Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro

San Diego Food Finds

Pulpo Asado A Las Brasas (Grilled Octopus) (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Well- regarded Chef-Owner Javier Plascencia has taken his successful family restaurant business north of the border, and we are all better off because of that decision. For three decades, the family has sought to change the culinary landscape in Tijuana, operating 10 distinctive eateries and serving cuisine that has garnered international attention. They have taken traditional Mexican fare to a new level, which is wonderfully evident at the Romesco bistro. The main dining room is subdued and relaxing, or you can choose the separated tapas bar that’s open late and much livelier.

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Bo Beau Kitchen and Bar

San-Diego-Food-Finds-Food-Lovers-Guide-to-San-Diego-1Operated by the Cohn Restaurant Group, this attractive and comfortable Ocean Beach bistro celebrates the spirit and flavors  of the Mediterranean with a modern yet rustic cuisine. With “Bo” referring to Bohemian style and “Beau” signifying beauty, this newest neighborhood destination offers old-world charm and new-world polish in a French-inspired setting. A most unique feature includes an entrance into the restaurant through an imported ancient Egyptian gate. Adding to the approachability of Bo-Beau is the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Choose from soups, salads, and a variety of house-made pastas as well as house- made pâté and various tartines such as the Croque Madame Tartine, which features a delectable combination of sliced pork belly, gruyere cheese, fried egg, and a Parmesan cheese reduction. The menu also highlights flatbreads adorned with flavorful ingredient medleys ranging from roasted brie, beets, and curry onion marmalade to braised short rib, horseradish, smashed potatoes, and chives. Bo-Beau Kitchen + Bar, 4996 West Point Loma Blvd., San Diego, CA 92107; (619) 224-2884;; French; $$$.

©San Diego Food Finds, By Maria Desiderata Montana

BO-beau kitchen + bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen

Heirloom Tomato Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Located on a rather quiet residential street just 1 block west from the South Coast Highway, this small gastropub is a hidden gem. Husband-and-wife team Rodney and Aaron Browning have deep experience in the local culinary community, working with some of the most respected chefs in Southern California.

Grits with Bolognese Sauce (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

This eatery is dedicated to the slow-food movement, a farm-to-table philosophy utilizing locally sourced and fresh ingredients. Rustic American cuisine is featured throughout the menu, with a touch of Southern-style comfort. One of the signature dishes is the Durac Pork Belly served with collards, caramelized apple, and polenta spoon bread.

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Sugar and Scribe Bakery

Offering everything from cookies and pies, to cakes and homemade marshmallows, Sugar & Scribe Bakery serves authentic Irish specialties all year long. “Every item is made from recipes of family or friends,” says owner Maeve Rochford. “My mother did not like camping, but we often set up a tent in our living room where we had “camp” food, including delicious homemade marshmallows with hot chocolate. It was so much fun!”

Poppy Seed Coffee Cake (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Poppy Seed Coffee Cake (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

With a menu that rotates seasonally, choose from popular selling sweet treats including small personal pies as well as miniature cupcakes and carrot bundt cakes “Our mince meat pies were a holiday tradition at our home and our rhubarb pie is my aunt Margaret’s recipe,” explains Rochford. “My grandmother taught me how to make the blueberry pie when I was five. We began by going out to the bog and picking the blueberries, which are called bilberries in Ireland.”

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New Bracero Cocina de Raiz

Bracero Facebook

Courtesy Bracero (facebook)

Highly-anticipated Restaurant Offers Sneak Peek!

After months of anticipation, the first level and the inside dining room of the second level of Chef Javier Plascencia and Luis Pena’s two-story establishment, Bracero Cocina de Raiz , is opening its doors in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood on Thursday, July 9. This 4,800 square-foot restaurant, inspired by the Bracero Program of the mid 1900s, is Plascencia’s second establishment in the U.S. and will ultimately offer two unique levels of interactive dining and bar service. Bracero will offer daily dinner service.

From the moment you enter, Bracero Cocina de Raiz will transform your spirit with thoughtfully designed spaces that are rustic yet modern, nostalgic and at the same time, impressively forward-thinking.

