Super Bowl 2015 Hot Spots

Did you know that on average, more than 20 million Americans get together for Super Bowl Sunday? Close to one billion chicken wings are gobbled up and washed down with almost 350 million gallons of beer each year. You can spread the amount of guacamole consumed during the Super Bowl over one football field and it’d be nearly 11 feet deep.

Stats show fans spend at least a month preparing for parties at home. Skip the cooking and the clean up and check out our list of San Diego’s favorite bars or restaurants to watch the Patriots take the Seahawks and, most importantly, eat!

Super Bowl 2015
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Super Bowl 2015 Hot Spots

On Super Bowl Sunday, head to The Duck Dive in Pacific Beach for $5 Jameson and $3.50 Pacificos. Bring the gang along and share the special $15 Super Sampler Platter and two-for-one Super Punch Bowls all game long. Booths, with their own family style menu, are also available to ensure a prime game-watching spot. To reserve a booth, please email

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Embargo Grill Makes Yelp List

Yelp announces top 100 restaurants for 2015 in the United States, and ranks Embargo Grill as one of eight in San Diego to make list.

Embargo Grill
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Yelp, the go to social media platform for consumers who want to review dining and other establishments, has released their second annual Top 100 restaurants to eat in the U. S. for 2015. Embargo Grill, a locally owned and operated restaurant in San Diego, has made the list. Embargo Grill is ranked # 70 in the United States, and is one of only eight local restaurants in San Diego to make the cut this year.

Embargo Grill serves Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American inspired cuisine. Since opening in September of 2013, Embargo Grill has quickly garnered a local following at their Point Loma location. They create flavor combinations new to most California diners.

“Our signature plate is the Embargo Grill dish. We layer chopped leaf greens and diced tomatoes over your choice of rice and beans and top that with steak, chicken, shrimp or fish. Then we layer one of our delicious house made sauces like Chimichurri, mojo criollo, Caribbean BBQ, Jamaican jerk sauce, creamy curry or garlic aioli,” says Hudi Eshel, Embargo Grill’s owner. “The flavor combinations are amazing.”

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James Place Opens in La Jolla

James Place
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The New James Place

Located in the La Jolla Theater Playhouse District, chef James Holder opens James Place which caters to theatre patrons, the La Jolla and greater San Diego community, students of UCSD and other local colleges, and food lovers’ craving prime, seafood and sushi. A varied menu includes signature sushi as well as Prime and Angus cuts of beef paired with California wines and craft beer. Seasonal and locally sourced seafood and sides compliment the lunch and bar menu, and lighter fare choices are offered at the newly resigned sushi/cocktail bar.

About Chef James Holder

Born and raised in Japan, chef James Holder started making sushi at the age of 13 with his mother in his hometown of Hiyama. He began his professional career at several high-end sushi restaurants in San Diego, including playing an integral role in the opening of UTC’s celebrated Café Japengo.   -written by mdm

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Farm to Table at Rimel’s

Rimel's Rotisserie
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At Rimel’s, all the ingredients on the menu are natural and locally grown, including grass-fed meats, poultry, game, seafood and organic vegetables. Owner Matt Rimel came up with the farm to table menu over 20 years ago, and not much has changed since then. Everything is cooked over oak, which is milled from Rimel’s local ranch. Rimel also owns the fish company that supplies the bulk of their fish (long line caught and local whenever possible). -mdm

Rimel’s Rotisserie was started in 1993 in our small La Jolla location as a result of Matt Rimel’s self-taught culinary passions and Jackie Rimel’s shared long term business vision of the restaurant and its greater possibilities. Matt grew up in La Jolla as your typical Wind-An-Sea grom spending his life in the ocean and the outdoors whenever he had the chance. He always had a passion for the ocean, mountains, wildlife, fishing, hunting, surfing, etc. He is a modern day outdoorsman and surfer that grew up learning his way around the kitchen from his mother. He also quickly developed his skills as an avid fisherman and hunter providing the basis for our locally harvested proteins that we feature in the restaurants along with Homegrown Meats. Matt also quickly learned the basics of being a chef and quickly evolved his experience into many of the dishes that are still on the Rimel’s menu today. Everything is based on being fresh, local and simple and he has been doing it this way for over 3 decades.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2015

With Valentine’s Day 2015 right around the corner, we are sharing San Diego’s hottest restaurants and hotels’ plans for the most romantic day of the year. 

