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Food trends in SD that you are so over with..

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Got me thinking when stevewag23 brought up the the 'ahi tartar' and the 'caprese salad' which were so overplayed and still being played at restaurants all over this town.
I'm drawing a blank and the only ones I can come up with at the moment are apple martini's, stacking of food and bok choy..

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  1. Braised short ribs, burgers, steamed mussels, truffle fries etc. - Nothing wrong with using these but San Diego restaurants are serving them (with very, very few exceptions) with hardly any creativity.

    1 Reply
    1. re: honkman

      I gotta give a positive shout out for the steamed mussels (with fennel and linguica sausage) at The Fishery. Maybe it's because I live out in the sticks where steamed mussels are a rarity, but when I had that just before Christmas, I was very very pleased. Super fresh mussels, excellent broth, nice combination of flavors.

    2. Caesar Salad or Grilled Chicken Caesar

      1. Slightly upscale burgers.

        1. "Sustainable" restaurants serving Brandt/Niman beef and Jidori chicken.

          26 Replies
          1. re: Josh

            Aren't Jidori chickens free-range?

            1. re: DougOLis

              Jidori -- Raised indoors, cage-free, grain-fed. Central Valley farms.

              "Free-range" would mean that the chickens had access to the outdoors, they typically are also raised (principally) indoors, cage-free, and grain fed.

              "Pastured" would mean the the chickens were raised primarily outside and could eat grass and bugs (often, depending on the farm, in addition to feed).

              Pastured chickens are generally what people think of when they hear "free range", but chicken labeled "free range" is labeled that way because it's *not* pastured.

              1. re: jayporter

                thanks for the breakdown. good to know

            2. re: Josh

              Just read that Barrio Star bills itself as sustainable, but sells Brandt, so I guess I'm over Barrio Star before eating there. ;-)

              1. re: Josh

                Well the produce is local, organic and there are LOTS of vegetarian options. Just no carne asada tacos for you.

                1. re: Josh

                  Not really sure how you can consider Brandt not within the wide, WIDE parameters of sustainable. Maybe a jab at corn fed, which is a superior product no matter how you cut it but they are doing all the right things as for as utilization of resources and treating the land.

                  http://www.brandtbeef.com/commitment_...

                  1. re: mjill

                    Why should corn-fed be superior to grass-fed ? Grass-fed is superior in terms of taste and sustainability.

                    1. re: honkman

                      That is incorrect. You realize Vons, Ralphs or any chain grocer's select meat is all grass and not corn fed, right? I'm sure you also realize marbling, ie. intermuscular fat also produces the best flavor too which grass fed and work animals lack. Well at least the best flavor where the overwhelming majority is concerned. Can billions of people really be wrong about the taste?

                      You might be confusing or maybe not fully understanding the way the cattle is being raised versus what it is being fed. Either way, it appears Brandt is making the right moves in maintaining the land, which is one of the bigger concerns regarding sustainable practices.

                      1. re: mjill

                        You are aware that commodity beef in supermarkets is corn-fed beef not grassfed. And you are also aware that most beef in Europe and Southamerica is grassfed and that the preferred taste for Americans might be cornfed but outside of the US most peole prefer grassfed for the stronger beef taste. So yes i think most Americans are wrong to prefer cornfed beef over grassfed. And are you also aware that cows can't digest corn and that therefore it shouldn't fed to them. I would recommend reading books like Omnivores Dilemma, Fastfood Nation and What we eat

                        1. re: honkman

                          never knew cows couldn't digest corn, I thought it was just us humans, think about that!

                          1. re: honkman

                            feeding cows corn means pumping them full of antibitoics to get it to digest.

                          2. re: mjill

                            Select, Choice, and Prime have to do with degree of marbling, but are not related to how the cattle are fed. Grass-fed beef might be graded as Select by the USDA because it's not highly marbled, but the USDA grades are unrelated to the cows' diets.

                            1. re: mjill

                              mjill: Are you serious with these assertions?

                              Please divulge how you came about thinking Von's, Ralph's, etc. sell grass-fed beef.

                              "I'm sure you also realize marbling, ie. intermuscular fat also produces the best flavor too"

                              Many people who have only tasted McDonald's hamburgers perceive that "meat" as "the best flavor". Imagine if said people instead grew up eating grass-fed beef, akin to what is being served in places like Argentina. You can bet their perception of best flavor would be significantly changed.

                              1. re: globocity

                                This is getting about as amusing as the "Bully's has prime grade steak" claim.

                            2. re: honkman

                              You just are using the wrong criteria, honkman. If you judge beef by its flavorlessness then clearly corn-fed beef is superior!

                              1. re: Josh

                                Just want to add my experience with cornfed vs. grassfed. They're different, but it will come down to personal taste. My impression is that Americans like cornfed because you can cheaply and more rapidly achieve higher fat levels with it. And if you think fat = delicious then yes you will like cornfed. It is possible to achieve high fat levels with grassfed but much harder and more expensive to do so. Hence for the same price some Americans are going to like cornfed more for that reason alone. Grassfed beef tend to have a better defined "beef" flavor whereas cornfed is more generic in flavor in my experience. That said, there is a huge range of quality with both types of beef. But it's fair to say that budget beefs tend to be cornfed for practical reasons.

                                What's a good thing for one person is bad for another. To use another example, some people hate duck because it tastes gamey. Some people love duck because it tastes gamey. In the same way, I think in the US we are just too much in love with quantity vs. quality when it comes to fat.

                            3. re: mjill

                              I don't know, mjill, I think you must not have a very good grasp of what the word sustainable means. Perhaps that's why you put it in scare quotes in your comments about Barrio Star.

                              That said, I don't care how wide you perceive the parameters to be, it should be painfully obvious that shipping in train boxcars of corn grown in another state does not meat any conceivable definition of sustainability.

                              1. re: Josh

                                Hey Josh, I agree about the flavor grass-fed vs corn but, here's a def of sustainability, I think corn qualifies:

                                Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals: environmental stewardship, farm profitability, and prosperous farming communities. These goals have been defined by a variety of disciplines and may be looked at from the vantage point of the farmer or the consumer. Sustainable agriculture refers to agricultural production that can be maintained without harming the environment

                                1. re: cstr

                                  Brandt, while local-ish to us here in San Diego, and admirable in many ways, is not sustainable farming -- including by the definitions proposed above by cstr.

                                  The production of commodity corn for processing and livestock (i.e., all the corn that is fed to feedlot beef including Brandt) is done using patently unsustainable methods. Commodity corn in the US is raised on large monoculture or duoculture (along with soy) farms, and the calorie energy in the corn comes not from the sun or the soil but from the energy in petroleum products (obviously, not sustainable) which are fed to the plants.

                                  This kind of farming destroys the soil and its petroleum and pesticide runoffs have created a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. It also has destroyed the fabric of healthy small farm communities in the Midwest as small farms have been replaced by huge corporate farms that operate on much thinner margins.

                                  The farmers themselves make much less money as they are now dependent on Monsanto for seeds (they are not able to save their own seeds as they once did) and on processors such as ADM and livestock companies to buy their products, both of whom squeeze the farmers, who in effect work as sharecroppers for these companies. The farms are unprofitable and the difference is made up in government subsidies.

                                  Meanwhile, the processors -- including feedlots, who convert the corn into protein -- of this corn, and the manufacturers of the genetically modified seeds and pesticides (such as Monsanto) are hugely profitable, as are the companies that convert petroleum into energy that the corn plants grow from.

                                  As you saw in 2008 when gas prices spiked, so did the prices of meat, because feedlot beef, factory pork and chicken are all petroleum converted into corn converted into protein. That fact, and its damaging effects, are why Josh et al balk at the notion of Brandt beef being sustainable.

                                  I personally really like the Brandt family and appreciate that they do feedlot beef better than anyone, and they care a lot about not wasting any of the resources they use. They are true stewards of the land they occupy in the Imperial Valley and should be commended for many practices they undertake which are not profit driven. That said, as long as they are feeding their animals Midwestern corn by the trainload, it is inappropriate to include them in with "sustainable farming".

                                  1. re: jayporter

                                    Jay, you're not reading the sustainability definition or my statement correctly, which just says 'corn' not 'the production of commodity corn for processing and livestock'. Is corn sustainable? Do you serve native/organic corn?

                                    1. re: cstr

                                      Sorry for the confusion.

                                      The word "corn" in contemporary usage means two different things. What people call "corn" in talking about dinner is "sweet corn", a specialty crop that domestically is grown, I believe, mostly in California, not the Midwest. It's a small-scale agricultural product in the US, and like most specialty crops is available as a "conventional" (i.e., not organic), organic, and sustainably/locally farmed.

                                      If my memory serves, in San Diego, sustainably farmed corn is available (or, at least, has been in past years) seasonally from La Milpa Organica. As for us, we've bought it from a small farm that basically grows all their food exclusively for us (Wingshadows Hacienda) and are planning to get some from Suzie's Farm this summer. For reasons that escape me, local corn grown without pesticides has these (harmless) little worms in it that make it unattractive for many people. Short answer, sweet corn is grown in various levels of sustainability.

                                      However, sweet corn, the kind of corn you cook and serve, has basically nothing to do with corn that is being referred to in the phrases "corn-fed beef" or "The Corn Belt". "Corn" when people are talking about feeding livestock, or making processed food such as corn syrup or Busch Light, is a crop also called "Field Corn" that is not edible by humans. This is the corn that we are referring to when we say that Brandt beef is corn-fed.

                                      "Field Corn", which is the basis for our entire food system and also for the ethanol industry, is grown unsustainably using the methods I described above. (There are very tiny exceptions, but those growers don't sell their corn into the market, they keep it and use it for raising their own organic meat.)

                                      So, my answer to your question "is corn sustainable" is, when we're talking about the important kind of corn, that is used for raising meat and feeding America, "no". If you're talking about sweet corn, the answer is "sometimes".

