Fight Childhood Hunger

Fight Childhood Hunger

NATION’S HOTTEST CHEFS COME TOGETHER TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD HUNGER IN LAGUNA BEACH AND ACROSS AMERICA AT TOP CULINARY EVENT

Share Our Strength’s 9th annual Taste of the Nation® to take place at Montage Laguna Beach on May 15, 2016

Montage Laguna Beach, the luxurious five star, five diamond oceanfront Laguna Beach resort, will host the 9th annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation® Laguna Beach event on May 15, 2016.

Chef Ben Ford

Chef Ben Ford

A number of celebrity chefs will come together to prepare fresh farm-to-table delicacies to further Share Our Strength’s mission to end childhood hunger in Orange County and across the nation. Event attendees will enjoy an afternoon of delectable tastings, fine wines, signature cocktails, and picturesque panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean at Montage Laguna Beach.

In addition to delicious food and drinks, the event will feature a silent and live auction with live entertainment by the local band, The Kalama Brothers.

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Sirena Gourmet Latin Cuisine

The newly opened Sirena Cocina Latina restaurant offers a true gourmet Latin Cuisine inspired menu, with many dishes having roots in the food culture of South America.

Latin Cusine

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Located on the corner of Columbia and Fir Streets in San Diego’s Little Italy, the new Sirena restaurant boasts a neutral color palette accented with wooden walls and dark tables, making it the perfect spot for a romantic date or upscale business dinner.

The philosophy behind the menu at Sirena is to showcase fresh ingredients with simple flavors. “We wanted to bring San Diego a unique and unmatched culinary experience with a one-of-a-kind menu,” says Executive Chef Jaime Chavez.

Latin Cuisine

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Sirena stands out from other restaurants in the area by a few trademarks. First, Sirena is the only true Latin American-inspired restaurant, with many dishes having roots in the food culture of South America, while taking on a new life with modern and inventive preparations. Secondly, the caliber of their fresh, seasonal and sustainable ingredients is unmatched. “We do everything we can to feature only locally or regionally-caught seafood and in-season produce,” Chavez says. “We even grow some of the produce ourselves. The menu is creative and complex, while still allowing simple ingredients to shine through.”

Sirena utilizes a unique combination of ingredients for a distinct flavor and appearance. For example, their purple cauliflower is delicately pickled and prepared with oysters and a a fresh coconut-ginger sauce is paired with braised scallops. Additionally, even though Sirena is a seafood restaurant, they also cater to vegetarian and vegan diners. Chavez explains that several members of his kitchen team are not-meat eaters, so much time has been devoted to developing techniques to replicate some of their favorite dishes into vegan-approved options, including cauliflower that tastes like ceviche or mushrooms that imitate raw oysters. “Food can be very creative, which is our inspiration in the Sirena kitchen.”

Latin Cuisine

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

A majority of the ingredients on the menu at Sirena are not only fresh, but sustainable. Born in Puerto Montt, one of the main cities in the south of Chile, Chavez liked to go to his grandfather’s house in a little fishermen’s city called Maullín, where they had a farm. At a very young age, he learned about fish and seafood. “I was able to open clams before reading,” he says. Chavez also says his first approach with cooking was during the holiday season. “It is common in my family to slow roast a half lamb with a chimichurri lacquer. So, while it was very annoying for adults to rotate the lamb for four hours, it was a very attractive job for a little kid.”

Latin Cuisine

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

In the south of Chile, Chavez explains that there was a significant German influence, thus his family developed German pastry traditions. “I think cooking and baking is in my blood,” he says. “To be honest, while growing up, I never thought I wanted to cook for a living, but at some point what was in my blood was stronger than my own wishes.”

Chavez attended Inacap, in Santiago de Chile, the oldest culinary school in Chile. He started in 2004, studying in the daytime, and working in different places at night. From fast food to taco shops, Asian eateries to sushi restaurants, he’s worked all of them, gaining invaluable skills, techniques and experience.

Latin Cuisine

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

In October 2006, Chavez moved for an internship to Peralada a little village in Alt Empurdá Barcelona in a little boutique hotel. He learned there the importance of respecting the ingredients. During his internship, he spent a couple of weeks at El Cingle, a Michelin star restaurant. It was there he received his training in contemporary Catalan cuisine with Montse Estruch; a revolutionary in the field.

Eventually, Chavez headed back to Chile to finish school. Looking for new experiences he moved to a restaurant called Emilio, the best Peruvian fine dining restaurant in Santiago. He started there as line cook and in less than three months, he was promoted to sous chef. He stayed there for a couple of months, until he received an offer to open a Peruvian restaurant in his home city. “It was a beautiful and hard experience, but it was there that I realized that I really loved this life,” he says.

Latin Cuisine

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

One day, Chavez was in his office and received a call offering him a pastry position at El Cingle, the Michelin star restaurant he had trained at. It was an opportunity he could not turn down, pastry or not. When he arrived at the restaurant, he was informed that there was actually no chef de cuisine at the restaurant, so he jumped from pastry to chef de cuisine in a couple of minutes!

Chavez explains that managing a Michelin star-awarded restaurant was very different than managing other any of the other restaurants he had worked for at that time. At El Cingle, there was no space for mistakes and the place was very demanding. We worked eighteen hours a day, almost every day. “There are so many details to take care of, that you can’t even imagine,” he says. “I had so much to read about, invested several hours in research, practiced my plating skills, and developed a creative process for making new dishes. That place made me who I am now.”

Eventually, Chavez left Spain to follow his my wife to Tijuana, Mexico. There he was an instructor at a cooking school, teaching students how to experience food and cooking. From Tijuana, Chavez and his wife came to San Diego, where they have worked in several hotels and restaurants in the city, finally bringing him me to Sirena as the new Executive Chef. “Now, I wish to provide a way for anyone to enjoy and experience those possibilities through my culinary creations,” he says.

Latin Cuisine

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

The menu at Sirena is inspired by Chavez’s background and by the food culture of South America. Many of the dishes are inspired by things his mother would make, but with a special spin. “I love simple, clean flavors with a complex preparation,” he says. “But, there are also other menu items that play up the quality of seafood we are able to get here in San Diego. Nekkei, our take on a “sushi-style” dish, spotlights how fresh and flavorful our seafood is, even when served raw.”

One of Chavez’s favorite dishes on the menu is the Peruvian Ceviche where the flavors are very fresh and clean with a hint of spice. The fresh oysters are also a favorite, offering a unique presentation, served with pickled vegetables and toasted squid-inked black bread. As a main dish, the braised scallops set atop a fresh coconut-ginger sauce, mirasol chili oil and a cauliflower puree is absolute perfection. “I love every dish we have on the menu,” says Chavez. “When I started, I was convinced about the flavors but I had to test the textures. I especially love the scallops because it’s a simple dish and the flavors are amazing. There are so many textures, that every bite is a difference experience.”

©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

Sirena Gourmet Latin Seafood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chateau Musar Winemakers Dinner

EXPERIENCE THE BELOVED WINES OF LEBANON’S CHATEAU MUSAR WITH A WINEMAKERS DINNER AT BANKERS HILL BAR + RESTAURANT

Winemakers Dinner

Tweet It: Join @BankersHillSD for a wine pairing dinner featuring wines from Lebanon’s @chateaumusar on Tuesday, April 5 #BankersHillSD #wine #cheers

BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant will host a rare opportunity to attend a winemaker’s dinner with Marc Mochar of Lebanon’s Chateau Musar on Tuesday, April 5th.

The four-course dinner, priced at $95 per person, will begin at 6 p.m., and start with an amuse bouche of spring berries, pancetta, whipped Bucheron with grilled levain; paired with a 2014 Musar Jeune Rosé. The first course is smoked duck confit with poached kumquats, watercress, Cara Cara oranges and pickled baby potatoes, served with tastings of the 1999 and 2003 Chateau Musar Blanc.

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Adams Avenue Unplugged

Adams Avenue UnpluggedAdams Avenue Unplugged

Adams Avenue Unplugged takes place the weekend of April 30 and May 1, along a two-mile stretch of Adams Avenue, from University Heights on the West through Normal Heights, and into parts of Kensington to the East. The event will feature 150 live musical performances staged inside restaurants, bars, coffee houses and galleries lining the neighborhood. Being able to pair the Avenue’s unique dining and drinking establishments, each with their own special ambiances and selections, with free musical performances, makes Adams Avenue the place to be on the last weekend of April. The AABA hopes to treat musical aficionados and foodies to the rich neighborhood culture.
 
