22 Options For Dining In San Diego

With the holidays fast approaching, we’ve compiled a list of San Diego’s most unique dining rooms that have great offerings for family gatherings, corporate holidays and groups. Perfect for any occasion, these private dining options offer everything from intimate chef dinners, a wine cave, incredible views of the Pacific Ocean or even your own sushi bar.

dining in San Diego

The Grant Grill (Courtesy photo)

The Grant Grill at THE US GRANT Hotel: This restaurant’s private dining room offers an intimate setting, seating up to 12 guests. The room has ornate mahogany finishes, historic photos and The Grant Grill’s wine vault and a chic backdrop for the guest’s vision to be brought to life. The culinary team, lead by Executive Chef Mark Kropczynski and Chef de Cuisine Sam Burman, can prepare a customized menu of market-fresh California cuisine for a breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch event. Multi-course wine or craft cocktail pairings can be curated by the Sommelier or award-winning mixologist, Jeff Josenhans.

Dining in San Diego

The Wine Cave (Courtesy photo)

The Wine Cave at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa: Enclosed in brick and accented with leather and glass, the Wine Cave at Rancho Valencia is home to the resort’s most valuable and rare fine wines where guests can also truly exceptional dining experience, whether for a private intimate dinner or small formal reception. The stunning private dining room features an outdoor terrace overlooking a Eucalyptus Grove and a collection holding over 250 bottles from 750ml up to 18 liters, as well as full sized oak barrels with the resort’s own private blends. Rancho Valencia features wines sourced from micro-producers in California, France, Italy and Spain as well as wine sourced from Canada, Mexico, Tasmania, South Africa and Turkey. Rancho Valencia’s talented culinary team can prepare an unforgettable wine paired reception featuring locally sourced ingredients from just a few miles down the road at nearby Chino Farms.

Private dining

Bang Bang (courtesy photo)

Bang Bang: Located in the heart of San Diego’s famous Gaslamp District, Bang Bang was designed by Owner and Designer Mauricio Couturier and LED nightlife impresario and Partner, Johnny Shockey. A tunneled staircase entrance reminiscent of a Tokyo subway, complete with Tokyo subway sounds streaming through hidden speakers, transports guests into Bang Bang which features modular design details including color-based video projection and mapping, oversized Japanese lanterns and the largest disco ball on the west coast. Offering three separate concepts in one space – one part asian fusion restaurant / one part sushi bar / one part “theatre” which hosts live music, DJs and movies, Bang Bang is able to host private events that can hold up to 400 people.

Offering various room sizes to fit any corporate holiday party, guests can choose from a hosted kitchen station, tray passed hot appetizers / sushi, or even a live sushi making station helmed by Executive Chef Kappa and his team of sushi experts. Offering a new twist for holiday parties, the sushi station offers basic rolls, nigiri, and speciality rolls, including the Party Party roll, made up of crab, avocado, cucumber topped with tune, salmon, yellowtail, albacore mixed with cilantro, tomato, onion and marinated with garlic soy and wasabi oil.

dining in San Diego

Brockton Villa (Courtesy photo)

Brockton Villa: Known for impeccable views, friendly service and exquisite culinary offerings, La Jolla Cove’s charming Brockton Villa restaurant has expanded their repertoire to include private parties. The delightful beach cottage offers a seaside venue with spectacular views of the world-famous La Jolla Cove and has become a favorite “show off” destination for locals and visitors alike. The historic house-turned-restaurant has kept the original floor plan, with a “mud room,” dining room, and wrap-around veranda, as well as an added-on outdoor patio area, and can comfortably host groups ranging from 20-100 people. The Inside Dining Room features a large abalone-inlaid fireplace, as well as an ocean view, enhancing a cozy, inviting atmosphere. The Outside Patio offers a fantastic open-air setting, where tables are shaded by umbrellas and an old pepper tree, which is lit at night by white party lights. Guests are welcome to add their own arrangements and decorate however they would like to fit the theme of their party. To book a private event with a custom menu, guests may contact Banquet Manager Jeff Beyoghlow at parties@brocktonvilla.com.

Dining in San Diego

The Commons Bar (Courtesy photo)

The Commons Bar: This holiday season, San Diegans can celebrate their holiday party at The Commons for a fun, approachable event. The Commons is located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter and is directly across from Horton Plaza which allows for perfect accessibility and easy parking. The space provides a 2,800 square-foot venue where guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the Gaslamp, along with an energy that resonates within the bar itself. The Commons is ideal for groups ranging from 10 to 200 guests and features a 500 square-foot private, upstairs Mezzanine game room with six flat screen TVs, foosball and shuffleboard tables, and a private bar that allows for speciality drinks to be created especially for the event or a VIP reception prior to the event. The Commons is all about customizing a party to fit the hosts’ needs, from its vintage drive-in movie theatre sign stretching across the bar that can be tailored specifically to the event, to a completely customized menu of casual and conversational bar fare.

Dining in San Diego

Avant at Rancho Bernardo Inn (Courtesy photo)

AVANT at Rancho Bernardo Inn: Offers a fresh approach to private dining for the holidays. With a focus on inspired culinary exploration, leisurely socializing, and warm, inviting spaces, every gathering becomes a special occasion. The newly appointed Chef de Cuisine Tomas Baistrocchi, serves vibrant, creative dishes and artisan libations in an inviting setting defined by its indoor-outdoor design, dynamic spaces and lush garden.

With three one-of-a-kind private dining spaces – La Taberna, El Biz and the AVANT kitchen – there is a space for every kind of holiday gathering. See below for details of the restaurant’s three private dining options:

  • La Taberna seats up to 50 guests and overlooks the gorgeous greens at Rancho Bernardo Inn.
  • El Biz is a 630 square foot space that seats up to 18 guests and includes a fireplace and floor to ceiling stained glass wall with amber and red hues.
  • The AVANT Kitchen is a truly unique approach, which offers personal time with the Chef and an intimate private demonstration.

For more information, click here or call 858.675.8551

dining in San Diego

True Food Kitchen (Courtesy photo)

True Food Kitchen: As groups become more particular about picking meeting venues that cater to a variety of specific needs, True Food Kitchen provides an easily accessible solution for the most discerning clientele. True Food Kitchen caters to ever-evolving palates by not only providing a beautiful venue at an approachable price point, but also by catering to guests with dietary needs across the board, including vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free and paleo dishes – each prepared with seasonal and responsibly sourced ingredients. Each dish is inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, which advocates eating nutrient-rich, whole and fresh foods for a healthy, happy and long life. Placed adjacent to the restaurant’s open kitchen, True Food Kitchen San Diego’s private dining room replicates the farm-to-table and nutrition-forward menu concept, lined with fresh plants and greenery. The room is equipped with a sound system and can be closed off to accommodate up to 35 guests, or left open to allow larger parties to flow into the main dining room.

dining in San Diego

Searsucker (Courtesy photo)

Searsucker San Diego: Situated upstairs over the hustle and bustle of downtown’s popular Searsucker’s main dining area, the restaurant’s private dining room can accommodate up to 32 guests. Continuing Thomas Schoos design aesthetic, Searsucker’s dining room boasts contemporary artwork, eclectic lighting and top of the line audiovisual components. From the size and structure of the room to the ambiance set by the lighting, sound and decor, this room provides the ideal setting for a range of private events. Guests may even choose to enhance their event with a special presentation by Executive Chef Brian Malarkey, who can personally guide them through their dining experience from drinks to dessert.

dining in San Diego

Searsucker Del Mar (Courtesy photo)

Searsucker Del Mar: Del Mar hotspot, Searsucker Del Mar, by Executive Chef Brian Malarkey offers a unique background featuring an improvisation on the themes of vintage Americana and the American West. The spacious 6,000 square-feet restaurant features an abundance of room for indoor and outdoor socializing and dining. In addition to the main dining room and patio, the restaurant has several private dining room options for guests including a small side room (can seat up to 10 people), a large private dining room (can seat up to 30 people) and the “I’ll have Another Lounge” back bar area which has a separate entrance and can host 50-100 people. The two smaller PDRs can also be combined while the restaurant’s back bar, side patio and seated fire pit area can also be closed off for private events. With the addition of new TV’s in the expanded patio area, Searsucker Del Mar is also able to offer various AV/tech capabilities to enhance your event as well.

