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Not sure how many San Diego restaurants have a real, bonafide Shepard Fairey art piece—sanctioned by the artist, famous for his propaganda art like the Obey (Andre the Giant) and Hope (Obama) series—but Shank & Bone in North Park is one of them. So technically the Vietnamese restaurant is a pretty notable art gallery. Their pho sure is some art. So…
 
This meat looks geological. Like lovely, delicious geodes. In the refrigerated case, huge racks of Brandt Beef just lay there at Ranch45—have been laying for a while (40 days, says one tag). When meat is dry-aged like this, it begins to look prehistoric and unlocks a whole new universe of flavors. Excess moisture is drawn out of the meat over time,…
 
The birria flatbread at Stone World Bistro & Gardens is one of those dishes that’s gone in minutes. On this podcast, we huddle around it. Poke at it. Demolish it with chef Israel Ortiz. It’s the kickoff of our new video series with Stone, which will highlight a few local restaurants and our favorite dishes that their cooks and chefs and food people…
 
We’ve been here for two weeks and I’d like to stay another thirty. I’ve brought my overnight bag and a note from my wife. Gonna make my case. We’re at Park Hyatt Aviara, a 200-acre resort, one of the classic San Diego properties built far above a wetland preserve in Carlsbad. The ocean is right over there. We’re sitting at a long dining table in Po…
 
This is a fun one. I’ve known Richard Blais for a long while, and we tend to bring the best stories out of each other. Like golf foraging. When most of us lose our golf balls in the bushes, we venture into the brush and come out with scrapes and a handful of profanities. When chef Richard Blais sucks at golf, he goes into the brush and comes out wi…
 
During the day, Michael Vera cooks at standout Pacific Beach restaurant, The Fishery. In his off time, he grows delicious bacteria.The words mold or fungus may not make your mouth water, but they should. They’re the gateways to fermentation, which gives us bread, coffee, miso, chocolate, beer, kimchi, wine, cheese, soy sauce, other forms of dear-go…
 
I must stop talking about the cabbage. I won’t shut up about it. So I figured if I brought chef William Eick to talk me through it, it will resolve my lingering emotional fixation on what is one of the best dishes I’ve eaten in a very long time.Eick opened Matsu about six months ago. It’s a minimalist ode to modern Japanese cuisine. He’s been a tal…
 
It is, finally, open. Almost. When Grand Ole BBQ y Asado shut down its North Park location for renovation, it was supposed to be for a couple of months. That was three years ago. In the interim, we had a pandemic. But now it’s been fully redone. It’s ready to open, soon as the last health inspections pass. This is big news because, well, Grand Ole …
 
In 2004, Jon Bautista made his mom cry. She spontaneously wept when he told the family he’d enrolled in culinary school. To be fair, in the same breath he also broke the news that he’d dropped out of the undergrad program at SDSU to do so. Parents have news thresholds, and hers was breached.“This was before Top Chef,” he says. “She just said, ‘You’…
 
I’m not sure how many stages of coping there are, but when Greg Hess told his wife and family they were moving to San Diego to start one of the first “nano breweries” in the country—I’d bet they ran through most, if not all of them. Probably added one or two. Harris’ brother, Mike, had the idea in 2010 to go even smaller than a microbrewery. Launch…
 
I’m suspended fourteen stories above San Diego Bay. I am being dangled over the edge of a cliff made of metal. I smell vaguely of quality craft beer. I am an offering to the gods of amusement. Questioning life choices, my emotional state in that jittery nook between joy and terror. Just hanging there, looking directly down, wondering how good latch…
 
Kelli Crosson bid her time, put in the work, earned this. The California native cooked alongside Jeff Jackson for 11 years at AR Valentien as his chef de cuisine (the iconic restaurant’s second in charge). Starting at The Lodge at Torrey Pines over 20 years ago, Jackson was the one of the earliest and brightest stars of San Diego’s food scene—doing…
 
As a young girl growing up on a farm in San Diego County, Lan Thai’s dad would hand her shrimp shells from that night’s dinner and tell her, “Go feed the trees.” Lan was too young to understand why, but she did. The trees grew gaudy with fruit. Years later, as she was becoming a chef and diving deeper into the nutritive and health properties of foo…
 
Why does brunch feel so good in all the right parts of your soul? It is redemptively irresponsible. It’s breakfast, if breakfast were better. If your weekend was a pinball game, brunch is that bonus ball. You’re not really sure what you did to deserve it, but it’s extending your play time, so—hey there, little bonus ball. Anyway, point is, our annu…
 
The iconic Mister A’s is being sold (don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere, and this is a good story). Last week, we talked with Bertrand Hug—the restaurateur of restaurateurs, the don of dining and longtime steward of the rooftop restaurant—about why he chose to sell to his right-hand man. Today on the podcast, we have the man himself, Ryan Thorson…
 
Atiim “Tee” Smith is now one of the promising young cooks at one of the city’s better restaurants, Cucina Enoteca. He started his kitchen career a few years ago at Water Grill, also worked at Jake’s Del Mar. It’s quite a positive development because, in 2014, he was facing 64 years to life in prison. Smith turned his own life around, a success of h…
 