Adams Avenue Unplugged San DiegoMusic is scheduled from 12pm to 10pm on Saturday, April 30th, and 12pm to 7pm on Sunday, May 1st. Some artists will be playing multiple sets allowing attendees more opportunity to catch their favorite performers.

 Augie Meyers performance at the Ken Club is $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Buy them HERE

 Adams Avenue Unplugged is free and open to the general public.
 
Parking is limited to residential neighborhood streets and can get quite congested. MTS bus routes 2 & 11 will service the neighborhoods. Wear comfortable walking shoes and plan on getting your exercise by exploring all the avenue has to offer.

Chef Celebration Spring Dinner Series

CHEF CELEBRATION KICKS OFF SPRING DINNER SERIES MARCH 29TH AT PAMPLEMOUSSE GRILLE

Chef Celebration Spring Dinner Series

San Diego’s Top Chefs Come Together for Weekly Dinner Series to Raise Funds for Culinary Scholarships

For the past 20 years, Chef Celebration, a locally based non-profit ‘by chefs, for chefs,’ has made it their mission to build a foundation for San Diego’s culinary future by raising money to provide scholarships for San Diego’s young, aspiring chefs. Founded in 1995 by a small group of local toques, today the non-profit has grown to include more than 50 of the city’s most respected chefs, including Jeff Jackson (The Lodge at Torrey Pines) and Jeffrey Strauss (Pamplemousse Grille) among others, and has raised over $283,000 to provide culinary scholarships to more than 100 individual local recipients—many of which have become staples within San Diego’s culinary community including Stephen Gage (Underbelly), Hanis Cavin (Carnitas’ Snack Shack), and Victor Jimenez (Cowboy Star).

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Unwasted Food Pop-Up Dinner Series

sandiegofoodfinds.com“RE:SOURCE” TO BE HOSTED AT THE RED DOOR ON APRIL 6TH 

San Diego Food System Alliance will launch the first Re:Source event, an Unwasted Food pop-up dinner series, on April 6th at the Red Door for two seatings at 5:30 P.M. and 7:45 P.M.  The first dinner coincides with BioCycle, an international industry conference on food waste held at Mission Valley.

This pop-up dinner series will partner with San Diego’s top chefs to use creativity to transform ignored or un-coveted food that would otherwise become ‘waste.’ “The Red Door is the perfect host for the launch of this series due to owner Trish Watlington’s commitment to sustainability, from her farm to table garden hosting Solana Center’s composting classes to food waste pickup arrangements with Closing the Loop,” says Elly Brown, Alliance Director of San Diego Food System Alliance. “In addition, Chef Miguel Valdez promises to amaze his fans by creating delightful meals out of un-coveted ingredients.”

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The New Yorker Comes To Town

The New YorkerOver 2000 miles from the rumbling subways, honking taxi horns and bright lights of the Big Apple, there’s a San Diego spot that’s tossing something special into the local dining scene. The New Yorker brings the flavors of New York-style fare to the heart of the Gaslamp.

The eatery found its home within the historic Chinese Laundry building, built in 1923. Since then, The New Yorker has reinvented the space with red brick walls, graffiti art, penny-covered floors and a balcony mimicking the exterior of a New York City building. Born with the intention of providing a slice of the Big Apple on the West Coast, the restaurant and bar certainly delivers. It goes beyond the typical pizza joint—with a vibrant bar program and fare including Duck Rolls, a Yankee Stadium Pretzel, specialty pastas, loaded artisan sandwiches and authentic thin crust pies.

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Make Your Pancake Plans

Fig Tree CafeHillcrest’s Fig Tree Café has proven to be a top spot for daytime dining! With a tempting assortment of omelets, bennies, sandwiches and paninis, their locally sourced ingredients are thoughtfully combined to create menu selections that offer eye-opening flavor at a reasonable price.

In an effort to focus on what their customers are consistently craving, Fig Tree Hillcrest plans to ramp up its menu with additional pancake and French toast selections, while continuing its dinnertime service at their Liberty Station location. “We are always growing to meet our customers’ needs and we thought it would be fun take breakfast to the next level here,” says owners Johan Engman and Alberto Morreale. “Pancakes and French toast are super popular, and it will be fun to churn them out with some additional spins.  Some of the new breakfast menu items include Pistachio Pancakes, Fresas Con Crema Pancakes and House Made Brownie French Toast, among several other items. But guests will just have to come in and find out for themselves what ideas make the cut.

