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Restaurant Reviews

Indoor street food

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

I’ve never been to Thailand, but everyone I know who has traveled there raves about the street food, insisting it’s foolproof in terms of flavor and price.

Enter J&T Thai Street Food in Linda Vista. A friend of mine feels the fast-casual eatery encapsulates the basic soul of dishes he buys often from vendors lining the roads of Bangkok — clean, tasty and affordable.

Holy bulgogi!

Posted: December 9th, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Stories | 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.

‘Top Chef’ in the house

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

By Frank Sabatini Jr. In various team matches on season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” she cooked for a mass gay wedding; caused a solar oven tube to explode when adding water to it; and endured grueling hours taping other kitchen showdowns in cities throughout California. Then, during an elimination round in the fifth episode, […]

Around the world in 90 minutes

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

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 […]

Seafood yearnings

Posted: September 9th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review The annual Maine “lobster festival” at King’s Fish House had sadly ended by the time I could no longer endure seeing yet another unrelated television commercial showing beads of fresh lemon juice bouncing off shellfish in captivating slow motion. So instead of succumbing to those compelling ads for Red Lobster, […]

A taste of Indonesia

Posted: July 8th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. The widely rooted concept of a “gastropub” has arrived to Mission Valley, in a tucked-away segment of Camino del Rio South that dead-ends at TGI Fridays. Situated at the base of a low-rise office building, the Mission Valley Gastropub is the re-branded version of Bali Thai Café under the same ownership. […]

Pass the feijoada

Posted: March 11th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Despite the suggestion of a waterfront location, there is no bay in sight at Brazil by the Bay. What you see instead while savoring dishes that are as common to Brazilians as meatloaf is to Americans, are low-rise industrial structures and the rear parking lot of the Valley View Casino Center. […]

A meat smoker, Dalmatian and expert chef team

Posted: February 12th, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Stories | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Amid copious flora, quirky statuary, and a layer cake of architectural styles spanning 63 years across 32 acres of the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center is Charlie’s, a hidden gem to locals on the hunt for solid barbecue. But the clock is slowly ticking before it becomes history.

Situated in a Googie-style building fronted by a redbrick courtyard, hotel guests may not even find the restaurant so easily without meandering to the far eastern end of the property, past vine-covered gazebos and along narrow pathways lined with roses and greenery.

What they eat

Chefs, restaurateurs share their dining preferences By Frank Sabatini Jr. Forget the notion that chefs and restaurateurs who work 60-plus hours a week never have time to indulge in San Diego’s teeming culinary scene. Though perhaps not as frequently as the people they feed, and rarely on weekend nights, it’s practically an industry requirement they […]