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Foodie Flashes: Feb. 2, 2018

Posted: February 2nd, 2018 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes

San Diego’s options for 24/7 dining recently grew slimmer with the change of hours implemented at Studio Diner in Kearny Mesa. A manager at the Hollywood-themed eatery told us that owner Stu Segall and his son, Cory, “took financial aspects into account” when deciding to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily in lieu of 24 hours. The menu remains the same, which since the diner’s opening in 2003 has been serving classic American fare with West Coast twists for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 4701 Ruffin Road, 858-715-6400, studiodiner.com.

Studio Diner is no longer a 24-hour restaurant. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

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The Friendly sprung onto the North Park scene this month with a bill of fare that spans from pizzas to foie gras.

“We’re more than just a pizza joint because we do cool things with daily specials,” said Mario Maruca, who runs Caliano food truck and opened The Friendly with business partner and culinary adviser Brandon Zanabich.

Staffers at The Friendly strike a pose in celebration of the eatery’s recent opening. (Courtesy The Friendly)

In addition to pizza and burgers, ingredients such as foie gras, quail eggs, black truffles and fresh produce arrive to the kitchen for gourmet specials that change daily. The eatery offers indoor seating and features an open kitchen and dining counter. A beer and wine license is in the pipeline and a website is still in the works. 4592 30th St., 619-892-7840.

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The address that has seen a fleeting number of eateries pass through and last housed Crave Grill at 3825 Fifth Ave., recently became home to Vancouver Wings, a burgeoning chain that first launched in Guadalajara several years ago. With nearly 80 locations throughout Mexico, this is the company’s first U.S. presence.

Aside from chicken wings available in a variety of sauces, the eatery also serves poutine, nachos, burgers, and domestic and Mexican beer on tap. But good luck placing pick-up orders because the staff rarely answers the phone and the franchisee has been oddly reluctant to publicize the phone number on websites such as Yelp. In addition, their website isn’t in English. 619-770-1883, vancouverwings.com.

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Mission Valley’s foodscape is making room for yet another burger chain with the San Diego debut of Little Big Burger, which will open in the next month within a 2-mile radius of The Habit, In-N-Out Burger, Fuddruckers and the new Shake Shack.

This “Little Big Burger” is soon headed to San Diego. (Yelp)

The fast-casual eatery was founded eight years ago in Portland, Oregon, and specializes in quarter-pound burgers made with meat from Cascade Natural Beef. They can be topped with a chevre, bleu, cheddar or Swiss cheeses.

The concise menu extends to a signature veggie burger, truffle fries and root beer floats. Craft beer and ciders will likely be available as well. The outlet moves into the space formerly occupied by Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in the Park Valley Center shopping plaza. 1620 C Camino De La Reina, littlebigburger.com.

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Tacos Perla is out and The Taco Stand is in. The new arrival to the North Park space brings its famous rotisserie pork, flame-grilled carne asada and corn tortillas made to order. The menu also includes loaded fries, Mexican corn on the cob and breakfast burritos. Draft beer is available as well.

(l to r) A Baja fish taco and al pastor taco from The Taco Stand (Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

This marks the fourth San Diego location of the Tijuana-inspired eatery, which is owned by locally based Showa Hospitality. 3000 Upas St., 619-795-8797, letstaco.com.

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.rr.com.

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