Fig Tree’s Liberty Station location will continue with dinner service, while Hillcrest will only serve breakfast and lunch as of April 1st.  Hillcrest’s Fig Tree Café is giving its guests a few more “good” reasons to check them out to see what’s new.

Fig Tree Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lunch That Won’t Break The Bank

Lunch

Grateful Veg Pizza at Woodstock’s

With running around for work, school and the like, we could all use a satisfying lunch that won’t break the bank. Restaurants across San Diego are ringing the lunch bell with flavors you’ll love to find—from overstuffed sammies to tacos loaded with vibrant toppings. These lunch pros are serving up ten of the best lunches in San Diego, all for $10 or less!

Brian’s 24

If you keep funny hours and your tummy starts rumbling for breakfast at 1:00 p.m., Brian’s 24 is the perfect place to take a break. It’s a San Diego staple for 24/7 dining, and breakfast is served during all of those hours! Grab a seat at the bar or at one of the tables looking out on lively Sixth Avenue. Their malted Belgian Waffle, thick-sliced French Toast and gigantic, fluffy Buttermilk Hotcakes are available for under $10. The breakfast-for-lunch options are sure to satisfy taste buds and wallets.

Woodstock’s Pizza

At lunch time, Woodstock’s Pizza is a rock concert for your mouth, and it’s like you got great tickets right outside of the gate. If you haven’t tried their folded-over crust technique to stuff every bite with ingredients and sauce, then you should now! Take a slice out of the personal-sized Grateful Veg. The pizza is crafted with freshly sliced bell peppers, white onions, fresh tomatoes, black olives and mushrooms. With six California locations, including one in Pacific Beach and the College Area, there’s no excuse to deprive your mouth of its lunch time rock show.

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Gator By The Bay Festival

Gator By The BayGator By The Bay Festival Returns to San Diego for 15th Year

-Louisiana-themed Zydeco, Blues and Crawfish festival May 5 through May 8, 2016-

San Diego’s 15th annual Gator By The Bay is the largest, most authentic Louisiana-themed music and food festival this side of the bayou. The festival will be held from May 5-8, 2016 at Spanish Landing Park, across from the San Diego International Airport. Presented by San Diego’s Bon Temps Social Club, it features four days of live music with over 90 musical acts and special performances on seven stages, along with 10,000 pounds of crawfish trucked from Louisiana, non-stop dancing, shopping, playing and eating on the beautiful San Diego Bay. 

Dates:    May 5-8, 2016

Times:   Thurs., May 5: 6:30–10:30 p.m.

Fri., May 6: 3:30–10:30 p.m. 

Sat., May 7: 10:30 a.m.– 8:30 p.m.

Sun., May 8: 10:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m.

Location: Spanish Landing Park, North Harbor Drive. Directly across from San Diego International Airport 

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Saffron Thai New Year Celebration

SaffronSaffron to Celebrate Thai New Year, Songkran, Beginning April 13

In observance of traditions more than two millenniums old, the always-popular Saffron Thai on India Street in Mission Hills will mark the arrival of Thai New Year 2559 with a special holiday blessing and symbolic celebratory dishes. The Thai New Year’s celebration, Songkran, a festive national holiday, is regarded as both a time of renewal, and a promise of good fortune during the approaching rainy season. The holiday also is known as the Water Festival, and during this time Thai people sprinkle water both on themselves and on “spirit houses,” since it is believed that this water washes away bad luck. Make plans to enjoy the traditional flavors and celebrations of Songkran – and to wash away bad luck, too – by enjoying the New Year’s food and festivities at Saffron on April 13, 16 and 17.

Saffron proprietor and chef Su-Mei Yu, also an author, television personality and internationally recognized authority on Thai cuisine, says, “This year’s auspicious New Year day is April 13. To welcome the holiday, Saffron will offer several ‘blessing foods’ to our beloved customers.”

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Relaxation Awaits At These Tranquil Destinations

Relaxation At Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta

National Stress Awareness Month is April 2016. With the great impacts that stress has on us physically and mentally, the recognition of Stress Awareness Month is essential especially for working adults in urban settings. We’ve provided a list of the top packages around San Diego for those looking to alleviate stress and improve wellness.

Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA

One of the many treatments available at the Spa at Hotel del Coronado is the Therapeutic Facials. The benefits of a regular facial include increased circulation, smoothing fine lines and cleansing pores on a deep level. Some of our featured facials include Del Signature Facial, Vitamin Sea Facial, Beyond Organic Facial, HydraFacial, Microdermabrasion and more. The Del also offers massage wellness therapies in hope to improve mental health. Tap into the ocean and drift away with a massage to encourage healing and relaxation, as well as physical and mental restoration. Choose from a variety of massage therapies including the Del Signature Massage, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone, Lomi Lomi, and more. 

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Easter Brunch In San Diego

sandiegofoodfinds.com

BREAKFAST FLATBREAD AT RANCHO VALENCIA (PHOTO BY MARIA DESIDERATA MONTANA)

In celebration of Easter Sunday on March 27th, we are sharing some of the best San Diego brunches that are perfect for family and friends. 

Hotel del CoronadoCelebrate Easter beachside this year at Hotel del Coronado, San Diego’s most iconic hotel. This year, guests can enjoy Easter Sunday with a Champagne brunch in the oceantfront Ballroom overlooking America’s #1 loved beach, or in side the lavish Crown Room. Guests will have access to an exquisite culinary buffet, whilst listening to live musical entertainment over the course of the day. And of course the whole family can enjoy, with a children’s buffet also available for the little ones. Prices start at $110 for adults and $43 for children aged 6-10. Children under the age of 5 eat free. 

True Food KitchenThis Easter, True Food Kitchen offers a great place for the whole family to enjoy a holiday meal that is equally healthy and delicious.  The menu will showcase two seasonal specials for the occasion, including Spring Bruschetta topped with asparagus, artichoke, green peas, and watermelon radish, sesame and goat cheese and Sustainable Seabass served with grilled vegetables, whole grains and lemon-nooch. With a wide and nutrition-forward selection of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options based on an anti-inflammatory diet, the menu at True Food Kitchen offers something for everyone. 

THE US GRANTTHE US GRANT is hosting their annual Easter Brunch Buffet on Sunday, March 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A cherished San Diego tradition, the Easter Brunch Buffet includes Chef’s finest dishes from a traditional omelet station to a new and unique #USGrantHotel Hash-egg station. Highlights of this year’s Easter Brunch Buffet include an a selection of seasonal soups and salads, chilled seafood display with shrimp, crab claws, and smoked salmon, roasted loin of beef, savory sides, and an assortment of cakes, tortes, muffins and pastries. In addition, guests can sip bottomless mimosas, seasonal fruit juices and coffee while enjoying photos with the Easter Bunny and live music. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 619-744-2039. Price is $82 for adults, $72 for seniors, $39 for children ages 12 and under. Prices exclude tax and gratuity. Complimentary valet parking is offered. 

FIREHOUSE American Eatery + Lounge will also be offering a bottomless mimosa bar! On March 27, indulge in the bottomless mimosa bar with a wide assortment of delicious fresh juices for only $25 available through 2 p.m.. The brunch menu is available until 3 p.m. and features classics such as the Devil’s Dozen “benny” and fried chicken & gravy or lighter options like the baked egg white scramble and avocado toast. Reservations recommended.

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Spring Winemaker Dinner at The Patio

The Patio On GoldfinchThe Patio on Goldfinch Spring Winemaker Dinner

The Patio on Goldfinch will host a Spring Winemaker Dinner with Sashi Moorman on Tuesday, April 12 at 5:30 p.m.

In celebration of the gorgeous Spring weather, wine aficionados and food lovers alike can rejoice with The Patio on Goldfinch’s wine dinner featuring vibrant and fresh cuisine. The Patio on Goldfinch will be serving a five-course Spring-inspired menu with wines from Salem Wine Company, Piedrasassi & Sandhi. For starters guests are offered a duo of oysters with escabeche, pink peppercorn and pickled ramp. Next guests will enjoy a sous vide duck breast with fruit gastrique, grilled celery root-vanilla bean puree, smoked currants and toasted hazelnuts. The third-course includes lamb tartare with black garlic, green peppercorn yogurt smoked quail egg and spring onion. Lastly, diners can indulge in a marinated hanger steak with king trumpet mushrooms, valdeon, creamed spinach and garlic chip. A hand-selected wine with be paired with each course to compliment and enhance the flavors of the delectable meal. Tickets for the spring winemaker dinner are $85 per person. 

