Fantastic Easter Eats in San Diego

Fantastic Easter Eats in San DiegoMore than just coffee, cantaloupe, and bottomless mimosas, brunch has become a true contender for the most important meal of the day. With the holy grail of all brunching holidays just a hop, skip and a jump away, it’s time to don your Sunday’s best and celebrate the great Easter Brunch tradition in all its glory. Whether you’re looking to celebrate Easter with the family or splurge on the most sumptuous brunch of the year, check out the city’s best offerings for Fantastic Easter Eats in San Diego

NEW! OCEANA COASTAL KITCHEN | Pacific Beach: Executive Chef Steven Rimer debuts Oceana Coastal Kitchen’s new weekly Sunday Champagne Brunch this coming Eater.  Located at The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, Pacific Beach’s newest bayside hideaway will now offer a brunch complete with all of San Diego’s best assets — alfresco dining and panoramic views of the bay, topped off by one of the city’s best new brunches! If the view isn’t enough to remind us why we love America’s finest city, then the mouthwatering dishes will. Oceana’s Sunday Brunch will include a variety of elegantly displayed food stations including a cold bar and sushi buffet, fruits and grains, fresh salads and decadent desserts. For the main course, guests have the option to choose from one of eight prepared plates that include options such as a Belgian-style Waffle topped with Grand Mariner, strawberries and whipped cream, a pepper & rosemary crusted prime rib, roast filet of salmon, or asparagus quiche to name a few. Kids can also partake in The Catamaran’s big Easter egg hunt taking place along Mission Bay. 

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New Specials at Park Hyatt Aviara

New Specials at Park Hyatt AviaraNew food and drink specials at Park Hyatt Aviara

The resort is celebrating a number of “Fives” in 2015 – its 5th Anniversary, a new Five-Star rating from the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide, and another Five Diamond rating from AAA. To mark the occasion, Aviara is launching a special “Five at Five” happy hour at Lobby Lounge and five-course tasting menu at Vivace, both celebrating the best of Aviara’s award-winning dining.

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Unparalleled Cusp Dining and Drinks

Unparalleled Cusp Dining and Drinks
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Cusp has the ambiance of a unique seaside dining experience, complete with weathered hardwood floors, petrified wood candle niches enclosed by smoked glass, and wood sculptures that evoke visions of driftwood along the shore. With an unparalleled city and ocean view from the eleventh floor of the Hotel La Jolla, the entire restaurant is laid out in front of gorgeous picture windows infusing sunlight throughout.

Read more about Executive Chef Donald Lockhart and get his recipe for Stuffed English Cucumber with Toasted Quinoa & Tzatziki in the ‘San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City.

Unparalleled Cusp Dining and Drinks
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Unparalleled Cusp Dining and Drinks
(photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Unparalleled Cusp Dining and Drinks
(photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)
Unparalleled Cusp Dining and Drinks
(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Cusp Dining & Drinks Hotel La Jolla, 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive La Jolla, CA 92037,(858) 551-3620;

Cusp on Urbanspoon

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Treat Mom in Bankers Hill


Bankers Hill
The Wiener Schnitzel is one of my favorites served with Two ‘Up’ Eggs, Béarnaise Sauce, Savoy Spinach and Asparagus (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant, located at 2202 4th Ave., will offer moms specialty ‘momosas’ during the recently-introduced brunch and an array of seasonal menu items for dinner to celebrate Mother’s Day exclusively on Sunday, May 10.

Mothers may take advantage of specialty ‘momosas,’ a spin on the classic champagne and orange juice cocktail, during BANKERS’ new brunch from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Prepared by Executive Chef Carl Schroeder and Chef de Cuisine Ted Smith, the brunch menu features an array of savory breakfast favorites, soups and salads, small plates and select lunch items.

Christian Siglin, Eater San Diego’s 2014 “Bartender of the Year,” also offers additional morning drinks such as a BANKERS’ Bloody Mary, a Grapefruit Collins, and the Oh Sherry, made with hibiscus-infused Fino sherry, lemon, cane syrup, black walnut bitters, and garnished with a purple orchid; among others.

BANKERS will serve Mother’s Day dinner from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. featuring a menu of American favorites with a gourmet twist. Seasonal menu items include a chile verde soup with braised pork belly, cilantro, garlic croutons and smoke paprika oil; a pear, arugula and pomegranate salad served with spiced goat cheese and a port reduction; pan-seared golden sand bass with sunchoke puree; broccolini with braised artichokes in a Provencal-inspired barigoule sauce; and chipotle-glazed meatloaf with roasted root vegetables and smashed potatoes; among others.

