San Diego Magazine’s Best-Of SD issue has a ton of intel, including a round-up of the best restaurants of 2012. If you keep flipping to the South Bay section, you’ll see my top 10 places to Eat Your Way Around South Bay, including everything from fro-yo to fusion fare, like MJ’s Yogurt Time and Deli in Chula Vista, where you can get a heaping plate of fries and meat, topped with cheese, creamy sauces, and two fried eggs. The “House Fries” are their top seller (and make your typical carne asada fries look downright dainty).
Other picks for good grubbing include NuYo, a local frozen yogurt chain that has the others beat when it comes to variety of toppings, especially mochi. They’ve got several types of the chewy kind, plus juice-filled balls that explode in your mouth. Frozen yogurt flavors rotate, but can include anything from ube to cotton candy, plus an especially delicious peanut butter.
The piece covers spots from Coronado all the way down to the Tijuana Estuary (where Suzie’s Farm is located). One of the Coronado picks, Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge, has a new brunch menu, including items like beignets and the BLT salad pictured above. See those brown pieces that look like croutons? They’re actually fried pork belly.
North Park’s newest bar, Seven Grand, snagged the coveted front page of the dining section. The bar is stocked with well over 200 varieties of whiskey, with more being added every month. You can start with the names you know (Jack, Jim, or Johnnie) or ask a bartender to introduce you to other Southern gentlemen, like George T. Stagg, a 141-proof cask-aged bourbon with notes of caramel on the finish.
What struck me most about the bar was all of the taxidermy, including a boar guarding the beer taps, deer keeping watch over the pool tables, and a pair of jackalopes near a corner booth. As of yet, none of them have officially been named. If it were up to me, I’d name the jackalopes after a famous pair, like Laurel and Hardy, or maybe Larry and Balki.
Fun fact: a scene in The Office where Andy, Jim, Oscar, and Michael go on a business trip to Canada was shot in the original Los Angeles location.
The District makes some tasty sandwiches, including The Ultimate Breakfast dip (featured on Everyday Eats), but their Summer Squeeze salad is no slouch. One of my photos of this refreshing salad was printed in the Dining Listings of the August issue, at the back of the book. The online version doesn’t include the dining listings, but you can view the entire issue online (for free, once you register). I’ll give you the short version for now: the salad of mixed greens is topped with a refreshing citrus vinaigrette and tossed with orange segments, grapes, goat cheese, apples, and pecans.