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

Letter from the Editor: Who Hates the Beach?

Editor in chief Erin Meanley Glenny dishes on the July issue of San Diego Magazine

Confessions of the Un-Diegans

Not every San Diegan loves fish tacos and the beach. Can't believe it? Meet the locals who go against the grain.

Event Photos: San Diego Festival of the Arts 2017

Photos from the event on June 10-11, 2017 at the Waterfront Park
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Jason Mraz Is Growing Coffee on a Farm in Oceanside
    We spoke to the musician about all the whys — why food, why farming, why Oceanside, why coffee?
  2. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2017
    The top tacos, chicken wings, seafood, burgers, kid-friendly eateries, breweries, and more
  3. 10 Scenic Hikes Within an Hour of San Diego
    You’ve mastered all the trails in your area—now plan a Saturday to get outside for a hike and enjoy the views just a bit farther afield
  4. The Man Behind San Diego's $26 Billion Company
    Will Illumina's new hotshot CEO be able to lead the San Diego genomics giant into the complex world of clinical care?
  5. Celebrating Women: Shanna Missett Nelson
    Like a good dancer, the Jazzercise president has mastered her balance—of career, family, and life
  6. San Diego's Best Boutique Fitness 2017
    We've sweated through the top yoga, barre, Pilates, and boot camp classes, and are rounding up our favorites
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

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.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

9 Reasons You Need a Better Barber

Get the look and service you deserve at this East Village salon

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags