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Restaurant Reviews

A nod to The Big Apple

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Imagine if San Diego and New York traded culinary places. Manhattanites could grab a killer carnitas burrito while sauntering through Times Square while we stuff our faces at any Downtown street corner with pizzas using soft water in the dough — the debated element that distinguishes East Coast pizza from all […]

Perching at Petco Park

Posted: April 7th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review The baseball season has arrived and Social Tap brings you as close to the bustle of Petco Park as you can possibly get without holding a ticket into the stadium. On game days, you can see the big center screen hovering over the playing field from Social Tap’s back […]

The diner with a Hollywood secret

Posted: March 3rd, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review The menu choices are staggering. So are the meal portions. But if you are vegan, a vegetarian or gluten-intolerant, Brian’s 24 isn’t the easiest place to eat. Since the recent closure of Du-Par’s Restaurant & Bakery (see this month’s Food and Drink Blotter), the family-owned diner reigns as the […]

Anything, anytime at Du-par’s

Posted: December 2nd, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Whether you’re hankering for beef stew at daybreak, or a three-egg Denver omelet for supper, Du-Par’s Restaurant & Bakery in the Gaslamp Quarter obliges.

The iconic 24/7 restaurant, which launched in 1938 as a food stall at the Los Angeles Farmers Market, introduced its round-the-clock comfort fare and house-made pies to San Diego several years ago, taking initial residence in an unremarkable structure on Sports Arena Boulevard.

‘Top Chef’ in the house  

Posted: November 4th, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | 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, the show’s judges told her to “pack your knives and go.”

Carnivorous cravings

Posted: October 7th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. It was a veritable meat parade lead by dapperly outfitted “gauchos” wielding sword-size skewers loaded with steak, lamb, sausages and you name it. Like some medieval feast, the succulent proteins were continuously sliced onto our plates tableside until flipping over cue cards to their red sides, which signaled we needed a […]

Urban idolatry

Posted: October 7th, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

A slice of Tiki culture hidden in Little Italy

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

The recent multi-million dollar renovation of Craft & Commerce has spawned a cozy backroom lounge capturing a bygone era that is once again trending in pop culture.

Separated by a secret door from Craft’s new cabin-style design is False Idol, where guests are transported to a time when mai tais, pina coladas and other fruity rum drinks were in vogue.

Italian dining, Las Vegas style  

Posted: September 2nd, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

As the name implies, you can bet Flour & Barley is loaded with gluten. And beer.

The sleekly designed restaurant, located in The Headquarters at Seaport, replaced Pizzeria Mozza earlier this year with a complete makeover commissioned by Block 16 Hospitality. The Las Vegas enterprise operates several high profile eating and drinking venues in Sin City, including Flour & Barley’s flagship kitchen at The LINQ Promenade.

With a slate of tempting brick-oven pizzas in place, the dough is made with high-gluten All Trumps flour favored by East Coast pizzerias. And the “grandma-style” meatballs derive their suppleness from pieces of bread in the meat mix — exactly how my grandmother made them religiously for Sunday dinners.