National Meatball Day

National Meatball Day

Bottega Meatballs

On March 9th, National Meatball Day, Americans will celebrate tasty balls of meat. Whether petite or boulder-sized or an appetizer or a main course, these seasoned orbs can proudly stand alone in addition to their traditional pairing with spaghetti. We have rolled together a selection of flavor-packed meatball dishes served on menus throughout San Diego that will make for an incredible National Meatball Day feast.

TRUST: Newly opened TRUST Restaurant in Hillcrest dishes up a unique take on the dish with their Wood Grilled Lamb Meatballs. These robustly flavored meatballs are served with lentils, tzatziki, pickled shallots, Fresno chiles and a touch of mint.

BICE: Chef Mario Casinneri’s modern riff on Italian meatballs can be found on the bar menu at BiCE.  The Mondeghili Milanese are served with a sweet bell pepper sauce.

Bottega Americano: Bottega Americano serves super-tender meatballs that deserve prime real estate in growling bellies. You can order the meatballs topped with a flavorful five-herb pesto, served center stage on a plate of housemade spaghetti, or atop a fresh and crispy-crusted meat lovers pizza.

National Meatball Day

Trust Meatballs

Oggi’s Sports | Brewhouse | Pizza: You can never go wrong with a classic comfort food from one of San Diego’s original homegrown craft beer restaurants. Oggi’s serves a traditional Meatball Hero with its signature meatballs, topped with marinara sauce and creamy melted Provolone cheese, served on an Italian roll and perfectly paired with a frosty pint of IPA.

Bencotto + Monello: Bencotto and naughty little brother, Monello, serve perfectly baked and lightly breaded 100% beef meatballs called Polpette that are served with a side of spicy tomato dipping sauce, a dish that will have you wanting to hug your plate and order seconds.

Bottega Americano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Craft Beer Party On Convoy Street

Craft BeerJoin the community of Kearny Mesa in celebrating Convoy Flight #3 an event promoting the craft beer scene of Convoy St. On March 1st, join the brewers and the bars in reveling in the deliciousness of craft beer and the vibrant life of Kearny Mesa.

Establishments participating include Common Theory Public House, Shanghai Saloon, O’Briens and Soho Gastropub. Each restaurant will be featuring flights of beers from local breweries and special giveaways for those who decide to take flight. Common Theory Public House will be featuring flights of Abnormal Beer Co. and Nickel Beer. Celebrating craft beer and the eclectic venues of Convoy St.; Common Theory Public House will also be paying homage to O’Briens Pub, one of the oldest craft beer bars in the San Diego craft beer scene.

Take off is March 1 at 4:00 p.m. and landing is whenever you’re ready to come down. Get ready to board Convoy Flight #3!

Fiesta Del Mar


Fiesta Del MarSerge Dedina, the Mayor of Imperial Beach known for his bi-national work with Mexico and his passion for keeping the coastline and his city healthy, has announced the first ever Fiesta del Mar – a cross-border Celebration of Friendship between the cities of Imperial Beach and Rosarito, Mexico – on April 30th, 2016 at Imperial Beach Pier Plaza.  Quickly thereafter, management of the city’s premiere hotel and eatery – the eco-friendly Pier South Resort and its Baja Med oceanfront restaurant, Sea 180 – announced their sponsorship of the new event.  The day-long, family-friendly celebration will showcase live musical acts from both the Rosarito and San Diego areas as well as interactive family activities hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of both cities. 

Bands including Todo Mundo and Jarabe Mexicano  will perform between noon and 7 pm.  Festivities will kick off at noon with a performance by Mar Vista High School’s Ballet Folklorico Nahuatlan.  

Fiesta Del MarFiesta del Mar is an exciting development resulting from the Friendship Agreement signed by Imperial Beach. Mayor Serge Dedina signed a friendship agreement with the city of Rosarito Beach’s Mayor Silvano Abarca in September of 2015.   One goal of the event will be to demonstrate the City and Port’s commitment to protecting and preserving the Tidelands –   consisting of the city’s beach, Pier Plaza, and the Pier – and help educate the public about the vitality and natural wonders of the area. 