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Take Time for Southern Brunch

Southern Brunch

Take Time for Southern Brunch

If you’re looking to expand you brunch horizons, we’ve got the place for you! You don’t have to travel across the country to get a taste of that home-styled cooking; Union Kitchen and Tap in Encinitas has a menu tailored for every good ol’ Southern craving.

Union Kitchen and Tap’s brunch menu is made from scratch and infused with a Southern twist, delicious enough to deem as food for the soul. Brunch dishes that capture the spirit of the South range from house-made Beignets with powdered sugar and mixed berry jam, Chicken and Cornbread Waffles with buttermilk fried chicken and honey maple syrup, to Biscuits and Gravy with house-made sausage, country gravy and choice of eggs.

No Southern meal is complete without libations. Union’s classic cocktails served with rural touches such as blackberries, sweet peaches, fresh strawberries and lavender garnishes will have everyone exclaiming, “Cheers y’all! AltStrat

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Coffee and a Shave at The Dover


The DoverIn Partnership with Designer/Brand Ambassador Alyasha Owerka-Moore and Brian Bert (the Original Founder of Lefty’s Barbershop) CH Projects Announce Plans for a New Neighborhood Concept in the Heart of San Diego’s East Village 

CH Projects first made their mark on San Diego’s hospitality scene in 2006 by launching Neighborhood, a casual beer bar and eatery in San Diego’s then-sparse East Village, followed by El Dorado Cocktail Lounge in 2008 just a few blocks down the way. The group has since gone on to create some of the most notable (and at times, controversial) cocktail and culinary concepts in the country. Now the hospitality collective once again sets its roots down in the “hood that started it all” by branching out of food & drink, and opening doors to The Dover—a 1,100 square foot barbershop & shaving parlor on the corner of 8th & G Street. Located catty-corner to Neighborhood and directly next door to 5&A Dime clothing shop, the concept’s cheeky moniker is short for “Dover Harbor” (an era-specific British term for “barbershop”).

The Dover will offer haircuts, hot towel razor shaves, coffee service from San Diego’s Coffee & Tea Collective and other amenities upon its opening doors in June 2015.

With over 20 years of retail, brand and clothing design experience, Alyasha Owerka-Moore—who designed and consulted for brands such as Nike, DC Shoes and Hurley, and worked as a stylist for Lauren Hill, Mos Def and John Forte—partners with CH Projects alongside internationally respected barber Brian Bert, the original founder of San Diego’s Lefty’s Barbershop, to present an all-new spin to the traditional barbershop with The Dover. 

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Savor Soyfoods for Spring

Soyfoods for Spring
Chocolate Pudding Pie

April is Soyfoods Month

Immerse Yourself in the Fresh Flavors of the Season

If you look forward to spring because it brings with it your favorite seasonal foods, let soyfoods lead the way into warm weather culinary delights. It’s no coincidence that April is National Soyfoods Month. Nothing complements fresh asparagus or baby salad greens like the savory notes of soy sauce, tamari and miso. Protein-packed soyfoods also make it easy to create meals around spring ingredients.

Unlike many other high protein foods, soyfoods are low in saturated fat and have no cholesterol. A single serving offers from 7 to 15 grams of high-quality protein. Discover the benefits of soy not only as a protein, but also as a versatile ingredient to celebrate the flavors of the season. Here are a few recipe ideas from The Soyfoods Council to help you welcome spring.

Soyfoods For Spring
Cream of Asparagus Soup

Grilled asparagus with tofu tamari dressing is made with robust asparagus stalks and a dressing that combines water-packed soft tofu, lemon juice and lemon zest, chopped garlic, olive oil and sesame seeds. Grilled vegetables are a great way to welcome grilling season.

Roasted lamb with garlic mousse and miso mustard vinaigrette is another spring specialty. This recipe combines the flavors of white miso paste with other spring ingredients such as fresh mint, rosemary and edamame.

