Elevate Your Dining Experience

San Diego Food FindsThe New Year brings us tableside cocktails, prime-aged meats, new restaurant openings, low-cal cocktails and so much more. So get out there, and opt to eat and drink the best our city has to offer!

ELEVATE YOUR MEAT:

Carne Prima – The newly opened Italian Steakhouse boasts a swank interior and roomy patio overlooking prime 5th Ave. It also offers an unmatched selection of USDA prime-aged steaks, which they patiently age in-house. In addition, they carry hard-to-find cuts like wagyu, and a 32oz. Tomahawk long bone that’s carved tableside. So get ready to be impressed, and up your meat game this year. www.carneprima.com

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Best Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

Fish and chips is a hot dish of English origin but has become widely popular around the world. Battered and fried fish with deep-fried chips, this comfort food is a favorite at San Diego restaurants. We’ve rounded up the best places in the county to get your fish and chips fix.

Down by the shore, PB Shore Club has given their Fish N’ Chips a Southern California twist! Four pieces of beer battered Pacific Cod served with house sauce, tartar sauce and cocktail sauce. You also get your choice of tots, fruit, mixed greens, onion rings and fries. Wash it all down with Shore Club’s draft Modelo Especial’s.

A neighborhood chef-driven tavern, WESTROOT tavern in Carmel Valley has been serving heaping portions of Southern California inspired dishes. Listed under the comfort plates, the Fish & Chips WESTROOT tavern will fill you with comfort. Battered seasonal white fish served with root slaw and seasoned fries with jalapeno tartar sauce.

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San Diego Surfing Grub

San Diego Food Finds

Pillbox Tavern Mahi Sandwich

Surfing and San Diego go hand-in-hand, even in the middle of winter. A long day of surfing and enjoying the beach can leave you hungry and parched. If your inner surfer is growling for some grub after a surf session at one of the city’s best beaches, make sure to check out these hotspots near the water

Looking for an energetic atmosphere and great post-surfing munchies in Pacific Beach? Situated in the heart of one of San Diego’s most lively neighborhoods, PB Shore Club boasts a panoramic view of the San Diego sea. If you’re ready to feast after an early morning surf sesh, check out the Crab Cake Benny with fried crab cake, grilled tomato and house potatoes. Whether your hunger kicks in in the morning or late at night, PB Shore Club serves up satisfying meals all day long. The late-night menu with classic snacks and the tacos are not to be missed!

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Weekend Brunch and Cocktails

Kombucha Mule at Farmer’s Bottega

Weekends are never complete without brunch paired with a good cocktail. Bottomless mimosas are great, but these San Diego brunch hot spots offer something better that will turn the most important meal of the day into your favorite meal of the week.

While they specialize in fresh, farm-to-table eats, Farmer’s Bottega in Mission Hills also knows that booze and brunch is a match made in heaven. Complement your meal with their Kombucha Mule, which combines mint, lime, orange liquor, lemonade and ginger kombucha, this drink will be sure to perk up your morning.

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X Marks The Spot At Barrel Republic

San Diego Food Finds Maria Desiderata Montana

Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly, Smoked Salmon and Lamb Meatballs

Barrel Republic in Oceanside California, boasts a modern yet rustic barn atmosphere complete with wood barrels filled with 60 tap handles for beer aficionados to freely pour and enjoy. “The food menu is uniquely created for the Barrel; scratch, fresh and original craft food for craft beer,” says Executive Chef Michael Brown of Barrel Republic’s Oceanside location. “We use seasonal organic and local produce when it’s available, and all of our ingredients are sustainable.”

San Diego Food Finds

Charcuterie Board with Angel’s Salumi

Brown attended Baltimore Culinary Arts Institute and has been in the kitchen for over thirty years since. He especially enjoyed his time working and learning from chef Michel Richard at Citronelle. “I am still learning the skills of the craft,” he says. “My knife skills are really strong, but my best skill is over-all kitchen leadership.”