Absinthe sure got pigeonholed. We are all aware that within 15 minutes of drinking it, you speak in tongues, dictating the next great American novel onto the bar napkin. Another 30 minutes, and you descend into madness. Such a mythologized spirit, the drink of long-dead poets and thinkers and ascenders and descenders. And now it has its own restaur…
 
Ted Lasso is the hero we need and America’s de facto life coach, but he needs to fix himself when it comes to tea. It is finally taking off in U.S. culture, at least partially because consumers are looking for healthier drinks and are increasingly sober-curious. Sure it took a while. Ever since they threw the king’s stash into the Boston Harbor, co…
 
Wait, what? Longtime writer and person on TV Troy Johnson and his wife Claire have become the new majority owners of San Diego Magazine. When did this happen? How did this happen? Are writers allowed to own things? In this special edition of “Happy Half Hour,” David demands some answers. He interviews Troy and Claire and asks them all the major que…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! This week’s special guest is Mike Minor, the new executive chef at The Marine Room in La Jolla. The Marine Room has been one of the city’s most iconic restaurants since its opening in 1941, and Mike will be filling the shoes of Bernard Guillas, who put his French twist on the restaurant’s seafood fare for the pa…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! This week, we’re chatting with Rachel Shemirani, senior vice president at Barons Market. Barons is a gourmet grocery store that was founded by a local family in Point Loma and has nine locations in San Diego and Riverside. Rachel's father, Joe, started the business in the early ’90s because he couldn’t find an o…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! We're excited to have chef William Bradley of Addison back on the show. In case you missed it, Addison was recently elevated from one Michelin star to two a few weeks ago, for the 2021 Michelin Guide California. We had William on the show in January, and he’s back to talk about what this latest award means for t…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! This week we’re excited to welcome Saman Javid, who is now leading the kitchen at La Jolla’s iconic George’s at the Cove. Saman is from the Bay Area, and he started his culinary career working at Fork in Marin County and B Restaurant in Oakland. He then moved to New York City, where he was sous chef at the accla…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! This week our special guest is David Contreras Curiel of Karina’s Mexican Seafood, a San Diego institution that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this week. David and his siblings are leading the family business that his parents started back in Spring Valley in 1981, and he shares with us the story of Karina’s…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! This week our special guest was requested by listeners, and we’re excited to have him on the show: Kory Stetina, owner of Kindred in South Park. Kindred is a vegan restaurant and bar with a heavy metal vibe that opened in 2015, and it's regularly been named both a critic’s and readers’ pick for Best Vegan Restau…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! We’re back after a short Labor Day break, and we’re with Justin Gaspar, the head baker at Hommage Bakehouse in Pacific Beach. Hommage, which launched last fall, is based inside La Clochette du Coin, a French bakery and café. Justin, who is from the Bay Area and worked at the acclaimed Manresa Bread (that's the b…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! We’re sorry that the audio quality this week isn’t fully up to par; David was still in the desert during recording.In case you missed it, our 2021 edition of Best Restaurants just went online, and the print edition is available in stores. On the cover this year is Rare Society, a neighborhood steakhouse from Bra…
 
Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! We are sorry, the audio quality this week isn’t fully up to par. You can blame David for being in Las Vegas for a heavy metal concert. This week our special guest is Ian Tenzer, the executive research and development chef at Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar. Ian joined the company last fall, which started in La …
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! We’re recording this episode from a premier club suite at Petco Park, thanks to this week’s sponsor, the San Diego Padres. Our special guest this week is Jaclyn Lash, the Padres’ vice president of special events. She joined the team in 2011 and oversees all events for the Padres and Petco Park, including concert…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! We’re returning from a short break and taped this episode from a premier club suite at Petco Park, thanks to this week’s sponsor, the San Diego Padres. We’re here with Eddie Quinn, vice president of partnership services for the Padres and the park’s resident beer expert, as they face off against the Miami Marlin…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! This week we’re with Emmanuel Favela and Tony Haro, founders of Hellote in Chula Vista. Hellote is a new outdoor eatery that specializes in elote, Mexican street corn, served in both traditional and nontraditional ways. Emmanuel and Tony opened Hellote last fall, and they both have backgrounds in architecture (b…
 
Happy Pride Week! Our special guest is Roanna Canete, owner of The Gluten Free Baking Company in North Park. Roanna founded the company in 2015 when her son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy and she started baking for him—that led to formally studying cooking and baking, and starting the business. The storefront opened on 30th Street in the sprin…
 
Welcome back! This week we chat with Tara Monsod, who recently took over as executive chef at Animae, the high-design Asian fusion restaurant owned by Brian Malarkey and Chris Puffer. Tara has also worked at Herringbone, Burlap, and at the acclaimed Mozza Pizzeria, and this is her first executive chef position. She recently changed Animae’s menu, a…
 
David, Marie and Troy are still at our sponsor, Home Brew Mart. Rumor has it David brought a cot and this is where he lives now. Understandable. The Linda Vista store is where the city’s first bootstrap scientists got all the ingredients, materials, recipes, rumors, and know-how to start the craft beer revolution in San Diego. It’s also home to Bal…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! We’re recording in person at Home Brew Mart by Ballast Point in Linda Vista, our sponsor for this week’s episode. Ballast Point is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and Home Brew Mart is where the company began. We’re with Colby Chandler, Ballast Point’s former vice president and speciality brewer. He’…
 
Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! This week’s special guest is Barry Robbins, founder of Milton’s Delicatessen Restaurant in Del Mar. The New York–style deli is famous for its Reuben, matzo ball soup, homemade desserts, and breads; and it’s celebrating its 27th anniversary this year. You’ve most likely seen Milton’s multigrain bread and line of …
 
Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! This week we have two special guests, Jamie and Marie Brawn, owners of Homestead Solana Beach. The business—which served locally-sourced gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan food—was inspired by the duo’s own home cooking for their sons who both have food allergies. But like many, the pandemic forced them to switch ge…
 
Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! This week's special guest is Beth Demmon, a freelance writer and journalist who specializes in craft beer. Beth started writing about craft beer in 2015 and has been an advocate for diversity in the industry: She founded the Diverse Beer Writers Initiative and is a member of the North American Guild of Beer Writers.…
 
This week’s special guest is Dannika Underhill, a bartender at Kindred in South Park. Dannika has been in the restaurant industry for over 15 years. She's a graduate of Seattle Culinary Academy, and she's worked in both the front and back of house, behind the bar, and as a restaurant operations manager. Two weeks ago, we had Dario Gallo, owner of C…
 
Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! This week's special guest is Gustavo Tonella of Doggos Gus in Imperial Beach. Gustavo started his catering company in 2010, serving up Sonoran-style bacon-wrapped hot dogs in brioche buns. Then in 2019, he opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant right across from the IB pier, and introduced micheladas and White Claws t…
 
Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! Today’s special guest is Dario Gallo, owner of Civico 1845 in Little Italy and Civico by the Park in Bankers Hill. Dario was born and raised in Cosenza, Italy, and after graduating with an economics and business administration degree, he moved to the US with his brother, Pietro. They opened their first restaurant, C…
 
Today we have a very special guest, chef Eric Greenspan. Eric has over 20 years of experience in the culinary world, having worked with chefs such as Alain Ducasse and Rocco DiSpirito, and apprenticing at the three-Michelin-star El Bulli in Spain. He was executive chef at several successful restaurants in LA, including Patina, The Foundry, and Maré…
 
Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! Today’s special guest is Sabrina Medora, food writer and founder of Un-Plated, a national multimedia platform that celebrates the little-known stories and unsung heroes of the restaurant industry. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast,The Kitchn, and Food & Wine, andshe has produced events with the James Beard Fo…
 
Today’s special guest is chef Travis Swikard, whom we last had on the show in March 2020. Travis is a San Diego native who spent ten years working with acclaimed French chef Daniel Boulud in New York City, and moved back to San Diego to open Callie, his first solo restaurant. The pandemic delayed his original plan to open Callie last summer. We che…
 
Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! We have a special treat for our listeners this week: Joining us on the show is Wil Myers! The San Diego Padres are the most exciting team to watch in Major League Baseball right now, and they just made history last week with their first no-hitter. Wil has been a familiar face in the Petco Park outfield since he join…
 
Today’s special guest is Keith Rolle, founder and winemaker of Gianni Buonomo Vintners in Ocean Beach. A little over a week ago, Gianni Buonomo won several awards at the 2021 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Keith moved to OB in 1997 and was running another business before switching gears at age 47. He went back to school to study viticult…
 
Today’s special guest is Kaci Goff, chef and owner of contemporary Malaysian pop-up restaurant Wolf and Woman. While serving Malaysian Tamil cuisine like penang laksa noodles and garam masala lamb shank, Kaci is also planning on launching a commissary kitchen in Vista at the end of April. This weekend, she’s selling dessert boxes that can be preord…
 
This week’s special guest is Emily Green, owner of Sisters Pizza in Hillcrest. Since 2019, Sisters Pizza has been serving up New York– and New Jersey–style pizza whole and by the slice, along with other Italian dishes from family recipes. Emily opened the business in loving memory of her older sister, Kate, and she regularly gives back to the commu…
 
Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! This week’s special guest is Megan Stone, media coordinator at Societe Brewing Company in Clairemont, who was recently named the first-ever Woman of the Year by the Craft Beer Marketing Awards. Megan, whose pronouns are both she/her and they/them, is a member of the San Diego Brewers Guild Inclusion Committee and so…
 
Welcome back to Happy Half Hour! This episode was sponsored by Ballast Point, and two special guests from the brewing company joined us this week: Aaron Justus, director of R&D and specialty brewing, and Jeff Lozano, specialty brewer and manager. This year, the company is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a pioneer in the craft beer industry, and…
 
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