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.

» Read more

Clever Chef At Catania Hits All The Right Notes

Catania

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.

» Read more

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.

» Read more

Seasons 52 UTC

Spring Asparagus & Dungeness Crab Salad: Bibb Lettuce, hearts of Plam, pea shoots, roasted peppers and yuzu vinaigrette (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Located at Westfield UTC mall, Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar that provides guests with a healthy dining experience that embraces the living well concept. The menu is inspired by the seasons and the fresh appeal of the farmers’ market—52 weeks a year. The food is inspired from many different countries around the world. The chefs start with the freshest ingredients and use natural cooking techniques such as a wood-burning grill to enhance the flavors instead of high-calorie additives. This allows them to keep each menu item under 475 calories, while still maintaining great flavor. Enjoy grilled jumbo shrimp penne pasta with lemon-basil sauce, spring asparagus and Dungeness crab salad, or my favorite vegetarian tasting with quinoa citrus salad, soft taco, chili relent, vegetables, cedar-roasted tofu and mango chutney. Seasons 52 currently operates 30 restaurants in 15 states across the country. Seasons 52, Westfield UTC, 4505 La Jolla Village Dr c, San Diego, CA 92122, (858) 450-1252; www.seasons52.com.

©San Diego Food Finds By Maria Desiderata Montana

San Diego Food Finds

Vegetable Plate (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

» Read more

Swell Coffee Co. Mission Beach

San Diego Food Finds

Courtesy Photo

Located a block from the ocean and bay in the Mission Beach community of San Diego, CA, Swell Cafe features small batch artisan in-house roasted coffees, fresh and healthy breakfast and lunch, including smoothies, acai, and a special cold brew coffee. The crew is a friendly group of well trained baristas and passionate chefs. The outdoor patio features a living green wall, custom photo tables and the ocean breeze. Welcome to what San Diego is all about!

» Read more

Landini’s Sicilian Style Pizza

sicilian style pizza

courtesy photo

Although authentic pizza is available throughout the Little Italy neighborhood, it is rare to find a location that sells by the slice. Opened in 2009, Landini’s has built a strong following for its genuine Sicilian-style pies and other traditional baked meals. Its success can be measured by the lines of patrons patiently waiting along India Street to grab a taste of the hand-tossed thin crust. At least a dozen styles are available in the window for a quick bite, and a little patience will award you with any special-order pie. Choose from the more traditional pepperoni, sausage and meatball or the more adventurous combinations like BBQ chicken, spinach, artichokes and jalapenos. Daily specials include various topping combinations that appeal to any palate. Calzones, stromboli and paninis are prepared with freshly prepared dough or bread. Or opt for a dish of pasta and salad. Local craft beers and wine are also offered.

» Read more

Buona Forchetta

Located on a sleepy corner of the South Park neighborhood, Buona Forchetta serves one of the finest Napoleon-style pizzas in town. Day or night, the small patio is packed with hungry patrons, drawn by the many accolades streaming online and through word-of-mouth. This authentic pizzeria is co-owned by Matteo Cattaneo, born and raised in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, and New York native Alexa Kollmeier. A centerpiece of their kitchen is the large, handmade pizza oven, built on-site by Stefano Ferrara, one of the most famous pizza-oven manufacturers worldwide. Shiny gold tiles surround the wood-fired workhorse, with the name of their firstborn daughter, Sofia, highlighted in the center of the dome. Sofia also takes top billing on the menu, as the name of their more popular pizza option, with mozzarella, artichokes, mushroom and prosciutto cotto. All of the pizzas are spectacular, but don’t lose sight of the other menu items, including antipasti, insalati, main dishes and house-made dolci. The beer and wine menu highlights many craft and small-production labels from California and Italy, as well as classic white or red sangria. ©San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond by Maria Desiderata Montana

Buona Forchetta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Queenstown Public Gingerbread House

queenstown-public-house-gingerbread

Queenstown Public House, a New Zealand-inspired and American fare restaurant located inside a quaint historic craftsman cottage in San Diego’s Little Italy has transformed into a charming, life-sized gingerbread house to celebrate the holiday season, raise awareness and gather donations for the Little Italy Association’s annual toy drive for the foster children of New Alternatives.

