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Food & Drink

San Diego’s big Persian buffet

Posted: February 17th, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

As with most commercial buffets, the food is mediocre, if not lousy, and I invariably get caught in line between a slowpoke in front of me and an aggressive raven breathing down my neck from behind.

In comparison, my recent experience at the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet at Sufi Mediterranean Cuisine revealed some winning dishes, and without any jam-ups or arms reaching over mine as I thrice sailed down the tread.

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Foodie Flashes

Posted: January 20th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Accomplished chef Claudette Wilkins has been hired to oversee research and development for the Rise & Shine Restaurant Group, which operates multiple locations of Fig Tree Café and Breakfast Republic. She will eventually helm the kitchen of the group’s upcoming El Jardin, a concept spotlighting modern and traditional Mexican cuisine that’s due to open early next year in Liberty Station.

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A tribute to Kensington’s ‘play caves’

Posted: January 20th, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

The story behind The Haven Pizzeria’s name is a strange one.

For those unfamiliar with the existence of a maze of caves residing some 70 feet beneath a nearby home, a visit to the restaurant’s gender-neutral restroom provides a couple photos of the tunnels that once attracted neighborhood kids and their elders with ping pong tables, a slide connecting one cave room to another, and a refrigerator stocked with sodas.

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Foodie Flashes – Jan. 6, 2017

Posted: January 6th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Concept Two Seven Eight, the new Hillcrest restaurant named after owner Jessica Fisher’s past apartment number in New York when she worked there as a pastry chef, is officially open for nightly dinner service. It replaces the former Tractor Room.

Chef de Cuisine Rachel Synder describes the menu concept as “New American cuisine,” which features pasta, slow-cooked chicken and dishes using locally sourced veggies. The offerings, she adds, will further expand, and weekend brunch will be introduced in mid-February. In addition, a full bar and cocktail program is in place.

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Big bowls of richness

Posted: January 6th, 2017 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Winter is for ramen. Particularly tonkotsu-style ramen, which translates to a strikingly unctuous broth laced warmly with the marrow, collagen and fat of pork bones.

The craze for this creamy Japanese soup is best enjoyed at any of five locations bearing the name Tajima, which sprung onto the scene 16 years ago in Kearny Mesa before noodling through Hillcrest, the East Village, a second Kearny Mesa outlet, and most recently, North Park.

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Dippity do dah day

Posted: December 23rd, 2016 | Food & Drink, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

They are the backbone of casual gatherings, the elements of style at fancy soirees, and a test of etiquette should temptation steer your index finger toward the bowl when nobody’s looking. Yes, we’re talking about party dips while keeping in mind a fast-approaching New Year’s Eve and the 2017 Super Bowl (Feb. 5).

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Indoor street food

Posted: December 23rd, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. I’ve never been to Thailand, but everyone I know who has traveled there raves about the street food, insisting it’s foolproof in terms of flavor and price. Enter J&T Thai Street Food in Linda Vista. A friend of mine feels the fast-casual eatery encapsulates the basic soul of dishes he buys often from vendors lining the roads of Bangkok — clean, tasty and affordable.

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Holy bulgogi!

Posted: November 25th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Ask any staffer at 356 Korean BBQ & Bar what the three-digit number in the restaurant’s name signifies, and you’ll be told in rehearsed fashion that it’s “the right temperature for cooking” — in degrees Fahrenheit, of course. Then, likely before you finish reading the menu, a parade of side dishes and dipping sauces arrive, encircling the grill built into the middle of your table.

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Foodie Flashes Nov. 25, 2016

Posted: November 25th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Winemaker Emily Bloom asks, “Why should grapes have all the fun?” when citing seven different alternative-fruit wines available for the current soft opening of California Fruit Wine Company’s new tasting room in Hillcrest. The company’s production facility was established several years ago in Carlsbad by siblings Alan and Brian Haghighi for crafting vinos made with pineapples, mangos, pomegranates and cherries. Cranberries have entered into the equation for a seasonal wine that’s […]

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