Dining in San Diego

Herringbone (courtesy photo)

Herringbone La Jolla: Located in the famed coastal community of La Jolla, Herringbone by Executive Chef Brian Malarkey boasts vintage beauty and modern openness to make the ideal setting for any private event. Featuring six ancient olive trees and an open kitchen, Herringbone also has a semi-private “loft dining” space that can seat up to 22 guests. Offering a menu of “fish meats field” cuisine featuring unique surf and turf dishes and a variety of seafood options, Herringbone’s menu includes various seafood platters, flatbreads and additional signature dishes that are all great for groups to enjoy. The perfect space for any event from an intimate dinner to a buy-out dinner, Herringbone’s delicious menu and inventive cocktails will leave a lasting impression on guests.

dining in San Diego

BICE Ristorante  (Courtesy photo)

BICE Ristorante: Located just a few blocks from the San Diego Convention Center and in the heart of the Gaslamp District, BiCE Ristorante offers an exquisite setting for special events. Set in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere, BiCE offers flexible dining spaces ready to accommodate groups ranging from 52 to 120 guests. The private Milano Room offers complete privacy from the main dining room, fitting up to 52 people seated. Further, the private dining room is equipped with top-of-the-line audiovisual capabilities including a projector with an 83″ flatscreen perfect for presentations, slideshows and more. Special occasions at BiCE are complemented by impeccable Italian cuisine by Executive Chef Mario Cassineri and Chef de Cuisine Francesca Penoncelli, who take pride in customizing menus with daring and flavorful dishes aimed to please casual diners and epicureans alike. As a special offer, any private holiday lunches or dinners booked before October 31 will receive a $25 gift certificate per guest – the bigger the event, the bigger the gift!

Dining in San Diego

JRDN (Courtesy photo)

JRDN Restaurant: Located at the chic Tower23 Hotel in Pacific Beach, San Diego, JRDN is well known for their fresh cuisine combined with a lively atmosphere and stunning oceanfront views. An ideal location for private events, the Wine Room features dramatic lighting, teak wood and a 1,000 bottle wine wall. The private dining space also opens onto the private, heated Sunset Patio which boasts the property’s signature ocean views. As the sun drops, guests can also gather around the outdoor fire pit. The Wine Room holds up to 50 guests with room for an additional 40 on the Sunset Patio. All special events are enhanced by award-winning Chef Nick Shinton’s casually sophisticated Californian cuisine.

Dining in San Diego

Chandler’s Restaurant (Courtesy photo)

Chandler’s Restaurant at the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront is a stunning, oceanfront location overlooking the cliffs in Carlsbad and the Pacific Ocean. With open-air, heated patios overlooking the beach, private parties of up to 30 guests can celebrate the holidays in true Southern California style. Chef Pascal Vignau’s celebrated ‘New American’ cuisine mixes classic American dishes with bold, international tastes and is the perfect accompaniment to the gorgeous location. For parties of more than 30, adjoining private dining spaces are available as well.

*Information courtesy of J Public Relations

Dining in San Diego – Rooms with a View

Dining in San Diego

Pacifica Del Mar (Courtesy photo)

Pacifica Del Mar: With five distinct areas available, Pacifica’s private dining options offer the perfect setting for any holiday event. Whether it’s a corporate party filling the entire restaurant, or an intimate dinner amid hundreds of vintage wines in Pacifica’s Wine Room, every occasion has a signature space. Private parties feature custom cuisine, and guests also have access to Pacifica’s Ocean Bar and its unrivaled selection of over 200 of the world’s finest vodkas. This award-winning restaurant is one of the few in San Diego that are open for Thanksgiving and Christmas lunch and dinner.

1555 Camino Del Mar
(858) 792-0467
Facebook: PacificaDelMar
Twitter: @pacificadelmar

Dining in San Diego

Pacifica Del Mar (Courtesy photo)

Breeze Café: Labeled as one of San Diego’s best kept secrets, the Breeze Café offers guests a prime location to hold private dinner parties and cocktail receptions. This seaside covered patio offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the quaint seaside village of Old Del Mar. Second only to the view is the fare and full range of micro brews, wines and signature cocktails that are also available.

1555 Camino Del Mar
(858) 509-9147

Dining in San Diego

Cusp Dining and Drinks (Courtesy photo)

Cusp Dining & Drinks: As bright and airy as La Jolla itself, Cusp Dining & Drinks offers holiday guests a place to relax and enjoy the 280 degree view of the Pacific Ocean from each one of its seats. The coastal eatery features a semi-private room at the far end of the restaurant for intimate gatherings, and an event space adjacent to the restaurant where guests can quietly enjoy Mediterranean-inspired cuisine served alongside sweeping views of the coast. Cusp will also be open for Thanksgiving from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Dining in San Diego

Hiatus (Courtesy photo)

Hiatus: This intimate poolside lounge is the perfect little hideaway by the shore that guests to La Jolla look for. A swank escape from the mundane, Hiatus sets the mood to hangout and relax with treasured friends, family members and coworkers next to the pool or cozied up by the outdoor fireplace. Not only does Hiatus provide a brief respite from daily life, it also tantalizes the senses with customized bites prepared by Executive Chef Donald Lockhart, flavorful cocktails and highly acclaimed design.

Cusp & Hiatus
7955 La Jolla Shores Dr.
Facebook: CuspRestaurant
Twitter: @CuspDiningDrink

Dining in San Diego- For the Cosmopolitan Entertainer

Dining in San Diego

Lounge Six (Courtesy photo)

Jsix: Ideally located in downtown’s vibrant Gaslamp District, Jsix is a lively restaurant that leaves holiday guests with a lasting impression of what it means to live in San Diego. Jsix’s new, private Bridge Room has the capabilities to seat guests for intimate parties or receptions. Custom menus are also created for each party by award-winning Chef Christian Graves.

LOUNGEsix: is the premier San Diego rooftop lounge in the cosmopolitan Gaslamp Quarter. Located atop Solamar Terrace, it is the ideal leisure retreat day or night. Guests can sip evening libations featuring top-shelf spirits and fresh, organic fruit, or linger over small bites from the casual bar menu. Surrounding Hotel Solamar’s Shore Pool and scattered throughout the lounge, LOUNGEsix’s cabanas make a perfect space for a private party. Arrange for bottle service and enjoy the night life at its finest.

Jsix & LOUNGEsix
616 J Street
(619) 531-8744
Facebook: JsixRestaurant
Twitter: @JsixRestaurant

Dining in San Diego

RA Sushi (Courtesy photo)

RA Sushi: Personalize your holiday affair, and make it a pop-up sushi restaurant featuring some of the city’s top Asian fusion cuisine. RA Sushi will deliver everything you need, right down to the bar and highly skilled sushi chef primed and ready to create signature sushi for all of your guests. If getting out of the house is more your style, RA is also available for private events, creating a vibrant yet chic atmosphere for you and your guests.

474 Broadway
(619) 321-0021
Facebook: RASushi
Twitter: @rasushi

Dining in San Diego

Saltbox (Courtesy photo)

Saltbox: The lounge-style restaurant in the heart of downtown invites guests in to share some time together for the holidays. Luxe and moody décor make for an intimate space balanced by the comfort of carefully created, ingredient-driven fare by Chef de Cuisine Jeremiah Bryant. Available for small and large parties, Saltbox is a downtown escape equipped to deliver an exceptional experience for any event.

1047 5th Ave
(619) 515-3093
Facebook: SaltboxRestaurant
Twitter: @SaltboxSD

Dining in San Diego

SummerSalt Pool Lounge (Courtesy photo)

SummerSalt Pool Lounge: This rooftop space is designed to make events an even bigger splash, with parties held just steps from an infinity pool and lounge. Located on the fourth floor of Hotel Palomar, SummerSalt overlooks downtown San Diego’s cityscape, offering guests chic surroundings and their own private view of the bustling city below.