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Monello is giving couples a reason to celebrate love this year with their tantalizing Valentine’s Day specials. Executive Chef Fabrizio Cavallini is preparing several dishes exclusively for Valentine’s Day. Guests can order off the regular menu or take their choice from this array of enticing selections:

· Ossobuco with fried saffron risotto patty
· Caramelle ai Porcini e Gorgonzola
· Pizza Tartufo, Truffle cheese sauce
· Pollo con Risotto ai Fichi (chicken with risotto & figs)
· Oyster in Lemon & Vodka
· Spaghetti Gialli (homemade saffron spaghetti)

750 W. Fir Street
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 501-0030

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We Love Native Foods Cafe

The first Native Foods Cafe was opened in 1994 by a vegan pioneer in Palm Springs, California. To date, they have fourteen locations nationwide, with more locations opening this year, including San Diego.

Native Food Cafe
Roasted Corn & Basil Polenta Bites
Pesto baked polenta topped with fresh roasted corn, basil, red pepper, onion and a touch of Native Cheese. $5.95 Gluten-Free (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Nationwide Executive chef Kendall Huff believes Native Foods Cafe is the fastest growing 100% plant-based fast casual concept out there. “Not only do we make chef crafted food from scratch daily, we also give back to each community,” she says. “We are passionate about the environment and the health of our guests. We also offer free monthly cooking demos to spread the plant-based love.”

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Craft Your Own At Pizza Rev

PizzaRevPizza Rev

Launched In 2012, the PizzaRev-olution has become a national movement that’s all about empowering you to “Craft Your Own!” There’s something really special about building your own pizza with the ingredients you like best, and you can accomplish just this at Pizza Rev. Really, it’s a deliciously simple and satisfying concept: You pick out your dough, sauce, cheese and toppings and Pizza Rev “pizza crafters” work with you to make your own pizza right before your eyes!

In March 2015, Pizza Rev has plans to open local franchises in two San Diego locations:

  • 10393 Spring Canyon Road in Scripps Ranch and
  • 7835 Highlands Village Place in Carmel Valley

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Top Honors to The Grand Del Mar

The Grand Del Mar Voted Number Two Luxury Hotel in U.S. By Readers of TripAdvisor

The Grand Del Mar
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San Diego Resort Retains AAA Five Diamond Ranking for Seventh Consecutive Year

TripAdvisor – the world’s largest travel site – has once again given top honors to The Grand Del Mar, with its readers naming the acclaimed San Diego resort the “Number Two Luxury Hotel” and the “Number Four Hotel” overall in the United States in its annual Travelers’ Choice awards. The Grand Del Mar is the only Southern California hotel listed among the top ten in both the luxury and overall hotels segments – winners were selected based on the millions of reviews collected in the past year from TripAdvisor travelers worldwide.

This is the 13th consecutive year the popular travel booking and review site has unveiled the much-anticipated awards, which showcase more than 8,000 hotels in eight regions throughout the world.

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Live Music at Panama 66

Panama 66 in Balboa Park

Panama 66

Panama 66 specializes in local ingredients, San Diego draft beers, California Wine and craft cocktails. The menu changes often. See printed menu as well as their specials board when you visit the restaurant. Panama 66 is currently working on their live music schedule for January through April. The bands will feature jazz, soul and/or latin influences. Keep updated on the details at

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The Cheese Store of San Diego

The Cheese Store
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The Cheese Store Opens Today!

Owners Aaron and Marci Flores, with partner David Fremo, are celebrating the opening of The Cheese Store San Diego. “First and foremost we are a cheese store and everything else we provide enhances the beauty of cheese,” says Marci Flores. “David Fremo discovered us at the farmers market about two years ago. He saw our vision from the start and believed in us. We are so grateful for him!”

The Cheese Store
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This cheese loving husband and wife team say they have a strong passion for delicious and beautiful food. Their new store is inspired by small specialty cheese stores they’ve visited throughout the United States and Europe. “The details in our new shop are inspired by the places we’ve visited, namely our trip to Italy, where we were engaged,” Marci explains.

