The Best Things I Ate This Month: July 2019
Skirt steak at Cowboy Star, fried rice at Morning Glory, and Dutch baby at Richard Walker's Pancake House
Skirt Steak @ Cowboy Star
Every year during our “Best Restaurants” issue voting, I consider changing up my vote for the best steakhouse in San Diego. And every year, I can’t get away from Cowboy Star. The little steakhouse that could in East Village is about to expand their front section, adding a little bistro where the butcher shop currently is. On a recent visit, our dry-aged rib eye was good, but I gotta say it—their Wagyu skirt steak beat it hands down. Yep: the long, tough fajita or stir-fry cut of meat. The unsexy meat. The no-headlines-for-you meat. You’ve got to marinate the skirt well, and cook it between rare and mid-rare (otherwise it can be tough), and Cowboy Star nails it. One of the most delicious steak dinners in town.
640 Tenth Avenue, East Village
Fried Rice @ Morning Glory
In next month’s issue, I review the spaceship-on-mescaline that is Morning Glory—a bizarro theatrical world dedicated to brunch. Brunch has never fared well in San Diego, but a place so Instagrammable as this shouldn’t have any problem lining them up. I had a real mixed experience with the menu, but there’s just about nothing wrong with their fried rice. Perfectly oiled and seasoned, al dente, given fat and flavor with chunks of pork belly, a little English brightness from peas, plus spinach, scallions, and a perfect fried egg atop. Be sure to use the oil-dropper of soy sauce and the sweet-spicy chile sauce that comes with it. And also get those Japanese soufflé pancakes.
550 West Date Street, Little Italy
Dutch Baby @ Richard Walker’s Pancake House
Speaking of pancakes, I’ve been sitting on this story about the father-son duo behind Richard Walker’s Pancake House. They are both named Richard Walker. It’s a real family, not a folksy branding effort from a chain. I’ll finish the story one of these days, but my visit with them reminded me how much I love Dutch baby pancakes, and how shocking it is that when I talk about them no one seems to know what they are. Dutch babies are baked in the oven, and come out puffed with air, a bit like a whoopie cushion, and crusted on the edges. It’s eggier, denser than the pan-griddled pancake. For me, syrup is a bad move. Butter the thing up, sprinkle powdered sugar, and squeeze lemon.
2656 Gateway Road, Carlsbad