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New San Diego Italian Food Book

San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond (American Palate) Paperback

sandiegofoodfinds.comAs ethnic neighborhoods in other cities assimilate to American life, the exuberant local flavor of San Diego’s Little Italy remains both culturally and culinarily distinct. Tucked between Interstate 5 and San Diego Bay southeast of San Diego International Airport, the blocks surrounding the landmark Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church contain many of the most notable eateries and gourmet cafés in “America’s Finest City.” In her new Italian book, Join Maria Desiderata Montana, a daughter of that Italian heritage and one of the city’s most notable food writers, on this savory tour through the zesty Italian food traditions, businesses and recipes both in Little Italy and across San Diego.

Maria Desiderata Montana is a nationally published and award-winning author, freelance food and wine journalist and editor and photographer who learned how to cook and appreciate European cuisine from her parents who were born and raised in southern Italy. In her new San Diego Italian book, learn how to easily make 25 recipes from her Italian kitchen including ravioli, cannoli, tiramisu and biscotti. In addition, each dish has a matching full-color photo.

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Laird Wine Dinner at Searsucker

Laird Wine Dinner at SearsuckerLocated in the heart of downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp District, the flagship location of Searsucker is thrilled to announce the second ‘The Tailored Fit’ wine series next Monday, April 6th beginning with a seated dinner at 6PM. JPR

Held in the private dining room, the April 6th dinner will spotlight wines from Laird Family Estate of Napa Valley, CA and feature a five-course menu paired with five wines.   The dinner is $85 per guest, and guests will also have the chance to purchase some of the featured wines after the event. Reservations are required due to limited seating and can be made by calling the restaurant directly at (619) 233-7327.

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San Diego Makes BizBash Top 100


The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival Gains Recognition From Event Industry Leader BizBash As One of the most powerful events making an impact in Southern California.

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival has been named to BizBash Media’s 2015 list of Southern California’s Top 100 Events, an exclusive group that includes glitzy award shows, crowded food festivals, colorful parades, and celebrity benefits. To select and rank these events, BizBash considers various aspects including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and the event’s influence within respective communities.

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is an international showcase of the world’s premier wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities, and gourmet foods. The event benefits culinary arts and enology scholarships awarded by The American Institute of Wine & Food and the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Now in its 12th year of production, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival maintains a commitment to delivering a high quality culinary experience that focuses on top industry trends and talent, said Michelle Metter, Producer of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

“We are thrilled to once again be recognized as one of Southern California’s Top 100 Events,  and for the recognition of San Diego as a thriving culinary destination,” continued Metter. “The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is committed to offering a luxury food and wine classic that offers attendees an unparalled culinary experience in one of the country’s most beautiful settings, and providing a new and exciting experience year-after-year.”

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Hot Dogs and Baseball

Hot Diggity Dog! Baseball season in San Diego officially kicks off on April 9th at Petco Park with the Padres gearing up against the San Francisco Giants for the home opener.

Hot Dogs and Baseball

Nothing screams a day at the ballpark like a good ol’ fashioned frank! It’s a love affair that has spanned generations, and this year, with the new addition of RARE FORM (CH Projects’ neighborhood delicatessen located alongside Petco’s ‘Park at the Park’) fans can say goodbye to mystery meat and get their gourmet fix of this cherished, pre game staple. Executive Chef Aldo Negrete’s creative lineup of housemade ‘haute’ dogs (set to debut at Rare Form this coming Friday, March 27) playfully pays tribute to famous ballparks across the USA, while staying true to their everything made in-house credo with handcrafted hot dog buns and condiments.

THE REAL DEAL: Executive Chef and butchery mastermind, Aldo Negrete, hits a homerun using a traditional pork-and-beef formula to lend a smoky, rich dimension to the flavor profile. Rare Form’s eight-count selection (which will debut in February) will include options like the ‘Haole’ dog, which promises a taste of the islands with sweet roasted pineapple, crispy bacon and charred Jalapeño toppings, to ‘The Murph’, a riff on the classic bacon hugged TJ-style hot dog with yellow mustard, mayo, fresh tomatoes, onions and spicy jalapeño. 

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Flight Night at Draft Mission Beach

Flight Night at Draft Mission BeachDraft Mission Beach is rolling out their latest offering, Flight Night, every Tuesday starting on April 7th. PRCHEMISTRY

Creatively designed to resemble an actual airplane flight, Draft is inviting guests to sit back, relax and enjoy “in-flight entertainment” from live musicians, “in-flight snacks” consisting of a house-made pretzel and nut selection by Executive Pastry Chef Jeremy and their choice of a “coach”, “business” or “first class” beer flight.

