New Cocktails at Rustic Root

San Diego Food FindsTis the season for delicious new cocktails! Downtown San Diego’s favorite restaurant and rooftop bar, Rustic Root, recently launched an impressive lineup of new cocktails full of seasonal flavor.

New selections include:

Apple a Day: Zu vodka, apple cider, lemon juice

Absolut Alexander: Absolut Vanilla, crème de cacao, heavy cream, espresso

Fig Tree: Belvedere, Orgeat, lemon juice, house-made fig jam

Hey Pumpkin: Russian standard, ancho reyes chili liqueur, lemon juice, pumpkin puree

Pear of Gingers: Tito’s Vodka, St. George pear liqueur, lemon juice, ginger puree

Rose Sangria: Chandon rose, brandy, strawberries, orange slices, lemon juice, herb-infused simple syrup

Blood and Moon: Azunia blanco, ginger snap liqueur, lemon juice, pumpkin puree

Rye Not: Wild Turkey rye, lemon juice, ginger, lavender syrup

Spanish Sunrise: Espolon tequila, pressed lime, lavender tonic, grapefruit zest 

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Create Your Own Dishes

San Diego Food Finds
The Haven Popeye

Do you like out of the ordinary dishes? Do you like making your own meals and adding exotic twists? We’ve found the best restaurants in the county that let you create your very own edible dishes!

Get a little slice of heaven or a whole pie at The Haven in Kensington. Family friendly and fun, The Haven has dishes for everyone, but the best option on the menu is building your own pizza pie! Make your own 9’” or 14” pizza on white, wheat or gluten-free pizza and sauce it up with your choice of bbq, garlic, olive oil, pesto, pizza and spicy pizza. Choose from over ten different types of cheeses and top it off with fresh veggies and hearty proteins like meatballs, sausage and prosciutto.

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New Dunedin Weekend Brunch

San Diego Food Finds
Dutch Pancake and Fried Chicken

New Zealand-inspired Dunedin North Park, part of the local Kiwifamily of restaurants, Queenstown Public House, Raglan Public House, and Bare Back Grill, has just added a thoroughly palate-pleasing weekend brunch menu in addition to its current popular lunch and dinner selections.

The comfort food-centric brunch menu is now available from 9am to 2pm both Saturday and Sunday and has a varied combination of sharable and main dishes inspired by New Zealand and American cuisine. Some of the distinct dishes found on the menu include a béchamel bread pudding croque madame, a dutch-baked pancake with fried chicken, steak with shrimp and grits, and a traditional “Kiwi Breakfast” consisting of scrambled eggs, English baked beans, sausage, roasted tomato and potatoes.

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New Restaurants Coming to Westfield UTC

Shake Shack

Westfield UTC will continue to evolve as an urban lifestyle and elevated dining destination with a diverse array of new culinary offerings set to debut in 2017 – from cutting-edge casual concepts to award-winning upscale eateries. To date, leases have been signed by Arbor, Great Maple, Javier’s Finest Foods of Mexico, La Colombe, Shake Shack, Smokeyard BBQ and Chop Shop, The Winery, True Food Kitchen, Din Tai Fung, and more.

In addition, the existing dining terrace has already begun to introduce new dining options, including all-American burger joint, Johnny Rockets, which opened in early January; Korean eatery Bibigo; poke spot Kazanori Poke & Wraps (from the creators of San Diego-favorite, Pokirrito); and several others, with openings planned within the next several months and later into the year.

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Seasons Restaurant Now Open

San Diego Food FindsFour Seasons Residence Club Aviara, the luxury North County resort set in a lush, idyllic setting along the coastline announces the public opening of Seasons Restaurant and Driftwood Spa. The San Diego community gains a new dining and spa destination as locals are now welcome to experience the culinary team’s inventive concept and the peaceful coastal oasis at the spa, both exemplifying luxury, comfort, service, and style.

“We’re thrilled to finally welcome our treasured local community to be a part of our social dining and spa experiences with the home-away-from-home hospitality that we’ve created here,” said Demi Ortega, General Manager and Regional Vice President, Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara. “The newly opened Seasons Restaurant and Driftwood Spa had originally debuted in 2015 to property residents and guests only. As of this month, we’re encouraging locals and travelers to dwell in our spaces as a new neighborhood destination for both casual and special-occasion experiences.”

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National Blueberry Pancake Day

National Blueberry Pancake Day is coming up on Saturday, January 28th – yes, another food holiday, but a delicious one!

Light, fluffy and golden brown, Cafe 222’s blueberry pancakes include a sprinkling of fresh blueberries in the batter. That’s just one of the variations of flapjacks available at Terryl Gavre’s quaint and quirky breakfast spot, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Cafe 222 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New Breakfast Republic Ocean Beach

San Diego Food Finds
Oreo Cookie Pancakes

OB Warehouse has served the vibrant beachfront community of Ocean Beach since August of 2014. Now, on February 14th, this Cohn Restaurant Group-owned business bids “farewell” as it closes its doors for good. Moving into the space is Rise & Shine Restaurant Group’s morning sensation; Breakfast Republic.

Johan Engman, founder and owner of Rise & Shine (which also owns and operates three Fig Tree Cafés and other new concepts launching in 2017) has partnered with David Cohn for this new Breakfast Republic location. “It gives me great pleasure to do business with David, says Johan. He is more than a restauranteur; he is a true San Diego icon.” Although this is their first, and only joint venture (and the new Breakfast Republic remains a holding of Rise & Shine), Johan looks forward to working with David as a mentor and friend.

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BEERFISH Brunch Launch

San Diego Food Finds
Courtesy Images

Seafood and craft beer concept Beerfishwill launch its first ongoing brunch service beginning Saturday, January 21. Expect more than half a dozen new dishes alongside long-time house favorites between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays while dining either indoors or on Beerfish’s buoy-lined patio.

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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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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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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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Ambrogio15 Milan-Style Eatery

Ambrogio15, a Milan-style eatery in North Pacific Beach, prides itself on introducing refined pizza and style to San Diego’s dining scene through small batch wines, cheeses and charcuterie imported from Italy. Diners can also appreciate a modern design created by one of Italy’s leading architects.

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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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