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Cocktails From Around The World

San Diego Food Finds

Uptown Tavern Mojito

Whether served blended, on the rocks or neat; these cocktails are as unique to their countries as any national dish and this is where you can find them in San Diego.

Pina Colada – Puerto Rico

Do you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain? The blended mixture of rum, pineapple and coconut cream can transport you to a Caribbean island. Many people claim to have been the ones that created this quintessential Puerto Rican cocktail but Tavern at the beach gives it a nice little PB kick. The Frozen Pineapple Express is whipped up Appleton Jamaican rum, spiced liqueur, fresh pineapple, coconut cream and lime.

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Flatbreads That Don’t Disappoint

San Diego Food FindsThere is more to a flatbread than what meets the dough so don’t settle for a dull flatbread again. Visit these San Diego restaurants for special flatbreads that don’t disappoint.

For great food and quality craft beers, dine in at Common Theory Public House. Order from a variety of their unique flatbreads such as their most popular, the “Daygo” Style made with Mozzarella, Tomato, and Almond Basil Pesto. For the meat lovers who need a savory addition, add bacon or sausage to sweeten the dish. Don’t forget to pair with one of the ever changing 30+ craft beers on tap.

Two American classics come together at Barrel Republic in Oceanside and Carlsbad when you order the Double Cheese Bacon “Burger” flatbread. This “burger” is fully loaded with lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard and ketchup. This is one dish you won’t want to share!

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Waterbar Coming To Pacific Beach

The thrilling enticement of lively entertainment, sunny beaches, thriving bars and classic cuisine make Pacific Beach (PB) San Diego a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. In early 2017, the opening of the highly anticipated new restaurant Waterbar raises the PB bar and restaurant scene even higher with unparalleled oceanfront ambience and an unrivaled menu complete with exquisite cocktails.

Waterbar will be located in the heart of Pacific Beach along the bustling ocean boardwalk, where Grand Avenue meets the beach just south of the iconic Crystal Pier. The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows will provide an unobstructed view of sea and sky, while expansive space offers ample opportunity for locals and visitors to gather, eat, sip and socialize.

San Diego Food Finds

“We can hardly wait to share this space with all of San Diego,” says co-owner Todd Brown, who currently owns Bub’s at the Beach, Bub’s at the Ballpark and Blind Burro. Brown is joined by Eric Leitstein of OMG Hospitality Group (think Union Kitchen + Tap, Backyard Kitchen + Tap and P.B Alehouse) and Joe Vaught of The Verant group (Barleymash, Tavern, Sandbar, WESTROOT, True North Tavern, Uptown Tavern). This well-seasoned team of restauranteurs could not pass up on the prime location, and seized the opportunity to create something dynamic and unique with the new Waterbar—an elegant, energetic beachfront dining experience that captures the very heart and soul of sunny San Diego.

Inspired by East coast, West coast and Baja cuisines, “social seafood” will be on the menu, including fresh shellfish and locally caught favorites, which will be transformed into the chef’s unique renditions of coastal classics. Chowder, cioppino, tapas, meat and veggies are also on the menu with many other innovative dishes sure to stimulate and satisfy every palate.

Waterbar’s 6700 sq. ft. venue features a spacious lounge and two expansive bars. Flavor-forward craft cocktails present both irresistible favorites and innovative libations. San Diego-centric, locally crafted beers and a diverse wine list can be enjoyed across comfortable bar seating, community-table dining, and intimate ocean-side tables. Whether guests come for brunch, lunch, a sunset-inspired happy hour, dinner or late night bite, they’re sure to be magnetized by the sensational allure of panoramic views amid vibrant surroundings.

Look for Waterbar, coming early 2017, and discover what is sure to be San Diego’s favorite new spot to make a toast—on the coast!

www.waterbarsd.com

New Restaurants Coming Soon

San Diego Food Finds

Oreo Cookie Pancakes at Breakfast Republic

There’s no shortage of great restaurants in San Diego, and today we add to the list of the most anticipated openings for 2017!

