Dining Out in San Diego: April 20, 2018

Posted: April 20th, 2018 | Dining Out, Featured, Food & Drink | No Comments

April 28 will mark the second year for the Taste of Liberty Station event, which will combine music and art with food and drinks from 5 to 9 p.m. in the iconic formal Naval base. Among the restaurants that will dole out samples throughout the historic grounds are Dirty Birds, Solare, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Olala Crepes, Soda & Swine, Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria, and more. The cost is $30.

Yellow fin tuna tartare in cones from Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens at last year’s Taste of Liberty Station (Photo courtesy of Maria Pablo)


Joining the crop of vegan establishments that have sprouted up in San Diego over the last several months, such as Anthem in North Park, O.B. Garden Cafe in Ocean Beach, Starry Lane Bakery in Hillcrest, and Donna Jean in Bankers Hill, is Soulshine in Mission Beach.

A variety of internationally inspired vegan dishes await at Soulshine (Photo by Amalia Huffman)

The newcomer offers plant-based takes on Indian, Asian, Mediterranean and American dishes. Heading the kitchen is Mike Feil, an Alpine native who attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked at restaurants in San Francisco, Idaho and Maui. He was also a chef at Casa de Luz in North Park and Trilogy in La Jolla.

The restaurant was launched recently by Amalia Huffman. She also owns the nearby Barefoot Bakery (3852 Mission Blvd.), which sells vegan, organic and gluten-free items such as scones, muffins and biscuits. Beginning in about a month, her bakery will also sell cakes by advance order. 3864 Mission Blvd., 858-886-7252,


Spring is for vegans at True Food Kitchen. (Photo courtesy of Raluca State)

One of San Diego’s most ambitious spring menus rolls out each year at True Food Kitchen, the national chain known for promoting Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. With locations in Fashion Valley Mall and University Town Center, the new, seasonal offerings are available from April 11 to July 10.

Highlights in this year’s lineup include miso-glazed eggplant with tahini yogurt and black walnut pesto; asparagus toast with roasted onions, mint, lemon and hemp seeds; and artichoke-pesto pizza with vegan ricotta made from almonds. Several new cocktails and “refreshers” are also in the offing. 7007 Friars Road and 4303 La Jolla Village Drive,


This year’s food theme at the San Diego County Fair is centered on unicorns (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Culinary vendors for this year’s San Diego County Fair (June 1 through July 4) have been asked to create “unicorn food” to tie in to this year’s fair theme: “How Sweet It Is.”

According to the fair’s public information officer, Annie Pierce, dishes on tap so far include rainbow grilled-cheese sandwiches; unicorn cotton candy ice cream sandwiches; and unicorn “crack” fries with caramel drizzle, sea salt, Fruity Pebbles and Pop Rocks. Also in the pipeline are unicorn beef sundaes and unicorn burgers. Their specs, however, remain a mystery.

Pierce adds that fair-goers can expect all of the outrageous, fried foods as well, although a list of those items won’t be finalized until sometime next month. The annual fair is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858-755-1161,


The San Diego LGBT Community Center’s 12th annual Dining Out for Life is April 26. Restaurants, bars and coffeehouses taking part donate between 25 and 100 percent of their day’s profits to The Center’s HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs.

This year’s participants — about 75 in total — stretch from Downtown to Oceanside. They include: Cowboy Star (lunch and dinner); Hundred Proof (any meal); The Mission (breakfast and lunch); Babycakes (breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and cocktails); Gossip Grill (any meal); Blind Lady Alehouse (dinner); The Wine Pub (dinner); Kensington Cafe (breakfast, lunch and dinner); Hello Betty Fish House (lunch, dinner and cocktails); Burger Lounge in Hillcrest, Kensington and La Jolla (lunch and dinner); and more.


Take a break from pingpong, cornhole and other recreational activities with meats grilled by Chef Hanis Cavin during his Carnitas Snack Shack game day.

Chef Hanis Cavin presents games and meat in North Park (Courtesy of Carnitas Snack Shack)

The event will be held from 3 to 7 p.m., April 21, at the North Park location. It will feature a host of games in the eatery’s back patio, where Cavin will cook from an outdoor grill and smoker. Customers can place their food orders at a nearby table rather than the walk-up window. The meals will feature a main protein plus a couple of side dishes for an average price of $10. Wine and craft beer will also be available. 2632 University Ave., 619-294-7675,


The quaint, new Olala Crepes in the Gaslamp Quarter has taken root with plans of adding a patio for additional seating in the near future, according to manager Sarah Kieffer. The cafe, which seats about 15 people, is owned by southern France transplants Samuel Icyk and his wife, Lucile Paolin. They originally launched the business in Point Loma’s Liberty Public Market just over a year ago and still maintain that location. Their menu Downtown, however, offers a couple more crepe options in addition to brioche glace, which is toasted brioche stuffed with ice cream, which they source from Moo Time Creamery in Coronado.

This ‘a la folie’ crepe with strawberries, bananas and Nutella is available at a new Downtown crepery. (Courtesy of Olala Crepes)

The crepe recipes hail from Icyk’s grandmother and they’re made with buckwheat flour imported from France. 453 Fifth Ave., 619-230-5700,

— Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at

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