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Simplistic Perfection at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse

Tom Ham's Lighthouse

raw bar seafood selections

Open since 1971,  Tom Ham’s Lighthouse is one of San Diego’s best known architectural landmarks, offering one of the best views of the San Diego Bay, paired with classic wood and high ceilings. Their real power, however, lies in the simplistic perfection of their menu, which is all about fresh and sustainable seafood.

Tom Ham's Lighthouse

Grapefruit and Endive Salad

Executive Chef Kyle Kovar has modernized the menu, elevating it to new heights, while  keeping the tradition and quality of expectation consistent. He developed his own style by working under several different chefs.

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A Twist On Fresh Mussels

MusselsWhether you like them steamed, roasted, boiled or fried, mussels are quite the versatile shellfish. The under-the-sea entrée is packed with protein and is nutritionally rich in vitamin B12 and zinc. The next time you’re craving some salty seafood, give these restaurants a try!

Kearny Mesa’s Common Theory Public House is a craft beer lover’s dream come true. The laidback brew destination is noted for offering over 30 rotating craft beers, but its true hidden talent lies in its cultured menu! With influences from Korea, China, Mexico and America, the kitchen serves food for every palate. The memorable Fresh Mussels are served with fries or a toasted baguette. For extra flavor, the dish comes with your choice of a housemade sauce. Choose between Bacon & Mushroom, Thai Curry, White Wine Gremolata or Hellfire sauces. Come in with an appetite because the serving sizes weigh in at either a full pound or two pounds!

The unique blend of Mexican cuisine and Mediterranean cooking come together to form Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro. Located in Bonita, the family-style establishment specializes in culinary fusions and traditional Baja-inspired plates and ingredients. Try the award-winning Paella, a delectable mixture of shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, chicken, pork short rib and Spanish chorizo. For another wholesome sea-inspired plate, opt for the Linguini Pescatore. The pasta dish is prepared with mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari, marinara sauce, basil and extra virgin olive oil. There’s no shortage of enticing seafood here!

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St. Puppy’s Day Celebration

St. Puppy's Day Celebration

It’s a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day celebration to bark about! Dig up that green shamrock sweater, bring your furry friend and join Backyard Kitchen & Tap for their very first St. Pawtrick’s Day!

On Thursday, March 10th, you and your canine companions can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day festivities together while enjoying the company of friends and fellow dog lovers! Save some green during the holiday of green with drink specials like Titos cocktails and wine for only $5. Not to mention, Backyard’s house-made dog treats are sure to have your pooch’s tail wagging. This Pacific Beach puppy party is from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., so be sure to stop by with your furry best friend and an appetite to fit in the fun. Don’t forget to dress up the fur-ball in their Patty’s Day best to compete for some paw-some prizes!

Pawtopia, Camp Run-A-Mutt, and Second Chance Dog Rescue will all be in attendance and supporting the event. If you’re looking for a lucky new addition to your family, Second Chance will have puppies there that are available for adoption.

You don’t have to be Irish to have some fun for the whole family! Get ready for this doggy dreamland and a St. Patrick’s Day celebration to remember. 

Backyard Kitchen &Tap Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Barbusa Coming To Little Italy

Barbusa Coming To Little Italy

Busalacchi Restaurants have just announced that they’ll be closing their Italian urban bar & grille,  Po Pazzo, officially on February 28th to reinvent the space as Barbusa, a modern Sicilian culinary concept slated to open in Spring. Po Pazzo first opened in 2004 and has since then acted as a Little Italy staple, feeding locals and tourists alike with traditional dishes like Nonna’s Spaghetti (Bolognese, Veal Meatball, Beef Ribs, and Italian Sausage) and their all time best-seller, the 22 oz. Sicilian Rib Eye.

From today until their closure on Sunday, February 28th, the Busalacchi family invites San Diegans to take their last bite of Po Pazzo and celebrate the best way Italians know how- with a loud festa filled with great eats, music, and liters of wine- as  they end this chapter and begin another. Live music will be offered during the weekend.

Po Pazzo is located at 1917 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

PO Pazzo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Happy Hour Destinations

Happy Hour Destinations


San Diego’s bar scene is prominent among the masses, but the age old question remains– who has the best happy hour? We did our research and decided to break down each noteworthy spot by neighborhood. Whether you frequent downtown, the beach communities or someplace between the two, we have a place for all the alcohol enthusiasts out there. Next time you’re searching for a spot to quench your post-work thirst, check out these local venues.