Cheese Store
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The Cheese Store will offer over sixty-five cheeses as well as a large menu filled with soups, salads, sandwiches, mac n’ cheese, cheese and charcuterie boards, cheese-inspired desserts and beer and wine. In addition, ninety-five percent of the pairing items are sourced domestically by small batch artisan producers.

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When I asked Marci about her favorite cheese, she said “That’s a tough one. Today its Winnimere, a raw cows milk cheese made by Jasper Hill Farms. They use winter time milk so its rich, and such a treat. Its wrapped with spruce bark and washed with a brine. You can really taste terroir from where the cows graze. It just arrived and we are all obsessed!”

The Cheese Store of San Diego/1980 Kettner Blvd, Ste 30/San Diego, CA 92101 (b/t Fir St & Grape St)/(619) 544-0500

-Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

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Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar

Opened in Mission Hills San Diego by owner and proprietor John Ealy, Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar is a laid back neighborhood eatery that offers a menu boasting salads, sandwiches and shareable platters. Great dinner entrees include Blackened Ribeye Steak with cajún spice, gorgonzola butter, mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus, Marinated Grilled Sea Bass with miso ginger, butter sauce, island rice, and jicama salad or Seafood Stew with prawns, mussels, mahi mahi and spicy tomato, wine and clam sauce and garlic bread.

Harley Gray Kitchen And Bar

About Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar

Harley Gray for me is a representation of everything that I have learned that is important for a restaurant to be successful. This was collaboration of the people I most admire and trust and of my own education from two decades of growing up in this industry.

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San Diego Restaurant Week 2015

San DIego Restaurant Week 2015San Diego Restaurant Week 2015

With wallet-friendly options for lunch or dinner, San Diego Restaurant Week is the perfect excuse to hang up your apron and treat your taste buds to a meal to remember at a few of these noteworthy restaurants.

Parq Restaurant

Featuring the food of Chef Errol Le Blanc, Parq focuses on fresh seasonal ingredients – locally sourced and at their prime – that are decidedly progressive American. Chef Le Blanc concentrates on great techniques and perfect presentation, having the “simple is more” mindset. No stranger to the club-dining scene, Chef Le Blanc has worked in Vegas at such places as Paris Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay and even working under Joe Romano and Charlie Palmer at the Aureole Las Vegas. View Parq’s Restaurant Week Menu here.

615 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 727-6789/

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Spago Beverly Hills

Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff’s legendary, flagship restaurant features a completely new menu and design.

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Master chef Wolfgang Puck, along with Executive Chef and Managing Partner Lee Hefter, has re-invented the entire menu with his signature farm-to-table philosophy, heightening the iconic California cuisine that catapulted him to stardom. Spago’s new design from Waldo Fernandez complements the food with its clean and simple aesthetic, incorporating natural elements to add an organic feel.

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Spago’s new re-imagined, market-driven menus feature the freshest, highest-quality ingredients with inspiration from their garden and local farmer’s markets, infused with their chef’s signature styles. James Beard Award-winning chef Lee Hefter creates seasonal menus that showcase the best of California and the abundance of farmers, ranchers and fisheries that surround it. Pair your meal with one of the restaurant’s premier wines from its 30,000 bottle collection. See the California Tasting Menu here.

(Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

Spago’s co-founder/co-owner Barbara Lazaroff created the original design for Spago in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Spago continues to set the standard for cuisine, service and style and is consistently recognized as the ultimate in fine dining. Spago is the recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award and received two stars in The Michelin Guide-Los Angeles edition, one of only three restaurants in the city to win this coveted distinction. In 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, the restaurant earned the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award, the publication’s highest honors.