Flight Night at Draft Mission Beach

About Draft

Located directly on the Mission Beach boardwalk, Draft is serving up 69 beers on tap and 30+ bottles pairing the surf and sand with a wide variety of craft beers. But the appeal doesn’t stop at the #brewsandviews; Come hungry and experience a fresh take on beachside dining featuring casual, handcrafted fare from Executive Chef Brad Wise.

Saturday & Sunday | 9am-3pm See menu
Monday through Friday | 8am-10am See menu
Flight Night
Every Tuesday starting April 7th Flights & Live Music
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The Wild Thyme Company

The Wild Thyme CompanyThe Wild Thyme Company, San Diego’s innovative catering and event planning specialists, announces an exciting new addition to its family with Peartrees Catering. Peartrees owner, Jerry Siegel, approached the Wild Thyme about bringing the two San Diego brands together, feeling the two companies had similar philosophies and visions. Wanting to keep the Peartrees legacy alive, Siegel will continue to assist in catering and events.

“For over 25 years, Peartrees has become a beloved catering and event staple in the community. Our clients trust us to deliver impeccable service and cuisine to their events,” said Jerry Siegel. “It made sense to leave the Peartrees name and reputation in the best hands possible, and to me that is The Wild Thyme.” food blogs san diego

The Wild Thyme Company will bring the new branch on as Peartrees by Wild Thyme, combining efforts and resources from service and shared knowledge, to years of expertise in catering and event management. With a reputation for the highest standards of quality in terms of food, presentation and service, adding Peartrees by Wild Thyme will allow the company to continue to be a strong player in the event and catering market. Although the integrity and classic Peartree components that clients have grown to love will remain, The Wild Thyme Company looks forward to incorporating their signature stamp on future events.

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New Bernardus Lodge and Spa

Bernardus Lodge and Spa

Bernardus Lodge and Spa debuts April 2015

April/2015 marks the long-awaited debut of Bernardus Lodge and Spa following a four-month, multi-million dollar transformation befitting of a legendary icon.  Set on 28 sweeping acres of lavender and vineyards, this Forbes Four Star 57-guestroom property will showcase a dramatic shift in architecture and design as it’s poised to become one of the West Coast’s most coveted escapes.  Shouldered by the rugged Santa Lucia mountain range with Big Sur to the south, the new Bernardus Lodge and Spa will reflect a long-held vision of new ownership to create a sophisticated and serene experience deserving of its surroundings.


Driving the new vision is ARYA Group, Inc., a Los Angeles-based architectural/design firm renowned for its high-concept celebrity residential portfolio.  Keeping with the property’s authentic aesthetic, a rustic-chic ranch estate concept will unfold reflecting Bernardus’ inherent epicurean spirit and soothing soul. Key design elements include the opening of public spaces to provide invigorating vineyard views, redesign of the hotel lobby, retool of all luxury guest accommodations, a re-envisioned pool and spa experience with a wellness slant, new and expanded event venues and an entirely new dining concept.  The Lodge will showcase rich Italian stonework, mosaic tiles, grass cloth, French oak floors and dramatic chandeliers set in neutral tones of olive leaf, mascarpone, charcoal and oyster.  Oxidized copper and seagrass accents will be showcased throughout matched with punches of aqua and green lichen.


Under the helm of renowned Chef Cal Stamenov, a dramatic new restaurant concept is anticipated for award-winning Marinus.  Christened Lucia Restaurant & Bar, playing off the lauded Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, the anchor restaurant will be redesigned to include an additional 2,300 sq., ft., alfresco terrace and striking new interior.  Debuting a California country cuisine concept, the spring menu will reflect Cal’s enviable larder of farmers, foragers and fisherman spiked with sophisticated undertones.  Expanded private venues and an award-winning 25,000 bottle wine cellar round out the dining options.  Seating will be expanded to serve 120 with a separate bar rolling out a new craft cocktail program.

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Annual Luau Party at Tavern

Annual Luau Party at TavernWhen’s the last time you’ve been to an authentic luau? No need to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii to attend this one! Tavern in Pacific Beach is bringing back their Annual Luau Party on Sunday, March 29th.

Hosted by Captain Morgan, the party begins at 3 p.m. and includes an all-you-can-eat pig roast for just $20 per person. Wash down the feast with $5 Captain Morgan specialty cocktails and get into the tropical mood with the help of a live reggae band.