Pacific Beach

Coastal-cool vibes come to mind when you step into Tavern. Located just a few blocks from the sandy shore, the eatery offers an extensive menu for both food and booze. They refer to their happy hour as the “Best at the Beach,” and after checking out their specials, the claim to fame really is true. From 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, ALL of their drinks are half off. Yep, you heard right! Their Mixed Ideologies menu features a comprehensive selection of craft cocktails, wine and champagne. Tavern’s recommended drinks are accompanied by a black pig logo next to their description, so be sure to give the select few a try. One of the popular beverages they suggest is the American Mule, prepared with American Harvest Organic Vodka, fresh lime, small batch ginger beer and angostura bitters. You can have it served old school-style or frozen for an extra twist.

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Liberty Station Updates


Liberty Station Updates

San Diego’s historic Naval Training Center turned cultural destination, Liberty Station, welcomes two new culinary concepts, Dirty Birds and Nekter Juice Bar, set to open doors in summer of 2016. An award-winning wing-centric/craft beer eatery, Dirty Birds has acquired the lease on building number nine in the neighborhood’s booming northern Arts District precinct. Nekter, a juice bar with more than 50 locations throughout the Southwestern United States, will take residence within building number twenty-seven in The Quarter at Liberty Station—a district that aims to serve the daily needs of the surrounding Point Loma community.

DIRTY BIRDS | Dirty Birds caters to the gourmand sports fan, offering an impressive selection of chicken wings served with more than 30 varieties of housemade sauces. Located directly adjacent to The Loma Club’s historic nine-hole golf course, Dirty Birds’ 3,000 square-foot property will draw legions of fans to Liberty Station’s quickly expanding Arts District hub, joining the culinary ranks of soon-to-be-open neighborhood hotspots including Liberty Public Market, Buona Forchetta, Fireside and Breakfast Republic.  Dirty Birds founders, Jon Ollis and Adam Jacoby, first gained recognition with the restaurant’s original location in Pacific Beach in 2008, followed by a second outpost in 2015 near the college area at SDSU. While design details have yet to be released, patrons can expect Liberty Station’s history as a former naval base to strongly influence the interior theme, with locally-based architecture firm OBR consulting on the sports bar transformation.

Dirty Birds at Liberty Station | 2970 Truxtun Rd, San Diego, CA 92106 |

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Easter Feast at Bleu Boheme


Bleu Boheme

One of the most special Easter traditions is brunch with family and friends, and Kensington’s Bleu Bohème, located at 4090 Adams Ave., will deliver a prix fixe menu that great memories are made of from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 27. 

Owner and executive chef Ken Irvine has put together a decadent feast to honor the occasion, starting with a choice between salade de chevre, a mixed greens salad with goat cheese, mustard vinaigrette, grapes and shaved pear; pâté et terrine du chef and pork terrine de campagne with house-made duck pâté, pickled vegetables, croûton, olives and Dijon mustard; bisque de homard, a Maine lobster bisque with crème frâiche crouton and cognac; tarte chaude au Reblochon, a flaky pastry tart with caramelized Spanish onions, bacon, roasted apple and Reblochon Savoie cheese with salad greens; or tartare de saumon fumé with rum smoked salmon, goat cheese crêpe, lemon zest, capers and caviar crème frâiche.

Entrée selections include quiche maison, a deep dish with house smoked bacon, spinach, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, Hollandaise and a petite salad; paillard de poulet, pan-seared Jidori chicken breast served with gnocchi, wild rocket and shaved fennel salad and tarragon garlic sauce; saumon “royal,” fresh King salmon with sorrel sauce and roasted spring vegetable ragout; steak frites, a petite New York steak served with Bearnaise sauce, arugula salad and Bohème pommes frites; raviolis maison, shiitake and oyster mushroom raviolis with sautéed fresh spinach and tomato relish with fines herb sauce; eggs benedict, made with either crab cakes or Canadian bacon on a Wolferman’s English muffin with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce, served with rosemary roasted potatoes; or savory belgique prosciutto waffle topped with fig jam, arugula, Gruyere cheese and fried egg.