  • Four out of Four Stars! – Los Angeles Magazine
  • “Wolfgang Puck keeps reinventing himeself.” – The New York Times
  • “Wolfgang Puck’s Flagship Restaurant Rises to the Top-Again” – Angeleno Magazine
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Zen 5 Sushi San Diego

Zen 5 Sushi San Diego
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Zen 5 Sushi San Diego

Serving the San Diego community delicious Japanese dishes for years, Zen 5 in Pacific Beach offers a fresh, balanced selection of traditional style Japanese recipes and high quality sashimi and sushi rolls. Some of the best sushi chefs in the area are in the kitchen inventing new rolls to entice and challenge your palate. The Zen 5 menu covers everything from quick lunch specials to full, multi-course meals and traditional dishes include yakisoba noodles, soups, and teriyaki. With nearly 40 different combinations, guests can experience the greatest variety of sushi rolls, and while many people think sushi is always raw, there are many deep fried and baked sushi options.  (1130 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, CA 92109/(858) 490-0121) -Maria Desiderata Montana

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Alchemy Closes Its Doors


Alchemy Facebook

News Release just in from Alchemy:

Alchemy would like to say, “Thank you.” We thank you for the opportunity to serve you – our guests – for the past six years at our South Park eatery and around the county via our catering division.  It is with this gratitude that we announce the transition of our company out of the restaurant and catering segment and into a heavier focus on helping to improve our southern California food system and continuing our role as Venue/Event Management for SILO in Makers Quarter.   We will be celebrating our restaurant tenor over the next two weeks as we approach the last day of operations on Tuesday February 3, 2015.

Over the past six years we have been awarded numerous acknowledgements for our restaurant and our team from Best Neighborhood Restaurant in 2013 (San Diego Magazine – Critic’s Pick) to co-owner Ron Troyano being named Cross Sector Business Leader for 2014 by Community Health Improvement Partners.  From the start of our operations in 2009, we have supported our city through numerous donations, classes, and community service activities and will continue to support that philosophy in our future endeavors.  Alchemy was always more than a neighborhood restaurant; it is an approach to business that places emphasis on communitarian principals and goodwill above all.  We are confident that the new owners of this special corner of 30th and Beech streets will continue to exalt these same principles in their own unique way.

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The French Laundry in Yountville

The French Laundry
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Chef Thomas Keller visited Yountville, California in the early 1990’s on a quest for a space to fulfill a longtime culinary dream: to establish a destination for fine French cuisine in the Napa Valley. In his travels, he came across a rustic two-story stone cottage. As he walked into the restaurant’s quaint courtyard, he knew it was where he had headed throughout his career.

The French Laundry, a sixteen hundred square foot structure constructed from river rock and timbers was built in 1900 by a Scottish stonemason as a saloon. The building later served as a residence, and during the 1920’s operated as a French steam laundry. In 1978, town mayor Don Schmitt and his wife Sally renovated the structure into a restaurant, which Keller then purchased in 1994.

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Sunday Night Supper at Gossip Grill

Gossip Grill launches a Sunday Night Supper Club for Hillcrest patrons to enjoy local musicians and cuisine creations by Gossip Grill’s own Chef Nicole Urman.

gossip grillEach week a fresh menu will be prepared by Chef Nicole accompanied by craft cocktails and a martini menu inspired by the 1920’s prohibition era. Chef Nicole Urman attended the California School of Culinary Arts and Le Cordon Bleu with experience in fine dining as the Head Baker and Pastry Cook III for The Grand Del Mar Resort. Urman is excited to bring a new concept to Gossip Grill and Hillcrest where guests can take pleasure in weekly specials while enjoying local entertainment.

“The entire staff of Gossip Grill is ready to bring Hillcrest something fresh and fun. Hands down, the special Sunday Night Supper Club menu will provide the fresh, our entertainment will provide the fun,” commented Urman.

The first week will feature a salad wedge with blue cheese dressing and bacon crumbles. A pepper and garlic crusted prime rib with au jus and a horse radish garlic sauce served with a loaded baked potato and seasonal sautéed vegetables.

Chef recommends a wine paring with Rodney Strong Sonoma Valley Cabernet 2011

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Laguna Beach Driftwood Kitchen

Driftwood Kitchen
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Driftwood Kitchen

Located on beautiful Laguna Beach, one of Orange County’s most picturesque beaches, Driftwood Kitchen is adjacent to the Pacific Edge Hotel and The Deck restaurant, and just steps from the Main Beach and downtown Laguna Beach. The restaurant showcases fresh seafood, hand-shucked oysters, steaks and artisan cocktails led by acclaimed Chef Rainer Schwarz. The space encompasses a classic California Coastal vibe with breathtaking oceanfront views. The new Stateroom Bar within Driftwood Kitchen serve as a place to enjoy artisan cocktails with an emphasis on Bourbons and Whiskeys, artfully and creatively blended into tasty concoctions with a play on classic cocktails. The daily restaurant operations are headed by seasoned restaurateur, John Nye, who oversees sister restaurant, The Deck.

