There’s a new quarterly journal out that food lovers may want to read: Lucky Peach features such writers (and some chefs) as Ruth Reichl, Peter Meehan, David Chang and others. First issue looks at ramen. Check it out.
The Marine Room isn’t just for special occasions, and even on an overcast day, it’s got a drop dead view of the Pacific Ocean spotted with surfers, kayakers, boats and birds, not to mention people walking the beach. Just yesterday Buzz popped in figuring it would be as gorgeous at the ocean as it was inland. It wasn’t, but it didn’t matter. Watching the water and just relaxing during the restaurant’s 4pm to 6pm happy hour (appetizers and well drinks are just $7 each) makes the place a lovely respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you swoon for avocados, you must try (and share) the delicately tempura battered wedges of fresh avocado served with an ancho chile dip. Simple, delicious and not greasy!
Check out their August listing of dinners and classes with über award-winning chefs, Bernard Guillas and Ron Oliver. For sake lovers, Ichishima Sake is featured at a special dinner on August 3 for $95 excluding tax and tip. 2000 Spindrift Lane, La Jolla, (866) 644.2351 or 858-459-7222.
A tasting dinner at The Grill at Torrey Pines Wednesday, July 27, will feature beer from Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewing Company. Here’s the menu and the cost is $65 including food, wine and valet parking. Reservations: 858-777-6645.
The San Diego Pier Café at Seaport Village sits on pilings, more wharf than pier, has a bar, and a slightly more sophisticated and higher priced menu than the other cafes. Open for lunch and dinner, you’ll find nachos, salads and sandwiches, clam chowder in a bread bowl, and more. I prefer the less stylized atmosphere (call it laid back, funky and fun) of the Ocean Beach Pier Café. 885 West Harbor Drive, Seaport Village, 619-239-3968, www.piercafe.com.
Ruby’s Diner, the fixture at the end of Oceanside Pier, is part of a restaurant chain, serving good typical diner food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ruby’s first restaurant opened in 1982 on the pier in Newport Beach. It’s a 1940’s diner atmosphere, with good hamburgers and. As the longest wooden pier on the west coast (1942 feet), you can get a good workout walking to the restaurant. 1 Oceanside Pier, 760-433-RUBY (7829).
For dessert or a pick-me-up espresso with Calabria coffee beans (my favorite roaster on 30th at University) Cow-a-Bunga, at the foot of the Imperial Beach pier, makes fresh ice cream and sorbet. About six months ago, former Loews Coronado executive chef Fabrice Gaunin and his wife Nelly bought the micro-creamery. Let’s just say this is really good ice cream, not overly rich or sweet and worth the visit if you’re in the area. Most popular flavors are, you guessed it: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, though I loved the chocolate chip (lots of chips, not chunks). 10 Evergreen Ave, Imperial Beach, 619-628-0508.
The Imperial Beach pier is home to The Tin Fish, with their other location in the Gaslamp next to the train tracks and the Convention Center. As you walk on the pier you get a spectacular view of the Coronado Islands, Mexico and to the north, Coronado.
The food is simple. You order at the counter, they call your number and you sit outside at tables or stools or inside. If you’re outside, watch that you aren’t sharing food with the greedy pigeons that pounce on your paper plate if you leave for even a minute. A half order of fish and chips (their most popular dish) brings three long pieces of cod fish, lightly breaded so much so that it reminded me of frozen fish sticks (they aren’t). They are good, along with hand cut, homemade, thick non-greasy crinkle fries and coleslaw with a vinegar-based dressing. Pier End, Imperial Beach, 619-628-1414
The T shaped Ocean Beach pier has my vote as a fabulous cheap date. Here you fish without a license, enjoy great views of the ocean and beach and just chill out from the city’s chatter. A bit more than midway to the T, stop at the Ocean Beach Pier Café owned since 1990 by the same family that owns the Fatboyz Pizza Mission Beach. This barely 20 seat wood and windowed room, outfitted with wood tables, captains chairs, a few patio chairs, and nautical pieces you can purchase, is just plain sweet. Sit at a window table and watch surfers below, or take in the coastline view north.
They open daily at 7 a.m. and serve breakfast all day. Don’t expect real plates, it’s paper and plastic all the way. Lobster fans will find an omelet and or taco, and the menu features a huge platter of nibbly nachos that two of us made a meal. Lemonade hits the spot in place of alcohol (it caused too much trouble on the pier) and white clam chowder comes in a bread bowl, (a smaller version comes in a small roll bowl). The rich chowder is creamy and filled with clams, potatoes and no thickener. Weekends, I’m told, there’s a wait for mango or blueberry pancakes. Scrambled eggs can be tricky if they are overcooked and dry. I had a single scrambled, perfectly cooked, egg with some really good homemade thickly sliced and cut crisp potatoes served with fresh salsa. Late in the day it made a perfect light dinner. Food can be ordered to go if you want to wander down to that T and watch the unobstructed sunset. 5091 Niagara, Ocean Beach, 619-226-3474.