Valentine’s Day Destinations

San Diego Food FInds

Sweet Kiss at BICE

Love is in the air at San Diego restaurants and hotels. Find your inner foodie and step out of your comfort zone this February 14th. From sweet cocktails and multi-course menus, to decadent deserts, these restaurants have your Valentine’s Day covered!

Tower23 Hotel and JRDN Restaurant

Make your Valentine’s Day extra sweet this year at Tower23 Hotel and JRDN Restaurant. Do you Love to Indulge? Then we have the perfect package for you. Enjoy the ultimate lovers’ getaway with surprises such as chocolate-dipped strawberries, a bouquet of roses, Lovers’ Massage Oil, and a Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose Breakfast in Bed. Prices start at $459 per night. For those hoping to turn their Valentine’s Day up a notch, try the Sex on the Beach hotel package which includes dinner and cocktails for two, Breakfast in Bed each morning, an in-room couple’s massage, and valet parking. Rates start at $509 per night and require a minimum two-night stay. All V-Day specials run through February 28th.

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Cusp Chef Delivers Supercharged Menu

San Diego Food Finds

Crispy Pork Belly

Executive chef Ingrid Shelton has found her niche at Cusp Dining and Drinks, offering diners supercharged flavors in her seasonally changing menu where entree-sized portions are called to be shared.

San Diego Food Finds

Red Snapper Ceviche

Confident and intuitive while helming the kitchen at Cusp, Shelton is contented with the restaurant’s beautiful décor, that’s not overly designed. “This enables our guests to relax in an environment that is both upscale and comfortable,” she says. “The 11th floor view of the ocean is unforgettable, especially at sunset.”

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Rooster Ramen Coming Soon

Ramen lovers can look forward to Rooster coming late spring to early summer 2017. Diners can expect a Japanese Farmhouse ambiance with plenty of outdoor seating as well as a lengthy ramen bar with a semi-open kitchen. Nine types of traditional Ramen dishes will be offered reflecting unique Japanese regions. In addition, there will be special takes on ramen, small plates and yakitori grilled over real binchotan charcoal. A daily revolving specials board will offer seasonally fresh items including Osetra Caviar, Monk Fish Liver, and Pork Cheeks. All plates, bowls, and cups will be hand-made ceramic from Pawena Studio, based out of Los Angeles. Ramen, vegan, and vegetarian options will range from $9 to $14, with an option to create your own bowl. Expect a full 30 plus sake list, drinks made from shochu, and a nice variety of beer. A digital ordering system will be in place to emulate the ramen vending ticket machines in Japan, which will speed up the ordering process and provide further customer convenience.

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El Jardin Coming To Liberty Station

Rise and Shine Restaurant Group is stirring up a pot of excitement with the addition of a seasoned chef who’s been making a splash in San Diego since 2005. Claudette Wilkins joined the group this month as Research and Development Chef until she takes the helm as Executive Chef at the group’s new El Jardin restaurant opening its doors in Liberty Station early 2018.  

It was evident from our first few meetings that Chef Claudette would be an awesome fit,” says Rise and Shine’s owner, Johan Engman. “From her creativity in the kitchen and passion for food, to her future goals and desire to help our organization reach new heights, I am thrilled to bring Claudette on board.”

Expressing her desire to celebrate Mexico’s vibrant flavors, Chef Claudette held a position as Chef de Cuisine, helping open and lead Little Italy’s highly-anticipated Bracero Cocina De Raiz in 2015. Before that, she worked at hotspots such as at Sea180 and East Village’s Jsix, and has a plateful of experience as a sous chef, butcher, owner and pastry chef.

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San Diego Restaurant Week Bucket List

San Diego Food FindsSan Diego Restaurant Week is back to kick off your New Year with food, fun, and memories January 15th through January 22nd. This foodie-favorited event is celebrating its 13th year of bringing people together to dine out, reconnect, and indulge! With over 180 participating restaurants to choose from across every neighborhood in San Diego County, diners can be assured that appetites will be appeased and cravings will be satisfied with prix-fixe two course lunches and three course dinners.