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St. Tropez Bakery and Bistro

St. Tropez Bakery and Bistro

St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro, 47 S. Coast Hwy. 101, No. 103-D, Encinitas, CA 92024; (760) 633-0084,

Get your share of French bistro fare without the expensive plane ticket to France. Dine indoors or take a seat outside in the large outdoor patio, which resembles a sidewalk cafe—perfect for people watching with enough room for man’s best friend. Walk by the large glass case inside, and take a long look at the traditional pastries. They also have a wide selection of filled cupcakes, cookies, patisseries, tarts, and cakes. If you’re looking for a homemade treat on a special occasion, this is the place!

Read more about St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro in the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego.

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Celebrate National Paella Day

Celebrate National Pella DayPaella, a popular rice dish with ancient roots, has become a culinary symbol of the bold and spicy Spanish culture as well as a Latin favorite enjoyed around the world.  You won’t have to travel far to celebrate one of Spain’s favorite days. Enlighten your taste buds with these local San Diego Latin favorites for National Spanish Paella Day on March 27th!

Viva bar + kitchen in the heart of the Gaslamp in downtown San Diego has a Paella dish suited for every palate. Celebrate the true Valencian recipe with the Traditional Paella that includes mussels, shrimp, scallops, garlic, shallots and saffron risotto. For the vegetarian and pescetarian cuisine lovers, Viva also offers the rich Vegetable and Seafood Paellas. Viva even satisfies the largest appetite with the popular Paella de Barcelona made with a seafood melody of grilled lobster, halibut, mussels, scallops, and butter poached lobster tail.

Renowned Baja Restaurateur, Javier Plascencia, merges the finest ingredients from San Diego and Mexico to bring his interpretation of the Paella at Romesco Mediterranean Bistro in Bonita. Romesco serves its piping hot and award winning Paella with shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, chicken, pork short rib, and Spanish chorizo. Your readers can cheers to a day of celebration and wash the authentic dish down with the Spanish Moritz lager or glass of Tinto Pesquera. AltStrat

Happy Hour on a Budget

Happy Hour on a budgetThe Happiest Hours Are the Ones That Go Late

Long day have you missing out on the average 4 to 7PM happy hour? Think again. We’ve compiled some of the best late night menus in San Diego that prove that the happiest hours occur after the sun goes down.

Monday’s are hard and Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas understands that. Cure your Monday blues with an all-night happy hour from 3PM to close.  Put your feet up and relax as you enjoy $4 and $5 draft beer, $6 select wines, $2 off craft cocktails and $10 flatbreads right up until the bar lights flash and the bartender closes shop.

Late night food AND $2 local drafts? You heard that right! Calling all local craft beer lovers, skip that load of laundry and use your $2 to dive down with Duck Dive in Pacific Beach every Tuesday night from 9PM to close. They’re home to the best local brews at the best local prices.

You’re not going to want to miss the happiest of all hours on Tuesday’s from 5:30PM to close at Pillbox Tavern.  Head to this retro modern beach bar for some cheap after sunset coastal American fare. The $3 Steak & Chicken Tacos, $4 Mahi & Fried Cod Tacos, $4 XX Lagers and $6 Pillbox Margaritas will make you want Tuesday night last past the iconic Semisonic “Closing Time” song.

Happy Hour on a budgetTime to rewind! Thirsty Thursday just got that much more thirst quenching with a reverse happy hour from 9:30PM to close at Uptown Tavern. Cap the end of the night with a $3 street tacos, $7 select small plates like the juicy Angus Chuck Beef Sliders and wash it all down with a $4 well drink, domestic draft or house wine.

Weekend warriors unite! Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp is now offering a brand new late night menu from 10PM to 12AM on Friday and Saturday. Satisfy those drunchies after a long day of drinking with an order of Union Sliders, BBQ Chicken Flatbread, Meatball Sub or fill up on a Mini Short Rib Taco hot and ready until midnight.

