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Restaurant Reviews

A road to Rome

Posted: November 3rd, 2017 | Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

While a steady stream of people followed their noses into Napizza in Little Italy, the eatery’s largest location in Hillcrest had gone dark just days prior.

In comparison to Napizza’s additional outposts in 4S Commons Town Center and Encinitas, “Hillcrest wasn’t making much money,” said co-owner Christopher Antinucci, a Roman transplant who exposes us to crispy-bottom pizzas distinguished by low-glutinous dough that rises for 72 hours before it’s stretched onto cookie sheets.

Poolside brunch

Posted: October 6th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

The scent of suntan lotions wafted through the air under a midmorning sun as lean-bodied twenty-somethings lazed on chaise lounges scattered around the pool deck. Some of the patrons sipped on boozy coffee drinks and micheladas. Others noshed on eggs and guacamole after playing a few quiet rounds of cornhole in an area flaunting canvas cabanas.

“This isn’t your typical brunch setting,” I explained to my aunt, who was visiting from Buffalo, New York, as we settled into sturdy wicker stools at a high-top table.

Lunching like it’s 1886

Posted: September 1st, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

You don’t have to stretch your imagination to envision horse and buggies unloading passengers clad in Victorian couture when standing in front of Salt & Whiskey, the re-branded restaurant inside the historic Horton Grand Hotel.

Opened in 1886, the hotel was modeled after Vienna’s Innsbruck Inn, and its architectural splendor — inside and out — ranks among San Diego’s most precious Victorian gems.

Don’t fear the ‘Werewolf’

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

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Restaurant Review We expected a gimmicky themed establishment replete with images of hirsute men and silver daggers when entering Werewolf. But we were greeted instead just outside the entrance with an enlarged, vintage photograph of writer Hunter S. Thompson, of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” fame. Inside, the aesthetics turned […]

Mexican cure-all

Posted: June 2nd, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Curadero, the newest ground-level restaurant at Kimpton Hotel Palomar, is named informally after Latin medicine men and women (curanderos) who over the centuries used herbs, tobacco and hallucinogens to treat a range of physical and mental illnesses. While the playful theme may be lost on some, the menu should strike familiarity […]

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 […]