» Read more

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.

» Read more

Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar

Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar

Courtesy Image

The Lumberyard in Encinitas is home to many trendy restaurants, and this is one of them. With indoor and outdoor seating for about 100 people, this healthy cafe is dedicated to serving fresh, locally sourced natural food at affordable prices. A comprehensive menu comprises many vegans, vegetarian, strict vegetarian and gluten-free options. Choose from savory and homemade organic soups, salads sandwiches, pasta, vegetarian entrees, fish and chicken entrees, kiddies’ meals, fresh juices, smoothies, shakes, and desserts, even homemade vegan cupcakes. Such items as the Pipe’s Whole Wheat Pita with falafel balls, hummus, and tahini-ginger sauce, and the Swami’s Carrot shake with organic carrot juice, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg make this place unusual. Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar, 765 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, CA 92024; (760) 479-1977; lotuscafeandjuicebar.com; Organic/Health Food; $$.

©San Diego Food Finds, By Maria Desiderata Montana

Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monello Captures Italian Spirit

San Diego Food Finds

Pasta Carbonara (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Monello’s design and decor mirrors a typical Milanese eatery complete with the downtown vibe of the San Diego bay and the familiar Italian neighborhood.

San-Diego-Food-Finds-Lupini-Beans

Lupini Beans (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Sophisticated, modern and rustic-chic, Chef Fabrizio Cavallini says it is one of the few Italian restaurants that dares to serve traditional home-cooking in a modern urban setting, similar to a restaurant you would find in Milano, Italy. “We undressed Italian dining of its obsolete and stereotypical look and taste,” he says. “We had a new menu in mind, our tradition is so rich. But we had no room for it at our Bencotto restaurant. So when the space next door became available, our heads were exploding with ideas after Valentina and Guido’s trip to Italy. When they go there, they eat twenty-four-seven and come back with a ton of new ideas.”

» Read more

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; bobeaukitchen.com; French; $$$.

©San Diego Food Finds, By Maria Desiderata Montana

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

Bleu Bohème Neighborhood Eatery

sandiegofoodfinds.com

Tartare de Saumon Fumé (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Open for five years now in the Kensington area of San Diego, Owner and Chef Ken Irvine says he opened Bleu Bohème because he loves neighborhood restaurants. “When my guests walk through our doors, we want to take them away to a “different place”, he says. “What sets us apart is our stellar service, quality cuisine and a unique ambiance.”

sandiegofoodfinds.com

Entrecôte de Porc (Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

With a passion for French food and cooking with local ingredients, Irvine describes his restaurant as ‘AWESOME’, sourcing products from Catalina Offshore and Specialty Produce. “These places are both the best at what they do in San Diego,” he says.” Partnering with them helps us to be the best that we can be.”

» Read more

Fish Shop Halibut Recipe

San Diego Food FindsAre you looking for new ways to prepare lighter dishes? Enter a sea of possibilities from Hermosa Beach Fish Shop, Pacific Beach Fish Shop and Encinitas Fish Shop. Offering the freshest seafood, as well as seasonings and sauces made from scratch, it’s a breeze to get hooked on tasty entrees such as the Lemon Butter Halibut. Infused with the flavor of lemon and accompanied by a blend of sautéed vegetables, the recipe is so easy and versatile, you can switch out the fish for salmon, cod, shrimp or scallops.

» Read more

Bartenders Honor Prohibition Day

waterfront-prohibitonDecember 5th, Prohibition or Repeal Day, honors the rich traditions of imbibing and the legitimacy of our beloved bartenders. There is no better way to celebrate than at San Diego’s oldest taverns or with era-themed parties and classic drinks that give a nod to the last 83 years of drinking legally. So gather some friends and observe our constitutional rights at these local San Diego watering holes!