If you’re in North Park when the street lights turn on this weekend, Wang’s North Park is there to feed your need for some nighttime bites and beers. Wang’s late night happy hour runs from 9:30PM to 11:30PM on Friday and Saturdays. Grab some discounted steamed bun taco’s and end your evening the best way possible, with $1 sake shots and $3 Kirin drafts. altstrat

Don’t Miss Third Annual VinDiego

Third Annual VinDiego Wine & Food Festival to take over Liberty Station April 10-11, 2015

Vin Diego

San Diego’s premier wine-only event returns with award-winning wineries and the city’s finest restaurants

America’s finest city will once again become the epicenter of the California wine world as the Third Annual VinDiego Wine & Food Festival takes over NTC Liberty Station in Point Loma Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11, 2015. Wine and food enthusiasts can savor more than 300 unique tastes of unlimited award-winning wine from top wineries and delectable food and appetizers from more than 20 of San Diego’s finest restaurants while enjoying live music and an upbeat atmosphere.

“VinDiego is now in it’s third year and we have selected only the best wineries and restaurants to team up this April,” said David Fraschetti, executive producer of VinDiego Wine & Food Festival. “We created this event to bring together those who want to enjoy award-winning wine, delicious food, live music and tons of fun in a high-class environment.”

Vin Diego

The VinDiego Grand Tasting will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at NTC Promenade in Liberty Station located at 2640 Historic Decatur Road. More than 75 wineries will provide more than 300 unique tastes of unlimited wine alongside San Diego’s finest restaurants. The festival will feature elite wineries from California and Oregon as well as exclusive Paso Robles CAB Collective Member wineries. This elite group of 18 top-tier wineries from the Paso Robles area is known for making high-quality Cabernet and Bordeaux blend wines.

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Refreshing Spring Cocktails

Refreshing Spring CocktailsAs San Diego gets warmer, you might be looking for some tasty ways to cool down, and we have the perfect solutions! Kick that Spring Fever and enjoy the longer days and warmer nights with these refreshing cocktail recipes that are sure to cool them down in the sizzling months ahead.

Spring showers bring May flowers and West Coast Tavern’s Spring Showers cocktail brings a sweet taste just as beautiful. Made with Tanqueray gin, apricot liquor, celery syrup, lemon juice and soda, this cocktail is just as refreshing as its name.

Get your Vitamin D this spring with the late night sunshine and Wang’s North Park Orchard cocktail. Celebrate the citrus season and sip down SKYY Infusions Blood Orange Vodka, Benedictine, fresh oj, lime juice, simple syrup and serrano chili.

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Rogue Ales Right Hand of Doom

ROGUE CRAFTS RIGHT HAND OF DOOM RED ALE, inspired by Mike Mignola’s bestselling HELLBOY graphic novels.

Rogue Ales

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of Mike Mignola’s legendary Hellboy character, Dark Horse Comics and Rogue Ales have collaborated to create the RIGHT HAND OF DOOM RED ALE, a limited edition beer that will be available for preorder today at

“When Dark Horse Comics published the first Hellboy story 21 years ago, I never thought there’d be a Hellboy beer,” said Mignola. “But I really can’t imagine a better time for Rogue to introduce the RIGHT HAND OF DOOM. If Hellboy was real I guess he’d finally be able to buy me a beer.” 

 “Hellboy has appeared in graphic novels and comic books, prose novels, two animated features, two live action films, toy lines and all manner of merchandise,,” said Mike Richardson, President of Dark Horse. “Rogue Ales approached us with the idea of creating a heavy-handed, supernatural red ale and we loved the idea of two independent, Portland based companies coming together to create something new that would be both fun for fans and worthy of the Mike Mignola’s creative legacy.” 

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National Pancake Week Lucky Seven

National Pancake Week

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Does a stack of hot and fluffy pancakes with melted butter and thick sweet syrup make your mouth water? From February 15 to the 21st, head to these seven San Diego restaurants to order up a stack and celebrate National Pancake Week!