Farmer’s Table (Opening February 2017)

Farmer’s Table is what La Mesa has been hungering for, bringing together fresh, local flavors and unique recipes to create innovative spins on time-tested family favorites. Celebrating the farm-to-table concept, Farmer’s Table will prove that food doesn’t need to be complicated to be good, and the owners will strive to let the natural flavors speak for themselves. “’Honest food done right’ pretty much sums up our mission,” says co-owner Alberto Morreale.

Address: 8141 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91941
Website: www.farmerstablelamesa.com

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Crudo Pride In Carmel Valley

san-diego-food-finds-crudo

Sashimi Presentations Rock Our World

The new Crudo restaurant in Carmel Valley boasts Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with an Asian touch that features locally-sourced, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian menu items. Renowned chef and owner Pascal Lorange takes pride in offering diners unique, yet simple presentations that you won’t find anywhere else in San Diego.

San Diego Food Finds

Foie Gras Crudotini with Smoked Duck Breast, Fig Chutney, Scallions and Soy Balsamic

Belgian-born Lorange is a world renowned chef who has cooked in Michelin-star kitchens and been in the restaurant industry for more than 25 years.  As a child, he would accompany his family on weekly trips to the market to help his parents prepare his favorite dish, “pave de cabillaud” (cod steak). From the age of six, Lorange wanted to continue in the family tradition of four generations of chefs, including his grandfather, uncle, brother and nephew.

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Champagne Dreams Can Come True

Cocktails Sur Lie

The perfect holiday pairing this season just so happens to be National Champagne Day on December 31st and National Bloody Mary Day on January 1st respectively. From delectable champagne cocktails to hangover-curing bloody Marys, check out out these fun places to celebrate!

Champagne Dreams

The US GRANT Hotel | San Diego, Calif. 

Creative cocktail master Jeff Josenhans of the Grant Grill at the US GRANT Hotel, has two house-made champagne cocktails that are completely unique to the hotel’s bar. Crafted in the “Cocktails Sur Lie” method, where the bubbles are made in the bottle, Josenhans has created The Mule, a unique Champagne fermented cocktail with vodka, ginger, muscat and cascade hops ($12). The La Grenade uses the same Champagne method and combines cognac, hibiscus tea, pomegranate juice, bay leaves and black pepper ($12). The two signature cocktails are the ideal way to toast New Year’s Eve with a special blend of bubbles. 

The Commons | San Diego, Calif. 

Welcome the new year at The Commons! Downtown San Diego’s hottest neighborhood bar will be celebrating National Champagne Day (and New Year’s Eve!) with mimosas and a New Year’s Eve champagne toast. 

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Jazz Supper Club at Cusp

A Very Merry Jazz Supper Club Returns to Cusp Dining & Drinks where world-class music and merriment take over Hotel La Jolla’s 11th floor ocean view restaurant.

Celebrate the holidays in style at Cusp Dining & Drinks. On Thursday, Dec. 29, a special holiday Jazz Supper Club will take over Cusp’s ocean view dining room. Enjoy the sounds of the Gilbert Castellanos Trio as they perform holiday classics, while sipping on a variety of seasonal drinks that pair with dinner. Music starts at 6:30pm, reservations from 5pm. cusprestaurant.com – 858-551-3620.

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

Ponsaty’s Presents Culinary Art

San Diego Food Finds

Amuse Bouche: Carrot Squash Soup

Chef Patrick Ponsaty is working his magic and hypnotizing diners with show-stopping culinary art at his new restaurant aptly named Ponsaty’s in Rancho Santa Fe, California. We recently visited, took our seats in a lavish dining room that’s screams with style, and experienced a delightful 9-course menu that left us feeling as if we had just dined in the French Quarter in New Orleans.

San Diego Food Finds

Organic Veggies

Every morning Ponsaty personally visits his farmer friends and hand selects seasonal produce to be presented to diners each evening. This awe-inspiring chef makes dinner an EVENT not to be missed.

