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: Golden Hill
How Long: 8 years
BREAKFAST: A cozy, friendly neighborhood spot, Mystic Mocha is tiny but its menu is HUGE – tasty egg dishes (scrambles, wraps, chilaquiles), pancakes and some of the most amazing homemade baked goods. I crave their scones – perfectly golden triangles of melt-in-your-mouth, moist goodness – and huge muffins, which come in a variety of inventive flavor combinations (chocolate chip banana coconut is a favorite). I stick with regular coffee (brewed from local Cafe Moto beans) though their drink menu is as extensive as the food (over 25 different mochas!).
LUNCH: Meat may reign supreme here, but vegetarians and vegans can also fall in love withThe Kebab Shop. I can’t resist the lamb döner kebab and salmon kebab plate, though the falafel, hummus, and fresh salads (from minted orzo zucchini and Algerian eggplant to tabouli and cucumber dill) also vie for my attention. Don’t forget to grab an “after döner” mint on the way out to combat the oh-so-deliciously strong garlic yogurt sauce.
DINNER: Jayne’s Gastropub serves up delectable dishes, an extensive beer and wine list and modern twists on classic cocktails. It also has one of the best outdoor patios for enjoying long, leisurely meals with friends and loved ones. Despite the restaurant’s urban surroundings, sitting on that patio makes me feel like I’m in a French country garden. The menu gets tweaked to highlight seasonal produce; can’t-fail staple entrees include fish and chips, steak frites, and the burger. For appetizers, don’t miss the white bean crostini and gambas al ajillo.
BAR: Too many to choose from, and it all depends on my mood. When I want classic kitsch and old-school cocktails (with live piano players on select nights), I head to the Red Fox Room or Imperial House. For a laidback afternoon beer, I park it at the Whistle Stop, where happy hour lasts until 8 every day, or Hamilton’s Tavern, the city’s king of beer. AndCounterpoint for a good glass of wine in my favorite ‘hood.