Late night in the Gaslamp? Get your hotcake fix at Brian’s 24 Restaurant & Bar. Whether you want classic Buttermilk, healthy Gourmet Multigrain or nostalgic PB&J, you can get these mouthwatering pancakes any time of day. If you’re extra hungry, turn you pancakes into a sandwich. The Ultimate Pancake Sandwich is made with three buttermilk pancakes, two fried eggs, four strips of bacon and two sausage patties. Served with warm syrup and whipped butter, it’s guaranteed to fill you up. Up for a challenge? Order the Pancake Monster with three fried eggs, five hotcakes, four strips of bacon, two sausage patties, an 8 ounce ham steak and an 8 ounce country fried steak on a bed of special home fries. If you can finish it by yourself in under an hour, it’s free!

Before a day of weekend shopping in the Gaslamp, head to ViVa Bar + Kitchen to fill up on a stack of hearty pancakes served with agave syrup. Order The Original topped with seasonal fruit or Blueberry as your pancake go-to or order the Bacon and Cheddar Pancake to help fuel your day.

National Pancake Week

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If Pacific Beach is your backyard, head to The Duck Dive for pancakes during weekend brunch. This ever expanding menu features favorites like the Blueberry Pancakes or try the new Monkey Cakes; three house made buttermilk pancakes, topped with fried banana, brown sugar and honey butter.

No matter if you live coastal or inland there is a Fig Tree Café waiting to serve you. With locations in Hillcrest, Pacific Beach, and Liberty Station, this California eatery serves traditional and unique breakfast options every day of the week. Enjoy two large buttermilk pancakes served with orange segment syrup. For an extra special Pancake Week treat, top your cakes with blueberries, strawberries or bananas.

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New Winter Menu at RA Sushi

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant is unveiling a seasonal menu featuring creative appetizers, sushi rolls, entrees, and cocktails, plus new sake.

RA Sushi

RA Sushi

A crave worthy shareable starter, the Chili Garlic Shrimp is spicy shrimp lightly tempura battered and tossed in a flavorful chili ponzu sauce, served on sautéed garlic and bok choy, then topped with scallions, crunchy garlic chips and crispy ramen noodles. This winter, fall in love with the Red Heart Roll. Crab mix, fresh avocado and cucumber are rolled and topped with crispy spicy tuna, spicy mayo and Sriracha. The new Crunchy Yami Roll is a delicious non-traditional sushi option featuring tempura sweet potato, cucumber and avocado, rolled and topped with crunchy shredded sweet potato and spinach tempura bits and served with sweet eel sauce. The King Crab Salad is tossed with mixed greens, large, tender chunks of king crab, ripe avocado, crunchy cucumber slices, and grape tomatoes, tossed in a Suehiro vinaigrette. For a decadent dish, try the Seared Ahi Tuna seasoned with togarashi and black pepper and served atop grilled asparagus, with a shiitake mushroom cream sauce.

Pair these new seasonal items with a creative cocktail. The Blue Ginger Martini is perfect for the blueberry fan. A light and refreshing drink with a zing, featuring blueberry and ginger lemonade, blueberry vodka, and muddled blueberries and fresh ginger. For an exotic cocktail, try the Lychee Margarita, which perfectly combines sweet and tart with lychee juice and fresh lime. A tropical cocktail meant for sharing, the Passion Punch Bowl is a fruity and refreshing drink featuring Amaretto Di Saronno, pineapple vodka, aged rum, passion fruit, pineapple and citrus juices, and coconut water, served in a giant fish bowl. For a single size serving, try the Baby Passion Punch.

During the winter months, get adventurous and try the new seasonal menu options at RA Sushi Bar Restaurant, available through the end of April.

RA Sushi is offering some seasonal additions to its extensive menu of sake offerings. The TY KU Coconut Sake is a premium Nigori sake imported from Nara, Japan, the birthplace of sake. This unfiltered sake has a silky texture and the sweet taste of coconut and hints of vanilla. Enjoy a sake sampling adventure with a Seasonal Sake Flight featuring three, two-ounce tastings. The MIO Sparkling Sake is a refreshing, fruity sake. TY KU Silver Sake features a refined taste, with subtle pear notes. A perfect dessert sake, the unfiltered Sho Chiku Bai Nigori “Crème de Sake” is the sweetest variety.