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608 Restaurant Captivates Oceanside

San Diego Food Finds

Scallop Crudo

A cozy new jewel on Mission Avenue in Oceanside, 608 is a must-try for affordable, yet elegantly-prepared dishes. The simple interior is inviting, with rough wood and brick walls, a small bar area, and 4 TVs broadcasting the latest sporting events.

San Diego Food Finds

Scallops with Housemade Ramen Noodles, Alliums and Beef Broth

Diners can expect smaller portions and food boasting unique flavor combinations, including in-house dry-aged beef and a 7-course chefs tasting menu. “Other restaurants offer tasting menus, but 608 really displays our style,” says executive chef/partner William Eick. “We strive to create great food with what grows wild in North County, including proteins that are either indigenous or raised by local farms.”

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Popular Poke Dishes

Encontro Ahi Poke Tostaditos

These seven San Diego restaurants are making some of the best tuna poke dishes America’s finest city has to offer!

Do the “Ahi Poke” at Common Theory Public House every day of the week. Fresh tuna cut into perfect cubes loaded with cucumbers, onion, and sprouts all mixed with ginger oyster sauce. Top it off with a side of taro chips for dipping.

If you’re in North Park, you must stop by Encontro for poke and happy hour. Served exclusively as a happy hour treat, the Ahi Poke Tostaditos. Crafted with fresh tuna and scallions on a crispy tostada, these tostaditos pair perfectly with a cold beer.

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Comfort Food In San Diego

The Haven Pesto Rigatoni

This cold and rainy weather in San Diego is making it a little hard to stick to a healthy eating resolution. Ditch the resolution and warm up with stomach filling, joy bringing comfort food dishes.

In the Gaslamp Quarter barleymash has the cheesiest bowls of mac n’ cheese. The Bleu Shroom is whipped up with wild and domestic mushrooms, whiskey-caramelized onions, bleu cheese crumbles and balsamic-Jager drizzle. This dish is big enough to feed two people, so be sure to bring a friend along to help you ditch the New Year’s resolution.

The Haven is one of the many hidden gems in Kensington. Warm up with an order of Dave’s meatballs made with homemade Italian meatballs baked in fresh tomato sauce topped with shaved parmesan. Follow the meatballs with an order of Pesto Rigatoni. This delicious bowl of rigatoni is tossed in hazelnut pesto, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes and topped with feta cheese.

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The Westgate Valentine Celebration

San Diego Food FindsSpeak the language of love this Valentine’s Day with a romantic rendezvous and fine dining at downtown San Diego’s Westgate Hotel. The hotel’s “La Vie en Rose” Valentine’s Day experiences pay homage to the hotel’s French inspired style and ambiance and the perfect setting to spark romance.

“We are capturing the essence and culture of a true Parisian escape,” said Richard Cox, general manager of the Westgate Hotel. “For one night, or a weekend, you’ll think you have escaped to Paris but with the sunshine, sights and attractions of San Diego right outside!”

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Disney on Ice is Coming to Town

San Diego Food Finds

From Wheels to Waves & Icy Wonderlands to Infinity and Beyond!

Disney on Ice is coming to town and it’s bringing some delicious recipes with it. This action-packed ice spectacular showcases beloved characters from Disney•Pixar’s Cars, Toy Story 3, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, plus the enchanting Academy Award-winning Frozen… and of course, Minnie Mouse! However, the magic is happening on and off the ice this year. Disney on Ice has launched official recipes such as Minnie’s Sweetheart Egg Cups, the Cars Stoplight Frittata (packed with fresh veggies) or the Ariel’s Whozits & Whatzits Smoothie (with a touch of peanut butter) that are sure to add some charm to  breakfast, lunch and dinner. 