Easter Feast at Bleu Boheme

Brunch will commence with a spectacular selection of desserts, including mousse au chocolat: a rich dark homemade Callebaut chocolate mousse with seasonal red berries; pain d’épice: warm gingerbread with strawberry confiture and caramel ice cream; profiteroles: choux pastry puffs filled with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate sauce; or crepe au “Nutella:” a thin crepe filled with the famous chocolate-hazelnut spread topped with vanilla ice cream. The brunch menu will be the exclusive offering on Easter Sunday, and will be priced at $49 per person. 

The petits “Bohemiens” three-course kid’s brunch begins with a choice between a blueberry muffin, a petite green salad or a cup of fresh fruit. Entrées include scrambled eggs and bacon; Belgium waffles or French toast with sweet maple syrup; chicken tenders accompanied by fries; or mac n’ cheese. For dessert, young diners will enjoy a rich chocolate mousse or a classic vanilla ice cream sundae. The children’s brunch is priced at $18 per child, and is available for patrons 12 and under.

Specialty peach, orange, lavender, pomegranate or mango mimosas, as well as bloody marys made with imported French vodka, will be priced at $7.95 each.

Tweet It: Celebrate #Easter à la française @bleubohemesd’s specialty #brunch complete with #mimosa and #bloodymary options #SanDiego #Kensington

About Bleu Bohème

Located in San Diego’s quaint Kensington neighborhood at 4090 Adams Ave., Bleu Bohème blends the Bohemian and artistic free spirited left bank of Paris with the roots and tradition of the rural areas of France, serving accessible, affordable and comforting French cuisine by chef and restaurateur, Ken Irvine. Bleu Bohème has been named “Best French Restaurant” by San Diego Magazine every year from 2010 through 2014 and was developed by 2012 California Restaurant Association ‘Restaurateur of the Year,’ Irvine. Bleu Bohème is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Social hour is from 5 to 6 p.m. daily, serving specially-priced appetizers and half-priced drinks. More information is available on the website at, by calling 619.255.4167 or on Facebook at and Twitter and Instagram @BleuBohemeSD.

Bleu Bohème Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Zesty Sauces In San Diego

Zesty Sauces In San DiegoSan Diego’s taste buds are heating up and it’s becoming common practice to add spice to a meal with hot sauce like Sriracha or Cholula. Fortunately for us, chefs at these San Diego HOTspots are whipping up awesome in-house recipes that are setting fire to our original definitions of the hottest, hot sauces.  Next time you’re looking to add some spice to your meal, turn to these creative home-made sauces that will make your taste buds burn so good.

Pillbox Tavern is serving up wings with a choice of 13 house-made sauces, including dry rubs like Jerk and the classic Lemon Pepper.  Wing recipes from Executive Chef Shelly Velez range from sweet to staggeringly hot and are served with the classic trio of celery, carrots and ranch.  Their hand-crafted sauces use a variety of peppers, from cayenne to habanero, and ingredients like Asian mustard, teriyaki sauce and honey.  The wide range of choices at Pillbox will definitely challenge your tongue tolerance and decision making skills.

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Winter Chili Favorites

Chili FavoritesChili is not only a winter staple, but an American classic. Whether you are looking for a vegetarian, chicken, carbo-loaded or extra-spicy, we’ve compiled a list that covers our winter chili favorites.

As the days get chillier so does Uptown Tavern’s menu! Warm-up under their heat lamps and indulge in their Soyrizo Chili with black and fancy white beans, roasted peppers, cheddar cheese, diced red onions and micro cilantro, paired with sweet corn bread. In addition to being extremely filling, this dish is also vegetarian!

Pillbox Tavern, in Solana Beach, is home to comforting, American-coastal cuisine. Their executive chef, Shelley Velez, creates a homemade chili that embodies just that. Reheat near the beach with their Bowl of Chuckwagon Chili made with a hearty mix of veggies, black beans and ground sirloin. The best part? It’s served with warm, house-made chips for dipping!

Nothing is better on a cold day than cozying up next to a fire with a warm bowl of comfort food. Backyard Kitchen & Tap has you covered with their 25-foot fire pit and house-crafted menu. Your mouth will be watering just thinking about their Texas Red Beef Cheek Chili with cheddar cheese curds, mini bacon biscuits and sour cream.

