Edit ModuleShow Tags

Eat This: 3 Great Tastes of North County


Published:

House on the Hill

Poway residents swear this charming little mountaintop bistro is one of their upscale town’s best-kept secrets. A favorite among the city’s well-heeled players, House on the Hill is the culinary showpiece for Neal Bomze, a chef who grew up in the restaurant business (his dad ran the old Sea Thief seafood eatery in La Jolla). House on the Hill, near the intersection of ­Poway and Pomerado Roads, offers a small but compelling selection of seafood, steaks and specialty dishes, as well as an extensive international wine list with a bonus: Every wine can be ordered not just by the bottle but also by the half-bottle. My favorites include the fresh Canadian salmon (grilled and served with pesto sauce) and the Angus beef rib-eye steak. Come spring, House on the Hill again offers Wednesday-evening wine tastings, when guests get to sample five reds and five whites. I can’t wait. house-on-hill.com.

Guahan Grill

Cool new restaurant alert: Oceanside now has its first Guamanian restaurant, which opened about three months ago in a ­Ralphs-an­chored strip mall. If you’ve never had cuisine from the island of Guam, you’re missing out. The Guahan Grill specialty is barbecue (beef short ribs, pork spare ribs or boneless, skinless chicken), but I prefer to sample the appetizers because they are just so out-of-this-world good. Among my favorites is kelaguen, a ceviche-like dish consisting of raw sliced tuna or chunks of shrimp or barbecue chicken mixed with green onions, lemon juice and hot pepper. Order the kelaguen sampler for a taste of all three, served with freshly made tor­tilla chips. I’m also partial to the lumpia (ground beef sautéed with onions, cabbage, carrots, and soy sauce and then wrapped in dough and deep-fried) and the empanada (chopped chicken stewed with onions, hot pepper and garlic, wrapped inside a corn masa shell and deep-fried). It’s always gratifying to try a new cuisine, and Guahan Grill does Guamanian food right. guajangrill.com.

Baker & Olive

Gourmet food stores are all the rage these days. I don’t know anyone who does all of his or her grocery shopping at Vons or Al­bertsons anymore; stores like Trader Joe’s, Henry’s and Whole Foods are siphoning off customers from the huge chain supermarkets. Perhaps the most unique gourmet market I’ve stumbled across in my travels through North County is a little establishment called Baker & Olive, which specializes in two things: fresh olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Vats of the stuff greet customers, along with a carefully chosen selection of artisan breads and other specialty foods like L’Epicurien confits, Fallot Dijon mustards and Terre Exotique spices. I’d heard of olive oil tastings in Napa Valley, so I wondered if there was a connection. Sure enough, owners Paul and Marion Johnson, alums of the corporate world, own two wineries in Napa and opened their store here late last summer as the very first Baker & Olive. Will there be more elsewhere? “We’re working on that right now,” Marion says coyly. bakerandolive.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Celebrating Women Honored San Diego's Most Inspirational Women

Here are all the award winners from last night's event

San Diego Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 14

Saffron expands, The New York Times profiles a local chef, Campfire’s bar manager stops by with cocktails, and more

Bottle (re)Cap: Cool San Diego Beer Stuff I Learned About in September

Green Flash's highest ABV beer ever, a beer and ice cream pairing, two new Miramar breweries, and more
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. FIRST LOOK: False Idol
    San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol
  3. Best of San Diego 2016
    Our annual and completely subjective guide to SD’s best
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside
    San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.
  6. Top 10 Off-Site Events during Comic-Con 2016
    No badge, no problem—these happenings are free and open to the public
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags