Oxtail Gnocchi @ Herb & Wood
Herb & Wood, the huge new project from chef Brian Malarkey, GM Chris Puffer and chef de cuisine Shane McIntyre, is a sight. The indoor-outdoor restaurant, equally massive on both sides, is one of the prettiest rooms in San Diego, with a two-sided fireplace out back and leather seating galore. I ate my way through a good portion of the menu, with seemingly all of the dishes bright bright with acid and lively. The star, though, was the oxtail gnocchi with roasted garlic, parsley, chive, sherry, parmesan and horseradish. Oxtail, done right, is an irresistible, deep, beefy flavor, and McIntyre and Malarkey nailed this one.
2210 Kettner Blvd, Little Italy, herbandwood.com.
Potatoes @ Trust
Potatoes? Sounds kinda boring. But for next month’s review, we take on Trust. And this unassuming dish was a knockout. The potatoes are fire-grilled, so they have a nice char flavor, and then they’re dressed simply with butter, chives and vinegar whipped cream. The vinegar whipped cream was what made us order it, and it doesn’t disappoint. You’ll find yourself chasing the acidic, creamy gold all over the plate.
3752 Park Blvd, Hillcrest, trustrestaurantsd.com.
Almond Cake @ Azucar
Azucar is one of the best bakeries in San Diego. Chef-owner Vivian Hernandez-Jackson has a whole case of good treats at her Cuban-influenced bakery, which I’ve been working my way through. This month’s best bite, though, was an almond cake soaked in five different milks with a dulce de leche glaze and sugar-crusted almonds. What a stunner.
4820 Newport Ave., Ocean Beach, iloveazucar.com.