» Read more

Dunedin North Park

DunedinDunedin North Park (DNP for short) is another New Zealand themed restaurant concept by owners Matt Baker and PJ Lamont (owners of Bare Back Grill, Raglan Public House and Queenstown Public House.

Dunedin was designed by Michael Soriano who also is behind the decor of Queenstown and Raglan. The restaurant’s design encompasses all that is organic and naturally beautiful in Dunedin, New Zealand and pays respect to the agriculture, architecture and the natural topography of the land. The DNP circle icon is attributed to the Koru symbol which represents new beginnings, positive, change, personal growth and hope for the future.

The cuisine at Dunedin draws from New Zealand favorites and focuses on the use of natural and organic ingredients in a relaxing comfortable outdoor dog friendly patio.

Dunedin is located at 3501 30th Street in North Park.

Dunedin North Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We Love Zumbar Coffee

Zumbar Coffee

Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Located in the busy tech center of Sorrento Valley, Zumbar Coffee is a diminutive shop with a huge reputation for serving some of the best coffee in the area. Taking a craftsman’s approach to roasting, they have perfected the process using a vintage, cast-iron coffee roaster situated right behind the ordering counter, giving every patron a chance to see/hear the action. A small selection of pastries and breads are also available, delivered from VG’s Donuts and Opera Patisserie every morning. Some regulars believe that the coffee actually advances science, and I have to agree, given the buzzing conversation during my last visit. They also sell fresh-roasted beans at the shop or online, so you’re never too far away from a great cup of joe. Zumbar Coffee and Tea, 10920 Roselle St., San Diego, CA 92121; (858) 622-0000; zumbarcoffee.com; Coffee/Tea. ©San Diego Food Finds by Maria Desiderata Montana.

Zumbar Coffee & Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Easy Miso Soup Recipe

San Diego Food Finds

Recipe and Photography By Maria Desiderata Montana

While shopping at Trader Joe’s, I make it a point to pick up a box or two of their Miso Ginger Broth. It’s the perfect base for my favorite Miso Soup With Tofu and Mushrooms. After all, nothing tastes better then a light and healthy soup for lunch or dinner!

» Read more

Thanksgiving Dinner Destinations

San Diego Food FindsFor visitors and locals alike these restaurants are sure to provide unforgettable evenings offering both traditional Thanksgiving buffets with favorites like roasted turkey and herb stuffing, to three and four-course dinners with unique savory and sweet selections.

Tidal at Paradise Point Resort & Spa | Mission Bay

Gather at Paradise Point Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant, Tidal, right on the shores of San Diego’s Mission Bay for a coastal dining experience this Thanksgiving. Chef Dan Tangalin welcomes you to taste a festive three-course Thanksgiving dinner with optional wine pairings. Seasonal savory menu highlights include apple and walnut salad, butternut squash soup, brown sugar brined free range turkey, maple leaf duck breast, apple cider-coriander glazed pork cheeks, and more followed by delectable desserts such as pumpkin mousse. Reservations are recommended and available from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Adults $65, wine pairings $25, kids $32) with vegetarian and kids options available. To make a reservation call, 858.490.6363.

» Read more

Market Driven Fare at A.R. Valentien

A.R. Valentien: Executive Chef Jeff Jackson and Chef de Cuisine Kelli Crosson offer a temple of flavor in their market-driven cuisine

The Lodge at Torrey Pines is home to A.R. Valentien, one of San Diego’s most notable and refined restaurants. You will certainly feel transported whiling away the hours in a charming dining room with a beautiful view of the Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean just off the bluffs in the distance.

A.R. Valentien

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Classically French-trained, with more than 30 years of experience, Executive Chef Jeff Jackson and Chef de Cuisine Kelli Crosson offer a temple of flavor in their market-driven fare from some of California’s finest organic farms, orchards, and fishermen. The menu revolves around the seasons, assuring superb freshness and taste with every bite.

