So far this year’s autumn season has been anything but normal. You’d swear it was the peak of summer during last week’s span of 95-degree days. And trust me, we are not complaining. But there is one tiny problem with having swimsuit-weather in mid-November: summer diets are impossible to keep-up when new irresistible restaurants are opening every day. Let’s just say, following weeks of research, the new fall coat I’m rocking right now is not fit for the runway.
If we got one thing right this fall it is the annual addition of hot new San Diego restaurants. As to be expected, with the advent of autumn comes a menu of must-try foodie favorites, including EDEN in Hillcrest, Flavor Del Mar, URBN in North Park, Aquamoree in La Jolla, Bo-Beau in Ocean Beach and Mint Thai in downtown San Diego.
And as you know, the San Diego dining scene is never complete without a jam-packed calendar of creative culinary events. As San Diego Beer Week continues to keep we oh-so-supportive locals busy with buzz-worthy events and tastings, we anticipate the arrival of the 7th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. But don’t fill up all at once, the most delicious of holiday celebrations is upon us this month, and San Diego restaurants are going all out to make sure this year’s feast is the best yet. Is your stomach ready for this?
Discover what’s new this fall season in the San Diego dining scene.
EDEN in Hillcrest: EDEN is the fresh new club and restaurant from Scotty Wagner of ChileCo and David Laurent of NightlifeSD and Side Bar. These two industry pros bring are returning to the simple, natural basics when breathing new life into this 15,000-square-foot entertainment complex. As we wait for the club’s grand opening, it’s time to fill up on the restaurant’s tempting treats. Surrounded by candle light, bamboo floors, antique mismatched mirrors and organic greenery, prepare to discover paradise found in the form of Chef Scotty Wagner’s incredible new menu. Some of our favs include Bangkok Halibut – banana leaf wrapped halibut, Thai basil-coconut creme, re-fried burmese red rice, pea shoot sutra; and A Cuban Conquest – garam masala pork medallions, roasted red pepper sofrito, caramelized plantain hash, tomatillo. Read more details here. (pictured)
Flavor Del Mar: Attention please: we finally have a worthy reason to once again travel up the 5 and it’s San Diego’s hottest new restaurant now open at the Plaza: Flavor Del Mar. Breathing new life into the classic Del Mar Plaza, Flavor was envisioned by Ocio Design Group to reflect Del Mar’s surroundings with a mixture of organic textures, soothing earth tones and natural light. Two of our favorite dishes include Grilled Day Boat Scallops with sake steamed baby bok choy, pickled papaya relish and Thai chili-tangerine vinaigrette; and Braised Prime Beef Short Ribs with whipped yukon gold potatoes, chino farms baby vegetables and maytag bleu cheese. Read more details here.
URBN in North Park: From the menu to the interior design, less is always so much more at Jon Mangini’s celebrated spread of San Diego restaurants, including BASIC in East Village and URBN in Vista. With the success of the Vista URBN underway, Mangini launched the newest and most stylish URBN in the equally artsy North Park neighborhood in October 2010. Featuring the signature industrial feel with cement floors and exposed elements, the 5,000 –sq-ft URBN boasts conversation-starting old conveyor belts, factory lights, retractable garage doors that open to the street and low level lighting. URBN is known for straight up, coal fired, thin crust New Haven style pie. Also on the menu is a selection of meat and cheese boards, salads, and craft pies. If you’re too lazy to make your own pie, trust the URBN pros and opt for one of the craft varieties, such as Sausage & Peppers with tomato, gorgonzola stuffed cherry peppers and fresh mozzarella; Mashed Potato with pancetta, fresh mozzarella and parmesan; or Vegan with tomato, fresh arugula, red onion, mushroom and artichoke heart. Read more details here.
Aquamoree in La Jolla: In the space temporarily occupied by Puerto Vallarta-based Grupo La Palapa’s first U.S. restaurant Tikul is now Aquamoreé by Owner and Chef Brandon Fortune. Although we’re sad to see Tikul leave so soon, we think Southern flair may be just what La Jolla needs. The new Aquamoreé in La Jolla features soulful Southern cuisine enhanced with a dash of SoCal spice, served as Tapas-style small plates to share. Dinner Tapas range from Southern Fried Chicken Tenders with jalapeño cabbage slaw and spicy peach mole; to Papa's Catfish with flash fried catfish fingers, cabbage slaw, lemon dill cream and honey cornbread cake; and Bourbon n' Peach Glazed Roasted Pork Loin with black eyed pea cassoulet, braised cippolini onions, house made apple sauce and crushed Georgia pecans. Read more details here.
Bo-Beau in Ocean Beach: In the space formerly known as Thee Bungalow, Bo-Beau Kitchen & Bar is the newest culinary baby of the Cohn Restaurant Group. Bo-Beau is said to be a unique fusion of Mediterranean and American cuisine layered with flavors from the south of France. Relax in one of the quaint dining rooms, enjoy conversation in the vibrant bar or sit by the patio fire while enjoying the warmth of old world décor and the neighborhood charm of Ocean Beach. Read more details here.
Mint Thai in San Diego: There are never enough affordable downtown restaurants! Mint Thai is the latest dining staple to grace Fourth Avenue, centrally located next to Horton Plaza Mall, boasting sleek and cozy interior décor and spicy and savory authentic Thai dishes. For your extra-spicy entrée, we recommend Drunken Noodles – flat noodles stir fried with basil, green and red peppers and egg; Curry Fried Rice – stir fried rice with curry powder, raisins, peas, carrots, onions, garlic and egg, served with a cucumber chutney; Hot Basil Stir Fry with Roast Duck or Scallops – stir fried basil leave with bell peppers, onions, zucchini, carrots and garlic. Read more details here.
San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival: Running five days from November 17th-21st, a wave of epicureans will be taking over America's Finest City for an experience your tastebuds will never forget at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. Feed your foodie spirit with samples from 70 San Diego restaurants and take in the aroma from countless artfully crafted dishes from award-winning restaurants such as Acqua Al 2, Indigo Grill, El Vitral, Harney Sushi, Suite & Tender, Nobu, Vela, Oceanaire Seafood Room and many more. Then swish, swirl and clink your way through over 800 of the best wineries, spirits purveyors, and breweries in the industry. Read more details here.
Thanksgiving Dining Guide: From new hot spot Bo-Beau Kitchen & Bar in Point Loma to the chic and sophisticated Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe and the forever festive Prado at Balboa Park, San Diego restaurants are going all-out to make sure your holiday feast is the best yet. Just imagine: Homemade Pumpkin Ravioli, Lavender Crusted Pork Prime Rib, Oven Roast Free Range Turkey and Caramel Pumpkin Flan. All of this can be yours on Thursday, November 25th if you follow our holiday dining guide. Read more details here.
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