort & Casino welcomes chef Andre Pinto to the top position at Paisano’s Italian Restaurant inside Pechanga Resort & Casino. Promoted from the position of kitchen supervisor for Kelsey’s restaurant, Chef Pinto, 32, showed Pechanga culinary management he possesses both the technical and creative passion for food required to be a head chef at California’s largest resort/casino. Before spending a year and one-half in the kitchen at the newly renovated Kelsey’s restaurant, Pinto spent 10 years working at two of the east coast’s top restaurants.

Originally from Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, Andre Pinto recalls helping his mother in the kitchen at home often when he was a teenager. “The other kids would be out playing soccer, and I love soccer, but I wanted to help my mom make cold feijoada (Brazilian black bean stew) and see how it came together,” says Pinto. He also tried his hand at making cakes.

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New Chef at Bo Beau Kitchen and Garden

Bo Beau Kitchen and GardenLong before earning Bon Appetit’s coveted nomination for 2013 ‘Top 50 Best New Restaurants in America’ for his widely acclaimed former restaurant BoroughChef Tyler Shipton was a born & bred fifth generation farmer from a small town in southeastern Minnesota. The aspiring toque grew up with a keen understanding of sustainability and the importance of organic ingredients – a groundwork that would lay the foundation for his forthcoming career in culinary.

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Summer Sippers are light and refreshing

Summer SippersNothing screams the dog days of summer more than soaking up the sun while sipping on light and refreshing cocktails. From fruit-infused liquor to exotic berries and floral garnishes, we’ve rounded up the 10 best summer sippers that are sure to have you wishing it was this sunny all year long!

Only steps from the beach, Sandbar Sports Bar & Grill lets you cool off with their own imaginative margarita take. The Mission Beach Melon Margarita is a tantalizing tropical option that’s made with Herradura Reposado Double Barrel, fresh watermelon and cucumber, Licor 43 vanilla liqueur, Cointreau Noir, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and a pinch of salt.

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Wine and Roses Charity Wine Tasting Event

Wine & Roses Charity Wine Tasting Event Returns, Sunday, September 18, at the Darlington House in La Jolla

Wine and Roses

San Diego’s longest-running charity wine event in San Diego raising funds for a children’s summer camp-

The 33rd annual Wine & Roses Charity Wine Tasting event will be held at the Darlington House in La Jolla on Sunday, September 18, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Social Service Auxiliary of San Diego has recreated this yearly fundraising event for its return in 2016—making it an exclusive event—catered by a premier local caterer and featuring premium wines from all over California.   Attendees can expect a more intimate atmosphere this year with tray-passed small bites while tasting excellent wines, all while enjoying soft tunes from a grand piano in the living room.  The most important detail of the event still remains the same—helping the at-risk children of San Diego attend Camp Oliver, a youth summer camp non-profit organization in Descanso, CA. All proceeds from the Wine & Roses event benefit Camp Oliver.

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