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Music Inspired Cocktails At Grant Grill

Cocktails At Grant GrillDon’t stop for just your average cocktail, sip in style and try a new music-inspired menu of libations– created just in time for awards season.

Known for shaking up some of the nation’s best cocktails, the beverage team at Grant Grill knows how to surprise and delight with the launch of their new music-inspired cocktail menu by Chef de Bar, Cory Alberto’s favorite musicians. The menu titled, “Kind of Blue” draws flavors from Chicago Jazz musician, Howlin’ Wolf’s favorite things to the flavors of BB King’s southern roots.

Menu includes:

  • Howlin’ Wolf – Johnny Walker Red, Cane Sugar, Chocolate and Angostura Bitters, Cigar Foam
    • Named after Cory’s favorite jazz musician, Howlin’ Wolf, Chicago blues singer and guitarist – bringing together two of his favorite things, scotch and cigars
  • Lady Ella – Remy Martin 1738, Crème Yvette, Rose Water, Tangerine, Prosecco
    • Named after Ella Fitzgerald’s piano player who’s sipped cocktails at Grant Grill 
  • Lucille – Huckleberry Infused Dickel White Whiskey, Blue Curacao, Lemon, Honey, Egg White
    • Named after the most famous guitar of all time, BB King’s. The recipe pays homage to his Southern roots – moonshine, berries, and a dark purple/blue coloring 
  • Wipeout – Mt Gay Black Barrel US Grant Blend Rum, El Silencio Mezcal, La Gitana Sherry, Tarragon Orgeat, Lime, Pineapple, Tiki Bitters, Splash Absinthe
    • Named after Dick Dale, the King of Surf Guitar. Drink is served is a tiki glass and set on fire
  • Ali Farka – Avua Cachaca, Lime, Acai Berry Puree, Splash Aquavit
    • Named after Ali Farka, the Blues guitarist from Africa who lived in Brazil most of his life and where the recipe’s inspiration comes from
  • Preservation Hall – Mt Gay Black Barrel US Grant Blend Rum, Hennessy VS Cognac, Fonseca Ruby Port, Amaro Nonino, Orange and Peychaud’s Bitters
    • Named after the famous music venue in the French Quarter of New Orleans

Grant Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Italian Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage Rolls Recipe Maria Desiderata Montana

Recipe and Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

There was no such thing as fast food in our home; ingredients were simple and straightforward, and this recipe is no exception. This was one of my favorite recipes that my Italian mother made for me often, simply because I asked her too!

Cabbage Rolls With Brown Rice and Marinara

Serves 6


18 Chinese cabbage leaves
½ pound ground veal
½ pound ground Italian sausage
1-1/2 cups prepared brown rice
¼ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of chili flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

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Margarita Day Hot Spots

February 22nd is National Margarita Day, so whether you like it salted, frozen, spicy or on the rocks, San Diego’s top tequila-pouring spots have a drink to satisfy every margarita connoisseur.

Margarita Day Hot Spots


Don your tropical best and sneak upstairs to the lushly appointed Fairweather, where Beverage Director Anthony Schmidt is shakin’ up his classic rendition of the Margarita. Sipping patio side overlooking Petco Park, Fairweather’s Classic Margarita comes with all the fixings, including blanco tequila, fresh lime, agave syrup and a house made orange liquor. Don’t forget your passport – this tropical cocktail paradise will leave you dreaming of Caribbean beaches, and another margarita to get you there. 

Ironside Fish & Oyster | THE TOURISTA & PEPINO REYES

Nab a front row seat at Ironside Fish & Oyster’s maritime-esque raw bar for a taste of the action with a shot of tequila in Ironside’s latest renditions of this boozy beverage. For those who like it spicy, The Tourista mixes Mezcal, tequila, housemade tamarind and orgeat syrup with a dose of Hellfire bitters for a tart and spicy sipper reminiscent of traditional Mexican candies. Equally refreshing, the Pepino Reyes layers herbal notes, muddled cucumbers, and a maraschino liqueur for a refreshing twist on the typical tequila concoction. With $1 oysters served until 6 p.m., wash away memories of the work week with a little brine and whole lot or margarita goodness at this Little Italy destination.