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

Entrada Offers Cocktails and Tacos In Little Italy

EntradaBoasting soaring windows and an industrial casual vibe, Entrada is a Mexican restaurant in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego that offers late night food service and entertainment. Everything is prepared in-house including three fresh juices daily, to a variety of healthy salsas and wholesome house-made tortillas. Guests can choose from an extensive menu of Mexican tequilas, mescals, and craft cocktails, offered in the exuberant glow of the massive entrance mural by local artist Emmanuel Favela. Seafood favorites include the Ahi Tuna Ceviche with Avocado, Cilantro, Serrano Chile, Mango, and Fresh Lime Juice or the Grilled Lobster Taco marinated with Chile Poblano, Radish Watermelon Cabbage, Chorizo, Queso Fresco and Jalapeño Cream Sauce. Meat lovers can opt for the Al Pastor Taco with Marinated Pork, Grilled Onions, Pineapple Salsa Verde and Fresh Cilantro and Onion or the Flat Iron Taco with Seared Steak, Peanut Sauce Veracruz Style and Fresh Cilantro. MDM


sandiegofoodfinds.com Maria Desiderata Montana

Buy My New Book Here!

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


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

Blue Point Coastal Turns 20

Blue Point CoastalBLUE POINT COASTAL CUISINE CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY THIS APRIL

San Diego’s Most Classic Seafood Restaurant Promotes a Month-Long Celebration to Include a Commemorative Anniversary Menu & Selection of Prestigious California Wines at Roll-back Pricing 

This April, the Cohn Restaurant Group’s longstanding Gaslamp Quarter dining destination, Blue Point Coastal Cuisine, will celebrate 20 years of outstanding service and remarkable recognition in the industry. First opening their doors downtown in 1996, Blue Point was a trailblazer in the San Diego restaurant scene as the first fine dining establishment in the area, and would continue to be a staple for visitors and locals alike over the next two decades.

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Wine Dinner at Cucina Enoteca

Wine DinnerOn April 6th, Del Mar’s CUCINA enoteca will exclusively join forces with Sonoma’s hottest wine renegades, Scribe Winery and Banshee Wines, for a no holds barred dining event with Chef de Cuisine Rosa Geremia featuring eight wines, four courses and a night of revelry with Scribe’s Mariani brothers (Andrew & Adam) + the Banshee Boys (Noah Dorrance, Baron Ziegler & Steve Graf).

Beacons of the new California wine movement, these young Sonoma-based winemakers are staking their own path, challenging conventions and bringing with them a fresh perspective for a new generation of viticulture enthusiasts. In collaboration with one of San Diego’s most acclaimed wine-centric restaurants, both wineries will hit the road on April 5th & 6th for a dual winemaker dinner series through SoCal, where they’ll stop off at CUCINA’s sister location in Newport Beach for a unique dining event on April 5th before heading down to CUCINA’s Del Mar outpost. 

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Actor Opens Trejo’s Tacos In Los Angeles

Trejos Tacos

Photo by Derrick Strickland

Danny Trejo’s New Family Friendly Restaurant Opens on La Brea

Everything about Trejo’s Tacos – the Food, the Ambience, the Décor –Is the Actor’s Vision, Come to Life!

Actor Danny Trejo, who loves playing the bad guy in movies, he says, “because the bad guy always dies…the bad guy always loses and the good guy always wins. It’s the one thing movies and real life see eye-to-eye on.”

Dying in movies takes a certain kind of skill. Having food that kills takes a completely different kind of skill to pull off. Early indications are that Trejo and his business partner Ash Shah have indeed pulled it off with Trejo’s Tacos, at 1048 South La Brea, which celebrates its opening. Jeff Georgino is also a partner in Trejo’s Tacos.

“Ash produced all of my movies in the Bad Ass film franchise. On set, we always ate and talked about great food,” says Trejo. “Working on Ash’s set meant you never went hungry.”

Trejos Tacos

Photo by Jim Busfield

Nor will one go hungry at Trejo’s Tacos with food that is locally sourced, fresh, and made to order. The signature menu items are the Fried Chicken Tacos, Street Corn and Rancho Gordo heirloom beans. Also the vegan friendly black pepper tofu tacos, seasonal farmer’s market salad, wild shrimp tostada and the BCR burrito.

“The menu is my vision,” says Trejo, “I have tasted and approved all the food.

Trejo’s Tacos also offers a variety of tacos that include steak, achiote chicken, pork shoulder, brisket, Baja fish and vegan options such as Austin style avocado and roasted cauliflower. The tacos can be rolled, bowled or machete style (served in a lettuce cup).

