so what’s happenin’, mama? (3 mar)

thursday, march 3

6pm-11pm.  Celebrate Women’s History Month with Dia de las Mujers art show at The Front, Casa Familiar’s San Ysidro gallery.  Tonight’s exhibition includes musical guests, women in business and the arts, food and drink, and craft fair.

friday, march 4

1pm-5pm.  Rigpa San Diego Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center hosts open house and Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebration welcoming the Year of the Iron Rabbit.  Event celebrates food, music and community, including potluck with Tibetan dumplings and milk tea, “to celebrate the day with authentic flavor.”

saturday, march 5

3pm –5pm.  Laud local Good Food Award Winners with food sampling at Ish favorite Tender Greens.   Several San Diego food crafters, including Tender Greens, The Linkery, and Chuao Chocolatier, were recognized in the inaugural year of the Good Food Awards for their contribution to the sustainably-produced artisan food scene, with top prizes going to Tender Greens and Chuao.  Local participants and Slow Food Urban San Diego will be on hand with samples to discuss their offerings.  $30, tickets limited.

sunday, march 6

4pm –7pm.  Okay, I almost didn’t tell you about this Irish Whiskey and Beer Tasting at California Center for the Arts Escondido, but there’s really only so much whiskey one gal can drink.  Or so they tell me.  Enjoy Irish beer and whiskey sponsored by the Holiday Wine Cellar, Bushmills, and O’Hara’s,  three Irish (inspired) bands, and art featuring life in Ireland.  $15/person; $25/couple, proceeds benefiting art education. 

monday, march 7  

5pm –7pm.   Happy hour at Whiskenladle.  Enjoy tapas like Patatas Bravas or Soft Polenta with Braised Chicken & Slow Egg for $3 each with a bottle of wine (25% off) or a pitcher of sangria ($20).  Repeat.     

tuesday, march 8

Looka, my friends.  Tuesday is Mardi Gras.  There are many things to love about San Diego, but our Big Easy offerings in general and Mardi Gras celebrations in particular are not among them.   If you must venture out, perhaps go early for Proper Gastropub’s specialty cocktails and King Cake contest starting at 5pm, then catch the 7:30 showing of Dr. Strangelove at the Pacific Cinema downtown.   Should you get too close to the official Gaslamp event, just be sure to watch your footing while you sidestep puking co-eds and douche-bros wearing Mardi Gras beads (courtesy of Party City) piled carefully around popped collars.  Oh, but you might get a chance to scope out The Crystal Method on the main event stage, which would be great if your Mardi Gras plans also included travelling back in time to 1997 when they were cool.  Also ’cause, you know, nothing says “Mardi Gras” like “The Crystal Method.”  Or instead, why not settle in at home with friends and make yourself up a big batch of Crab Mornay or try your hand at Chicken Rochambeau?   You could enjoy a sazerac or two while you watch Nick Cage in Port of Call as he (and his hair) chew up all the scenery that survived Katrina.

wednesday, march 9

5pm-9pm.  Every Tuesday and Wednesday, the Farm House Cafe offers their entire wine list at half off.  This month, they’re also celebrating their 3 year anniversary by offering a 3 course menu, including a Trio of Duck starter, Spring Lamb entrée, and White Chocolate Mousse dessert  every day for $33, which sounds like just the ticket for spreading your Fat Tuesday celebrating out an additional day while observing some Lenten fiscal restraint.

Oh, and if you’re still feeling a bit rough from the previous evening’s celebrations, perhaps start your Wednesday out with some cajun hair of the dog?  A Ramos Gin Fizz is, after all, a breakfast drink.

 

some late-night ish

As discussed in the Tajima post, after midnight can be a ghost town when it comes to trying to find a place to eat in San Diego that doesn’t end in –berto’s  or –in-the-box.  Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of interesting spots around town with kitchens open past midnight.  

food until 1am

Alchemy, South Park.  1am.  Great food and drink menu emphasizing local/seasonal fare.  Late night happy hour nightly 10pm-close.

3rd Corner, Ocean Beach, Encinitas.  1am, tues-sun.   Owned by Ed Moore, the original owner of the (much missed) Thee Bungalow Restaurant, this is a wine shop that also happens to have bistro food.

The Tractor Room, Hillcrest. 1am fri-sat, 12am sun.  Lots of game meat and “creative” cocktails, as well as the (self-proclaimed) largest bourbon, rye, scotch, and whiskey selection in town.

food until 2am

West Coast Tavern, North Park.  2am.  Set in a historic building (built in 1929) and attached to the lovely recently restored Birch North Park Theater.  Great daily deals, including happy hours, Wednesday bourbon night, and drinks & a movie in the Birch theater.

Red Fox Room, North Park.  2am.   Maybe not the best steaks in the world, but you must go here at least once for a late night steak dinner with garlic toast and fried shrimp – This place is small, red, dark; full of aging North Park octogenarians and young(ish) whippersnappers, with a tiny bar and an equally tiny piano lounge.  Truly, it’s a unique and relatively little-known piece of Old Hollywood in San Diego that can’t be duplicated once its doors finally close for good.

food until 3am

Tajima Japanese Noodle House, Convoy. 3am thurs-sat.  Cheap, hot, fast and open until 3 am.   What else is there to say?  (plenty, apparently).

food 24 hours (you animal!) 

Brian’s American Eatery, Hillcrest. Open 24 hours fri/sat.  Diner food that’s not that cheap and not always even that good, but hey, it’s 24 hours and the people-watching can’t be beat.