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Side Dishes Worth Ordering

Grilled Little Gems at Encontro

Explore, experiment, and titillate your taste buds with tasty side dishes that are often times overlooked. Another advantage is that these dishes can be swapped out for a gratifying meal!

Over 15 sides to choose from, how will you ever make up your mind? Wood Ranch in Mission Valley has a broad range of sides to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. How does a bowl of Loaded Mashed Potatoes sound? Or hot plate of Skillet Baked Beans? Pretty tasty, huh? Wood Ranch has delicious and decadent sides that will make you want to cheat on your entrée!

Encontro in North Park is stepping up the side game with their a la carte dishes. Tickle your tongue with Patatas Bravas, salt roasted red potatoes with pickled fresno aioli or charred Grilled Little Gems. Try the Mary’s Fried Chicken Sliders made with all-natural chicken breast, sriracha aioli, coleslaw all on a brioche bun. Be sure to save room for your entrée with these game changing sides!

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Plan Your New Year’s Celebration

San Diego Food Finds

Club Crown Champagne Tower

Some of San Diego’s most popular hot spots make it easy for you to plan an unforgettable New Year’s celebration!

New Year’s Cocktail Experience at Grant Grill | San Diego, CA

This New Year’s Eve, Grant Grill has created an intimate table-side cocktail package experience in its Lounge to ring in the New Year. Cocktail aficionados can delight in personal mixology with Chef de Bar, Cory Alberto, as he creates a variety of exceptional craft cocktails including flaming Blue Blazer cocktails for the table to cap the night. The first popularized flaming cocktail is sure to please, composed of cask-strength single-malt Scotch, Demerara sugar or sugar in the raw, and lemon peel, mixed together as Alberto creates a spectacular blue flame between two mixing glasses. The special cocktail activation for New Year’s is an ode to President Ulysses S. Grant who the hotel is named after (built by the former President’s son) and who was highly impressed by his first Blue Blazer cocktail. Additional cocktail package pairings include a welcome seasonal citrus bottled cocktail, a flight of unique and exceptional spirits including Sancerre Orange Wine, Genepi Americana Cocktail and the exclusive last batch of the property’s Gentleman Grant, paired with a cheese and charcuterie board as well as additional bites. Reservations are $700 for a party of four, $1,400 for a party of eight, excluding tax.

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Vegan and Vegetarian Options

Margherita Pizza

Jump onto the Meatless Monday trend and visit an eatery with easy-to-navigate vegan and vegetarian menus at the following San Diego locations.

Plant-based foods are served up at South Park’s Mexican eatery, Del Sur Mexican Cantina, in addition to all the Mexican staples such as hearty burritos, enchiladas and tacos. Order up the house-made guacamole with fresh chunks of avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, house pico and lime while you peruse your options. The Jackfruit Tacos are adobe marinated and served with cabbage, poblano crema and chipotle aioli. Try the vegan-friendly Green Mole and Vegetable Tamales or the Veggie Enchiladas a la cart for more variety.

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Ceviche Wednesdays At Sirena Cocina

San Diego Food Finds

Courtesy photo

Sirena Cocina Latina and Chef Jaime Chavez invite all ceviche lovers to experience Ceviche Wednesdays, when talented pros from both sides of the border demonstrate their ceviche mastery from 5pm-9pm. Come for the ceviche and stay for the full menu of Latin America-inspired fare. Diners can opt for individual ceviches made with seafood, vegetables or tenderloin for $9 each from the à la carte menu, or choose the “chef’s whim” tasting flight of three guest-chef created ceviches with a craft beer for $21. Each Ceviche Wednesday will spotlight one of the 24 Valle de Guadalupe wineries represented by La Mision Associates and Michelle Martain. Optional wine tastings will include 3 to 5 wines for only $15.