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Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar

Opened in Mission Hills San Diego by owner and proprietor John Ealy, Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar is a laid back neighborhood eatery that offers a menu boasting salads, sandwiches and shareable platters. Great dinner entrees include Blackened Ribeye Steak with cajún spice, gorgonzola butter, mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus, Marinated Grilled Sea Bass with miso ginger, butter sauce, island rice, and jicama salad or Seafood Stew with prawns, mussels, mahi mahi and spicy tomato, wine and clam sauce and garlic bread.

Harley Gray Kitchen And BarHarley Gray for me is a representation of everything that I have learned that is important for a restaurant to be successful. This was collaboration of the people I most admire and trust and of my own education from two decades of growing up in this industry.

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ViVa Bar and Kitchen Welcomes Chef

Viva Bar and Kitchen

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Chef Arnold Vargas Brown (former executive sous chef of Bertrand at Mister A’s) takes the helm at ViVa Bar +Kitchen, located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp District. Guests will experience inventive cuisine, stunning design, hand-crafted cocktails and a commitment to excellent guest service. Authentic style abounds at this innovative restaurant and bar, where everyone will enjoy a magical mosaic of Latin inspired cuisine that melds indigenous ingredients with artful surroundings.

Guests are welcomed with a festive atmosphere, cleverly crafted cocktails and vibrant small plates. The innovative menu selections explode with bold flavors from Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Peru, Puerto Rico and other Latin regions. This is where Latin traditions, spices and preparations meet seasonal, local ingredients. Creating a festive, friendly setting where guests feel welcomed and nurtured is ViVa bar + kitchen’s ultimate goal.

ViVa bar + kitchen is the perfect spot for your next party or event. Private events that range from $45- $95 per person for cocktail parties; to sit down dinners for $40- $100 per person is a hallmark of our offerings.

For more information about ViVa Bar + Kitchen, visit online at or in person at 409 F St. in Downtown San Diego.

*Courtesy information

Mexican Recipes at Romesco

Mexican Recipes

Tostada’s (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Opened in 2006 and located in San Diego’s Bonita neighborhood, Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro is part of a legendary group of family-owned restaurants, including Villa Saverios, Casa Plascencia, Caesar’s Restaurant and Giuseppi’s located in Tijuana, along with Finca Altozano in Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada. The Plascencia family offers an old-world ambiance at this hidden gem boasting a traditional wooden bar and black-and-white bistro floors.

Recipes utilizing Mediterranean techniques continue to delight food critics, locals and out-of-towners. “We opened Romesco so that our friends and family could enjoy Mediterranean-style dishes featuring the distinct flavors of Baja cuisine that we love here in San Diego,” says Executive Chef Javier Plascencia. The Tapas Bar offers a lively, casual space with an extensive happy hour menu. Favorites include Caesar’s Piquillos Rellenos De Salmon, stuffed sweet piquillo peppers topped with mango basil vinaigrette, and specialty drinks like the acclaimed Tamarindo Martini. (

©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

Romesco Baja Med Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Richard Walker’s Pancake House

The Pancake Man Can! How Richard Walker brought San Diego a new generation of smiles.

Richard Walker's Pancake House

(Courtesy photo)

Owner Richard Walker of Richard Walker’s Pancake House has wisely stuck to what he knows best—keeping a signature light touch on his piano and his restaurant’s stove top, where fresh ingredients become classic breakfast fare that satisfies the modern soul.

“I first heard Bach in High School and the heavens opened up,” Walker says. “People put themselves in little boxes and say they only like certain kinds of music. What I’ve come to believe is that I like everything—music, food, and just about anything that is done with passion and excellence.”

From filling the sound system with classical music at his San Diego restaurant, to cooking from the heart, Walker says it’s discipline and striving for perfection that give him happiness and success.

“Leaders are the ones who aspire for something great,” he says. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think something could be improved upon by picking the highest standard.”

Richard Walker's Pancake House

Courtesy photo

Walker’s family helmed the Walker Bros. Pancake House restaurants founded by his father and uncle in 1948 in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Richard joined his brother, Ray, in 1977 to manage a pancake house Ray inherited from their father in Wilmette, Illinois. Richard and Ray eventually became equal partners in Walker Bros. Pancake House in Glenview, Illinois. Soon after, Richard went on to open Walker Seafood Company by himself where he specialized in cooking fish on a grill over a distinctive cactus mesquite wood. “I’d put a little clarified butter on the fish, and pop it on the grill,” he says. “I like to let the food speak for itself.”

