Dragon Wings @ City Dragon
I’ve finished up my search for the city’s best wings. What an epic odyssey this turned out to be. I figured I’d hit a few places and show you guys some good places to get deep-fried petite bird. Well, eighteen restaurants later, I’ve finally made my list that I’ll rank and put out next week on SD Food News. City Dragon was recommended to me by a longtime food lover in San Diego. It’s a little hole in the wall that’s been around for 14 years, and the son of the owner, A.J., used to have a little place in Oceanside with some of the city’s best fish tacos (it since closed). Their dragon wings are shatter-crispy and well-seasoned, topped with scallions and garlic and pepper flakes. It’s essentially salted fried chicken, the miniature version, and they’re among the better I found.
2885 El Cajon Blvd., North Park
Vegan Tacos @ Good Seed Food Company
What a peculiar little place this is, and should be a favorite hangout for anyone in the Miramar/Mira Mesa area. Located in a business park, Good Seed shares a fairly large warehouse space with local companies Serpentine Cider and Lost Cause Meadery. A tasting room with a little window into a kitchen that represents the "restaurant," this is where former Urge Gastropub chef "Chuy" (Jesus de la Torre) cranks out real food and snacks for the mead/cider-tasting crowd. I’d gone for the wings, but the best bite I found was his grilled tofu tacos. The tortilla is made of pumpkin and eats like a corn tortilla, the tufo us cooked in a shawarma sauce, then topped with anatto yogurt sauce, mint, pico de gallo, and a harissa salsa. Sounds like a riot of flavors, and it is, but it’s real hard to get me to enjoy grilled tofu, and this was excellent. The place has air hockey, indie rock on shuffle, and a nice little patio out back. Great place to "work" remotely.
8665 Miralani Dr #100, Miramar
Shanghai Wings @ Shank & Bone
These wings are easily going to be in the top three of my final "Best Wings" list. There is a very specific kind of wing that Vietnamese restaurants make, a mixture of fish sauce and hot peppers and sugar. Done wrong, they get gloopy and almost as candied as a caramel apple. Done right, well, they taste like Shank & Bone’s. If the idea of fish sauce scares you, keep in mind that a beloved American staple, Worcestershire, is fish sauce. It gives the wings a deep umami, and the sugar balances with the salt, then large bits of fried garlic lay like rubble up top. Salty, sweet, and funky in the best possible way.
2930 University Ave., North Park