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SD Food News

Why Restaurants Are Adding a Surcharge, and Why Diners Should Gladly Pay It

Restaurateurs are finding ways to deal with the challenges of the minimum wage hike

Farm-to-Table Gets a Farmer-Approved List of Restaurants

Trish Watlington launches San Diego Farm to Fork Week to combat local food fraud

The Best Food & Drink Events in January

Farm to Fork Week, Michelin-Starred Chefs Dinner at Civico 1845, and Filipino Flavor at JSix

Best Things I Ate This Month: January 2017

The meat at Grand Ole BBQ, Pork Ribs at Coop’s West Texas BBQ, and Tsebhi Dorho at Muzita Abyssinian Bistro

Taste Test: Wrench & Rodent's Sustainable Sushi Lives up to the Hype

Troy Johnson finally makes the trek to Planet Oceanside

Best Things I Ate All Year

After eating a few thousand dishes across San Diego, here are 21 of the best you should try right now for happiness.

Hey, Troy

Ask food critic Troy Johnson any food- or drink-related question that's on your mind

A Wine Game-Changer?

With its invention, LJ Crafted Wines in Bird Rock is serving high-end wines straight from the barrel

How to Win Thanksgiving

Follow these simple food and drink rules for Thanksgiving dinner and we will not deport you to another, awfuller family.

Troy Johnson Makes his Television Cooking Debut on Food Network

How San Diego Magazine's food critic went from writing about restaurants to cooking on national television

FIRST LOOK: The Grass Skirt

San Diego's tiki boom continues with this new spot in Pacific Beach

La Vida Vegan: Taco to Me

Bracero’s plant-based taco nods to street food indulgence

10 Hot Plates

San Diego restaurant rumors, openings, & coming-soons in November

Ina Garten Unveils New Cookbook in San Diego

The Barefoot Contessa chef will talk career, cuisine, and Jeffrey at Balboa Theatre in November

False Idol Brings Tiki Back

This partnership between Consortium Holdings and tiki expert Martin Cate was one of the country's most anticipated openings

FIRST LOOK: Bar by Red Door

Top San Diego farm-to-table restaurant Red Door expands its ethos to the glass with Bar by Red Door.

In Defense of the White Tablecloth

The white tablecloth is the greatest stray-food detection program on the restaurant planet.

Stop Killing Restaurants, California

Raising minimum wage without a tip credit is dumb, dumb, dumb.

Fired Up

Open-flame cooking is now the biggest restaurant trend, and San Diego chefs explain why.

The Best Food & Drink Events in September

Taste of the Port, KAABOO Rock'n Chef Competition, and the History of California Wines

Best Things I Ate This Month: September 2016

Triangoli at Cucina Sorella, Pumpkin Waffle at Café 222, and Banh Mi at The Grill at the Lodge

FIRST LOOK: Campfire

Carlsbad gets one hell of a new concept in Campfire from Craft & Commerce vet John Resnick

FIRST LOOK: False Idol

San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol

FIRST LOOK: Craft & Commerce

S.D.'s iconic cocktail bar reopens today with new look, new lions

FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside

San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.

Eat Food With Eyes

Eating food with eyes isn't a gross thing, it's how it should be done.

FIRST LOOK: Ponsaty's

S.D.'s Master French Chef Patrick Ponsaty finally gets his own signature joint

FIRST LOOK: Isola Pizza Bar

A hit in Little Italy, Neapolitan pizza joint doubles down in La Jolla

FIRST LOOK: Pacific Standard

Exec chef and Top Cheffer Giselle Wellman comes home to head the new Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen in Little Italy.

Where's the Beef?

As the science on beef production mounts, a sustainable restaurant owner nixes her steakhouse, turns it into Bar by Red Door.

Game On

First person to create a Chuck E Cheese with good food and drink will make millions.

Dear Tostada, I'm Sorry

A journey through Baja, Mexico, to find tostada enlightenment

FIRST LOOK: The Grill

Jeff Jackson gets an outdoor griller's dream with a 2.5 million-dollar overhaul of The Grill at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.

Best Things I Ate This Month

Oxtail gnocchi at Herb & Wood, potatoes at Trust, and almond cake at Azucar

FIRST LOOK: Cucina Sorella

Tracy Borkum's new pasta boutique opens in former Ken Grill spot

Goodbye: Christian Graves

Christian Graves has been a star at Jsix for 10 years. Now he's leaving and shares his thoughts on S.D.'s food scene.

Making a MasterChef

MasterChef winner Claudia Sandoval on the life-changing ups and downs

FIRST LOOK: Carnitas' Snack Shack

San Diego's kings of pork, Carnitas Snack Shack, crack open their third location at Embarcadero Marina

FIRST LOOK: Herb & Wood

Brian Malarkey and Chris Puffer strike again in Little Italy

Rising Star: Boochcraft

San Diego's high-alcohol kombucha brand poised to breakout

Wasted: The Dinner

The Red Door’s Re-Source dinner sheds light on how much damn food we waste

Goodnight: Ra Sushi

Ra Sushi exits its Gaslamp location

FIRST LOOK: Flour & Barley

New brick-oven pizza joint now open in former Mozza spot in The Headquarters

The Rebirth of Fun!