The signature dessert is the Trejo’s Ice Cream sandwich, which is a Mexican hot chocolate chip cookie with McConnell’s ice cream.

Beer and wine will be offered on tap. The signature beer, “Trejo’s Cerveca”, is a Mexican style craft lager brewed in Los Angeles’ Arts District along with five other rotating local craft beers. Non-Alcoholic beverages consist of a date sweetened housemade Horchata, Kombucha on tap, (fermented tea and very healthy), Trejo’s own signature blended coffee which will be available either as a drip or nitro cold brew and two housemade Agua Fresca’s.

The restaurant was designed by Kristofer Keith of Spacecraft Design Group, and includes an outdoor patio with custom picnic tables with built-in heaters, power outlets and phone charging stations. There’s a kids play area with books, giant blocks and a Connect 4 game.  Local Boyle Heights street artist Ernesto Yerena created the murals that decorate the restaurant and add a pop of color to the muted palette.

The capacity of the La Brea location is 62. For the first month, Trejo’s Tacos will only be serving a limited menu with full service expected a few weeks later. A second Trejo’s Tacos location, in Hollywood, will open this spring.

Trejo's Tacos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Liberty Public Market Opens Today

Liberty Public MarketIntroducing San Diego’s First-Ever Public Artisan Market: Liberty Public Market Opens In Liberty Station 

25,000 Sq. Ft. Culinary Mecca Showcases the City’s Finest Local Purveyors and Market-to-Menu Restaurant in Historic Neighborhood Location, Which Once Existed as a Former U.S. Naval Base 

In a move that solidifies San Diego’s status as an emerging culinary hotbed, local hospitality veteran David Spatafore, principal of Blue Bridge Hospitality (Stake Chophouse & Bar, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge), introduces the city’s first artisan hall with the launch of Liberty Public Market. Located in Point Loma’s historic Liberty Station neighborhood, the communal marketplace brings together a curated mix of experienced retailers, farmers market vendors, food truck operators and home-grown kitchen concepts, each hand-selected for their passionate support and ardent commitment to San Diego’s culture.

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New Flour and Barley Pizza


New Pizza Concept Will Offer Innovative Pizzas, Italian Entrees and Wide Selection of Craft Cocktails and Local San Diego Beers 

Block 16 Hospitality, the creative team behind Flour & Barley – Brick Oven Pizza Las Vegas, has opened at The Headquarters at Seaport. Flour & Barley San Diego will be open for lunch and dinner, bringing an exceptional selection of brick oven pizzas, entrees and more to the historic, waterfront complex.

“The Headquarters at Seaport was an ideal location for us and our growing brand as it’s within walking distance to major downtown businesses and landmarks all along the waterfront,” said Block 16 Hospitality Partner Billy Richardson. “Flour & Barley will serve the kind of food and drink locals and visitors enjoy eating, in a comfortable, family friendly, accessible atmosphere.”

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Jsix Burger and Draft Special

Jsix BurgerOpening Day is around the corner, and Jsix is offering a special for those who don’t want to break the bank by eating inside Petco Park. Gamegoers can head to Jsix pre or post Padres home games, and snag a game day BFD Special, which comes with a burger, fries and draft for $12. All that for the cost of one beer inside Petco Park!

ABOUT JSIX RESTAURANT: Adjacent to Hotel Solamar is one of Kimpton’s iconic chef-driven restaurants, Jsix. Executive Chef Christian Graves’ thoughtful menu features Coastal California Cuisine, showcasing the freshest ingredients in a refreshing combination of clean, bright flavors. A perfect complement to the ever-changing menu is the extensive signature cocktail list, featuring fresh ingredients and timeless techniques.

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

Playful Bar Venue at 1919

1919A testament to the American spirit, the newly opened 1919 mixes old fashioned values in a modern setting in San Diego’s Historic Gaslamp Quarter. A throwback to what neighborhood sports bars used to be, guests can enjoy simple drinks and all-American food.

Inspired by the 1919 Chicago “Black Sox Scandal”, the downtown establishment infuses elements of America’s favorite pastime into their menu, décor and attitude. A visit to this neighborhood watering hole will be anything but a loss. The 5th Avenue joint offers a unique way to hear games directly from patrons’ smartphones to assure that everyone’s favorite game is audible, as well as visible, from one of 1919’s 25 HD TVs.

