The newest place for Mexican food on Fifth Avenue at Nutmeg is an Isabel Cruz creation, Barrio Star, previously mentioned here. The tag line on the menu: “Mexican Soul Food” and Buzz would agree. Let’s be clear here, tacos are a dime a dozen all over the city. And some would whine that they shouldn’t be more than a few bucks apiece.
If, however, you want house made tortillas from corn freshly ground daily to become masa for tortillas and tamales, or chunks of oven cooked pork for greaseless yet flavorful carnitas, or tamales with moist masa and lots of chicken, or fresh made salsas or interesting black beans and rice and even greens, then this is your place.
The brightly decorated room with a bar is modern with light from the windows that face Fifth Avenue. The attention to and use of high quality ingredients such as Brandt beef and local suppliers make all the difference from the run of the mill taco joint. Two street size tacos piled with carnitas and a side of beans $9.50 at lunch $13 at dinner with three tacos, or the chicken tamale loaded with succulent chicken $10. Open for lunch weekdays from 11:30 to 2:30 and dinner daily from 5 to 10pm. Reservations accepted. 2706 5th Avenue San Diego, 619-501-7827
As noted here, chef Amy DiBiase recently left Roseville and we’ve learned just landed at the Glass Door in Little Italy. Expect to see a new menu (and hopefully a revamped dining room) very soon. At Roseville, Chad White, who was DiBiase’s sous chef, continues in the kitchen and Buzz guesses there will be some new menu items here as well.
There’s some noise in Point Loma that a building at Garrison and Rosecrans (and backs up to the Dolphin Motel on Scott St.) is being remade to become a steak house…yep, that’s what we’re hearing…so stay tuned for more info.
The latest eatery to join Bankers Hill’s “gourmet gulch” opens Monday, April 5. Barrio Star makes it six for the Isabel Cruz collection of eateries–three in San Diego and two in Oregon–she’s well-known in Pacific Beach for Isabel’s Cantina. It will be a nice addition to the myriad of places available to diners in the area. In just one block on Fifth Avenue between Nutmeg and Oliver, there’s Mexican (Barrio Star), American (Avenue 5 Restaurant & Bar) or sushi (Hane). Dessert is up a block or so at Extraordinary Desserts. A few blocks south on Fifth at Laurel is Italian (Cucina Urbana) and French (Hexagone and Bertrand at Mr. A’s) and there’s more sushi (Azuki) and pizza (Pizzicato) to round out those few blocks on Fifth.
Two more soon-to-open places in Bankers Hill: Gourmet on Fifth in the former space of a coffee and sandwich place (north across the street from Cucina Urbana) and Carl Schroeder’s much anticipated Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant at Ivy and Fourth Avenue.
Two San Diego chefs are featured in the March 2010 issue of Food & Wine magazine. On page 45, Thai maven and owner of Saffron, Su-Mei Yu, shares recipes from her newest cookbook, The Elements of Life.
Then on page 54, longtime San Diego chef Deborah Schneider (she opened JSix and headed the La Jolla Hilton at Torrey Pines before that) appears with her take on Mexican food. Schneider’s newest book, Amor y Tacos is due out in a few months. And anyone traveling to Newport Beach might find her at her recently opened Sol Cocina where she is a partner and executive chef.