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Feeding America San Diego


Fundraiser for local hunger-relief to take place April 16, 2016

Feeding America San Diego (FASD) announces Pairings with a Purpose: Tapped Edition, an afternoon of culinary competition with San Diego’s finest chefs and breweries, uniting against hunger in San Diego. Each chef and brewery duo will collaborate to create a special pairing of food and one of the brewery’s beers. Guests will be able to vote on their favorite pairing while enjoying live music and contests. The fundraiser will be hosted on Saturday, April 16 at Bobby Riggs Tennis Club & Museum in Encinitas.

Currently, more than 400,000 local residents, including 1 in 5 children, are struggling with hunger. Feeding America San Diego is working to meet their immediate needs, while creating a long-term impact in the community through a comprehensive approach to hunger-relief.

General admission tickets are $45. All proceeds from the event will benefit Feeding America San Diego and its critical hunger-relief and nutrition programs.

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International Women’s Day

International Women’s DayOn Tuesday, March 8th, local female chefs unite for a special four-course charity wine dinner at CUCINA enoteca Del Mar to celebrate Festa Della Donna, also known as International Women’s Day — a movement celebrating all things female with political roots dating back to women’s liberation in Italy in the 19th century. Tracy Borkum, principal of Urban Kitchen Group, has always been an avid supporter of female empowerment and is excited to be putting together this uplifting dinner that falls in line with CUCINA’s Italian influence. 

Joining CUCINA enoteca Del Mar’s talented Executive Sous Chef Rosa Geremia in the kitchen is a group of inspiring local female chefs including Karrie Hills (formerly of The Red Door), Katie Grebow (formerly of Cafe Chloe), Donna Antaloczy (Ironside Fish & Oyster), and Gina Freize (Venissimo Cheese) is putting together a special cheese course. Female sommelier Lisa Redwine (formerly of La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club) pairs each dish with a dynamic varietal made by a woman winemaker to complement each course, and following tradition of the Italian holiday, guests are encouraged to wear yellow and ladies will be gifted with yellow flowers. Proceeds from this empowering celebration benefit Center for Community Solutionsa local nonprofit organization that provides emergency domestic violence shelters and other life-saving resources for those in need.

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Barleymash San Diego

Barleymash San Diego

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

The name Barleymash refers to the typical grain mixture used in the brewing and distillation process of both beer and bourbon (the bar is also fully stocked to suit any other distinguishing palette.) What results from this pairing is a uniquely American dining experience and aesthetic that remind all patrons of two simple ideas: life is meant to be sipped and savored, and good times should always be shared.

Barleymash San Diego

Photos by Maria Desiderata Montana

barleymash is the downtown place-to-be for locals and tourists alike. Set amidst reclaimed wood from the original foundation and a warm modernist design, the restaurant and bar supports San Diego’s brewing community with 30 beers on tap from the city’s best micro- and nano-breweries. The garage-door style windows open up the interior space to the Gaslamp’s sunny disposition. And, rooted in the idea that we are indeed a community, three large communal tables foster a sense of gathering where deliciously innovative food, conversation and drink can be shared amongst friends and neighbors.

*Information courtesy of Barleymash

Barleymash Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Exotic Sushi Style at Cafe Japengo

Exotic Sushi Style at Cafe Japengo

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Consistently ranked among the best Japanese restaurants in San Diego for its Asian style seafood, Cafe Japengo allows guests to venture into exotic culinary territory while surrounded by warm woods, Asian–style furnishings and subdued lighting. “While some of our sushi and hot food have changed and progressed throughout the years, we have stayed true to serving the highest quality of product presented with simplistic artistry,” says Executive Chef Jerry Warner.

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New Vegan Menu At Civico 1845

Civico 1845 Little Italy San Diego

Crostata di Nocciole e Amarene

Civico 1845, the Little Italy eatery that features traditional Italian flavors with a modern spin, is bringing renowned Italian/vegan chef Luca Zannoni to San Diego to help design its new Spring-time vegan menu. With a resume that includes creating menus for restaurants and hotels across the globe – including the Grand Hotel Rimini, Harry’s Bar in London and Il Bacco Ristorante in New York – Zannoni has cultivated an international reputation as an expert in organic, vegetarian and vegan cooking.