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Sunday Brunching at Ponsaty’s

Master French Chef Patrick Ponsaty has crafted a menu to appease all appetites. Available every Sunday beginning January 15th, Ponsaty’s offers diners bottomless mimosas and dishes including Herb Crusted Prime Ribeye with a Horseradish Sauce, Sea Water Poached King Crab Legs with French Cocktail Sauce and lemon, and of course, a show-stopping Egg Benedict Florentine with Spinach and Mornay Sauce.

Wine and dine yourself for $49 per guest and $25 for kids – add on the bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s for an extra $15. The entire menu is available here.

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Herringbone Happy Hour

Herringbone La Jolla is starting 2017 off the right way with its launch of happy hour 7 days a week! Also known as Oyster Hour at the “fish meets field” concept in the heart of La Jolla, guests can now enjoy $1 oysters with discounted bites and drinks daily in Herringbone’s bar and lounge – because, wine not?


Herringbone La Jolla launches its happy hour – Oyster Hour – 7 days a week from 4-6pm. Guests can now enjoy $1 oysters with discounted bites and drinks daily in Herringbone’s bar and lounge. Choose from a selection of bites, and wash it down with Herringbone’s specialty cocktails, infused house spirits, sangria, beer or wine.

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Chocolate Decadence & Pechanga Wine Festival

Valentine’s Day plans can be made easy this year by making a date for the Chocolate Decadence & Pechanga Wine Festival. Hundreds of wine varieties, sweet and savory chocolate confections, gourmet food samples, live music, a silent auction, and helping out a good cause are all on the agenda for Friday, February 10, and Saturday, February 11, at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Tickets for the 9th annual Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival are currently on sale. For tickets or more information, visit the Pechanga Box Office, call (877) 711-2946 or visit Proceeds from both events benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Chocolate Decadence on Friday, February 11, features more than 30 wine varietals that have been shown to masterfully partner with chocolate and other sweet desserts. The event runs from 7:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. and is $55 per person. Tickets include a souvenir wine glass, unlimited two ounce samples of wine and spirits, chocolate and confection tasting, live music and silent auction. VIP tickets are $75 and include early entry at 5:30 p.m., an upgraded souvenir wine glass, fruit and cheese plates, passed hors d’oeurves, as well as all inclusions of general admission tickets.

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Kale Salad Favorites

Start those New Year diet resolutions off on the right fork with kale. These fun and unique San Diego restaurants have incorporated kale into delicious salads to help with your nutritional needs for the new year. After all, a new year means a new you so put the kale to the test for your resolutions to be healthier by stopping by one of these restaurants, if not all!

Common Theory Public House offers a menu of California cuisine that focuses on enhancing natural ingredients using contemporary cooking sensibilities of different ethnic backgrounds. For your kale fix, the Citrus Kale Salad is a must try. This leafy dish is make with fresh kale, house ricotta cheese, citrus wedges, pepita seeds and topped with a zesty orange vinaigrette. Pair it with one of their ever changing 30+ beers on tap such as an American IPA or a Pilsner for your “cheat” day.

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Scottish Supper at The Ranch at Bandy Canyon

San Diego Food FindsGather around for a night of Scottish festivities in honor of poet and lyricist Robert Burns! 

The Ranch at Bandy Canyon, located in Escondido, will host its annual Robert Burns Supper on Saturday, January 21st from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The evening will start off with performances by the Cameron Highlander Pipe Band and Highland Way 6 piece band. The celebration and three course dinner will feature a menu of traditional Scottish dishes, a bag pipe band, a toast to the haggis and live entertainment. Following dinner get on the dance floor and move to the sounds of the Highland 6 Piece Band.

Purchase tickets for $75 per person at The Ranch at Bandy Canyon and online.

Michelin Star Event at Civico 1845

San Diego Food Finds

Antonio and Luca Abbruzzino (photo credit: Leonardo Scarriglia)

Civico 1845 the Little Italy eatery known for its authentic Italian dishes and vegan offerings, has formed a collaboration with two Michelin-rated Italian chefs, father and son Antonio and Luca Abbruzzino, to highlight dishes that feature ingredients from southern Italy.

