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WORLD FARE: A different kind of Chinese at Xian Kitchen

Posted on July 1, 2015 by a

Local flavored pork

You know it’s a different kind of Chinese restaurant when there’s no rice on the menu. And Xian Kitchen (4690 Convoy St.) in the Convoy District is definitely that: a very different kind of Chinese restaurant. Thick and wide hand-pulled noodles? Absolutely. Rice? Not a grain.

Read more at: http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-14329-a-different-kind-of-chinese-at-xian-kitchen.html

WORLD FARE: Heavenly poutine at Mess Royale

Posted on June 24, 2015 by a

Super Mario poutine

Montreal is not frequently mentioned in discussions of great food cities. That’s odd, considering its French heritage, and the fact one of its restaurants (Joe Beef) was recently named among the world’s 100 best. Perhaps one reason for the lack of respect is Montreal’s most famed culinary contribution to the world, poutine, loosely translates from Acadian French as “mess.”

Poutine’s possibly apocryphal tale of origin has a customer asking Québécois restaurateur, Fernand Lachance, to put cheese curds on his French fries. Lachance, in true Gallic fashion, responded “ça va faire une maudite poutine” (it will make a damn mess). He may have been right, but it tasted good enough that the dish became a legend and his descriptor  stuck.  It is Lachance’s fine mess that gives Mess Royale (142 University Ave.) in Hillcrest its name.

Read more at:  http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-14302-heavenly-poutine-at-mess-royale.html

WORLD FARE: Popotla — A Baja seafood wonderland

Posted on June 17, 2015 by a

Pescado Zarandeado

Popotla isn’t a restaurant. It’s a fishing village, a beach and a bit of a tourist trap clinging to the Baja shoreline behind a decrepit arch. It is one of northern Baja’s best-kept secrets. Approaching Popotla, a handful of kilometers south of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, you could be forgiven for focusing on the Black Pearl (a ship from the Pirates of the Carribean movie) sitting on the Baja Studios lot at the water’s edge. But that’s not the good stuff.

Read more at:  http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-14280-popotla-a-baja-seafood-wonderland.html

KOSHER CHINESE: its not just for Christmas — Kung Pao Chicken | Cashews | Greens

Posted on June 16, 2015 by a

Kung Pao Chicken | Cashews | Greens

It was the day myth became recognized as reality: June 29, 2010. Senator Lindsay Graham asked Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan during her Confirmation hearings where she had been on Christmas day. Kagan responded: “Like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant.” New York Senator Chuck Schumer volunteered: “If I might, no other restaurants are open!” While Schumer’s comment may have seemed more helpful than it actually was Kagan’s confirmed what Jews and Chinese–certainly Chinese restaurant owners–had long known.

Read more at:  http://www.lchaimmagazine.com/feature/badass-kosher-2/

NEWS: Gustaf Anders Rooth and Barrel Smoker Dinner Series II

Posted on June 15, 2015 by a


Saturday Night Live once famously gagged that fictional product “Shimmer” was both a floor wax and a dessert topping:  it outlasted every other leading floor wax…and was delicious too.  Shimmer, of course, did not exist.  Gustaf Anders Rooth, on the other hand does.

Gustaf Anders Rooth

He is an artist. He is a Chef. He is both a Chef and an artist. And did someone mention that he’s also an inventor?  And at the heart of Rooth’s Barrel Smoker Dinner Series are several examples of Rooth’s barrel smokers:  wine barrels repurposed as smokers.


The next event in the series is June 18th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Planet Rooth Studios at 3334 5th Avenue in San Diego.  Helming the Barrel Smokers will be three of Baja California’s greatest chefs:  Drew Deckman, Ryan Steyn and Karla Navarro.


Normally, the opportunity to dine on the food of Chefs this talented would be the reason not to miss such a dinner.  Monte Xanic wines would be reason enough in and of themselves.


But then there’s this:  Gustaf Anders Rooth. Artist. Chef. Inventor. Performer. Floor wax. Dessert topping. Force of nature.

WORLD FARE: Ramen on a tightrope at Tajima

Posted on June 10, 2015 by a

Tonkotsu Ramen

Ramen—good ramen, real ramen (as opposed to late night college drinking fuel)—is all about balance. It’s a wonderful broth, sometimes deeply extracted, sometimes delicate. It’s rich, toothsome alkaline noodles. And it’s a careful selection of tasty meat and vegetable garnishes. It is all of these in a single, synergistic and peaceful world (all in a bowl) with each working together to create a tasty whole. And it is perfectly acceptable to slurp.

Some of the best ramen houses in San Diego focus on the tonkotsu style, and Tajima Hillcrest (3739 6th Ave., Suite B, with two additional locations in the Convoy District) is definitely one of these….

Read more at: http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-14259-ramen-on-a-tightrope-at-tajima.html

WORLD FARE: Foodgarden Market: where culinary worlds collide

Posted on June 3, 2015 by a

Tostada de Cauliflor Adobado

This article began its life as a pissing contest on Facebook. What started as a thread in which writer/blogger/TV personality Bill Esparza criticized the level of analysis in Thrillist.com‘s article on the 16 best street-food cities in the world became a debate about what constitutes “street food.” 

Esparza: If it’s not on the street, it can’t be street food. 

Gardiner: If it’s street food at heart, it’s street food anywhere. 

It’s a debate that comes into sharper focus with the opening of the Foodgarden Market at the east end of the Plaza Rio shopping center (Boulevard Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada in Tijuana’s Zona Rio district).

Read more at:  http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-14236-foodgarden-market-where-culinary-worlds-collide.html

WORLD FARE: There’s no “con-fusion at Myung In Dumplings

Posted on May 28, 2015 by a

Small steamed dumplings with pork and shrimp 2

It’s easy to rip on “fusion” cuisine. For every Wolfgang Puck, Ming Tsai or Jean-George Vongerichten there are dozens of chefs who lack the skill and grounding to use the genre’s freedoms wisely. Instead, they take fusion as a license to commit innumerable, unspeakable and inedible culinary crimes. Fusion, though, can be organic. National cuisines aren’t immutable, and as people bump up against each other their foodstuffs tend to fuse. Creole cuisine is one example; Southwestern another.

And so it was with Yu Jin, the owner of Myung In Dumplings…

Read more at:  http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-14214-theres-no-con-fusion-at-myung-in-dumplings.html


Posted on May 27, 2015 by a

Eduordo delivers the check

It’s a ritual restaurant diners experience regularly: The bill arrives and it’s time to calculate the tip. But how? Should it be 10, 15 or 20 percent? And a percentage on what: Before or after tax? What about wine?

Yet restaurant diners could soon experience this conundrum less frequently.

 Read more at:  http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-14222-just-the-tip.html

NEWS: Barrel Smoker Dinner Series 1

Posted on May 21, 2015 by a


There are six tickets left for tonights dinner — the first in Gustav Anders Rooth’s Barrel Smoker Dinner Series — featuring chefs Javier Plascencia, Flor Franco and Ricardo Heredia.  And if that were not enough reason to go, and from my perspective it is, a complementary bottle of wine from Baha Wine + Food impresario, Fernando Gaxiola certainly is.

See you there.