Tavern can be found on the corner of Garnet and Everts at 1200 Garnet Ave in Pacific Beach. Located only blocks from the sand, Tavern’s vibe is coastal-cool, the perfect spot for a luau with your friends.

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New Farm Fresh Bushfire Kitchen

Bushfire KitchenBushfire Kitchen will open on Friday, March 27, 2015 in La Costa Town Square

Bushfire Kitchen, the sister restaurant of Bushfire Grill, the farm-fresh concept that originated in Temecula, California, will open on Friday, March 27, 2015, in Carlsbad’s La Costa Town Square (3433 Via Montebello, Suite 166, Carlsbad, CA 92009).

The hotspot for healthy and ingredient-focused fresh fare is operated by Clive Barwin and Brandon Barwin, founders of the original Bushfire Grill location, which opened its doors in 2012.

“We’re thrilled to bring Bushfire Kitchen to San Diego,” said Brandon Barwin, co-owner. “Our little restaurant in Temecula, Calif. has become a household name to the thousands of people that appreciate tasty and wholesome, yet affordable, food. San Diego is rated one of the healthiest cities in North America, so we anticipate that our socially-conscious and affordable cuisine will appeal to this local market.”

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Ocean Preservation Paddle Out


Families encouraged to attend and enjoy snacks on the beach

L’Auberge Del Mar, A Destination Hotel, is celebrating Earth Day with a Southern California style ocean preservation paddle out, as well as eco-friendly dining, cocktail and spa specials.

“At L’Auberge Del Mar, we strive to incorporate earth-friendly practices into our daily business wherever possible,” said General Manager Shaun Beucler. “Celebrating Earth Day helps to remind us of the importance of our recycling, energy saving and other on-going green initiatives. It also allows our guests to share in our mission and be a part of these efforts, too.”

Ocean Preservation Paddle OutOcean Preservation Paddle Out

L’Auberge Del Mar’s 3rd Annual Earth Day Paddle Out in honor of ocean preservation will take place on Wednesday, April 22nd from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. at Powerhouse Park and will include the sunset and chef “tasting” snacks on the beach afterward. Guests, locals and employees are invited to participate in the event and can bring their own boards or have the hotel concierge arrange for a board rental. Del Mar’s Fulcrum Surf ( will be joining the hotel at the event.


Executive Chef Brandon Fortune continues to make his mark with organic and sustainable selections in KITCHEN 1540 that celebrate the natural habitats of Mother Earth. For Earth Day Chef Fortune has created a dish that will be offered to guests complimentary when dining for dinner on April 22. The creation is Organic Beets and Cold-Smoked Trout (sustainable farm-raised trout) with Watercress soup, valdeon bleu cheese, preserved lemon crème, peppered walnuts.

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Cinco de Mayo at Sabuku Sushi


Sabuku Sushi, located at 3027 Adams Ave. in the North Park neighborhood, will roll into Cinco de Mayo with special south of the border-inspired dishes exclusively on Tuesday, May 5th.

Specialty items will include shrimp tempura tacos, priced at $2; blackened salmon tacos, priced at $3; seared ahi tacos, priced at $4; a half-plate of the buku nachos, including wonton chips topped with tuna, pico de gallo, and guacamole and smothered in four savory sauces, priced at $5; the Samurai Saburrito, made with spicy tuna, kaiware sprouts, red onion, cucumber and jalapeño, drizzled in a yuzu wasabi sauce, wrapped in a rice covered seaweed sheet and served with cilantro wasabi dipping aioli, priced at $9; and the South of the Border Roll, made with tuna, pico de gallo, cilantro and avocado on the inside, yellowtail on the outside, served in a spicy tequila lime sauce and topped with shiro and kuro goma and masago roe, priced at $13.


Sabuku Sushi Bar is located at 3027 Adams Ave. in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego and has been named as one of the “Top-10 Sushi Restaurant in San Diego” by Opened by owner and sushi chef, Bob Pasela, in 2011, Sabuku combines the traditions and techniques of time-honored sushi making with modern, eccentric American vibes and daily fresh ingredients. Each roll is delicately made to-order for an authentic dining experience that includes a menu of appetizers, soups and entrées, desserts and drinks including cocktails, beer, wine and sake. Sabuku is open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Nightly and monthly specials, member promotions and happy hour specials from 4 to 7 p.m. daily are also featured. More information may be found by calling 619.281.9700, visiting or following on Facebook, and Instagram @SabukuSushi. WickedCreative

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Celebrate National Paella Day

Celebrate National Pella DayPaella, a popular rice dish with ancient roots, has become a culinary symbol of the bold and spicy Spanish culture as well as a Latin favorite enjoyed around the world.  You won’t have to travel far to celebrate one of Spain’s favorite days. Enlighten your taste buds with these local San Diego Latin favorites for National Spanish Paella Day on March 27th!

