Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Stuff


STISH STASH, I was takin’ a bath,
down in Mission Valley last night.
Got hungry for a steak, said,
‘Give yourself a break’—
and unimaginatively lapsing into prose, headed over to the Hilton
San Diego Mission Valley.”

As part of an $11 million makeover, the 20-year-old hotel has opened a new restaurant-cum-lounge with the curious name of Stish—a distillation of “steak and fish.” Chef Nicolas Villamil’s menu reads quite well, with a lobster-and-tortilla chowder, the “Stish Stacked Cobb” of lobster layered with other goodies, and main events like filet mignon and sautéed salmon with baby greens. The bar list turns sunward with the Hemingway El Floridita cocktail and pisco sours . . . Some restaurant meals can be pretty scary, but there’s nothing spooky about the series of monthly “Table of Terroir” wine dinners commencing October 3 at Savory Casual Fare in Encinitas. Except for the price, perhaps: $290 per person, inclusive (the prices of future dinners, always to be held on the first Tuesday of the month, will vary with the selection of wines). In French, “le gout de terroir” means “the taste of the soil,” and the first multicourse dinner will contrast how this taste influences superb wines from different areas of Bordeaux. Vintages from Burgundy and Champagne will star at future events. . . . Speaking of costly repasts, enjoying breakfast and cocktail-hour hors d’oeuvres at the Britt Scripps Inn on Bankers Hill costs a couple anywhere from $299 to $600, a price that also includes a room in this handsome bed-and-breakfast. New chef Susan Brandon harvests herbs and some veggies from the inn’s garden to prepare savory items like an omelet with pesto, pancetta and roasted tomatoes . . . And speaking of tomatoes, do you see red when a breakfast waiter puts down a bottle of ketchup alongside your French toast?

MORE OR LESS? It’s almost certainly in bad taste to share the contents of press releases, but some are so funny that to keep them private would be supremely selfish. Down at 10th and J near Petco Park, a brick warehouse has been converted into Basic Urban Kitchen & Bar, a sparely decorated “industrial lounge” that embodies the concept “less really is more.” How much less adds up to so much more? Well, there’s a pool table, and the place serves pizza, period; toppings range from eggplant to old standbys like sausage and meatballs. While you might expect Basic to fill with post-game fans feasting on pepperoni pies and beer, the release assures us that the pizza-only menu is “revitalizing to in-the-know socialites.” So don’t be surprised when the guys in ball caps get shouldered out by Paris Hilton and her pals . . . It runs just from 5 until 6 p.m. weekdays, but the new Happy Hour at The Oceanaire Seafood Room features 10 appetizers priced progressively from $1 (which buys an oyster) to $10 for a king crab–bay shrimp salad. Specialty cocktails cost $7, including the “Trixie Tini” of orange vodka and raspberry liqueur (okay, you can have a cosmo instead) . . . The Twiggs Café atop Cortez Hill has morphed into Sole Luna Café, a genial joint run by two guys from Italy who assemble some mean panini. Built on long, crisp rolls, the sandwiches boast top-quality meats and cheeses; the “Rustico” combines speck (smoked prosciutto) with olive paste, goat cheese and some greenery. And if that’s rustic, I’m moving to the country right now. The menu continues with antipasti plates, clever salads, good wines and a la dolce vita mood.

CARL SCHROEDER, where Arterra thou? Well, Carl has moved on to Blackhorse Grille, which he and a backer took over from Sami Ladeki just in time for racing season. The La Jolla–bred chef made an unexpected hit of Arterra, the Bradley Ogden–supervised dining room at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar. And to put it mildly, the Ogden chain wasn’t glad to see him go. Not to worry. Sous-chef Brian Pekarcik now wears the top toque, and he impressed recently with an artfully presented dish of lobster in chile-vanilla vinaigrette paired with a chilled (and way cool) soup of Chino’s melon.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Puesto's Next Top Taco

Submit your best taco recipe for the chance to win a grand prize

San Diego Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 85

A new Italian spot opens in Hillcrest, our Best Restaurants poll is live, and the owner of former pop-up eatery Royale drops by

Sweet Spot: Taro Root Dessert at Village North

Taro combines with caramelized sugar at this Chinese eatery on Convoy
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Vote Now for San Diego's Best Restaurants 2018
    From burritos to bottomless mimosas, you choose San Diego’s best eats and drinks in 90 categories
  2. 15 Coolest Jobs in San Diego and How to Get Them
    We asked 15 San Diego professionals with the coolest jobs in town how they landed their gigs—and how we could steal them
  3. First Look: Cloak & Petal
    The owners of Tajima bring Japanese small plates to Little Italy with Cloak & Petal
  4. 31 Best Places to Live in San Diego
    Five local homeowners share their advice, tips, and tricks on how they sealed the deal
  5. Green Rush: Inside San Diego's Emerging Cannabis Industry
    Marijuana's legal. How did it go from evil death drug to medical miracle and billion-dollar industry?
  6. First Look: Bivouac Ciderworks
    A new craft cidery opens in North Park, designed for the outdoors person in all of us
Edit ModuleShow Tags


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


Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags