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The Best Things I Ate This Month: April Main Dish

Maple Bacon Donuts @ Great Maple | Duo of Beef @ Amaya | Italian lollipops @ Mangia Mangia

Maple Bacon Donuts @ Great Maple

A quick survey of my list this month reveals: Oh, yep, that’s where I got the extra five pounds.  Johnny Rivera, the hyperactively creative brain behind Hash House A-Go-Go and Tractor Room, recently took over Brian’s American Eatery on the cusp of Hillcrest. He’s a local. This is an iconic spot. He didn’t want something lame going in there. So he inserted his Euro dinette called Great Maple. And while the focus is dinner, he’s serving these ridiculous donuts with shards of bacon spackled to the maple frosting. They’re dense, thick, and the bacon isn’t the overly smoky, Brawny Man type that usually ruins bacon-dessert hybrids. Served warm, with glee. Great Maple, 1451 Washington St., 619.255.2282. thegreatmaple.com.

Maple Glazed Donuts

Duo of Beef @ Amaya

It’s hard to get noticed when you’re at the restaurant at the Grand Del Mar that’s not named Addison. With the opening of the second Amaya in La Jolla, talented chef Camron Woods steps out from chef William Bradley’s shadow a bit. (He refuses to admit to either that he’s talented or that he’s glad to be unshadowed.) I hit the media lunch to unveil his new menu. Plenty of raves and not much of anything to complain about. The best was the duo of beef, with a grilled New York Strip laid over a braised short rib—both anchored in crushed crème fraiche potatoes. Amaya, 1205 Prospect St., 858.750.3695, amayalajolla.com.

Duo of Beef

Italian lollipops @ Mangia Mangia

I happen to love a woman who works in Riverside. It’s not her best quality. To ease commute stress, we’re stuck in the gourmet wasteland that is inland North County. The best food here happens every Thursday when the food trucks pull into a school parking lot. One of the trucks is Mangia Mangia, started by my favorite former server at good Italian restaurant, Bice. And these lollipops—meatballs deep-fried in tempura batter—are a frilly little invention. Luckily, they’re tasty, too. Like a really fancy hot dog on a stick where the herbs aren’t some anonymous dust vanished into the meat. The marinara sauce that accompanies ‘em is even better. And a good sauce is what makes any Italian joint worth anything. Mangia Mangia, 858.405.0070, mangiamangiamobile.com.

Italian lollipops

SD Food Events

4th Annual ONEHOPE ATMF
5k/10k Run/Walk & Family Festival

2014.04.19

Join Autism Care and Treatment Today! (ACT Today!)and ONEHOPE Wine for the 4th annual 5k/10k Run/Walk and Family Festival benefiting military...

2014-15 Auditions – San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory

2014.04.01

Join the orchestra, make wonderful music and meet new friends with San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS). Audition registration is now...

What Troy is Eating

From hot dogs and hamburgers to lobsters and foie gras, a photostream of what our dining editor is eating.

Restaurant Reviews Archive

Restaurant Review: Amaya La Jolla

Restaurant Review: Amaya La Jolla

Amaya La Jolla has it all, and maybe just a little too much

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