To kick off the partnership, the chefs will travel to San Diego and work with Civico 1845 chefs Alfonso Pisacane and Pietro Gallo to create new dishes that highlight southern Italy’s finest tastes. Ingredients to be imported from Italy include the Calabrian chile pepper, red Tropea onions, San Marzano tomatoes, Campania’s buffalo mozzarella and more. As with the rest of the Civico 1845 menu, these dishes will also incorporate ingredients grown locally in San Diego.

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Cafe Chloe Offers Taste of France

San Diego Food Finds


A little French culture with a lot of French taste is what you’ll get at Cafe Chloe in the East Village, a charming neighborhood bistro where you can enjoy a nice cappuccino for breakfast, a quick lunch, and linger on with wine and beautiful food for dinner.

San Diego Food Finds


Savor a rustic approach to culturally rich, regional ingredients. The menu changes seasonally and daily featuring sustainable seafood and all-natural meats and chicken. The produce comes from local farms including Crows Pass, Sage Mountain, and Suzie’s Farms.

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Shake Shack Coming Soon

San Diego Food FindsAfter coasting to the West Coast earlier this year, Shake Shack is heading southward to San Diego in 2017. This modern day “roadside” burger stand serves up the most delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more. The Shack plans to set up shop at Westfield UTC, a three-level outdoor shopping center in University City. The Westfield UTC Shack, located on Level 2, will offer all the Shake Shack classics, from delicious 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers and cage-free chicken to crinkle-cut fries and spun-fresh frozen custard. Plus, there will be frozen custard concretes featuring local San Diego food purveyors.

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Clever Chef At Catania Hits All The Right Notes


Whole Roasted Branzino with Manila Clams, Spring Onion Pesto, Grilled Asparagus and Chili Bread Crumbs

The smell of wood-fired pizzas hits you as you walk in the door at Whisknladle Hospitality’s Catania, nestled on the top floor of the La Plaza center in La Jolla, California.

San Diego Food Finds Catania Restaurant

Ahi Tartare with Melon, Calabrian Chili, Yogurt, Shallot, Lemon, Sesame, Pistachio and Tarragon

Inspired by Whisknladle Hospitality Owner Arturo Kassel and Culinary Director/Partner Ryan Johnston after their two-week, 1,400-mile road trip through Italy, this innovative 3,750-square-foot restaurant, with an expansive patio and outdoor bar space, puts diners right near the ocean and within walking distance of shopping.

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New Hotel and Travel Destinations

Adare Manor (courtesy photo)

The 2017 forecast for hotel and travel destinations is all about discovering that pristine enclave, and the more locally curated, the sweeter the sojourn. Emerging hotspots are situated at already-coveted destinations, yet luxuriously secluded like New Zealand’s new Helena Bay, Jamaica’s Port Antonio and Hawaii’s ruggedly elegant Lanai. Collectively, they define the luxploration movement. From Turks & Caicos to Ireland to Santa Barbara and beyond — acclaimed properties across the globe are getting refreshed, renovated and reimagined. On the trends front, the renaissance man is stepping out, resorts are deep-diving into wellness and meetings are going way outside the box.

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Decadent San Diego Desserts

San Diego Food Finds

Grapefruit Panna Cotta at Bracero

Life is short, so why not sweeten it? It’s the sweet things that make it worth living, like treating yourself to a dessert you deserve. So, let that sweet tooth loose, relax and enjoy San Diego’s best desserts.

By focusing on an “open kitchen” approach, Bracero Cocina de Raiz seems more like a family gathering than a night out. They’re almost as passionate about the food as they are the people; they craft each and every dish with the utmost care and attention. And when it comes to desserts, their Grapefruit Panna Cotta is their passion project. Featuring a panna cotta served alongside passion fruit sorbet, topped off with sweet coconut foam and peanut praline, it’s sure to titillate your taste buds.

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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!


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.

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