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Cars and Coffee at The Lot La Jolla

Cars and CoffeeCars and Coffee

On March 26th from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., THE LOT La Jolla will hold its third Cars and Coffee event. The prestigious public event will bring together the finest automobiles in San Diego County at La Jolla’s newest luxury lifestyle destination.

Cars and Coffee, a collaboration between local luxury dealerships, including HG Motorsports/Heinz Gietz Autohaus, Cal Bike La Jolla, Ferrari & Maserati of San Diego and O’Gara Coach La Jolla, offers an elaborate showcase for all car enthusiasts. 

Guests can enjoy complimentary morning coffee from THE LOT while admiring the detail and tradition of these fine vehicles. Stay for a house-made pastry or full breakfast from THE LOT La Jolla kitchen, helmed be Chef Matt Sramek and Pastry Chef Alejandra Pitashny.

The full Cars and Coffee event will include:

  • Showcase of top tier vehicles from from San Diego’s top dealers and collectors 
  • Complimentary sustainable, organic coffee
  • Option to dine at THE LOT for a enjoyable breakfast experience. Menu here

The Lot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We Love These Waist Friendly Restaurants

The Fish Shop

The Fish Shop

In San Diego, the beaches are plentiful and blue skies are the norm, which means bikini season never goes out of style. Try these health-conscious restaurants for appetizing meals that are so nutritionally-balanced and waist-friendly, you’ll be ready for the sand in no time!

All natural, nutritious and wholesome, Car’s Jars has perfected the art of craft-salad delivery. The boutique business provides healthy and on-the go, quality meals. Try their signature Greek-inspired jar, the CAR-thenon for a dish that’s both light and fresh. The savory salad is prepared with Dijon oregano vinaigrette, shredded chicken with a black peppercorn rub, orzo, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, sliced red onion, chopped romaine, feta cheese and pepperoncini. Who said salads have to be boring?

Relaxed and inviting, Pillbox Tavern brings classic, coastal entrees to its local Solana Beach neighbors. The quaint oceanfront property features plates that are optimal for wellness. Try their Hummus Three Ways for an indulgent, protein-packed plate that will have you craving vegetables. The shareable dish has three different hummus dips including black bean and cilantro, roasted red pepper, and basil with goat cheese. Paired with their house-made chips, carrots, celery and sliced cucumber, the meal will have you full without the guilt.

Standing bright and bold on the corner of 5th Avenue and Nutmeg, you won’t be able to miss Barrio Star. The Mexican soul-food eatery fuses Latin tastes with Asian touches to create delightful cuisine from around the globe. Striving to serve traditional Latin dishes with healthy modifications, the unique eatery offers plates that are loaded with protein and greens. Order their Brazil Bowl for a South American dining experience that won’t be heavy or greasy. The bowl comes with coconut rice, black beans, organic steamed greens, mango salsa, coconut chile sauce and your choice of chicken, tofu or carnitas. Yum!

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Celebrate Luck Of The Irish With A Frozen Grasshopper

frozen grasshopperAs Leprechaun’s prepare to hunt for their pot o’ gold and fiddle music begins to drift across the Atlantic, these spirit-filled San Diego restaurants and resorts have been busy creating festive, themed food & beverage offerings to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th!

Cheers to a lively St. Patty’s Day with a Lucky Leprechaun at Babcock & Story at Hotel del Coronado or a green beer at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, listen to festive live music at FIREHOUSE or Harrahs Resort and chow down on traditional corned beef and cabbage at Saska’s Steak and Seafood.  

If you’re looking for the best way to be Irish for the day – we have you covered! 

Holsteins Shakes and Buns  | Orange County, Calif. 

Inspired by the signature colors and tastes of everyone’s favorite Irish holiday, Holsteins Shakes and Buns is offering  St. Patty’s Day specials to celebrate in a festive way. The Luck of the Irish Burger is a take on the Irish-American classic corned beef and cabbage, made with an 8oz beef patty, topped with shaved corned beef, Swiss cheese, braised ‘green’ cabbage and Russian dressing and served on Marble Rye Bun. To complement the hearty burger, try Holsteins’ Frozen Grasshopper Bam-Boozled (alcoholic shake) — a green treat whipped up with peppermint, chocolate, Crème de Menthe, and Pinnacle Chocolate Vodka. No need to follow a leprechaun – these specials are as good as a pot ‘o gold. 

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