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Driftwood Kitchen is located at 619 Sleepy Hollow Lane, just off Pacific Coast Highway. For more information, please visit

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Vietnamese Cuisine at Le Bambou

Le Bambou
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Le Bambou Restaurant

Le Bambou uses the freshest produce, delivered daily, to offer masterfully crafted and redefined creations of classic Vietnamese cuisine, infused with the aromatic flavors of French Indochina. Available for dine in or take-out, the diversified cuisine on the menu emphasizes the more upscale delights of Vietnamese culture, with few select traditional noodle soups and rice dishes. Entrées are grilled, roasted, steamed or sautéed, and portioned to be shared. Many dishes are wrapped in lettuce or rice paper, accompanied by fresh herbs and vegetables. Fresh, tasty dipping sauces accompany both appetizers and main dishes. Specialties of the house include a half Lacque Roasted Duck, boneless and skinless Salmon, simmered in a Clay Pot with a savory light caramel sauce, and the Cook-It-Yourself Beef, Chicken, or Shrimp, marinated with lemon grass, garlic, and spices and grilled to taste at the table. An extensive wine, domestic and imported beer list is available.

-Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

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Hurray For Liberty Public Market

In Partnership with Liberty Station, Blue Bridge Hospitality Announces Liberty Public Market

Liberty Public Market

San Diego’s Premier Artisan Market: A 22,000 Sq. Ft. Locally Focused, Specialty Venue—Opening Summer 2015

David Spatafore, the local hospitality veteran behind Coronado’s Blue Bridge Hospitality, announces a substantial partnership with Liberty Station, San Diego’s mixed-use retail and commercial center. Together, they will curate Liberty Public Market—a premier public market uniting the region’s most dynamic artisans under one roof. Set to debut summer 2015, the multi-million dollar investment supports the creation of a complete San Diego cultural immersion: a public arena for locals and tourists alike to embrace the city’s finest handcrafted food and specialty items.


Name: Liberty Public Market
Partners: Blue Bridge Hospitality and Liberty Station
Location: Liberty Station, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego, CA 92106
Prime location adjacent Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
Leasing space to 30+ purveyors, allowing brick & mortar opportunities for small businesses and locally-owned wholesale distributors
Anticipated opening date: summer 2015

The Vision: A New Public Market for San Diego

The Liberty Public Market is paving the way for an interactive community experience – a local gathering place where San Diego tastes, smells, and quality artisan goods will harmoniously unite under one roof. Serving as a one-stop specialty shop as well as a daily farmers market, the concept is reminiscent of similar public markets in other progressive cities, such as: Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market and Vancouver’s Granville Island. The venue aims to represent San Diego’s unique culture by offering year-round fresh produce sourced from surrounding regional farms, locally procured seafood, old fashioned butcher services, homemade tortillas, artisanal breads and pastries, fine wine merchants in the Southern California area, locally roasted coffee, a craft cocktail partner, specialty handcrafted goods and more. In addition to purchasing fresh goods to take home, the market will also offer quick-service counters, allowing guests to enjoy food on-site.

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Mexican Specialties at New Karina’s

Mexican Specialties
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New Karina’s offers Mexican Specialties

The new Karina’s Downtown brings authentic Mexican seafood specialties to the heart of the city, along with exciting design and a vibrant atmosphere. Known for playful décor elements that test guests’ cleverness and knowledge of Mexican culture, the Karina’s restaurants feature custom murals of beloved movie stars, famous bullfighters, artists, and other famous figures.

Mexican Specialties
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This is the eighth member of the growing Karina’s Group, which began humbly in 1981 when Don Arnulfo Contreras opened an eatery specializing in ceviches and seafood dishes from his native Sinaloa, and named it for his eldest daughter. Now hailed as the standout choices for Mexican seafood in San Diego, the Karina’s restaurants have become popular establishments featuring top-shelf cocktails as well as top-quality cuisine.

Located just blocks from Copley Symphony Hall, the Gaslamp Quarter, and Petco Park, savor standout Mexican seafood at the new Karina restaurant downtown.

The new 4,500 square-foot downtown location, which seats 125 in the bar, lounge and dining area, delights patrons with such amenities as tequila lockers for aficionados eager to savor their private selections alongside the restaurant’s expansive menu of Mexican seafood specialties and traditional favorites. Modern rustic elements are combined with colorful accents and specially commissioned murals inspired by Mexican art and culture to create an irresistibly warm, inviting environment in a stunning space enlivened by whimsy, color and the proud Mexican heritage of the Contreras-Curiel Family.

Mexican Specialties
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Open for lunch and dinner and featuring happy hour specials daily, the new Karina’s will offer downtown a much needed, high quality Mexican seafood restaurant that is fun, friendly, festive and perfect for all occasions.

About Karina’s Group

In 1981, Arnulfo Contreras and his wife, Maria Ines Curiel, opened a small but ambitious restaurant in Spring Valley in the hope of providing a better life for their six children. Named for daughter Karina, this location closed when the family chose to expand the brand into a San Diego County-spanning group that now numbers six popular Mexican seafood restaurants. An insistence upon on-target authenticity guides these restaurants daily, with a clientele willing to wait in line to enjoy the all-encompassing menus of seafood classics. Renowned for an enormous variety of ceviches, Karina’s Mexican Seafood offers dozens of coastal and regional dishes, especially from Sinaloa, birthplace of Arnulfo Contreras. In addition to the Karina’s Mexican Seafood restaurants, Karina’s Group also includes Savoie French-Italian Eatery in Otay Ranch and and La Tequila Mexican Cocina in Bonita. For further information about Karina’s Group, please visit Coral Public Relations

Karina’s Mexican Seafood Downtown San Diego, is located at 925 B Street (corner of 10th and B), San Diego, CA 92101;; (619) 546-7667.

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Mexicali Taco and Company

Mexicali Taco And Company
courtesy of Mexicali Taco & Co. & Henry Lim Photography

Mexicali Taco and Company

Mexicali Taco and Company offers mounds of true carne asada inside their soft and chewy tortillas brought up from local tortillerias in the region. Marinades, salsas and condiments are made fresh in small batches and everything in the salsa bar is there for you to customize your tacos with the flavors you love best. A popular taco favorite is the Zuperman, boasting a gigantic portion of three meats and cheese, sandwiched between two tasty harina tortillas. Another tasty choice is the adobado-grilled Shrimp Taco, served on a cheesy corn tortilla garnished with fresh cilantro. -MDM


Mexicali is a border city in northern Baja, Mexico that is the hometown of Mexicali Taco and Co. founders Esdras Ochoa and Javier Fregoso. Although they later grew up on the U.S. side in Calexico, the lively culture of Mexicali, especially its street food, made Esdras and Javi spend most of their weekends across the border. These culinary memories combined with the comfort foods of home created Mexicali Taco and Co. in 2009.

The guys first opened up at 1st & Beaudry with mild success. Taco trucks and stands are a dime a dozen in L.A. However, the flavors were there from the beginning, and it was only a matter of time before Angelinos started to hear about the two taqueros whose purpose was to bring the Mexicali taco experience to the City of Angels. Los Angeles Restaurants

Read more about the history of Mexicali Taco and Company here.

*Information courtesy of

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Create Your Own at Artisan Bento

Artisan Bento
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Create Your Own at Artisan Bento

Opening Monday, January 19th, Artisan Bento is a fast casual Japanese eatery in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood of San Diego, will offer offer a modern approach to the rich traditions of Japanese cooking while introducing healthy savory dishes, sweets, and snacks. Executive Chef Nao Ichimura and Chef de Cuisine Miguel Martinez from Azuki Sushi in Banker’s Hill, will offer flavors from the seasons, while respecting the traditions of Japanese cuisine. Diners will experience unique combinations of taste and texture with customizable offerings, including gluten free and vegetarian options.