Viva bar + kitchen in the heart of the Gaslamp in downtown San Diego has a Paella dish suited for every palate. Celebrate the true Valencian recipe with the Traditional Paella that includes mussels, shrimp, scallops, garlic, shallots and saffron risotto. For the vegetarian and pescetarian cuisine lovers, Viva also offers the rich Vegetable and Seafood Paellas. Viva even satisfies the largest appetite with the popular Paella de Barcelona made with a seafood melody of grilled lobster, halibut, mussels, scallops, and butter poached lobster tail.

Renowned Baja Restaurateur, Javier Plascencia, merges the finest ingredients from San Diego and Mexico to bring his interpretation of the Paella at Romesco Mediterranean Bistro in Bonita. Romesco serves its piping hot and award winning Paella with shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, chicken, pork short rib, and Spanish chorizo. Your readers can cheers to a day of celebration and wash the authentic dish down with the Spanish Moritz lager or glass of Tinto Pesquera. AltStrat

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Wild Horse Wine Pairing Dinner

Wild Horse Wine Pairing DinnerRoppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar will present an array of exclusive menu items for the Wild Horse Wine Pairing Dinner hosted by winemaker, Todd Ricard, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1st.

Executive Chef Alfie Szeprethy will offer a four-course wine-pairing dinner priced at $80 per person. Guests will be offered a complimentary glass of Wild Horse Chardonnay with Ricard before the meal during a welcome reception from 6:30 to 7 p.m.

The first course will feature a mâche salad topped with watercress, shaved white asparagus, honeydew, crispy prosciutto, goat cheese and ginger Meyer lemon vinaigrette, paired with a glass of 2013 Wild Horse Malvasia Bianca. Guests will then be served a second course of steak tartare with filet, whole grain mustard, red onion, parsley, anchovies, chili flakes, quail egg, crispy capers and toast points, paired with a rich glass of 2012 Wild Horse Cabernet Sauvignon.

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The Great American Foodie Fest

Great American Foodie Fest

Great American Foodie Fest

Originating in Las Vegas as the Las Vegas Foodie Fest, the now traveling Great American Foodie Fest will arrive at Qualcomm Stadium in sunny San Diego from Friday, March 27th, through Sunday, March 29th. Highlighting the fest will be America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, White Castle, serving its signature sliders fresh for the first time in Southern California.

Participating food trucks will include more than 50 of the nation’s top food trucks and food vendors including the Middle Feast Food Truck, Crepes Bonaparte, White Rabbit and a Filipino-fusion truck. Guests can also enjoy a beer garden, live entertainment, carnival rides, eating competitions and complimentary parking. WickedCreative

Unlimited general admission will at Great American Foodie Fest:

$8 a day or $13 for a weekend pass if purchased in advance

$10 a day or $15 for a weekend pass if purchased at the gate


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Food Lovers Guide to San Diego

Food Lovers Guide To San DiegoThe Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego and all of Montana’s books are available on her author page at AMAZON and GLOBE PEQUOT PRESS. Her books are also available at local San Diego bookstores.

The Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego was reprinted in 2014 and highlights the best restaurants, markets & local culinary offerings.

The ultimate guides to the food scene in their respective states or regions, these books provide the inside scoop on the best places to find, enjoy, and celebrate local culinary offerings. Engagingly written by local authorities, they are a one stop for residents and visitors alike to find producers and purveyors of tasty local specialties, as well as a rich array of other, indispensable food-related information including:

  • Favorite restaurants and landmark eateries
  • Farmers markets and farm stands
  • Specialty food shops, markets and products
  • Food festivals and culinary events
  • Places to pick your own produce
  • Recipes from top local chefs
  • The best cafes, taverns, wineries, and brewpubs

Maria Desiderata Montana is the publisher of the award-winning food blog San Diego Food Finds ( She is a nationally published and award winning author, freelance food and wine journalist and editor and photographer who learned how to cook and appreciate European cuisine from her parents who were born and raised in southern Italy. Maria is the author of the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego (Globe Pequot Press), San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City (2014 San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Lifestyle Book Cooking & Home, Lyons Press), San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond (History Press), Market Restaurant + Bar Cookbook (Lyons Press) and The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe Cookbook. She is extensively published in several newspapers and magazines, where she writes a variety of food and entertainment stories as well as her own monthly recipe series. Maria guest appears on local radio and TV to share her knowledge of food and cooking, and regularly assists celebrity and high profile chefs with cookbook projects.