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Pappalecco Expands Locations

San Diego Food Finds

Pappalecco, a local Tuscan coffee, pastry and dining destination, will have five locations throughout the San Diego area by the end of 2016. Pappalecco is known for its unique Tuscan-style cuisine, authentic Italian experience and friendly guest service. The stores, or “homes” as the brother-owner duo like to call it, are located in Little Italy, Hillcrest, Kensington and Cardiff by the Sea, with Del Mar Highlands opening in mid-December. The extensive menu includes breakfast, organic coffee, paninis, pizza, salads, gelato, homemade pastries, wine and beer, and more.

“We are delighted to have our Tuscan homes all over San Diego County, providing neighborhoods with fresh, simple Tuscan-imported ingredients and quality food in a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere,” said Lorenzo Bucci, Pappalecco chef and co-owner. “Pappalecco is a neighborhood symbol and I think every neighborhood should have one!”

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Mendocino Farms La Jolla

Mendocino Farms, Southern California’s beloved sandwich destination with a mission of helping guests “Eat Happy,” is pleased to announce the opening of its 15th restaurant location in The Shops at La Jolla Village in the La Jolla area of San Diego. Mendocino Farms features a dynamic chef-driven menu that changes with the seasons and offers guests a gourmet fast casual dining option at affordable prices. Devoted to partnering with local farms and food artisans to create inspired dishes, the culinary team specializes in approachably adventurous sandwiches and salads using fine dining-quality techniques and ingredients. The new Mendocino Farms restaurant is located adjacent to Whole Foods Market, and will be one of the premier dining destinations for the newly redeveloped shopping center and immediate surrounding neighborhoods. 

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Holiday Cocktails Are The Buzz

Coco-Nutcracker

We’ve rounded up some holiday-themed cocktails that can be found around San Diego, to keep you feeling warm, festive, and hydrated on the party circuit this season!

Coconut Beach Holiday Cocktails at The Patio on Lamont | Pacific Beach 

The Patio on Lamont is partnering with San Diego-based coconut water company, Coconut Beach, to make merrymaking easier this year with coconut water cocktails. Packed with essential electrolytes and potassium, coconut water is key to getting through the holiday season sans hangover. Created by lead bartender Richard Shina,  the Coconut Rum Pum Pum Pum and Coco-Nutcracker cocktails are both mixed with Coconut Beach 100 % Pure Coconut Water, and can be jollily sipped on The Patio on Lamont’s cozy, charming patio all season long.

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Searsucker In The Neighborhood

Tuna Poke & Shaved Taro Root Radish Jar with Sriracha and Cilantro

Welcoming and unpretentious, with yet a sophisticated dimension, celebrity chef Brian Malarkey’s Searsucker Del Mar has found its niche in the trendy Carmel Valley neighborhood.

San Diego Food Finds

Tomato & Burrata Jar with Basil, Olive Oil and Balsamic

Born and raised in San Diego, new executive chef Cesar Oceguera helms the Del Mar outpost, raising eyebrows with well-received New American cuisine that boasts traditional, yet seasonal takes on classic dishes infused with the boisterous flavors for which the restaurant has long been known for.

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Christmas Dining About Town

San Diego Food Finds

Forever Young Cocktail at Jsix

San Diego is in a White Christmas state of mind, getting cozy for the holidays with elegant high teas steeped in tradition, festive feasts for the indulgent set and multi-course meals made for mingling. Below, is a round up Christmas dining offerings for all to experience this season. 

THE US GRANT | Downtown

A true destination in downtown San Diego, THE US GRANT is the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit this season. The hotel’s newly restyled grand lobby will be elegantly decorated for guests and locals to celebrate traditions, new and old. From THE US GRANT’s annual holiday tea in the lobby to Christmas dinner at The Grant Grill—there’s something for everyone this season. In addition, the hotel will play host to the Lamb’s Players presentation of “An American Christmas” for the second year in a row. The timeless holiday show will take place Dec. 14 – 24, 2016 in THE US GRANT’s Presidential Ballroom and will be accompanied by a four-course dinner. 

