Valentine’s Day Dining Specials

Woodstock’s Heart Pizza (courtesy photo)

Woodstock’s Pizza

Everyone knows that food is the way to a lover’s heart. Express your passion with heart-shaped pizzas from this hometown favorite pizzeria in Pacific Beach and near SDSU! Choose from any of their one-of-a-kind combo pizzas and be sure to request your special heart-shaped pizza for dine-in, take-out, or delivery this Valentine’s Day.

1221 Garnet Ave., San Diego, CA 92109 (Pacific Beach) | 6145 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115 (San Diego)

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National Pizza Day

February 9th is National Pizza Day and from typical toppings like pepperoni and cheese, to more unique additions like pineapple, there is a lot to celebrate about everyone’s favorite pie. Over three billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year, so it’s safe to say the dish originating in Italy has become a staple on dinner tables across the country. Here are some spots around San Diego to dig into the best pizzas on the West Coast.

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Cloak & Petal Lands in Little Italy

Japanese Manhattan

The much-awaited addition to Little Italy’s thriving culinary scene, Cloak & Petal has finally arrived! Situated along India Street’s bustling stretch, the 7,500-sq. ft. space is bringing “Japanese social dining” to the area. By melding artful dishes with fresh sushi, sashimi and nigiri, the eatery’s robust and elevated scene is designed for social gatherings, making this an inevitable hotspot in San Diego’s restaurant realm.

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Courtesy photo

The bar at Curadero has remained a preferred spot for balanced, fun drinks with a touch of whimsy. Whether in the garnish or the color, the vibrant Mexican restaurant never disappoints when delivering eye-popping cocktails. Their latest batch, which features nearly a dozen originals, highlights infused spirits with bold colors that hint at summer sipping.


Breakfast Republic Hatches New Openings for 2018                  

By now, many thousands of San Diego locals and visitors have flocked to one of Breakfast Republic’s seven eateries to gobble down some of the best breakfast in town. Soon, there will be three more reasons to rise and shine with three new Southern California locations on the horizon, including the expansion into Orange County. Since it’s first opening in 2015 in North Park, Breakfast Republic has quickly become the fastest-growing, non-franchise breakfast concept in San Diego.

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Chef Richard Blais Delivers

Chef Richard Blais
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

Bring your family to Juniper & Ivy, a modernist American restaurant set in a converted 1920s saw tooth warehouse located on the outskirts of San Diego’s Little Italy. The Juniper and Ivy kitchen is helmed by Celebrity Chef Richard Blais, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars and successful restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality. Dining areas feature natural hickory-stained tabletops, elevated leather booth spaces and white lacquered tables, and an outdoor patio offers al fresco dining year-round. A large party of up to fifty can book a private dining room that overlooks the bar and exposed floor-to-ceiling wine wall. Located on the main level, the semi-private dining room looks out to the open concept kitchen and seats up to sixty guests.

Chef Richard Blais
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

The daily, yet evolving menu is based on the chef’s ever-changing inspiration and culinary vision, specifically highlighting the region’s bountiful and fresh local produce and presenting guests with unexpected iterations on the classics. Divided into several categories, the menu includes snacks, raw, toast and pasta in addition to plates, both small and large, as well as dessert. Additionally, a 4×4 four-course tasting menu, comprised of four small bites and four small plates is available with an optional wine pairing. When I asked Blais where he plans to go from here, he explained, “I’m busy working on another new cookbook and have plans for a second San Diego restaurant as well as more food TV shows.” (

Chef Richard Blais
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana
Chef Richard Blais
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana
Chef Richard Blais
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana
Chef Richard Blais
Photo by Maria Desiderata Montana

©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana

Juniper & Ivy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lucha Libre Taco Shop Opens In Carlsbad

Photos by Sam Wells

Fast casual favorite Lucha Libre Taco Shop, a collaboration between founders and San Diego natives Jose, Maurilio and Diego Rojano Garcia along with their childhood friend Joseph Stewart, has just unmasked its newest location at the recently revitalized retail and dining destination, The Shoppes at Carlsbad.  The vibrantly-colored 2,000-square-foot-space, situated in the center’s “Restaurant Row” near Nekter and Breakfast Republic, brings the brand’s signature belt-busting Mexican fare to North County’s expanding culinary landscape.

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Man V Food takes on Brian’s 24 in 2018

View the Pancake Monster Challenge on Travel Channel!

Brian’s 24 was chosen as a destination for the popular Travel Channel series, Man V Food. Host Casey Webb faced a challenge there a few months ago, and the episode is airing this week! Known for its 24-hour breakfast,huge selection and over-sized portions of home-style comfort food (think enormous sandwiches, bountiful salads and burgers, New York strip, hand-tossed pizzas and house-made meatloaf), Webb chose to chow down on a five-and-a-half-pound stack of pancakes layered with bacon, eggs, sausage, country-fried steak and thick-cut ham, known as the Pancake Monster. Did host Casey Webb win, or did this Monster of a challenge win?

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Nonna Opens In Little Italy

The Busalacchi family is proud to announce the opening of its newest culinary venture Nonna, serving Italian comfort food in the space that formerly housed the restaurant group’s beloved flagship concepts Trattoria Fantastica and Café Zucchero in the epicenter of Little Italy’s India Street.  The two spaces, formerly divided by a wall, have now been combined into one under the umbrella of the affectionately named Nonna, a familial nod to every Italian family’s respected matriarch and especially to the Busalacchi’s own grandmother, Christina. Maintaining the property’s heritage, the Italian café offshoot of Zucchero still occupies a portion of the newly revamped 5,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor space serving all-day coffee and traditional pastries, deeply rooted in Italian technique.

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Officine Buona Forchetta Is Hot New Restaurant

Burrata Sorrentina

Recently, I was in Italy dining with Master Italian Chef Mario Cassineri. No wait, I was actually at Officine Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station, which is located in the Point Loma community of San Diego. Cooking from the heart, Cassineri serves up simple but universal dishes that remind me of my Italian home, initiating comfort food memories that will last a lifetime.

Salmon Salad

Restaurant founder Matteo Cattaneo joined forces with Cassineri (executive chef and partner of BiCE), to launch Officine Buona Forchetta. Driven by authentic Italian-inspired dishes, the menu draws from the original Buona Forchetta location in South Park, including their hard to beat Neapolitan-style pies, as well as upscale Northern Italian entree and dessert selections overseen by chefs Mario Cassineri, Francesca Peroncelli and Fernando Gorrino. 

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West Pac Noodle Bar Opens In Coronado

Courtesy photo

Echoing a phrase that was commonly utilized by Navy preparing for deployment from San Diego, a “West Pac Tour” refers to the Western Pacific waters from Japan to Singapore, Thailand to Hawaii, and everything in between. A tribute to San Diego’s naval history, West Pac’s menu embarks on a country-by-country journey through the traditional flavors and cuisines that make up these “West Pac” regions.

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