Enjoy the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego!

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New Manager at Sycamore Den

Sycamore DenCocktail Innovator Sarah Ellis Appointed General Manager at Award-Winning Sycamore Den

The team behind Normal Height’s award-winning Sycamore Den cocktail lounge is pleased to announce local cocktail curator Sarah Ellis as its new general manager. The talented and charismatic bartender has been a longtime innovator in San Diego’s influential cocktail scene and has garnered praise for her experiential approach to craft libations.

Ellis joined the team at Sycamore Den after a lengthy stint at North Park mainstay Jaynes Gastropub, where she headed the cocktail menu development, crafting a beverage program to complement the eatery’s adventurous menu. Since stepping behind Sycamore Den’s slatted wood bar in Spring 2014, she has worked closely with Sycamore opening veteran mixologists David Kinsey and Eric Johnson. Ellis first tended bar alongside Johnson at lauded Noble Experiment and El Dorado— and both were trained under celebrated cocktail guru Sam Ross of New York City’s Milk & Honey.

“Everyone is thrilled to have Sarah take at the helm at Sycamore Den. Her knowledge of cocktails is incredible, and her dedication to the craft inspiring. Sarah’s leadership and restaurant experience also comes at an exciting time as we tie in our Burnside kitchen,” says Nick Zanoni, managing partner at Sycamore Den. “Eric’s day to day presence in Normal Heights will be greatly missed, because beyond Eric’s amazing cocktail expertise, he is a genuinely kind and inspiring person. We wish him the best with this new opportunity and are excited to have yet another reason to visit Juniper & Ivy.”

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Shaking it up at Juniper and Ivy

Skaing It Up at Juniper And Ivy

Award-Winning Bartender Eric Johnson Joins Juniper and Ivy

Local cocktail curator Eric Johnson will join the team at NoLI-situated Juniper and Ivy as the restaurant’s new bar manager. Johnson will be responsible for transforming the current cocktail program, training staff and creating palatable synergy between bar and kitchen—working with Chef Richard Blais and the culinary team to inspire a complementary stream of innovative beverages.

“I’m looking forward to working with a restaurant of this caliber alongside some of the most creative powerhouses in the culinary industry,” says Johnson. “The groundwork they’ve set inspires me to match their creativity.”

“Adding a bartender of such high caliber of artistic creativity will provide us with an opportunity to further elevate the cocktail program at Juniper and Ivy,” adds Juniper & Ivy owner Mike Rosen. “We look forward to the ways in which Eric will work collaboratively with our culinary team to craft innovative cocktails intended to seamlessly complement the kitchen’s ‘left coast’ cuisine.”

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Get Educated at The Curious Fork

get educated at the curious forkAs new life begins to grow, birds chirp, and flowers grow, THE CURIOUS FORK is here to remind us that everything sprouts in spring with a new round of exciting and healthy educational cooking classes. The health-minded cafe and hybrid culinary space located in Solana Beach is welcoming “curious” cooks into their state-of-the-art kitchen to share their expert knowledge on the freshest and most delectable picks that the local spring harvest has to offer.

Not only are these interactive classes a fun way to spend an evening with friends, they are sure to inspire you to get out in the sunshine and check out the city’s abundant Farmer’s Markets. The popular Farmer’s Market Basket class is offered weekly and guides you through the fresh local fare or the Vegan/Vegetarian Corner course teaches you the most creative ways to incorporate plant-based ingredients into your homemade meals. A few of the highlights include a delightfully sweet Raw Chocolate Class (just in time for Easter!), a warm-bellied Crock Pot & Pressure Cooking Class, an exotic and healthy introduction to Vietnamese Cuisine, as well as a special 4-session course on Medicinal Foods where Chef Minh guides you through the healing powers of what we eat. Other recurring skills classes offer valuable kitchen knowledge for people looking to hone in on their Knife Skills or learn easy entertaining tips with the Tuscan Appetizers class.

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