1047 5th Ave
(619) 515-3093
Facebook: SummerSaltSD

*PR Courtesy Information-www.TheNthElement.com

Girls Think Tank’s Dine for Dignity

Dine For Dignity

Courtesy photo

Girls Think Tank’s Dine for Dignity

Next week is Dine for Dignity, Girls Think Tank’s second annual “Restaurant Week” to support programs designed to empower people to transition off the streets. Six local restaurants will donate 10 percent of their sales on a specific day of the week to programs including 24/7 public restrooms downtown (coming early next year), a free legal clinic for the displaced, survival backpacks and the Transitional Storage Center, where folks leave their belongings so they can be mobile without the burden of bearing their entire belongings. This has led to increase employment and education among San Diego’s homeless population.

Participating restaurants:

  • Monday, November 3rd: 7pm-close: Neighborhood, 777 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Tuesday, November 4th: 5 pm- close: Sirena Gourmet Seafood Restaurant, 1901 Columbia Street, Little Italy
  • Wednesday, November, 5th: 4pm-close: Waypoint Public, 3794 30th Street, San Diego CA 92104
  • Thursday, November 6th: 6pm-10pm: Zanzibar Cafe, 707 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101. Zanzibar is a restaurant and full service bar, that offers many wines exclusive to Zanzibar, they have a menu that appeals to people with all palates, as well as homemade baked goods and gourmet products including coffees, teas, and chocolates.
  • Saturday, November 8th: open to close: Carnitas’ Snack Shack, two locations: North Park location: 2632 University Avenue, San Diego CA 92104 is open daily from 12pm-12am, Del Mar/Carmel Valley location: 12873 El Camino Real, Suite M4, San Diego CA 92130 is open daily from 11am-10pm.

Visit girlsthinktank.org for more details about the organization.

*PR Courtesy information

Eat Local at La Valencia

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Chef Montejano’s Vegan Spreads (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

I just can’t get enough of this restaurant! Read about this most talented chef and dear friend of mine Chef James Montejano and go have dinner at La Valencia!

Executive Chef James Montejano returns to his hometown of San Diego, taking on the role of executive chef at the historical oceanfront landmark location of La Valencia Hotel where he caters to The MED and the new street-facing Cafe La Rue bistro.

A classically trained French chef, Montejano attended the Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He worked at Aqua restaurant under renowned chef restaurateurs George Morrone and Michael Mina. “These chefs are my mentors,” he says. “They taught me the art of cuisine, how to utilize the products at hand, and keep dishes simple, but unique.”

At the restaurants at La Valencia, Montejano says he’s all about the local cuisine, utilizing organic and sustainable products in the kitchen. He likes to take ideas from different cultures and infuse them in the foods he makes to create a seasonal and eclectic California cuisine with a Mediterranean feel. “We celebrate the past while adapting to the needs of today’s visitor,” he says.

Montejano’s advice to up and coming chefs is to work hard, work fast, follow directions and have a culinary diary of what you make and what you do. “File your recipes and photograph your food!”

*Written by MDM
Lobster Gazpacho (Photo courtesy of Maria Desiderata Montana)

Lobster Gazpacho (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Lobster Bisque (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Lobster Bisque (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Fresh Figs (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Fresh Figs (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Summer Stone Fruit Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Scallop Crudo (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Maine Scallops (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Miso Chilean Sea Bass (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Assorted Desserts (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Assorted Desserts (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

About La Valencia Hotel: Owned and managed by Pacifica Host Hotels – a division of Pacifica Companies – La V features 112 completely renovated guest rooms and villas overlooking Ellen Browning Scripps Park and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Dining options at La V have all been enhanced with the hotel’s recent $10 million “reimagining” and include THE MED, a signature ocean facing restaurant and terrace featuring New American Cuisine, with the adjoining La Sala Lounge and the brand new street facing European bistro, Café La Rue. Ocean view banquet rooms accommodate 10 to 175 guests and the property includes terraced gardens, heated pool & spa, fitness room and business center. La V is located in the center of the Village of La Jolla and steps away to premier retail and dining.

Renowned leisure destinations are minutes away and include the La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines State Park, Scripps Ocean Institute, the Birch Aquarium as well as UCSD / La Jolla Playhouse and the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art.

*Courtesy information

The Med at la Valencia Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Delicious Royal India Cuisine

Royal India CuisineShare in the fun and experience the colorful cultural heritage of India at Tower After Hours: India!

Taste Delicious Royal India Cuisine

Drink Indian beer and IPAs, watch performances of Bollywood-style dancing, and receive beautiful henna body art. It will be an amazing night at the Museum of Man!

Join the Museum and San Diego’s own Indian-American community for this festive party Thursday, November 6, 2014, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tickets: $15 for Museum Members and $30 for E-Club Members*Sign up here to become a Museum Member and get the discounted rate.

  • Ticket includes entrance to the museum, food tastings, beverages, and cultural entertainment.
  • Each Museum Member is entitled to one additional guest ticket at member price.
  • Tickets are non-refundable, but they are fully transferable to another party.

Featuring: the House of India, Royal India, Sharavati Sathe’s Kathak Troupe, and Shalini’s Folk Dance.


*Information courtesy of http://www.museumofman.org/india-2014

Fish Tacos and San Diego Craft Beer

San Diego’s Top Fish Taco Destinations Battle it Out to Earn Title as the Region’s Finest in the Annual Fish Taco TKO Competition

Fish Tacos

PR Courtesy Photo

Fish Tacos and San Diego Craft Beer return to the San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival

The 11th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival feeds the San Diegan soul with two of the city’s treasured delicacies, the fish taco and craft beer. On Tuesday, November 18, the Fish Taco TKO & San Diego Craft Beers Presented by Dining Out Magazine returns to Southern California’s largest food and wine festival for another mouthwatering showcase of the San Diego culinary classics.

A signature wine and food festival event, the evening held at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma community, features the famed Fish Taco TKO Competition. A lively and palatable showdown where San Diego’s top fish taco makers go head-to-head in a crave-worthy battle to be crowned San Diego’s finest. “In San Diego, a fish taco paired with a local craft beer is a signature taste of the city, and a treasured element to local lifestyle,” said Michelle Metter, co-producer of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

PR Courtesy Photo

“Whether tantalizing the palate of an out-of-towner, or playing to a local’s taste buds, the wine and food festival brings the most delicious flavors of the region to all attendees,” added Metter. “Regarded as the craft beer capital of the world, and home to some of the tastiest fish tacos north of Baja, Taco TKO highlights both local treasures. Taco TKO brings guests the San Diego experience in a way that is delicious, interactive, and at an affordable price all foodies can appreciate.”

The citywide fish taco competition welcomes returning champ Sandbar, as well as Stone Brewing Co., The Blind Burro, Casanova Fish Tacos, PB Fish Shop, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Puesto, Romesco Mex Med, and Tequila Bar & Grille to participate in The Fish Taco TKO. Throughout the evening guests will sip on unique craft beers on draft, while weighing in on the chef’s taco creations which will be specially paired together by Stone Craft Beer Ambassador “Dr.” Bill Sysak.

The Fish Taco TKO & San Diego Craft Beers will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18 at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, located at 2816 Historic Decatur Road #116, San Diego CA 92106. Tickets to The Fish Taco TKO & San Diego Craft Beersare on sale for $45. For a complete schedule of events or to purchase tickets for the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, visit http://www.sandiegowineclassic.com.


The 11th Annual 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. Held November 16-23, 2014, the event benefits culinary arts and enology scholarships awarded by The American Institute of Wine & Food and the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Over 200 wineries, breweries and spirit companies, 70 of San Diego’s top fine dining restaurants and 30 gourmet food companies will participate in the 2014 Festival. For more information visit www.sandiegowineclassic.com. Produced by World of Wine Events and Fast Forward Event Productions. For more information call 619-312-1212. -PR Courtesy Information

Fish Tacos

California Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Red Pepper Slaw (Recipe and Photo By Maria Desiderata Montana)

California Olive Ranch

Grilling on the West Coast: Q&A with Food Blogger Maria Desiderata Montana

Montana offers her own recipe for California Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Red Pepper Slaw

Puesto at The Headquarters

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

The second Puesto at The Headquarters offers an expanded menu highlighted by their coveted tacos made with crispy melted cheese and the finest ingredients to hit fresh, house-made tortillas. The new Puesto menu will feature antojitos (Mexican tapas), and innovative cocktail frescas in a full-service, beautifully designed restaurant, along with its signature taco line in an awesome atmosphere.