Studio Diner, Kearny Mesa.   24/7.  Traditional diner sitting on the lot of a working movie and TV studio in Kearny Mesa  (What?  Yep, there is a studio lot smack in the middle of Kearny Mesa.  Who knew?).

It’s a Taco Shop – Point Loma.  24/7.   Yes, there are a million 24/7 taco joints in San Diego.  Yes, this is a building that looks like a giant yellow and red cheese wheel.  And yes, not everything here is stellar.  But please do yourself a favor and order the carnitas tacos some late night – hot, greasy delicious mounds of pork, a bit of pico and a bit of guac, and lots of hot sauce.  Thank you, sir, may I have another?

Feel free to add your favorite after-hours place in the comments.

the weekly ish

recipes

  • Jason Wilson, WAPO Spirits columnist, takes on the Singapore Sling and reinvents it.  And by reinventing it, I mean brings it back to its original composition – a light drink of gin, cherry brandy, and lemon juice.  I haven’t really developed a taste for gin yet, but I’ll keep practicing.  
  • The Seattle Weekly tackles making Girl Scout cookies at home.   Since only an estimated 10-20% of the cost of a box of cookies goes to the scout’s troop (approx. 50% stays with the regional council and the rest goes to the manufacturer), why not make a batch or two from scratch this year and donate the whole $4 (or more) to your local troop
  • Fascinating article on the art of Chinese noodles.  Oh, and anyone who would like to FedEx me a bowl of you po che mian?  I’ll be sitting here waiting patiently.  Waiting.  Yep.  Patiently.  Annnnytime.
  • In case you hadn’t heard, the Superbowl is this weekend.  In case you hadn’t settled on a dish, Pioneer Woman and the NY Times have helpfully collected their best recipes for you.  In case you haven’t picked a team, Go Tiger Cubs!

restaurant news

  • Another food trend hits San DiegoChef Dan Moody, former sous chef for Chef Ludovic Lefebvre (seen on this season of Top Chef’s Restaurant Wars), will be opening his own pop up restaurant, Relate, in San Diego February 3 through 26.  Set menu will be $55 plus drinks (via the UT).
  • Speaking of food trends, San Diego Copper Chimney closed their food truck last month so that Chef Allen could move to a fixed kitchen location in Spice Court Grocery & Restaurant at 9474 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126.  Its slated opening day was February 1 – hopefully I will be able to make it this weekend for some of Copper Chimney’s awesome Hyderabadi dishes.
  • Eclipse Chocolates has released their Valentine’s Day Chocolate tasting menu.  If you must insist on eating at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, this one might actually be worthwhile. 

around the web

  • This week’s episode of Top Chef All Stars is up, for all my cable-deprived friends.
  • A big “Happy Birthday” to Kirk over at mmm-yoso.  His blog is an amazing source for all things delici-yoso in San Diego and beyond. 
  • The government releases the kind of dietary advice that you’d expect from, well, the government.
  • 2011 is heating up for recipe contests, including upcoming deadlines for POM Wonderful Valentine Cupcake Contest, King Arthur Flour and Fleischmann’s Yeast’s  National Festival of Breads contest, the Ritz Recipe Challenge, and the 45th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off.  Check out Contest Cook for a full listing of contests. 
  • Why not practice for those contests by signing up as a baker for Bake for Hope?  Held each year throughout the US in the week leading up to Mothers Day (May 1-8 2011), volunteers coordinate community bake sales to raise money for their local Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliate to support breast cancer treatments for women with breast cancer within their local community.  Several San Diego groups are already beginning to form up for this year’s sale!
  • Does your cake look a bit…naked?  Perhaps you need to get a set of these edible Angry Bird cake toppers from artisan cake company‘s etsy site. (via My Food Looks Funny)

so what’s happenin’, mama? (3 feb)

 

thursday, february 3

5:30pm-10:30pm. Wine Vault & Bistro offers a final opportunity to sample some their best selling reds for all of 2010 with a $20 prix fixe and $10 wine pairing.  If you haven’t been to Wine Vault for their $20 tasting menu, you are missing one of the best deals in San Diego.  Nori braised beets with nettle pistou, sous vide tri tip, and 34-year-old px sherry float with housemade butterscotch ice cream for $20?  Yes, please! 

 

friday, february 4

3pm-7pm.  Mission Hills Certified Farmers’ Market, W Washington St & Falcon St, San Diego, CA 92103.  Check out the San Diego Farm Bureau for a complete listing of farmer’s markets around town.

 

saturday, february 5

6pm-9pm. Temecula Valley Slow Food’s 4th Annual 100 Mile Dinner.  All principal ingredients in this five-course dinner will be sourced from within 100 miles of the Temecula Valley and each course paired with Ponte Family Winery wines.   $100 a ticket with proceeds benefiting Slow Food in school programs in the Temecula Valley (via Gayot).

 

wednesday, february 9

6:30pm-9pm.  Beer & Cigars at Stone Brewery.  $65 gets you cigars, food, and Stone brews. 

 

saturday, february 12

12pm-5pm.  Pizza Port Carlsbad Brewbies Festival!  20 local handcrafted beers plus a special edition Pizza Port pink beer. 100% of the proceeds go directly to Keep a Breast to support their efforts to increase breast cancer awareness among young people.

1pm-5pm.  For the Love of Chocolate.  Downtown Escondido festival will include vendors, chocolate pairings by local breweries and wineries, champagne garden with live music, and beer & wine bar.  Tasting tickets are $20 for 10 tastes.

 

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