Civico 1845 San Diego

Polpettine di Miglio

“Our vegan menu has been a major differentiator for us and a huge part of the restaurant’s success,” said Pietro Gallo, who serves as Civico 1845’s vegan chef. “I have known Zannoni for years and am excited to work with him to create dishes our customers will love. Our partnership will help Civico 1845 become the standard for vegan Italian cuisine in San Diego.”

Dishes on the spring vegan menu will include new items and updated versions of the restaurant’s classic offerings, such as the lasagna and ravioli. New additions include Polpettine di Miglio in Tre Salse (vegan meatballs in three sauces), Risotto al Radicchio (risotto with radicchio lettuce, cabbage and caraway seeds) and Crostata di Nocciole e Amarene (a cherry and hazelnut tart).

On Wednesday, Feb. 24th, the restaurant will unveil the menu and donate 10 percent of the day’s vegan proceeds to The Humane League, a national organization with a San Diego chapter that reduces animal suffering by inspiring change at all levels for farmed animals. Reservations for this one-day event are encouraged, as seats are likely to fill quickly. Visit for more information.

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Hot Valentine’s Day Destinations

Prepare to eat your heart out at some of San Diego’s most romantic dining destinations. From breathtaking views to a cozy hideaway booth, to a splurge-worthy dinner just for two, join Stake Chophouse & Bar (Coronado), Coasterra (Harbor Island), BO-beau kitchen + bar (Ocean Beach) and The Prado (Balboa Park) for a night on the town!

Steak Chophpuse and BarSTAKE CHOPHOUSE & BAR [Coronado]

It doesn’t get more luxurious than Chef Tim Kolanko’s decadent four-course menu for those looking to celebrate their love in style. From Stake’s second floor perch overlooking downtown Coronado, couples will be treated to tableside hors d’oeuvres of lobster, caviar and mushrooms, along with a first course selection of Lobster Wonton Soup or a Citrus & Crab Salad. Known for their top-notch cuts of fine meats, diners can choose between Stakes’ premier Filet Mignon, N.Y. Strip Steak or Ribeye, or take to sea with a selection of Scallops, Seared Tuna and a Black Cod served with sunchoke and young broccoli in a red wine reduction. Set the mood with a sultry sweet for two, as Executive Pastry Chef Francis Laureano presents his Cupid’s Heart, a white chocolate and passion fruit confection that’s sure to set hearts aflutter. 

1309 Orange Ave

$120 per person, custom wine pairings $75 or $125 | for reservations, 619.522.0077

Full menu available here

CoasterraCOASTERRA [Harbor Island]

Kick the romance factor up a notch with breathtaking views of the San Diego skyline while you dine on Chef Deborah Scott’s three-course menu of Modern Mexican cuisine. Toast your love under the stars as you dine on Creama de Elote, a white corn soup with fresh shucked corn, roasted poblano creama and crispy leeks, or the Mar Y Tierra, a cedar river natural beef short rib braised in a Oaxacan mole, severed with a lobster-risotto cake, grilled asparagus and topped with a succulent lobster claw. Save room for dessert – the Passion Fruit Cheesecake and Chocolate Torte are sure to ignite some flames of passion of your own. | for reservations, 619.814.1300

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Celebrate The Oscars

Whether you’re looking for a destination to sip champagne like the nominees, or are a cable-cutter and looking for somewhere to watch the Oscars on February 22nd, below is our guide for where to sip champagne and watch the awards in San Diego, this month!

Grant GrillGrant Grill, San Diego, CA

Cocktails Sur Lie Cocktails

Celebrate awards season with a pop, fizz and a clink of Grant Grill’s very own Cocktails Sur Lie, craft champagne bottled-cocktails. Known for shaking up some of the nation’s best cocktails, Jeff Josenhans, mixologist at the Grant Grill knows how to surprise and delight. Don’t stop for just champagne cocktails, sip in style try the new music-inspired menu of libations– created just in time for awards season and inspired by Chef De Bar, Cory Alberto’s favorite musicians!

THE MULE – A unique, champagne fermented cocktail that marrys Vodka, Ginger, Muscat Grapes and Cascade Hops, $12.