The once-snobby craft cocktail scene enters its fun phase

Info Tapas

The most interesting tid bits—news, openings, closings—from San Diego's restaurant and bar scene.

San Diego's James Beard Nominees Are...

The James Beard nominees were announced today. And San Diego's restaurant scene grabbed three. And the nominees are...

Goodnight, Claire de Lune

For 19 years, Claire de Lune was the come-as-you-are cultural hangout for North Park. Today it closes. Owner Claire Magner looks back.

The Noisy Restaurant Epidemic

Notice a volume spike in restaurants lately? There are so many reasons today's restaurants are louder than ever. Award-winning architect Matthew Ellis explains.

The Drink of 2016

Rum is poised to be the next breakout spirit in 2016. So much so that people will start drinking it straight. Or in something like this Rum Old Fashioned from Kettner Exchange.

Huge News for Your Mouth

When asked to name my favorite chef in San Diego, I name three. One of them is Patrick Ponsaty. Now he's taking over the former Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe.

TASTE IT: Regents Pizzeria

People had always told me about Regents Pizzeria near UTC. I finally tried it. Now I get it, UCSD students. Now I get it.

The 12 Days of Christmas

From loud restaurants to ancient cocktails to cold brew, here's a look back at the restaurant trends of 2015. Done through the power of Christmas song.

FIRST LOOK: Kindred

Death metal vegan has arrived in San Diego. From the creative minds behind Craft & Commerce, Noble Experiment, LOVELIKEBEER—plus one of the country's top vegan chefs—comes Kindred. It's in South Park. It's gonna blow some minds.

Best Things I Ate This Month: December 2015

Chicken Oysters at The Crack Shack, Lamb Neck Barbacoa at Bracero, Burrata Bruschetta at Little Italy Farmers Market

TASTE IT: Crack Shack

Chefs Richard Blais and Jon Sloan, fresh off the success of Juniper & Ivy, have opened fried-chicken joint, The Crack Shack. Here's what to order.

The Ballast Point Effect

The Great Craft Sale is on. Constellation Brands recently bought Ballast Point for $1 billion. Heineken bought Lagunitas. MillerCoors bought Saint Archer. What does that mean for the craft beer industry? Experts weigh in.

Sell Outs!

First Saint Archer sold to MillerCoors. Now Ballast Point has sold to Constellation Brands for one billion dollars. Is San Diego's craft beer scene being co-opted? Are we sell-outs?

Holiday Classes at Bake Sale Bakery

‘Tis the season! Learn how to make seasonal sweet treats at the East Village dessert spot Bake Sale in San Diego

FIRST LOOK: The Crack Shack

After the huge success of Juniper & Ivy, chef Richard Blais and owner Michael Rosen launch all-day, ethical-chicken breakfast joint called The Crack Shack. Could this be the McDonald's for the food- and ethics-conscious foodie generation?

Best Things I Ate This Month: November 2015

Pork Ribs at Thai Papaya, Mexican Bowl at Café Gratitude, Yellowtail Crudo at Bracero

The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: November 2015

San Diego Bay Food + Wine Festival, San Diego Beer Week, SOMMCON

FIRST LOOK: Duke's La Jolla

For decades, Top of the Cove in La Jolla held one of the most iconic restaurant spots in San Diego. Now they've finally filled that space. Take an exclusive first look at Duke's La Jolla.

FIRST LOOK: The Nolen

San Diego's Bluemotif Architecture builds pretty places. And The Nolen is their newest—an open-air craft cocktail den atop the Courtyard by Marriott in the Gaslamp.

FIRST LOOK: Bistro du Marche

When Tapenade closed last year, some thought San Diego was losing a French classic. Instead, it gained a classic, new French bistro in the form of Bistro du Marche by chef Jean-Michel Diot

The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: October-November 2015

Celebrate the Craft, San Diego Beer Week, San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

Best Things I Ate This Month: October 2015

Lamb Burger at Café 21, Vermicelli Noodles at Sovereign Kitchen, Ahi Tacos at The Hake

Incoming: Liberty Public Market

San Diego's big public market unveils three big new concepts

Saint Archer Sells to MillerCoors

Beer giant MillerCoors buys a majority stake of SD craft brewer, Saint Archer. Plus, Alex Thao closes Rama, and Perdue buys Niman Ranch.

The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: September 2015

Mama’s Kitchen 25th Anniversary Party (“Food Is Love”), Rock’n Chef Competition, Enrique Olvera & Trey Foshee

Best Things I Ate This Month: September 2015

Carnitas Taco at Bracero, Crema de Elote at Coasterra, and Goat Cheese Ravioli at Water Grill

FIRST LOOK: Coasterra

Eight years in the making, the Cohn Restaurant Group unveils the 15 million-dollar, 28,000 square-foot modern Mexican restaurant and event space, Coasterra.