Lamb’s Players “An American Christmas” 1916 Feast and Celebration 

December 14-24, 6:30 p.m. 

$158-$174/adult;$113-$129/child; Tickets: http://www.lambsplayers.org/

THE US GRANT Traditional Holiday Tea

December 10 and 17, Noon-1:30 p.m. 

$52/adult; $29/child (plus tax and gratuity) 

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 619-744-2039 

Grant Grill Christmas Dinner 

December 24 and 25, 5:30-9 p.m.

Five-course dinner: $95; $130 with wine pairings.

Reservations: www.grantgrill.com.

Jsix

Let Chef Anthony Sinsay do the cooking for you this year! Enjoy a delicious Christmas dinner at Jsix with some of Sinsay’s Filipino-inspired holiday favorites.

The three-course Christmas menu includes dishes such as Stir-fried Rice Noodles with local vegetables, soy and Kalamansi lime, and Red Kuri Squash Soup with hazelnut crème fraiche and tarragon pesto. The dinner will also feature specials such as Herb Butter Roasted Turkey and Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes. Satisfy your sweet tooth with desserts like Warm Cranberry Cake served with vanilla ice cream or Kabocha Pieserved with Nutmeg Chantilly and pomegranate reduction to top off the night. The cost is $65 per person and reservations are recommended. (616 J Street, San Diego, CA, (619) 531-8744, www.jsixrestaurant.com)

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Comfort Food Defines Tradition

Mom’s Peach Cobbler at Wood Ranch

There’s no one food that defines American comfort food. Filled with an array of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions each state has developed their own comfort food. One thing these dishes have in common is their ability to make you feel warm, nostalgic, and just a tiny bit indulgent. Get a national taste of comfort food dishes right here in San Diego.

Peach Cobbler – Georgia

A classic Southern dessert, dozens of places serve up treats that feature Georgia’s finest peaches but only Wood Ranch in Mission Valley gets it right. This deep dish cobbler is made with Freestone peaches and topped with whole grains, brown sugar, cinnamon and scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.

Gumbo – Louisiana

There are few dishes more representative of the great state of Louisiana than gumbo. Gumbo is defined by its roux and thickened, seafood or chicken and extra additions like okra or hard-boiled eggs. Brazen BBQ makes a hearty Cajun Gumbo with smoked chicken and Cajun sausage served over a bed of white rice. Try Brazen’s take on this Louisiana staple.

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Dave & Buster’s Coming Soon

San Diego Food Finds

The Shoppes Carlsbad Rendering Courtesy of Rouse Properties

Dave & Buster’s, the ultimate entertainment destination known for pairing its innovative menu with a variety of amusements in an upscale and engaging environment, is set to open in the Shoppes at Carlsbad on January 30, 2017.

“Dave & Buster’s is excited to bring our signature food, beverage and entertainment experience to Carlsbad which is known worldwide for fun and attractions,” said Cory Gallant, General Manager. “We will offer something for everyone – from foodies and gamers, to sports fans and party planners. Our location is central to Oceanside and Vista, so we look forward to welcoming guests from all corners of North County San Diego.”

The 40,000 square-foot venue will offer the very best in food, drink and entertainment in an upscale and modern interior. Dave & Buster’s will occupy a prominent space in the Shoppes at Carlsbad, which are currently undergoing renovations that are scheduled for completion in early 2017. In addition to Dave & Buster’s, the center will feature several new retailers, a movie theater and a gym.

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Moto Deli Leucadia

San Diego Food FindsPerched along historic Highway 101 in the heart of Encinitas, the traditional European delicatessen reemerges, reborn with an American spin. Moto Deli, helmed by newly minted Executive Chef Andrew Halvorsen (Stone Brewing, A.R. Valentien), captures the freewheeling Leucadian spirit while offering a nod to the time-honored techniques of whole animal butchery and artisanal charcuterie from its intimate 1,200 square-foot space located at 810 N Coast Hwy 101 in Encinitas.

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