Each month we ask one of our favorite San Diegans the question:
If you only had 24 hours to show a friend the best that urban San Diego has to offer, where would you take them?
Live: Lemon Grove
Work: East Village, University Heights
How Long: 16 years
BREAKFAST: Anywhere with a name that ends in “-bertos”. So what!? You can’t seriously argue against the supreme quality of the breakfast burrito as the single greatest breakfast item. Is there a better? Nope. They’re fucking amazing. (closest other option: Austin Texas for breakfast tacos. Someone jump on that idea) The prototype: eggs, bacon, cheddar (it’s a massive bonus if there’s American cheese available. I’m such a slut for American cheese) potatoes, beans, guac (maybe). All -bertos do it and they are all great. If I had to choose one breakfast burrito supplier to last through the apocalypse? My desert island breakfast burrito buddy? Uh… Humbertos? Yeah. Humbertos. Maybe. I don’t know. Yeah. Ok. Humbertos.
LUNCH: Mexican seafood is essential. It’s the one type of food I seriously miss when traveling out of SD for longer than a week. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood and TJ Oyster are the obvious answers for the craving but there are other highlights. Been hitting the Negro Durazo in Lemon Grove a lot lately (close to my pad – killer seafood cocktails!!). But, for the best lunch ever, it has to be La Guerrerense in Ensenada. I know, Ensenada isn’t exactly reasonable for a quick lunch. But, it truly is the best lunch within 45min. And, if a friend was visiting for a day, it’s a reasonable dice. Second place to Mexican seafood? It’s a tie. Rocky’s for a cheeseburger or Cheesecake Factory for the single greatest food invention: Buffalo Chicken Blasts. Don’t talk shit. CCF is a modern culinary marvel. And the BCB is their greatest invention. Sit at the bar, get some buffalo blasts, suck down a strawberry daiquiri with a splash of campari and TRY to tell me I’m wrong.
DINNER: Tricky…depends on the situation. If money wasn’t an option, I would get sushi. Not sure that’s cost effective / realistic, but if it was I would be at Shirahama EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Chef is a testament to dedication. A true craftsman. I try to go at least once in a while for a reset and reminder to love all the little details in what seems like even the most simple menu items or tasks. He’s the definition of Art in practice and process. That being said, a more accessible choice is Jaynes Gastropub. I’m 100% biased though. I really like John and Jayne. I love wine, but, like many alpha males, I’m pretty self conscious about my wine knowledge. John is genius about wine. But, you’d never know. He’s humble and approachable. He’s also very aware of bargain wines. The dude is fully committed to bringing really great value to his guests. There’s few I respect more when it comes to welcoming guests. The food is great, too. Might not be a life changing dinner. But, The small family that runs Jayne’s Gastropub succeeds where others can’t compete… the whole experience: comfortable/beautiful space, good food, GREAT wine, and some of the most welcoming hospitality in San Diego. (“Basic Tony” side note: I’m a sucker for the Miguel’s Happy Hour, and that cream cheese salsa. Takes very little persuasion to convince me to hit up Miguels. Don’t judge)
BAR: Turf Club. Always and forever. Well, not really… Always and forever, as long as Chloe and Jackson are bartending. Nicest two in the business. Best tandem bar team in town. Won’t judge if I order a gin and tonic. Won’t grimace if I order something fancy. They’re as down to earth as bartenders get. PS: Turf is conveniently close to La Fachada … Carnitas Tacos after turf is a welcomed tradition.