Chef Jackson feels comfortable and at home at A.R. Valentien, located inside the Lodge at Torrey Pines and wants all his dining guests to feel the same way. “This is not like a hotel to me, it’s more like a large residence. If it’s small, it’s manageable. A monster hotel wouldn’t allow me the freedom I need.”

©Maria Desiderata Montana

A.R. Valentien

(Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana)

Dedicated to working directly with local farmers, Chef Jackson changes the menu daily, based on what is fresh and seasonal. “The farmer grows it and the chefs cook it. Whatever produce comes in, we will use. My staff and I play with the food. We taste it and talk about it. We are always thinking about what would be best to eat.”

Read more about A.R. Valentien in the Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego and get Chef Jackson’s recipes for  Grilled Romaine with Prosciutto & Burrata and Alaskan Halibut with Barigoule Vegetables in my award-winning book San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City’.

A.R. Valentien Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Magical Voodoo Tacos Recipe

Photo Courtesy of The Duck Dive

The Duck Dive Voodoo Tacos

After one bite, you will be under the spell of The Duck Dive’s magical Voodoo Tacos. The coastal eatery gives the salmon tacos a kick with a special Sriracha- and Sculpin-based sauce that will surprise and impress taste buds. The unique sauce paired with the refreshing flavors of Napa cabbage and papaya salsa will leave you hungry for more. Celebrate Taco Tuesday the Southern California way. Set the buns and hot dogs aside, and dive into these delicious tacos.

» Read more

Sally’s Craft Beer Dinner

sallys-fish-house-and-barGuests and locals alike are invited to explore the world of craft brews paired with coastal cuisine and beer pairings by San Diego-based Saint Archer Brewing Company at Sally’s Fish House craft beer dinner November 17th at Grand Hyatt San Diego.

The bay-front dining destination housed at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego is just a stone’s throw away from San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and offers stunning, panoramic views of the San Diego Bay. The “In Good Taste” series pairs locally-crafted beers with Sally’s sustainable seafood, local ingredients, and unforgettable flavors. 

» Read more

Top Ten Dining Destinations

San Diego Food Finds

Organic Veggies

I gained an appreciation of European cuisine from my parents who were born and raised in southern Italy. My mother taught me how to cook at a very young age with farm fresh ingredients from my father’s garden. As a nationally published and award-winning author, food and wine journalist and photographer, I’ve written several food guides and cookbooks, and reviewed chefs and restaurants all over San Diego (and beyond) for well over a decade. You can trust my latest picks for the top ten dining destinations in America’s Finest City!

Ponsaty’s

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

Fall Pear Salad And Aged Goat Cheese Souffle

Market Restaurant + Bar

In 2006 Carl Schroeder established San Diego’s famed Market Restaurant + Bar where he takes great local products and turns them into great food. His passion for locally sourced ingredients and hyper-seasonal cuisine are on display for dinner every evening. He seeks out the best produce, seafood, and meat from local markets and his passion for perfection and the spontaneous nature of what is available are showcased in the daily changing menu.

san-diego-food-finds-crudo

Fresh Sashimi Presentations Rock Our World

Crudo

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.

» Read more

Liberty Public Market

liberty-public-market

Since opening doors this past March, Liberty Public Market has propelled San Diego’s culinary reputation forward and has attracted a national spotlight as the city’s first successful food hall. With 27 debut local artisans and purveyors currently operating within the market, overarching hospitality collective Blue Bridge Hospitality announces four new incoming tenants, utilizing the remaining empty spaces on-site. These spaces were intentionally left unrented prior to the market’s launch, in order to gauge what would complement the existing lineup of vendors inside the bustling food hall. A gourmet candy store, Lolli San Diego Sweets, and Venissimo’s new panini shop, Attic Salt, just recently opened doors. Coming this Fall, Hillcrest’s Pho 5th Avenue will see brand expansion into Liberty Public Market and will be joined by a renowned artisan deli, Roast, out of Canada’s Victoria Public Market. 

» Read more

1 2 3 24