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The Best Food & Drink Events in May and June

Mama’s Kitchen's Mama's Day, Eat.Drink.Read, and Dinner in the Valley in Ensenada


May 18: Eat.Drink.Read.

Mama’s Day

WHEN: May 12, 6:30 p.m. 
WHERE: Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, 3777 La Jolla Village Dr, La Jolla

Mama’s Kitchen is one of San Diego’s best charities, delivering hot, nutritious meals to San Diegans (and their families) who are affected by AIDS or cancer. Once a year they hold this major fundraiser, which raises a bulk of the money needed to keep struggling families together through the ordeal of disease. This year over 50 San Diego restaurants are donating their chefs and food, including BICE, Breakfast Republic, Café Japengo, La Valencia, Catania, Farmer’s Bottega, Hash House, Marina Kitchen, NaPizza, Nine-Ten, Ponsaty’s, The Red Door, Snooze, Top of the Market, Waypoint Public, etc. You know the drill. You wander around somewhere beautiful, taste small bites from some of San Diego’s best, and bid on silent auction items to help Mama’s Kitchen help others.

COST: $150-$250



WHEN: May 18, 5:30-8 p.m. 
WHERE: San Diego Air & Space Museum, 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park

One in five San Diegans have below-basic literacy skills. That means 20 percent of people in America’s Finest City have a less than fine ability to read and write. The San Diego Council on Literacy is the group helping those San Diegans improve their skills and therefore make it an even finer city. And this is their big fundraiser of the year. It’s also just a great idea. Some of the city’s best chefs and restaurants create dishes that jibe narratively with some of their favorite books, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Babbling Beth the Story Chef, and Have You Filled a Bucket Today? Brewers and winemakers will also be on hand to keep you from being parched. Do good, eat well. A partial list of restaurants include Civico 1845, 608 Oceanside, Nobu, Double Standard Kitchenetta, Frida’s Cocina, Galaxy Taco, and Solare, plus brewers Stone Brewing Co., Monkey Paw Brewing Co., Port Brewing Co., The Lost Abbey, The Hop Concept, and Cutwater Spirits.

COST: $75


Dinner in the Valley

WHEN: June 10, 1 p.m.-Sunset
WHERE: Finca Altozano, Carretera Tecate - Ensenada Km 83, Ejido Francisco Zarco, Valle de Guadalupe, 22750 Ensenada, B.C., Mexico

So you haven’t made it down to Baja yet to check out one of the hottest culinary scenes in decades. Maybe you have outdated paranoia of the violence (I can cite dozens of American cities with higher crime rates than Tijuana/Baja right now). Maybe you’ve said you’re going to do it but it just seems so far (it’s literally 20 minutes from Downtown San Diego). Well, this is your time. One of Baja and San Diego’s top chefs, Javier Plascencia, is hosting one of the country’s top bakers and chefs, Nancy Silverton (La Brea Bakery, Pizzeria Mozza), at Finca Altozano, his pastoral ranch restaurant in Valle de Guadalupe (Mexico’s premier wine country). The two will collaborate on a meal and cocktails as the sun sets over the grapevines.

COST: $60

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The hottest thing in San Diego food right now just might be Tijuana.

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Restaurant reviews, food trends, top cocktails, wine, beer and generally the best eats and drinks in San Diego, by Food Editor and general good guy Troy Johnson.

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