“We are excited to share so much more of the authentic Mexican cuisine we love at the new Puesto location,” says co-owner Eric Adler. “We strive to create the greatest tacos you’ve ever tasted, and this new space will be a spectacular place to savor Mexican food, drinks and hospitality!”

The 4,500 square foot restaurant is designed by Thomas Schoos, the creative genius behind the décor of Morimoto in Mexico City and Waikiki, Tao Las Vegas and Searsucker in San Diego and Austin, and includes two custom art walls by famed artist Chor Boogie in addition to the inviting dining room, mezzanine and patio seating.

» Read more

Oggi’s Pizza and Beer Party

pizza and beer

Oggi’s Sports | Brewhouse | Pizza Grand Opening

Pizza and Beer

Oggi’s will celebrate its newly opened Vista location with a grand opening football party on November 2nd.

“It has been so much fun meeting the Vista community these past couple weeks,” said Oggi’s vice president, Estella Ferrera. “Football is a fantastic reason to get everyone together and we’re excited to invite new regulars and their friends and family to come watch the game with us as we celebrate with discounts and giveaways!”

Pizza and Beer

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Festivities will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with raffle prizes including a LaDainian Tomlinson signed jersey, LaDainian Tomlinson signed mini helmet, t-shirts, pint glasses and Oggi’s gift cards! Each guest wearing a football jersey will receive a free order of Oggi’s Stix-pizza dough topped with parsley, mozzarella and parmesan cheese as well as enjoy $5 Oggi’s beers and Bloody Marys throughout the day. The Mighty 1090 street team will also be on hand to give away even more items.

Oggi’s Sports | Brewhouse | Pizza in Vista 18th location officially opened for business on October 21. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Oggi’s will open at 9:30 a.m. for Saturday and Sunday College and NFL Football games. The restaurant is located at 425 S. Melrose Drive Vista, CA 92084 and the telephone phone number is 760-295-3500. Visit Oggi’s online at www.Oggis.com and connect on Facebook at @Oggi’s Vista.

About Oggi’s Sports | Brewhouse | Pizza

Oggi’s has over 23 years of operational experience in franchising. The successful full-service, sports-themed Oggi’s Sports | Brewhouse | Pizza franchise has locations in California and Arizona. Oggi’s recently opened a new restaurant in Fullerton, Orange County and plans to expand to Uplandin San Bernardino County and into Northern California. The new Oggi’s Pizza Express offers line-style ordering for affordable build-your-own-pizzas and handcrafted beer in a fast and casual setting. For more information including franchising for both concepts, visit www.Oggis.com.

*Information courtesy of Chemistry PR

Enjoy Classic Steak and Seafood

Lou & Mickey’s Debuts Extensive Bar Remodel and Expanded Menu

steak and seafood

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

One more thing to be thankful for this November – Lou & Mickey’s, downtown San Diego’s classic steak and seafood destination, unveils a new look and expanded bar menu just in time for the holidays! The restaurant, most known for its delicious American cuisine, will feature a new open-air design that extends the space to the adjacent streets, with floor-to-ceiling windows that give direct visibility to the bar from 5th Avenue. Additionally, the bar will have 8 new televisions—ideal for the sports enthusiasts.

steak and seafood

Seafood Platter (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Coinciding with the new look, Lou & Mickey’s will launch a new beverage program with updated seasonal cocktails, such as the The Under the Boardwalk with vodka, lemon, thyme and strawberries, and the Gold Rush, straight bourbon whiskey with fresh lemon juice and honey. The restaurant also will provide a wider selection of craft beer, with 20 local brewers on tap, including Ballast Point Wahoo White, Mission Blonde Kolsch and Allagash White.

With all the new changes, Lou & Mickey’s will be an even more exciting place to enjoy high quality seafood in a fun, laid-back atmosphere.

Cousins Jeff and Sam King opened Lou & Mickey’s to honor their fathers with a restaurant that showcases their roots by serving choice seafood and prime steaks in a relaxed, inviting environment. Located at the entrance to San Diego’s Historic Gaslamp Quarter and within direct proximity to the San Diego Convention Center and Petco Park, Lou & Mickey’s serves memorable classic American cuisine with plenty of mid-western hospitality. Lou & Mickey’s is available for private events and is located at 224 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101. For more information and reservations, please call (619) 237-4900 or visit www.louandmickeys.com.

About King’s Seafood Company

King’s Seafood Company, based in Costa Mesa, California, evolved from more than 60 years of family-run restaurant experience. With 12 King’s Fish House locations throughout Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona, the company also operates several signature restaurants, including Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles, Ocean Avenue Seafood and Pier Burger in Santa Monica, Fish Camp in Huntington Beach, 555 East Steakhouse in Long Beach, and Lou & Mickey’s in San Diego. For more information, please visit www.kingsseafood.com.

*Courtesy information

Lou & Mickey's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Regional Mexican Food In Del Mar

Diane Powers opens Casa Sol y Mar, the newest dining destination to join her family of eateries serving fine Mexican food throughout the County. (Read more about Casa Guadalajara and get the recipes for Mexican Shrimp Cocktail AND Enchiladas de Vegetables Con Queso in my new book: ‘San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary recipes From America’s Finest City’.)

Mexican food

Photo by Martin Mann Photography

Casa Sol y Mar is located in the bustling Del Mar Highlands Town Center at 12865 El Camino Real, and is elaborately decorated to reflect the true spirit of Mexico. It is scheduled to open in May.

“Our philosophy is to offer great value and a delightful Mexican dining experience,” said Powers. “This includes memorable flavors, abundant selections, high quality and fresh ingredients, and a spirited, authentic environment that captures the essence of Mexican traditions.”

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Pumpkin is popular in San Diego

pumpkinFrom October 27th to November 1st, stop by the Hillcrest and the downtown Lotus Thai locations for two Halloween specials that include pumpkin. For a fall versions of Thai favorites, order the Pumpkin Chicken Curry as a $6 special main course or end the meal on a sweet note with Pumpkin Custard Sticky Rice for only $4. Compliment the meal with refreshing $2 Lychee Martini shots. Served all-day during Halloween week, you won’t want to miss these unique dishes. Feeling like a more traditional Thai dish? Just dine-in wearing your Halloween costume for 20% off. Please note, specials may not be combined.


For pumpkin dishes with Mexican flair, Hillcrest’s Ortega’s, A Mexican Bistro has all guests. Carnivores will love the Chicken Pippian, a boneless grilled chicken breast topped with a mole-like pumpkin seed pippian sauce, when dining during dinner. Those who don’t consume meat will enjoy the Vegetarian Burrito during lunch or dinner. Pumpkin and black bean puree is wrapped in a large fresh home-made flour tortilla with poblano chiles, potatoes, avocado, pico de gallo and jack cheese and served with vegetarian black beans.

PumpkinWe all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. With the help of PB’s Isabel’s Cantina, eat your pumpkin with Pumpkin Pancakes drizzled with a cream cheese frosting and topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar. If pancakes aren’t your thing, Isabel’s Mexican Chopped Salad can also help with that pumpkin fix. Greens and chopped romaine lettuce are tossed in a cumin vinaigrette and topped with radishes, cucumber, chipotle-corn salsa and pumpkin seeds.

Pacific Beach AleHouse can help diners drink their pumpkin with AleHouse’s seasonally in-house brewed Pumpkin Ale. The PB AleHouse team carved more than 100 pounds of pumpkins, roasted, smoked and rubbed ‘em with a honey and brown sugar glaze. The pumpkins were baked to seal in the sweet flavors and finally sent into mash with eight types of malt including crystal, honey and biscuit. Brewmaster Vince Falcone added a mixture of nutmeg, all-spice and pumpkin pie spice before ending the boiling process. The result is a pumpkin ale with a hint of spice, served fresh in a sugar-rimmed glass, that is only available until Thanksgiving.

*Information courtesy of Alternative Strategies

Chinese Fusion Cuisine in Del Mar

Chinese Fusion Cuisine

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After opening in the spring of 2004, Del Mar Rendezvous, serving Chinese Fusion Cuisine, announced the near completion of its major, quarter million dollar renovation, all while only closing for about two weeks. In its eight years of serving the Del Mar community, this is the first time the space has undergone any major upgrades, design changes or additions to its space.

“Our decision to remodel is attributable to both some outdated décor as well as a great amount of helpful comments and recommendations from our guests,” said Dan Schreiber, owner of Del Mar Rendezvous.

The dining room now boasts new dining booths, tables, a wine and art display, as well as designer and antique light fixtures to enhance the restaurant’s romantic, upscale ambience.

 “More than just an aesthetic remodel, this has been a complete reworking of the restaurant for us. Our vision was thought-out over several years and directed towards improving guests’ experience and overall restaurant flow,” said Schreiber. “The changes have made an enormous difference in our ability to handle the increased business we have experienced over the past few years at the restaurant. It has also enabled the wait staff to provide even better service to our guests despite this increase in business, which is extremely important to us.”

Chinese fusion cuisineWith the new amenities, Del Mar Rendezvous’ now has a white wine specific temperature-controlled wine refrigerator, a more extensive wine selection, four types of beer on draft, a high-end wine cellar, and organic, free-trade and sustainably produced teas and coffees, in French Presses.

“The recent remodel has not only changed the functionality of the restaurant from the way it was before, but it has inspired our team to make positive changes to continue enhancing our guests’ experience moving forward,” said Schreiber.

Perhaps one of the most ambiance-altering aspects of the remodel comes from the ancient Chinese artwork that now adorns the restaurant’s interior. Traditional pieces and sculptures from China set the tone for Rendezvous’ serene dining and foyer area.

“Since the art pieces have been added, guests will often inquire about the history and meaning of them and are intrigued to hear that some date back 200 years,” said Schreiber. “One of my favorite symbols in the restaurant is the jade carving of horses galloping into the heavens. It’s a lucky Chinese symbol, representing the power, grace and speed of horses. I see it as a good omen for the prosperity and success I want my restaurant to have.”

In addition to new tables, chairs and lighting, Del Mar Rendezvous’ outdoor patio was nearly tripled in size with brand new heaters, lighting and planters positioned throughout the length of the patio. The new pet-friendly patio also allows guests to enjoy alcoholic beverages while dining outdoors.

About Del Mar Rendezvous

Since 2004, Del Mar Rendezvous has been enticing San Diegans with its wide array of Chinese fare complimented by a modern mix of Asian flavors. Rendezvous boasts over 20 local, import and craft beers in addition to an award-winning list of over 80 wines, offered at half-price by the bottle on Wednesdays and Sundays. With over 100 different dishes on its menu, Rendezvous also caters to both gluten-free and vegetarian guests with over 40 dedicated options to choose from. The newly remodeled interior and extended patio, with glimpses of the Pacific Ocean, offer a calming and inviting atmosphere, perfect for date nights, business lunches or family dinners.

Del Mar Rendezvous is located at 1555 Camino Del Mar, Suite 102, in the Del Mar Plaza, and is open for lunch Monday – Saturday (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and serves dinner nightly, beginning at 4 p.m.

For more information about Del Mar Rendezvous, visit www.delmarrendezvous.com or call (858) 755-2669.

*Courtesy photos and information

Day of the Dead San Diego Style

day of the deadDay of the Dead

Kick off your fiesta with the authentic flavors of Puerto Nuevo at Ortega’s Mexican Bistro. For a meal the whole familia will love, try the Puerto Nuevo family-style lobster feast. It feeds up to six people, and includes chips and guacamole, fresh handmade tortillas, and bunuelos for dessert. Between 3 and 6 p.m., go for a $6 mango mint margarita plus a variety of other happy hour food and drink specials.

The Day of the Dead celebration comes alive at Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro. Choose from the tostada festival list, which includes ahi tuna and orejas del mar tostadas. Los antojitos de la casa (house specials) offer beef tacos with cilantro, onions and salsa, as well as Grandma’s tacos de fideo, original spaghettini tacos with fresh cream and Spanish chorizo.

It doesn’t get much more authentic to the holiday than Barrio Star, with Day of the Dead-themed décor including colorful skulls and glittering lights. A special Día de los Muertos three-course dinner menu offers soup or salad, a choice between chile relleno and pumpkin tamal, topped off with a Mexican chocolate bomb or pumpkin flan for dessert. The regular drink menu offers specialty cocteles such as a roasted jalapeno blackberry margarita as well as a beer and wine list.

Coastally located in Pacific Beach, Isabel’s Cantina offers breakfast and brunch as well as the Día de los Muertos holiday special. For breakfast, try the coconut French toast with bananas, pineapple, raspberry puree and powdered sugar. Counting calories? Go for the Nirvana bowl with marinated grilled tofu, brown rice, broccoli, yellow squash, green zucchini, egg whites, sautéed tomatoes, green onions and salsa cruda. A mimosa bar and kids menu ensures something for everyone at the table.

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STAKE, New Steakhouse in Coronado

Blue Bridge Hospitality Elevates Coronado Island’s Chef Driven Dining Experience by Announcing Stake Chophouse + Bar, a tried-and-true steakhouse, to open November 6th


Rendering of Stake Chophouse and Bar — Courtesy of Di Donato Associates

Blue Bridge Hospitality is based in and born out of a love for the city of Coronado. With five existing concepts under their belt, the restaurant group has continuously raised the bar on the island’s culinary scene by creating thoughtful, local dining experiences. First surfacing in 1998 with a number of family-friendly concepts, Blue Bridge then announced their first chef-driven dining project in 2011 with the launch of Leroy’s Kitchen + Bar, led by Executive Chef JC Colón (Tempo in NYC, CUCINA urbana).  Now, the group is pleased to announce Stake Chophouse + Bar, their newest steakhouse endeavor, which will elevate the collective to a new level as they venture into a more contemporary dining arena.

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Visit The Patio On Lamont Street

Visit The Patio On Lamont Street

The Patio Salad: Seasonal Fruit, Chèvre, Candied Walnuts, Ciabatta, Mixed Greens and Fruit Vinaigrette (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

The Patio on Lamont Street in Pacific Beach is the perfect gathering place for a fine dining experience.

With a demographic for people that range in age from age 21 to 85, Executive Chef John Medall of The Patio on Lamont Street says he can create many levels of food specialties that’s pleasing to all palates. “I’m able to visualize and create dishes which are healthy as well as delicious,” he says. “I’m also able to create dishes around some food items which some diners have commonly turned their noses up to, such as octopus and sweet breads.”

Braised Spanish Octopus with gigante Beans, Pancetta and Pine Nut Butter (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Braised Spanish Octopus with gigante Beans, Pancetta and Pine Nut Butter (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

As well as dining indoors, The Patio on Lamont Street provides a casual outdoor venue which embraces the relationship between canine friend and owner. “Not only do we allow dogs to dine with their owners, but I also make homemade dog treats out of the scraps and drippings from our prep cooking,” Chef Medall says.

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Eat Seasonal and Natural Food

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Eat Natural Food

Former San Diego favorite chef, Michael Stebner (Nine-Ten and Region) teams up with  chef Nathan Coulon who will take on the Executive Chef responsibilities at the San Diego version of True Food Kitchen in Fashion Valley. True Food Kitchen was developed in partnership with boutique restaurant group Fox Restaurant Concepts and best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil. The San Diego True Food Kitchen will be the fifth location in the United States, with other successful outposts in Arizona and California.

Under the guidance of Stebner, who began his culinary career in San Diego before venturing to Arizona to open the flagship location, True Food Kitchen offers a globally inspired, seasonal menu appealing to anyone seeking a more balanced lifestyle. True Food Kitchen sources locally and regionally sourced ingredients to create a simple, internationally focused menu. Local vendors include Crows Pass Farm and Suzie’s Farm.

“San Diego is a city centered around an active, healthy lifestyle, thus it’s a perfect fit for True Food Kitchen,” said Sam Fox, CEO and president of Fox Restaurant Concepts. “We feel that the San Diego community will enthusiastically embrace True Food Kitchen’s underlying concept that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for good nutrition.”