Richard sold Walker Seafood and branched out with his own namesake pancake house in 1989. “I replicated what my father did and it put me on the right path,” he says. Inspired by old recipes from a family friend named Les, who was originally an oceanliner chef, breakfast at Walker’s restaurant is classic, unique, and tasteful.

“Les wanted to create recipes that were delicious and satisfying, but wouldn’t make people feel bloated,” Walker says. “He actually partnered with a chemist to help him pair ingredients. Truthfully, I never feel any discomfort after eating our food.”

An extensive menu of gourmet pancakes, waffles, crêpes, and omelets, plus two specials every month, is a real wake-up call for breakfast and lunch enthusiasts. The Baked Apple Pancake is a massive, sugary concoction of cream, eggs, flour, and a touch of nutmeg mixed with sliced Granny Smith apples, imported Saigon cinnamon, and clarified butter. In addition, the Chicken Noodle Soup with handmade riblet noodles is comfort food at its best. Walker never cuts corners, using real butter, farm fresh fruits, and a blend of Costa Rican and Guatemalan dark roast coffee.

“Respect what works and what doesn’t and stick with it,” he intones. “There’s a lot to be said about simplicity. If you overdo it, it hurts the concept.”

Walker, who operates two larger pancake houses in Illinois, is proud of his first San Diego restaurant in the Marina District, paying close attention to detail with an interior reminiscent of a classic 1915 Frank Lloyd Wright design, complete with stained glass windows, hand-blown glass fixtures, and seating on a cozy outdoor patio.

“The décor is from a mature and classic period,” he says. “I am on it when it comes to cleaning, painting, and maintaining my restaurant.”

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think something could be better.”

—Richard Walker

A small, rust-colored bunny is Walker’s signature logo. “In the olden days, people would put a little bunny next to the front windows waiting for the boys that were coming back from the war,” he explains. “Now the bunny is my icon that says ‘welcome home.’”

Walker executes everything at his restaurant with confidence and clarity. His helpful critiques keep his kitchen organized with food coming out in a timely fashion. “Do anything but nothing,” Walker philosophizes. “We fret and stew about things, but if we do something about it and do what we can, we take a bite out of the elephant everyday.”

The enthusiastic staff offers efficient and friendly hospitality. “I believe in sudden service where my customers are greeted in less than a minute,” Walker mentions, with a smile. “I want my guests to feel that once they arrive, they will be completely satisfied with the total experience.”

This story written by Maria Desiderata Montana first appeared in DiningOut San Diego Magazine.

Richard Walker's Pancake House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eat Local at La Valencia

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lobster Gazpacho (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Lobster Bisque (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Lobster Bisque (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Fresh Figs (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Fresh Figs (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

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

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Summer Stone Fruit Salad (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Scallop Crudo (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Maine Scallops (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Miso Chilean Sea Bass (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Assorted Desserts (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Assorted Desserts (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

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

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

*Courtesy information

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

Savoie opens in Otay Ranch

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)


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

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

*Courtesy information

Taste of Little Italy

The annual Taste of Little Italy is Wednesday, June 18th from 5-9 p.m.

Taste of Little Italy

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Each year, dozens of Little Italy’s restaurants open their doors, inviting guests in to get a little taste of their menus. We hope you’ll share this news! More info below:

Ticketing: Tickets are priced at $29 per person for a single route (North or South) and $45 per person for full access. This is an all-ages food festival; however some establishments will require 21+ aged guests due to any alcohol included in their taste selection.

Tickets can be purchased online at

How it works: Taste of Little Italy ticketholders can go from restaurant to restaurant with a Taste Passport, which lists participating restaurants and each location’s specific menu offering. It’s an easy walk, with no shuttles required. After each “bite,” restaurant staff will marks off the stop on the passport and then it’s off to the next stop.

