Letter from the Editor: All About That (Sea) Bass
Editor in Chief Erin Meanley Glenny dishes on the June issue of San Diego Magazine
Sea bass at Herb & Wood, a Best Restaurant winner | Photo: Sam Wells
7,100: That’s the number of readers who voted in this year’s Best Restaurants poll—our highest turnout ever. Our readers are hungry, and we editors are right there with you.
To encapsulate a year of eclectic cuisine and the rapidly changing restaurant scene—read more about that from Troy Johnson—we chose Herb & Wood’s elegant, fresh, and enticing sea bass as our cover star.
Dining at Herb & Wood is a special experience, and when I went there recently with foodie friends from Zurich and Munich, it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had in San Diego. Both my companions had spent more than a decade in London and they make restaurant reservations like it’ll be their last meal. I always feel pressure to take them somewhere spectacular. This time I really nailed it.
Some restaurants are trendy for just a hot second, but I believe Brian Malarkey’s Herb & Wood has staying power. The fact that it recently introduced brunch, and its adjacent casual counterpart, Herb & Eatery, has expanded its menu, is a good indication that it’s firmly planting itself in San Diego—and so is our man Malarkey. He recently parted ways with the Hakkasan Group, the restaurant collective that owns Searsucker and Herringbone locations in San Diego, Las Vegas, and beyond, to focus solely on the San Diego food scene. He’s back in the kitchen, developing Animae (which opens at the end of this year in downtown’s Pacific Gate high-rise) and Herb & Sea (opening near Moonlight Beach in early 2019).
His homecoming is part of a larger narrative of high-caliber chefs migrating to San Diego. Our food scene has matured, and people are noticing. Big talent—and big ideas—are the new norm. For instance, Prepkitchen just imported The Wynn’s chef Joe Elevado from Las Vegas. Emmanuel Piqueras, the acclaimed Peruvian chef of Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria who’s cooked in some of the world’s top kitchens, chose Liberty Station and Carlsbad for his latest projects. And look at the stunning speakeasy—that’s in a mall! San Diego is attracting quality, and it’s only going to get better.
Finally, if you fancy yourself a budding cook, check out the Chefs’ Entertaining Guide. Four buzzy, top chefs invited us into their homes to share their tips and recipes. How cool is that? I love that celebrated culinary stars are willing to get messy and real with us. San Diego, you haven’t lost your down-to-earth roots.
Erin Meanley Glenny, Editor In Chief