The Fashion Valley location boasts True Food Kitchen’s traditional color palette of lemon twist yellow and apple green, both light and dark wood tones and soaring ceilings with large windows to bring the outdoors in. Outdoor tables shaded with vibrant yellow umbrellas fill a partially covered heated patio area. Lush landscaping and a central fire pit complete the patio, offering the perfect al fresco dining option any time of day.

Elements of nature are found throughout the interior and exterior, resonating with True Food Kitchen’s dedication to natural foods and eco-friendly practices. Colorful flowers will line the patio railing, while hanging baskets full of fragrant herbs and potted plants will divide the interior seating spaces.

Designed by Judi Testani of Testani Design Troupe and Fitch Architecture, the San Diego True Food Kitchen boasts more than 8,200 square feet, with seating for 191 guests inside, including communal tables and a centrally located bar, and 120 outside on the patio. Perfect for parties or groups, True Food Kitchen also offers a 24 person private dining room with a view into the kitchen.

The menu at True Food Kitchen features global cuisine, influenced by the Mediterranean, Asia, and California. High quality grains, vegetables, wild caught fish, certified Angus natural beef and free range chicken are used in wholesome, simple dishes using seasonal and locally sourced products. A variety of dishes are offered as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or dairy free and menu notations easily identify the choices. The menus at True Food Kitchen change from lunch to dinner and a brunch menu will be served on the weekends.

In keeping with Dr. Weil’s healthy living philosophy, True Food Kitchen is Green Restaurant Certified. Many materials selected for the restaurant are environmentally friendly, including high efficiency kitchen equipment, low voltage LED lighting, low VOC paint, reclaimed wood floors, recycled furnishings, Eco-Products compostable takeout products, and a Natura Water Purification Unit used to create still and carbonated bottled water in-house.

The restaurant is open Monday – Thursday from 11:00AM – 10:00PM, Friday from 11:00AM – 11:00PM, Saturday from 10:00AM – 11:00PM (brunch served until 4:00PM) and Sunday from 10:00AM – 9:00PM (brunch served until 4:00PM).

True Food Kitchen is located on the west side of Fashion Valley, 7007 Friar’s Road, Suite 394, San Diego, CA. For more information, visit www.truefoodkitchen.com or follow True Food Kitchen on Twitter @TrueFoodKitchen or Facebook at www.facebook.com/TrueFoodKitchen.

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SolCal Vegan Market Café and Juicery

Vegan Market

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Now open at 910 J Street is SolCal—San Diego’s first Vegan Market Café and Juicery with a built-in Naturopathic doctors office. Created by former NFL great, Jacob Bell and Food Network’s celebrity chef, Anne Thorton, SOL CAL is serving fresh cold-pressed organic juice, single source organic coffee, teas and elixirs, a full menu of grab-n-go salads, sandwiches, soups, tacos, wraps and Veganly Delicious ice cream and desserts.

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Pillbox Tavern Opens In Solana Beach


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Named for the famous beach break down below, Pillbox Tavern rises up to meet North County’s need for coastal Americana cuisine. The retro-mod beach bar and restaurant offers a rotating selection of local beers on tap and a menu full of savory wing selections, burgers and sandwiches, salads and sweet treats. Pillbox Tavern hopes to be latest refreshing place to unwind above the cliffside Solana Beach neighborhood of Fletcher Cove. Pillbox Tavern is located at 117 W. Plaza Street, Solana Beach, CA 92075.


Coconut Shrimp (Courtesy photo)

Pillbox Tavern will start lunch service on Monday 11/3 and a regular schedule, opening at 11 a.m. Monday -Friday. On Saturday 11/7, the restaurant kicks off brunch service and will then open at 9 a.m. on weekends. Starting in November, Pillbox Tavern will close at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.


Ceviche (Courtesy photo)

Pillbox Tavern is the product of partners Leigh Gibson, Mike Garcia, Adam Jacoby and strategic partner, Justin La Frantz. Gibson has more than 20 years of professional and operational experience in the nightclub, restaurant and bar industry, as well as in design, licensing, permitting and construction supervision. Gibson is key member of the opening team for The La Jolla Brewing Company and The Commons in downtown San Diego, ensuring proper execution of business operations. Garcia is currently an owner/operator at Saddle Bar in Solana Beach, where he is in charge of inventory, specialty drink development, staff training and marketing and cost controls. Saddle Bar was recently awarded “New Business of the Year” by the Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce. Garcia will contribute his large network of bar regulars, training experience and cost control knowledge to Pillbox Tavern Solana Beach. Jacoby is a long-standing restaurant industry professional and oversees all of the day-to-day operations as the Dirty Birds’ operations manager. La Frantz is the President/CEO of La Frantz Contracting and Design, Inc. A licensed contractor in San Diego since 2007, he has completed a substantial number of projects in the bar and restaurant industry.

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Pillbox Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New Farmers Market in San Diego

Farmers MarketFarmers Market

Stop by the new weekly farmers market on College Avenue for local, organic and seasonal produce, handmade arts and crafts and an International Food Court.

The market is set to open on Wednesday, October 29th at 4747 College Avenue at the corner of 62nd and El Cajon. For more information, follow the College Area Business District on Facebook.

San Diego County
Certified Farmers Markets

Buy Local San Diego Produce by visiting one of the Certified Farmers’ Markets (CFM) in San Diego County allows you to experience agriculture. Farmers’ Markets provide venues for farmers to sell directly to consumers and supports small farming operations.

Click here for a listing of San Diego County Farmers Markets.

Farmers MarketBecome a San Diego Friend of Farming!

Friends of Farming support the efforts of San Diego County Farm Bureau to represent and protect local farmers. As thanks for your support, friends are invited to exclusive farm tours and events hosted by San Diego County Farm Bureau, and get to see first-hand what incredible value local agriculture brings to our region.

Visit www.friendsoffarming.com to find out how you can support San Diego’s family farmers!

*Courtesy inormation

New Book: Modern Classic Cocktails

Considered one of the most widely respected bartenders in the industry, David Kaplan, owner & founder of NYC’s prestigious Death & Co. bar will be coming to San Diego on Sunday, November 2nd for an exclusive appearance at prominent cocktail destination, Polite Provisions to celebrate the launch of his new book, Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails.

Modern Classic Cocktails

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Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails | Exclusive Book Launch

After its inception in 2006 Death & Co. quickly became the de facto destination for cocktail connoisseurs—and one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and influential bars in the process. Winner of nearly every major cocktail industry award (Tales of the Cocktail: America’s Best Cocktail Bar and Best Cocktail Menu), the gothic saloon in NYC’s East Village boasts some of the best barkeeps in the biz and is recognized for creating many of the modern era’s most iconic drinks (Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, Naked and Famous, Apertivo Julep).

On Sunday November 2nd, Polite Provisions will be hosting founder and owner David Kaplan as he launches Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails (a literary collaboration with Death & Company co-owner Alex Day and Brooklyn-based editor Nick Fauchald) and mingles with the city’s fellow cocktail aficionados. The elegant book (quite possibly the sexiest cocktail book ever) is filled with evocative photography, colorful essays and encompasses the history of the Death & Co. experience as it transformed the NYC cocktail scene —charting everything from building the business to guest anecdotes. Featuring more than 500 of their most innovative and whimsically named tipples—Enemies of Promise, Confused & Dangerous, The Joy Division, and more — the book serves as a definitive guide to the contemporary craft cocktail movement, and would make a prized addition to the collection of any enthusiast. www.deathandcompany.com

WHEN: Sunday, November 2nd from 6pm – 9pm

COST: This exclusive event is priced at $55.00 per person and includes one copy of Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails (a $40 value), complimentary signature cocktails from Death & Co. and appetizers from Soda & Swine. The event is limited to 150 attendees.

Tickets can be purchased online at via eventbrite.com at:

WHAT: Death & Co. guest bartenders Brad Farran & Jillian Vose will be whipping up 8 complimentary Death & Co. cocktails, alongside hosted appetizers courtesy of Soda & Swine.


Little Engine (Alex Day, 2009)
Famous Grouse Scotch, Tawny Port,
Lemon Juice & Apple Butter

Scotch Lady (Phil Ward, 2008)
Famous Grouse Scotch, Apple Brandy,
Lemon Juice & Grenadine

Tea In The Sahara (Brian Miller, 2009)
Coconut Green Tea-infused Famous Grouse,
Strega & Acacia Honey Syrup

Kew Gardens Cooler (Joaqin Simo, 2009)
Beefeater London Dry Gin, Aperol,
Grapefruit Juice, Scarlet Glow Syrup

House Of Payne (Phil Ward, 2012)
Beefeater London Dry Gin, Plymouth Sloe Gin,
Campari & Raspberries

Bella Luna (Brian Miller, 2009)
Plymouth Gin, St. Germain, Giffard Crème de Violette,
Lemon Juice & Simple Syrup

Moon Cocktail (Thomas Waugh, 2008)
Plymouth Gin, Amontillado Sherry,
Giffard Crème de Peche & Acacia Honey Syrup

Elder Fashion (Phil Ward, 2007)
Plymouth Gin, St. Germain,
House Orange Bitters & Grapefruit Twist

WHERE: Polite Provisions
 | 4696 30th Ave 
San Diego, CA 92116 | 619.677.DRUG

About Polite Provisions: Polite Provisions brings a renewed spirit of community to a bustling street corner of one of San Diego’s most eclectic, burgeoning neighborhoods, Normal Heights. Helmed by internationally respected bartender, Erick Castro, Polite Provisions aims to revive and modernize the golden era of the neighborhood drugstore with spirited cocktails prepared with housemade bitters, soda pop, tinctures and syrups, as a nod to those ingredients’ medicinal uses. Polite Provisions is located at 4696 30th Ave, San Diego, CA 92116. For more information please call 619.677.DRUG or visit www.politeprovisions.com.

Gingerbread House Competition

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa Announces Call For Entries For 2014 Gingerbread House Competition with Cash Prizes of $1000 and a Sweet Donation to Carlsbad Boys & Girls Club

gingerbread house competition

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Gingerbread Architects Challenged To Throw Their Icing Bags In The Ring With First Annual Competition

WHAT: 2014 Omni La Costa Gingerbread House Competition Call For Entries

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa will hold its first annual Gingerbread House Competition, challenging San Diego bakers and holiday enthusiasts to create their own signature Gingerbread Houses for a chance to win $1000 in cash and prizes, a $1000 donation to the Carlsbad Boys & Girls Club in their name and, most importantly, bragging rights!

Contestants can enter by submitting the official entry form found at http://www.lacosta.com/holidays/. All entries must be received by November 14th and completed gingerbread houses must be delivered to Omni La Costa Resort & Spa at appointed times on Dec. 1 and 2.

Gingerbread House Competition

Gingerbread houses will be on display in Omni La Costa’s lobby beginning Dec. 4 for the community to view. A panel of judges comprised of Omni La Costa’s culinary team, southern California’s top food writers and bloggers and Omni La Costa’s Managing Director Larry Magor, will determine the top entries; and the winners will be announced at the resort’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 5th.

WHEN: Entry application
October 10th, 2014 – November 14th, 2014

Gingerbread House submission drop-off & display installation
December. 1st – 2nd, 2014

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Prize Presentation
December 5th, 2014

WHO: Adults ages 18 and older may enter.

WHERE: Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
2100 Costa Del Mar Road
Carlsbad, CA 92009

HOW: Download the entry form found at: http://www.lacosta.com/holidays/.

Entries will be judged in four areas: appearance, difficulty, precision and creativity. Final prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Grand Prize: $1000 cash to the winner and a $1000 cash donation will be made in their name to the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad
  • Creativity Award: An overnight stay for two in luxurious accommodations at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
  • People’s Choice: Dinner for two at the acclaimed BlueFire Grill restaurant

Savoie opens in Otay Ranch

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Guided by the Contreras-Curiel family, Savoie is the stylish new flagship of the Karina’s Group of restaurants, which quietly has arrived at the top tier of San Diego’s home-grown hospitality firms. Located at 2015 Birch Road, Suite 720 in Otay Ranch Town Center, Savoie boasts over ten thousand square feet of dazzling indoor and outdoor space encompassing multiple inviting patios, lounges and dining rooms. The cultures of France and Italy come to life on a finely crafted menu that celebrates the best of both. With a range of options that include the simple and sublime, the menu offers delicious, imaginative and perfectly prepared pizzas and pastas, along with gourmet selections, steaks and seafood.

About the Karina’s Group
In 1981, Arnulfo Contreras Senior and his wife, Maria Inez 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, the brand now numbers four very popular Mexican seafood restaurants. An insistence upon on-target authenticity guides these restaurants daily. The Karina’s Group recently has added three new, decidedly more upscale eateries. Conceived by brothers David and Arnulfo Contreras Curiel and their brother-in-law, Director of Operations/Partner Alejandro Navarrete, these exciting restaurants demonstrate talents for imagination and creativity unrivaled in San Diego. In Eastlake, Enamorada presents a selective menu of Mexican seafood specialties in an environment that creates an enchanting, dream-like vision of Old Mexico. In Otay Ranch Town Center, Savoie showcases inspired whimsy that entertains with endlessly engaging décor and a French-Italian menu that celebrates the excitement of both cuisines. And at a major Chula Vista crossroads, the about-to-open La Tequila earns its name by pouring a comprehensive collection of tequilas, supported by an authoritative menu of traditional Mexican fare.

*Courtesy information

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant


RA Sushi Bar Restaurant

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Exciting Options Sheathed in Sleek New Book Now Available in San Diego

More Menu items at RA Sushi Bar Restaurant

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant has rolled out 16 new appetizer, salad, sushi and entrée selections that are sure to delight longtime fans and pique the interest of newcomers. The new items are housed in a polished book that comprises all food, cocktail and limited time offerings. The user-friendly book contains category tabs, labeled items, creative icons and tantalizing photographs for easy navigation.

RA Sushi Bar

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Start off with new salads and shareable plates such as Agedashi Tofu, featuring lightly fried tofu topped with sautéed garlic, mushrooms and snow peas with kinoko sauce, or Edamame Wontons filled with a creamy edamame cheese mix. On the lighter side, the Sashimi Salad is a signature blend of tuna, yellowtail, salmon and shrimp tossed with mixed greens, seaweed, cucumber, avocado and lobok in poke dressing, topped with sesame seeds, wonton chips and shredded red pepper.

For die-hard sushi lovers, new hand rolls and specialties like the Seared Dill Salmon Roll, with cucumber, avocado and arugula rolled and topped with seared salmon, lemon zest and truffle salt have made their debut. Variety is the spice of life, and so is the Chili Ponzu Yellowtail Roll, a spicy yellowtail mix rolled with cucumber, avocado, jalapeño and cilantro, served with chili ponzu sauce.

RA is also beefing up their hearty entrée selections with dishes like the Black Pepper Sirloin Steak, featuring sirloin steak sautéed with black pepper and soy sauce, served with asparagus and kinoko sauce.

With 16 new items, plus a variety of long-time signature favorites, RA Sushi in San Diego continues to give guests a lively experience with plenty of food and fun. For more information, call (619) 321-0021, or visit www.facebook.com/RAsushi.

About RA Sushi

A “RA”ckin’ vibe, popular music, and distinctive Japanese fusion cuisine sets RA Sushi Bar Restaurant apart from a typical sushi joint. RA opened its first location in Scottsdale, Ariz. in 1997 and has since expanded to include 26 locations throughout the United States. Consistently awarded for its fresh sushi, creative cocktails, killer happy hour, and musically inspired nightlife, at RA good food and good times go hand-in-hand.

RA Sushi in San Diego is located downtown at 474 Broadway, just outside San Diego’s famous Gaslamp Quarter. Lunch is served seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and the bar remains open until 1 a.m. or later daily. Happy Hour specials are offered Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight and Sundays from 8 to midnight. Reservations are available through OpenTable at rasushi.com/san-diego. For more information, please call 619-321-0021.