Health Food Is Terrible

Food critic Troy Johnson explains why health food deserves its bad rap, and why it's the future of dining out. Plus a pocket guide to eating healthy food that doesn't suck in San Diego.

FIRST LOOK: Café Gratitude

Healthy gourmet is the future. L.A.'s Cafe Gratitude has become one of the breakout stars of the movement. They open their first San Diego location in Little Italy this week. San Diego Mag unveils the first photos...

FIRST LOOK: Blush

Next week, San Diego's Gaslamp District gets its newest concept—Blush Ice Bar + East-West Kitchen, headed by chef Daniel Barron. An oyster bar, raw bar, frosted ice cocktails and an East-West menu that's not shy. Check out the first known photos in the universe.

FIRST LOOK: Rustic Root

Somehow, San Diego's Gaslamp District didn't have a single, fully-dedicated rooftop restaurant. Until now. Meet Rustic Root.

The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: July-August 2015

All-American Backyard BBQ at Kettner Exchange, Ales & Acoustics, Farm to Bay

Best Things I Ate This Month: July 2015

Bruschetta at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant, Short Rib Sandwich at Double Standard, Grouper at Catalina Offshore

FIRST LOOK: Bracero

The hottest thing in San Diego food right now is Mexico. And there is no chef more primed to show what Baja can do than Javier Plascencia. Take a first look at his new spot in San Diego, Bracero Cocina De Raiz.

FIRST LOOK: Galaxy Taco

After 16 years as an icon at George's at the Cove, chef Trey Foshee spins off a new taco shop for San Diego. The key to Galaxy Taco's success? House-ground masa. And cocktails. And an under-served area for Mexican food.

Behind the Story: Farm to Fable

The "farm-to-table" movement has spawned a new kind of fraud. Farmers, chefs and food thinkers tell stories about how some restaurants are defrauding everyone. Call it Farm-to-fable.

Eat. This. Now.

What is Bucherondin cheese and why is it delicious? Who named the Rainer cherry? What exactly does micro-green mean? It all comes together in this phenomenal bruschetta at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant.

Let Us Eat Meat

As it stands now, San Diegans, by and large, can't eat their own locally raised meat at restaurants or buy it at retail. How is this possible? A few proposed solutions.

Slaughterhouse Rules

San Diego hasn't had a USDA-approved slaughterhouse in 15 years. That means most of the animals raised in our backyard can't be sold at retail or restaurants. Jack Ford of Taj Farms has ideas to change that.

The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: June-July 2015

Del Mar Summer Solstice, Hop-Con 3.0: W00tstout, Collections: Chef Justin Cogley at Addison Del Mar

Best Things I Ate This Month: June 2015

Strawberries at Chino Farms, El Chileno Ceviche at Sirena Latin Gourmet, Pain Au Chocolat at Le Parfait Paris

Behind the Best Restaurants List

A behind-the-scenes look at San Diego Magazine's Best Restaurants list. Ten facts about how the list is made and why San Diego's food scene has arrived.

FIRST LOOK: Sovereign

This week, Sovereign Kitchen + Bar opens in Downtown with Michelin-awarded, Iron Chef Vietnam Michael Bao Huynh. Take a look at the first photos.

FIRST LOOK: Park & Rec

After 30 years, Bourbon Street is gone. In its place in University Heights comes cocktail village Park & Rec, designed as the ultimate patio party. Negroni lovers meet sunscreen.

FIRST LOOK: Green Flash Cellar 3

The first photos of Cellar 3, the second San Diego spot from one of the city's top brewers, Green Flash. The Poway space will be dedicated to rare, barrel-aged beers and wild-yeast.

Anthony's Out at Embarcadero?

After 60 years, it looks like Anthony's Fish Grotto might be out in The Embarcadero. That means 31,608 square feet of prime, landmark restaurant space in San Diego is up for grabs. Our bet is...

One Night Only: Dinner!

Five reasons why America loves food porn. And why restaurants have never been more important to American culture. (Hint: It's because the family dinner is dead.)

The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: May-June 2015

Eat Drink Read, James Beard Weekend, Ironside "Chef's Catch Series"

Best Things I Ate This Month: May 2015

"The Meal" at Addison, Fried Chicken Sandwich at Prepkitchen, Sweet Pea Risotto at Solare

INCOMING: Smoking Goat, Part Deux

North Park favorite doubles down, takes over huge Mosaic Wine Bar next door

FIRST LOOK: Duck Foot Brewing Co.

Inside San Diego's first "gluten-free" craft beer operation

Eating Crickets

Why you will end up eating bugs, now or later (and where to do it now)

The Best Food & Drink Events This Month: April-May 2015

Mezcal Pairing Dinner, CincoTeca, Chef Celebration Dinners

Best Things I Ate This Month: April 2015

Yellowtail Crudo at Oceana Coastal Kitchen, Short Rib Slider at BLVD Chinese Kitchen, Foie Gras at Stake Chophouse & Bar

The Perfect Lunch

The perfect lunch at Oceana Coastal Kitchen

A5 Wagyu: What's It Worth?

At $28 an ounce, Stake Chophouse's A5 Wagyu is worth the cost
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