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Food & Drink

Vegan suppers inspired from the heartland

Posted: May 26th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. The term “Midwest comfort food” conjures up images of gravy-smothered meats, cheesy casseroles and butter-loaded desserts. They’re precisely the kinds of dishes Roy Elam grew up eating outside of St. Louis until becoming a vegan 12 years ago. Since then, he’s headed the kitchens of two vegan restaurants in the Los Angeles area, helped open a vegan eatery in Bahrain, and sadly lost his mother to breast cancer, which led him […]

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Foodie Flashes – May 26, 2017

Posted: May 26th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes Bring an iron stomach or a roll of antacids if you’re delving into the new, outrageous foods at this year’s upcoming San Diego County Fair (June 2–July 4) at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Here’s a partial list of what to expect: From locally based Chicken Charlie’s comes Krispy Kreme chicken ice cream sandwiches, peanut butter and beef meatballs, fried pineapple with ice cream, and beignets on a stick.

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Fermentations in Ocean Beach

Posted: May 26th, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Not long ago, Newport Avenue was the last place on earth where oenophiles flocked to assess the bouquets and flavors of wine varietals and their blends. Other than scoring a cheap glass of oxidized merlot at some bar slinging Coronas and Fireball, the pickings for wine drinkers were abysmal.

But with Ocean Beach’s craft beer and food renaissance of late came Gianni Buonomo Vintners, a 3,000-square-foot winemaking facility and tasting room that opened last year in what used to be an antiques store.

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Captivating cuisine from India’s tropics

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Forget the pakoras, naan bread and chicken tikka masala flaunted in most Indian restaurants. Those are standard provisions from the country’s northern regions far removed from the menu choices at Flavors of Mayura, which specializes in a rare lineup of dishes common to India’s tropical southwest province of Kerala. (Mayura is a Sanskrit word for peacock.)

Indeed, you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere things like ultra-thin dosa crepes made with a batter of rice and lentils and stuffed with turmeric-kissed potatoes. Dramatic in size, they sport the length and girth of a loosely rolled-up wall poster.

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Foodie Flashes – April 28, 2017

Posted: April 28th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes The much-anticipated reopening of Olympic Café at its new North Park location will become a reality by mid-May, said Donna Kotselas, who founded the Greek restaurant with her husband, John, more than 30 years ago. The couple closed the business last year at its original location, at 2340 University Ave., due to landlord issues. In deciding to relocate, they acquired the lease to a structure one door west, where […]

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Out with the brass, in with the new

Posted: April 14th, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, News, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

What stands today as The Rail on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Robinson Street in Hillcrest has made two previous moves from its original Downtown location, attracted a solid LGBT clientele along the way, and for a time greeted customers with a sunken bar defined by a long, brass foot rail.

From its early beginnings in 1934 and until July of last year, the nomadic establishment operated as The Brass Rail.

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Let them eat soup (at Nordstrom)

Posted: April 14th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. It was one of those rare times that I took myself to lunch at a cost nearing what I’d pay for dinner in a moderately priced restaurant — $27 plus tip, to be exact. For at least two decades I’ve heard from shoppers with loose purse strings about Nordstrom’s lovely third-floor restaurant, Marketplace Cafe, and its renowned tomato-basil soup, in particular.

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Dining and donating

Posted: April 14th, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, News, Top Story | No Comments

By Dave Fidlin

Before he even opened the doors to his new Hillcrest establishment, Ron Kazemaini knew he wanted to do more than serve beverages and his signature “light bites.”

“I want my business to be a part of the community,” said Kazemaini, who opened The Kouch Lounge on Fourth Avenue on April 1. “Because the community is so important to me, I think this should be a place that gives back in any way possible.”

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Foodie Flashes – April 14, 2017

Posted: April 14th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes The two-story building at the corner of Ninth and University avenues in Hillcrest that was rumored to become a Japanese restaurant has been fully leased instead to Better Buzz Coffee Roasters. The Vista-based company is currently working with designers and architects to transform the house-like structure into a full-production roasting facility and café that will feature a “ring of seating” for customers to view the roasting process, said […]

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