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Food & Drink

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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Fried foods, be gone

Posted: November 11th, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

We initially delved into house-made potato chips, Buffalo-style chicken wings and shrimp ceviche stacked on a trio of delectably crisped corn tortillas — foods you’d expect from everyday restaurants that make no apologies for weaving a little grease into your meal. Yet at the new Drift eat + drink, there isn’t a deep fryer to be found, which is exactly what the kitchen intended.

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Attention to detail

Posted: October 28th, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | 4 Comments

Table tips and revelations from Mister A’s longtime maitre’d

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Fine-dining etiquette allows you to eat lamb chops and bone-in chicken pieces with your hands. But grabbing a wine glass by the globe instead of its stem is gauche, with or without messy fingers.

Jerry Capozzelli knows every rule in the book when it comes to dining manners. As a longtime maitre’d at Mister A’s, he is also a master at pampering customers from the moment they set foot into the 12th-floor penthouse restaurant, regardless if they can’t figure out whether to reach to the left or the right for their bread plates once they’re seated.

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Carb boosters from an established taco shop

Posted: October 28th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Yes, there are potatoes at Papas & Tacos Mexican Food, but not to the degree you might expect considering the Spanish word for the starchy vegetable (papas) sits at the lead of the eatery’s full name. Though if you can settle for plump and crunchy potato tacos, or soothing chicken soup fortified with tender, cubed russets, you’ve come to the right address.

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Foodie Flashes Oct. 28, 2016

Posted: October 28th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. The owners of The Waterfront Bar & Grill in Little Italy — Chad Cline and Jason Nichols — have opened Banzai Bar in Loma Portal. According to manager Chris Ninteman, “We’re the only establishment in town that can show live home games of the San Diego Gulls.”

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Semolina soul

Posted: October 14th, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. What do you call a place that isn’t really a full-fledged Italian restaurant, but puts house-made pastas at the core of its menu? The answer: Cucina Sorella, which marks the third incarnation of a prime Kensington address that started more than 20 years ago as Kensington Grill and later operated as Fish Public for a brief time. Sorella is the sisterly offshoot of Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill and a series […]

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Foodie Flashes Sept. 30, 2016

Posted: September 30th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. The kitchen is up and running at North Park Beer Co., which formed a recent partnership with Mastiff Sausage Company to oversee food operations. Mastiff’s beer-friendly menu includes oxtail French onion soup, Scotch eggs, sausage tacos, and lamb stew made with the beer company’s signature stout.

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Around the world in 90 minutes  

Posted: September 30th, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

French onion soup, typically a precursor to beef bourguignon or coq au vin, was our gateway to the cuisine of several countries far removed from the hexagon nation. Not since visiting Hanna’s Gourmet in Normal Heights have I witnessed a menu so globally ambitious and well executed than what exists at Red Card Café.

The restaurant is nestled within a row of home-design businesses along the northern end of Morena Boulevard, in a modest, industrial structure previously occupied by Kitchen 4140. Owner and Parisian native, Caroline Sternberg, gave it a chic redo that resulted in clean lines and a gray-and-red color scheme that feels exceptionally calming. She also re-stylized the bar, which is now rigged with 14 beer taps.

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