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Restaurant Reviews

Bayside pork

Posted: June 3rd, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. After nearly two years in the making, Carnitas Snack Shack has brought its passion for swine to the Downtown waterfront in a sleek, walk-up pavilion that is part of the newly revitalized North Embarcadero project. Since captivating consumers for the past five years from their original North Park location with dishes […]

Lunch with a side of history

Posted: May 6th, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

More than a century ago it was the building that triggered a commerce shift from Old Town to Downtown, which back then was called “new town.” With ornate 16-foot ceilings and brick arches, the Commercial Bank of San Diego opened on Fifth Avenue in what is now Florent Restaurant & Lounge, named appropriately after the structure’s Florentine-style façade.

Built in 1874, two additional floors were added to accommodate the city library. Yet by the turn of the century, the city purchased the building and moved in the mayor and council chambers, along with the police department. For 35 years, it operated as City Hall.

For the love of bread

Posted: April 1st, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

From front to back, a succession of deli cases stocked with dazzling desserts and savories forms the spine of Pan Bon, a colossal market and restaurant launched last year by longtime baker Giancarlo Anselmi of Verona, Italy. Step only two feet inside for a glimpse and your chances of exiting without a purchase are practically zero.

Rebirth on the harbor

Posted: March 4th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Aside from its priceless perch on San Diego Bay, everything at the 27-year-old Top of the Market is fresher than a fish out of water. A roof fire in May closed down the iconic seafood restaurant as well as its casual ground-floor sibling, The Fish Market, which sustained less damage and […]

Persian perfection

Posted: February 5th, 2016 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. It wasn’t the first time my appetite was cued from watching CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” a culinary travel series hosted by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. The show has sent me running in the past to the nearest kitchens serving Thai dumplings, Brazilian meat skewers, and more recently, to some of the most […]

Dining on feel-good adjectives

Posted: January 1st, 2016 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

If there is one dining revelation I’ve come away with from 2015, it’s that vegan restaurants are hotter than ever. In just the past few years, we’ve seen places like Veggie Grill, Native Foods, Plumeria, and more recently, Kindred, emerge with meals that no longer taste as though you’re eating live house plants and the macramé hangers that go with them.

Timeless elegance on Broadway

Posted: November 6th, 2015 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. When the former Pickwick Hotel reopened as the chic Sofia Hotel in 2007 after receiving a multimillion dollar makeover, it included a gastronomic cornerstone named Currant American Brasserie. Staying true to the building’s 1927 roots, the architects bucked modern design trends in lieu of checkered flooring, stately arched columns and soft […]