Currently participating restaurants: Bencotto, Monello, Caffe Italia, Fabrison’s, Indigo Grill, Landini’s Pizza, Puerto La Boca, Buon Appetito, Craft & Commerce, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, Isola Pizza Bar, Mimmo’s Italian Village, Petrini’s…and more to come!

Bake Sale Cafe and Bakery

Bake Sale Cafe and Bakery Bake Sale will open in Late May

Terryl Gavre’s love of cooking and baking led to the opening of Cafe 222 in Downtown San Diego more than 20 years ago. Now, the mother of two will bring the enjoyment of baking pastries for her children’s school and church bake sales to the opening of her own bakery with Bake Sale, set to open in late May at 815 F St. in the heart of East Village.

“I’ve always wanted a bakery. Always,” said Gavre. “After volunteering to head the bake sale committee at my kid’s school, I decided it was time to finally do it.”

This will be Gavre’s second dining spot to open in the past few months, following ACME Southern Kitchen located around the corner at 901 E St. The tiny 1,100-square-foot bakery will offer: freshly baked morning buns, cinnamon rolls, scones, croissants, muffins, cookies, lemon bars, assorted flavor cakes, brioche buns, biscuits, fruit pies and sandwich bread. Bake Sale will also provide freshly baked selections to Gavre’s other restaurants: ACME Southern Kitchen, Cafe 222 and BANKERS HILL BAR + Restaurant.

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Oceanside Broiler

Oceanside BroilerWith the last minute touches soon to be completed, Oceanside’s newest waterfront restaurant, the Oceanside Broiler, is set to begin serving savory steaks, sumptuous fresh seafood, sushi, tasty salads, cool libations and much more on Thursday, May 15. The restaurant will open to the public for cocktails and dinner that evening at the colorful waterside location at 1325 Harbor Drive North, formerly occupied by Monterey Bay Canners.

Brothers Doug and David Salisbury, who started the Monterey Bay Canners restaurant chain in 1983, own the new venture. The pair has invested more than $1,000,000 in the purchase and remodel of the 7,500-square-foot facility that will accommodate 275 guests inside and on a patio and a covered lanai expected this summer.

The airy restaurant has an upscale yet causal sophistication, with warm wooded tabletops accented by burgundy and gray tones. Richly upholstered booths make up two-thirds of the dining space, including three oversized booths that can accommodate up to 14 guests each. All new tile flooring surrounds the open, exposition-style kitchen. A centerpiece of the restaurant is a lighted 700-gallon saltwater fish tank.

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Frosted Cupcakery

Frosted Cupcakery

(Courtesy photo)

Frosted Cupcakery in Long Beach offers Special Orders, Custom Cupcakes and Flavors of the Month.

Special Orders: Cupcakes are perfect for birthday parties, thank you gifts, baby showers, wedding receptions, bridal showers, school parties, office parties, holiday gifts, hostess gifts, business meetings and much more.

Custom Cupcakes: Tell them the theme of your event and they’ll find creative ways to make your cupcakes special. They offer anything from color tinting their vanilla buttercream and cream cheese frosting to topping them off with a chocolate from their chocolate mold collection (they have all kinds of shapes) and much more. There will be a $2 charge for every dozen chocolate molds; color tinting is free. Interested in a special message on your cupcakes? They created our signature picks, available for $4 for every dozen.

 Daily Flavors:

  • royal white / chocolate buttercream
  • royal white / vanilla buttercream
  • chocolate / chocolate buttercream
  • chocolate / vanilla buttercream
  • red velvet / cream cheese
  • carrot / cream cheese
  • lemon / cream cheese
  • chocolate / caramel buttercream toffee
  • chocolate / cookies & cream buttercream


  • red velvet / cream cheese
  • chocolate / peanut butter buttercream
  • royal white / nutella cream buttercream
  • royal white / coconut vanilla buttercream
  • chocolate / coconut vanilla buttercream
  • chocolate / mint chip buttercream
  • strawberry / cream cheese
  • banana / chocolate buttercream*
  • orange / cream cheese*
  • pumpkin / cream cheese*

*Seasonal flavors, ask about availability

*Courtesy information

Frosted Cupcakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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