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Main Dish for October

Notes, news, must-taste events, and more


Best Things I Ate This Month

Lamb lollipop from Sora

Lamb lollipop

Lamb Lollipop @ Sora.

Sora, the new Japanese-Italian concept featuring former Nobu sushi chef Noriyoshi Teruya, has opened. There’s a lot to hit-or-miss on at this restaurant, but the lamb lollipops are an absolute hit. Macademia and porcini mushroom crust, over a gorgonzola and rosemary-mushroom tapenade—it’s one of the best lamb preparations I’ve tasted in San Diego. And I love lamb. Be warned: it’s a tiny portion for the price point. But sometimes taste is worth more than size. 655 W. Broadway, 619-564-7100, sorasandiego.com.

Liver salad @ Sab-E-Lee.

In November, we’ll release guide to Asian Food in San Diego. As such, it’s pretty much all I’ve eaten for the last month. Over 40 restaurants. Here’s a preview of what slayed me. The liver salad here is a menu item I’ve overlooked over the years. With raw liver under a sprinkling of rice powder, onions, chile and spicy lime juice, it’s a joy for those who appreciate the lesser parts. 2405 Ulric St., 858.650.6868, originalsab-e-lee.webs.com.

Frog Leg Curry @ Que Huong.

It doesn’t have to be frog legs. It can be chicken, tofu, whatever. But bonus points for you to being open to the alterna-meat classic. Sauteed in thick coconut cream with black fungus, bean thread and diced onions, this dish is an indulgent dream for curry lovers. And simply one of the best Vietnamese restaurants I’ve been able to find in SD. 4134 University Ave., 619.281.6008



taste of downtown logo

Sponsored event: Taste of Downtown

Taste what's new at the 20th Annual Taste of Downtown, San Diego's longest, multiple-neighborhood tasting event, Thursday October 11th. Visit over 50 participating restaurants for some delicious eats. $30 in advance. www.mcfarlanepromotions.com

Beer vs. Wine Dinner

Oct. 5, 6:30PM to 11PM

Since San Diego has the most microbreweries per capita than any other county in the US, it only makes sense they’d take umbrage that wine is the only beverage suggested with fine dining. This annual event lets diners decide the winner. El Biz chef Nicolaus Bour cooks up courses (red shrimp ceviche, grilled black buck antelope, etc.) and then the perfect pairing death match is on. Stone Brewing’s “Dr. Bill” Sysak will go up against the winos at San Diego’s R&R Wines. Diners vote for the best pairing on each course (beer usually wins, which surprises no one—since Stone came up with the concept.) Additional info

Diner En Blanc

white popup party

White popup party

Oct. 18, TBD (in the evening)

The concept is simple, awesome. Invite over 1,000 hardcore food people with a special talent for bon homie. Have them all dress in their most inspiring white attire (nothing but white) and tell them of the exact location of the dinner party at the last minute. It’s guaranteed to be in an odd, unexpected, public place. A thousand white-on-white people show up, eat, drink and be merry (with music and assorted party delights) and then vanish into the night. An imitation event whetted San Diego’s appetite last May. This is the real thing—as started in France decades ago. (Note: Tickets usually sell out. You gotta get on the waiting list now.) 
Additional info

Neighborhood Block Party

Oct. 20, 1PM to 6PM

There have been three local restaurant groups who’ve dominated the last few years: the Malarkey-Brennan enterprise (Seersucker, Burlap), Whisknladle (Whisknladle, Prepkitchen) and Consortium Holdings (Neighborhood, Craft & Commerce). Consortium is shutting down a block for the fifth anniversary of its flagship, Neighborhood. Expect some of SD’s top brewers, who’ve been a key part of Consortium’s success and will debut signature beers made exclusively for the night. Plus art, music, new media, just creative stuff. Knowing these guys, it’ll be done right. Additional info

Korean BBQ

Korean BBQ


Young Korean BBQ chain Manna Manna has a line out the door on Convoy. Makes sense, then, that they’ll be opening another location in San Marcos in November

Tijuana born, French-trained chef Norma Martinez made a good name for herself at El Vitral, one of the better high-end Mexican restaurants in town. Now she’ll be spearheading her own joint called Chaplos at 925 B Street.



Beer bottles from Stone Brewery

Stone Brewery beers

Famed Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao is rumored to be looking at San Diego for a new location. Its arrival would send foodie chat boards into a state of rare-plus lust.

Consortium Holdings, the creative force behind Craft & Commerce/Neighborhood/Underbelly, are at it again. Expect news about another concept—in a very, very cool building a burgh over from Downtown—sometime soon.

Stone Brewing is reportedly opening up a spot Downtown and has sights on L.A.

A new restaurant will take over the vacated On Broadway spot in Downtown. Could it be Stone? Pure speculation at this point—more coming. 

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