RA has 26 locations across the country. Enjoy RA Sushi in Arizona (Ahwatukee, Mesa, North Scottsdale, South Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson); California (Chino Hills, Corona, Huntington Beach, San Diego, Torrance and Tustin); Florida (Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Pembroke Pines and South Miami); Georgia (Atlanta); Illinois (Chicago, Glenview and Lombard); Kansas (Leawood); Maryland (Baltimore); Nevada (Las Vegas); and Texas (two Houston locations and Plano). Look for RA on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and check in at RA Sushi on Foursquare. For more information visit RA online at www.RAsushi.com.

*Courtesy information the nthe element

Pink Tacos For Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

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This October, downtown San Diego’s newest Mexican eatery, Don Chido, is celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by turning all of their signature tacos PINK. Enjoy carne asada, pollo, rajas polbano, wood fired baja fish and more signature tacos all in a handmade pink corn tortilla and a portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

ABOUT DON CHIDO: Chef Antonio Friscia and RMD Group Bring Baja-Inspired Mexican to Downtown San Diego

From RMD Group, the development and management team behind recognized venues including FLUXX and Side Bar, along with Ken Lovi, founder and CEO of Knotty Barrel Gastropub, and Chef-Partner Antonio Friscia (of Stingaree and formerly Gaijin Noodle House), Don Chido officially opened to the public on June 30th. An authentic, stylish, Mexican eatery taking over the former Fred’s Mexican location in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, Don Chido will surely elevate the social dining scene in downtown San Diego.

“The launch of Don Chido will mark RMD’s formal expansion into the culinary scene,” said Michael Georgopoulos, RMD Group partner. “RMD’s trademark eye-catching designs, excellent service and experience in the entertainment industry, combined with Ken’s strong commitment to delivering excellent food, will create a unique and incomparable dining experience in San Diego.”

The Don Chido menu will showcase regionally influenced, handcrafted Mexican cooking that will feature locally sourced and quality fresh ingredients. Behind the scenes, the centerpiece of the kitchen will be an authentic Santa Maria Argentine Grill—designed to cook mouth-watering, wood-fired meats with precise temperature control to achieve uniformly cooked ingredients. Friscia and company also had a special Caja China-stye oven implemented and designed especially for them to produce tender,  slow cooked meats.

Further complementing the locally inspired dishes, Don Chido will feature a wine list tailored to showcase a rustic selection of local wines and unique varietals from Mexico and Spain. Cocktails will focus on showcasing a wide and progressive variety of infused tequilas, and regional mescals.

“Don Chido will combine classic, home-style Mexican cuisine with a stylishly diverse and electric atmosphere, to deliver a distinctive lunch, dinner and late-night dining experience,” said Don Chido partner and leading hospitality entrepreneur, Ken Lovi. “We’re excited to bring this authentic experience to the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter and have no doubt that Don Chido will quickly become a must-visit spot for locals and visitors alike.”

The Don Chido space represents a complete transformation of the previous Fred’s Mexican Café. Designed by the visionary and nationally acclaimed interior design team at Davis Ink Ltd., the 4,000 square-feet space features found organic and raw materials including reclaimed wood, exposed steel and stone, combined with eye-catching features such as custom maraca wall sconces, star chandeliers and an art wall made entirely from Mexican blankets—creating a comfortable, casual and yet entirely unexpected experience for guests. The center bar will also showcase a Taquería stand where house-made tortillas will be freshly prepared. The Taquería will remain open for late-night tacos with the lounge serving a limited menu. OCIO Design Group was also hired on as the architect alongside RMD Development—RMD Group’s construction division.

Don Chido will serve lunch and dinner daily from 11am to close in the restaurant and patio, and a late-night menu in the lounge. Reservations are currently available for opening night. Don Chido is located at 527 5th Avenue. Connect with Don Chido on Facebook at facebook.com/donchidosd, and follow Don Chido on Twiter @DonChidoSD and Instagram @DonChidoSD.


La Valencia Hotel Last Supper

La Valencia Hotel Hosts Eight-Course Dinner Including Wine Pairings from their Signature Wine Vault

La Valencia Hotel

La Valencia Hotel bids farewell to their classic fine-dining restaurant the Sky Room and the “Pink Lady” makes plans to introduce a new generation of luxury, the Sky Room Suites. To celebrate the decades of opulent, top-floor dining and welcome the space’s conversion into two luxurious sky-high Penthouse Suites – which begins November 1 – La Valencia will host a “Last Supper Dinner Series” October 22-25. The four-night series features an eight-course menu by Executive Chef James Montejano, complete with wine pairings, for $125 per person. Menu highlights include Caviar Parfait, Pumpkin Lobster Soup and Filet Mignon.

Advanced reservations are required and nightly seating is limited to twenty-four guests. A champagne toast begins at 6:30 pm and the eight-course dinner service starts at 7:00 pm. Each guest will receive a keepsake of a dinner menu designed with images reflecting the history of the room and a sneak peek at the designs planned for the new Penthouse Suites.

La Valencia HotelIn early 2015 the new suites will unveil a sleek, 1940’s Hollywood décor and period finishes throughout the rooms which will be complimented by retracting window walls that will allow the fresh ocean breezes to fill this pinnacle of hotel space. Add 2015 technology and inspired personalized service and the Sky Room Suites will offer a one-of-a-kind hospitality experience. Reserve both of the 10th floor suites and indulge family and friends with a true “Penthouse on the Pacific.”

Never changing are the Sky Room’s 180 degree views of the Pacific and the coastline of La Jolla, which La Valencia Hotel has commanded for nine decades. Now you can dream where you once dined.

La Valencia Hotel

Killer Brownies® Are Here

Killer Brownies® are now available exclusively at the Cardiff Seaside Market. Available in three mouthwatering flavors, each weighing 1/3 lb., sweet tooth’s throughout the San Diego area and beyond are finally being satiated. “We are pleased to deliver Killer Brownies® to our customers, as these decadent desserts have a loyal fan base, especially throughout the Midwest, said John Najjar, Owner and President of Seaside Market. “ Similarly, as a family owned business, it is our absolute pleasure to bring these tasty treats to residents of San Diego and Southern California for many years to come.”

Killer Brownies

These delectable brownies were created thirty years ago and are guarded by a secret family recipe, and have received awards far and wide from foodies, bloggers, and industry professionals. Originally created in Dayton, Ohio and distributed by Dorothy Lane Markets, a high-end grocer in Dayton, brownies are being made available to Cardiff Seaside Market through an exclusive licensing agreement.

On August 15th, 2014, Seaside Market launched the arrival of Killer Brownies with an in-store demonstration. Chimene Mayne Ross, Founder of Killer Brownies, flew in from Dayton, Ohio to serve samples to Seaside customers herself. Within a few hours, all three varieties were sold out and Seaside patrons left with smiles from ear to ear. It is safe to say that these brownies are a crowd-pleaser and new cause of addiction.

Killer Brownie

Courtesy photo

“As a family owned business ourselves, we are pleased to work with Seaside Market on bringing Killer Brownies® to San Diego, the only store in Southern California to sell our desserts, said Chimene Ross-Mayne, Killer Brownie’s Chief Customer Officer,” I am positive that chocolate and brownie lovers alike will be more than satisfied with this new product offering.”

Killer Brownies® are available in three introductory varieties, with more to follow based on customer requests.

  • The Original Killer Brownie®: Multiple layers of chocolate brownie; rich, gooey caramel and chopped pecans.
  • The Brookie Killer Brownie®: The Brookie combines the decadent recipe of the Not-A-Nutter Killer Brownie® (the                  original with added chocolate chips) with the classic homemade taste of chocolate chip cookies.
  • Salted Caramel Killer Brownie®: The original with a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt into rich, buttery caramel. The          perfect blend of sweet and salty.
  • About Seaside Market: Since 1985, Cardiff Seaside Market has been a leader in offering superior products and spectacular service. Family-owned and operated, Seaside Market has been able to maintain a unique commitment to customers and community by always offering “the next level of excellence”. From the quality of food to the friendly service, Seaside is sure to win you over.
Cardiff Seaside Market
2087 San Elijo Ave.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007
Phone: (760) 753-5445

*Information courtesy of www.finehomesandliving.com

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