Artisan Bento’s Owner Shihomi Sakai Borillo, who is also a Food Stylist and Managing Partner of Azuki Sushi, drew inspiration from her memories of growing up in Japan. Her mother always provided delicious bentō lunches for her and her two siblings to bring to school, even when her mother worked a full time job. Their bentō lunches were healthy, tasty and filling. “We are thrilled to be opening our sister restaurant in Banker’s Hill after 6 years with Azuki” said Borillo. “We chose Banker’s Hill as the location for Artisan Bentō because of the highly dynamic and diverse neighborhood. This area is comprised of families and residents who desire unique, fresh, and healthy food. We are very much looking forward to introducing another spectrum of Japanese cuisines beyond sushi.”

Borillo says Artisan’s Bento preparations will be accompanied by a hearty rice blend that includes 15 different types of grains, seeds and beans, plus miso soup and variety of seasonal side salads. Diners can pick a protein, ranging from chicken skewers to ginger pork and miso salmon or sashimi, which can also top a rice bowl, cold ramen or salad. The menu will feature Japanese tradition updated with west coast sensibilities and will be presented in an approachable and casual setting. “Our chef’s cuisine will highlight the local, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients of San Diego prepared in the traditional techniques of Japan. This “simple, yet elegant” approach is the overwhelming inspiration behind Artisan Bentō.”

Artisan Bento will also serve coffee drinks from Caffe Calabria, plus tea, sake, beer, wine and Asian-inspired desserts. Artisan Bentō seats twenty in the dining room and twelve in the patio.

What is ben tō?

Bentō (written 弁当), or obentō (お弁当), is a Japanese word for a meal conveniently served in a box. The heritage of bentō can be traced back to the late Kamakura Period (1185 to 1333) when people going out to hunt, farm, travel, or wage war took food with them.


2505 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103


Mon – Sat 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday Closed

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Roy’s San Francisco Style

Roy's San Francisco
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Roy’s San Francisco

Located in bustling SoMa, just two blocks from the Moscone Center, Roy’s San Francisco offers the perfect setting for family gatherings or social events. Guests can begin their adventure with a Roy’s Island Mai Tai during Aloha Hour in the bar, than move on to a wonderful meal in a beautiful dining room that features a signature exhibition kitchen. Choose from an ever-changing mix of seasonal favorites and brand new creations. Popular favorites include Misoyaki “Butterfish” with Baby Bok Choy and Furikake Rice, Blackened Island Ahi with Spicy Soy Mustard Butter Sauce and Singapore Noodles with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, Scallions, Vadouvan Curry and Peanuts.

About Roy’s

Culinary pioneer Roy Yamaguchi created fusion cuisine at his original Roy’s in Honolulu in 1988. Blending classic techniques with adventurous Pacific Rim flavors, he created an entirely new approach to fine dining. Discover the fresh local ingredients and outstanding seafood that made them famous. Maria Desiderata Montana, Roy’s San Francisco

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All Inclusive Italian Foods at Pan Bon

Pan BonoAll Inclusive Italian Foods at Pan Bon

The true Italian dishes at Pan Bon consist of both classical recipes and everyday recipes that are simple, flavorful and affordable samples of authentic Mediterranean cuisine. This newly opened Italian restaurant and marketplace offers everything your heart desires, including a wide variety of Caffè Diemme coffee to breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Take-out” food is available for those on the run.

From the freshly baked bread and pastries to the delicious cured meats and cheeses, Pan Bon is an all inclusive Italian food restaurant that offers diners something new everyday.

Juicy steaks and roasted chicken are some of the delicious plates on the menu, as well as mouthwatering panini’s (Italian sandwiches) and oven-cooked pizzas made with prime Italian ingredients. The menu also includes fresh grilled seafoods, healthy salads, soups, appetizers, and flaming desserts. Guests can opt for vegetarian and vegan selections, including gluten-free pastries. Pan Bon offers a wide selection of Italian and local wines, some of which are from the north of Italy such as Friuli, Lombardia, Trentino and of course Pan Bon’s hometown, Verona. (1450 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA,

San Diego Italian Food

As 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.” 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.

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Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

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