LA GRENADE – Bottled Conditioned with Syrah yeast blending Cognac, Hibiscus Tea, Pomegranate Juice, Bay Leaves, and Black Pepper, $12.

THE LOT La Jolla, La Jolla, CA

Oscars Viewing Party

In honor of awards season and the Oscars on February 28, celebrate with bubbles and blockbusters at THE LOT — La Jolla’s newest luxury cinema, restaurant, bar and cafe. THE LOT La Jolla’s Oscars viewing party on the 28nd will offer an Oscar-inspired menu and drink offerings while the awards show airs live on the bar’s mega-TV, and guests are invited to cheers with a champagne toast. In addition, enjoy Oscar-nominated film screenings all month long including The Big Short, Brooklyn, Mad Max, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, and Spotlight, from the luxurious Italian leather recliners in the theaters. Delight in the convenience of the high-end in-theater dining menu and expansive champagne list to sip and savor in honor of the awards, including Mionetto Prosecco, Veuve Clicquot “Yellow Label,” Moët Chandon, Dom Perignon and more. Advance dining recommendations suggested and theater buyouts are also available for private viewing parties. 

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Feast With Friends

JRDN Feast With Friends

Executive Chef DJ Tangalin of JRDN Restaurant at TOWER23 Hotel, Chef Phil Esteban of Cork & Craft and local vineyard, Fallbrook Winery, have partnered for the next event in the “Feast with Friends” winter dinner series.

“We can’t wait to share our kitchen with one of the best chefs in San Diego,” said Tangalin. “Friends and foodies won’t want to miss this event.”

On Monday, February 22 starting at 6:00 p.m. guests can enjoy a six-course menu with wine pairings showcasing the innovation and culinary artistry of Tangalin and Esteban. The duo have collaborated to create a truly unique dining experience featuring dishes such as Sweetbread Terrine with Caramelized Cauliflower, Foie Gras & Rice Stuffed Quail and Mostra Coffee encrusted Venison. All courses will be expertly paired with wines from Fallbrook Winery.

This exclusive dinner is $65 per person plus tax and gratuity. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (858) 270-5736.

About TOWER23

TOWER23 is San Diego’s only luxury, lifestyle hotel on the beach and one of California’s most stylish and contemporary properties.  The property features: JRDN Restaurant, a contemporary eatery with an indoor/outdoor bar and ocean view patio dining; 44 designer guestrooms offering private patio or balcony; 24-hour room service; in-room check-in and 24-hour guest services; valet parking; lifestyle concierge services; Tower Deck 2nd floor patio offering spectacular ocean and sunset views, sunbathing area, wading pool and fire-pit; Tower Deck food and beverage service; private dining room with heated oceanfront patio; complimentary beach cruiser bikes, beach chairs, games, umbrellas and more; and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel – even on the beach.  For details, visit or call (855) 901-0002.

Jrdn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

February Beer Beautiful Dinner

Beer DinnerThe Patio on Lamont will host a Beer Beautiful Dinner on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. 

In celebration of the beautiful February weather, craft beer aficionados and food lovers alike can rejoice with The Patio on Lamont’s beer dinner featuring delectable cuisine and specialty paired brews. Chef de Cuisine Giovanni of The Patio on Lamont and Executive Chef Craig Jimenez of Supernatural Sandwiches will serve a selection of hand-crafted sandwiches, all prepared simply to pair perfectly with each Coedo Brewery beer. The tasty dinner begins with a Shiro with cucumber maki, shrimp tempura, avocado foam, mango and tamarindo, followed by a first course of Ruri, with corned beef tongue rillette, onsen egg, charred pearl onions, puffed rice and scallion, a Beniaka of salt baked pink grouper, tokyo scallions, sweet potato gyoza, tamarind swordfish, marrow broth and bokchoy, and a last course of Shikoku with roasted pork belly lechon, aerated foie gras, bloody gravy, spicy atcharra, and mongo bean. The unique menu is topped off with a Kyara dessert with ginger snap, white chocolate ganache, and an orange vanilla foam. Additionally, each course is hand paired with a Coedo Brewery brew, ranging from a Hefeweizen to a Sweet Potato Amber. Tickets are $55 per person and can be purchased here.

The Patio on Lamont Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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