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Dining Out in San Diego: Feb. 16, 2018

Posted: February 16th, 2018 | Dining Out, Featured, Food & Drink | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Mission Valley’s foodscape is making room for yet another burger chain with the San Diego debut of Little Big Burger, which will open in the next month within a 2-mile radius of The Habit, In-N-Out Burger, Fuddruckers and the new Shake Shack.

The fast-casual eatery was founded eight years ago in Portland, Oregon, and specializes in quarter-pound burgers made with meat from Cascade Natural Beef. They can be topped with a chevre, bleu, cheddar or Swiss cheeses.

This “Little Big Burger” is soon headed to San Diego. (Yelp)

The concise menu extends to a signature veggie burger, truffle fries and root beer floats. Craft beer and ciders will likely be available as well. The outlet moves into the space formerly occupied by Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in the Park Valley Center shopping plaza. 1620 C Camino De La Reina,


San Diego’s options for 24/7 dining recently grew slimmer with the change of hours implemented at Studio Diner in Kearny Mesa. A manager at the Hollywood-themed eatery told us that owner Stu Segall and his son, Cory, “took financial aspects into account” when deciding to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily in lieu of 24 hours. The menu remains the same, which since the diner’s opening in 2003 has been serving classic American fare with West Coast twists for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 4701 Ruffin Road, 858-715-6400.

Studio Diner is no longer a 24-hour restaurant. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


Tacos Perla is out and The Taco Stand is in. The new arrival to the North Park space brings its famous rotisserie pork, flame-grilled carne asada and corn tortillas made to order. The menu also includes loaded fries, Mexican corn on the cob and breakfast burritos. Draft beer is available as well.

(Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

This marks the fourth San Diego location of the Tijuana-inspired eatery, which is owned by locally based Showa Hospitality. 3000 Upas St., 619-795-8797,


The recently shuttered Whistling Duck Tavern in the HUB Hillcrest Market will make way for Nishiki Ramen, which operates a location in Kearny Mesa (8055 Armour St.) with customer lines often extending out the door. The eatery was founded in 2015 by Tokyo-born chefs Jimmy Kitayama and Mike Furuichi, both lauded for their house-made noodles and veggie and meat broths.

Kearny Mesa’s popular Nashiki Ramen is branching into Hillcrest. (Yelp)

“They’re a proven concept with an excellent product,” said Steve Hargrade of Regency Centers, which owns the HUB.

The 2,082-square-foot space will undergo a redo to the dining area and take on new kitchen equipment for an expected May opening. 1040 University Ave.,

— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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