                                      Feedlots such as Brandt that raise beef on field corn (or distiller's grain, which is a byproduct of ethanol, meaning corn that's already been processed once) -- in other words, every grain-fed beef farmer is using a deeply unsustainable process (the growing of field corn) in order for their feedlot to function. That's why grain-fed beef is unsustainable, even if the land of and near the feedlot itself is well-stewarded.

                                      1. re: jayporter

                                        Chino Farms has corn (presumably sustainable but not certified organic) over the summer too.

                                    2. re: jayporter

                                      I was wondering why more restaurants don't use bison as a protein source. Since bison are native to the American west, They can eat just about anything that grows out there with the need for extra water and grains. I personally like the taste if it. It is really much milder than elk or venison. I know the cost is more but wouldn't that go down if the demand went up. It also has to be cheaper to raise one pound of bison compared to one pound of cow. Is it really a huge Monsanto conspiracy?

                                      1. re: littlestevie

                                        Mmm. Cowboy Star bison ribeye. Kitchy decor, great food.

                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                          Yeah, and how is that music at Cowboy Star working you?

                                          1. re: foodiechick

                                            Jes fine, 'lil hunny. Now dont yew fret none.

                          3. Kobe beef anything, California Burritos and Chef's or Cobb Salads.

                            1. BC- Agreed on the apple martinis. AND every other drink that is nothing more than fruit punch running around in fancy martini clothes and calling herself a "martini." Enough already! The adults need a real drink! Time to send wine coolers back to parties at the home of whoever's parents are out of town.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Dagney

                                I must have missed this trend. I haven't seen any apple martinis on any menu recently. Where I can i find them ?

                                1. re: honkman

                                  Just order a cosmo and call it a day.

                                  1. re: honkman

                                    OMG, where have you been. On nearly every specialty drink menu in town for at least the last 5 years. Appltini, or various other spellings. You've heard of "chick flicks"? Consider this and the rest of the 'tini trend "chick drinks". I'll take (a) Manhattan.

                                    On the drink front, I'm so over Mojitos (except the Mojito cookie from Azucar)

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      I have seen martinis but somehow I must have missed the apple martinis

                                  2. re: Dagney

                                    Yeah, I am sick of the whole specialty drinks thing. They take forever to make.

                                    A drink should be:

                                    Alcohol
                                    Ice cubes
                                    One mixer

                                    Max.

                                  3. Truffle fries, sweet potato fries, seared ahi, short ribs, mac 'n cheese, Jidori chicken and any "Martini" that is made with anything other than gin.

                                    1. Lava cake, PBR in a bag..
                                      love them both but so 5 years ago..

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                        Lava cake was 5 years ago? I thought it was 10 years ago at least. :)

                                        I have another one, not so unique to San Diego: huge, Hash-House-A-Go-Go-sized portions.

                                        1. re: RB Hound

                                          HA..it was 10 years ago!

                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                            How about flourless chocolate cake? Done with that one. Polenta too. Send polenta back to the breakfast table.

                                            1. re: Dagney

                                              I would like to see more polenta in entrees. I think it is underused in restaurants. Same as spelt, buckwheat, oat

                                      2. So what's the difference between a trend and a classic? I think of braised short ribs and truffled frie as trend, and ceasar salad and cobb salad as classics. That being said, I'm done with pomme frites! They're just fancy french fries and when I'm going to a high end restaurant, I'd like to see a little more creativity in my sides. Also, please put the salt and pepper back on the table - I'm a grown woman and know how I like my food seasoned which may be different than the line cook who's putting out 100+ meals a night happened to season that order. And please just give me bread, don't make me beg for it!

                                        17 Replies
                                        1. re: sdnosh

                                          I think you could call a Caesar a "classic" salad. What I'm tired of is seeing it on every...single...menu...in...town. 90% of them are not done correctly, nor even very well, which I think tarnishes the classic status of this salad. Perhaps if it was on fewer menus but done well, I might not feel so depressed about the state of this salad.

                                          I'm with you on the "frites", salt/pepper and bread

                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                            Too often Caesar salad means prefab dressing in a plastic jug.

                                            1. re: Josh

                                              Too often Caesar Salad means - precut romaine lettuce, croutons out of a bag, pre-shredded cheese, and, that Caesar dressing from a 1-gallon plastic container. Where's the egg? Where's the anchovy? Where's the lemon juice? Where are the romaine leaves?

                                              Don Caesar would roll in his grave if he saw how his salad had been bastardized.

                                              But it is a very cheap salad to make. Food Cost is probably around 18% +/- depending upon how spendy the dressing is and whether or not the lettuce crop is experiencing shortages.

                                              1. re: Josh

                                                I can still taste that prefab horrid dressing!
                                                I love making my own Caesar dressing and it so easy and SO delicious..love the anchovy and the lemon juice with lots of fresh garlic, freshly ground pepper and course salt with homemade croutons..
                                                Have you tried grilling the romaine hearts on the grill and then drizzle the dressing on?

                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                  It really is amazing how much better, fresh, and complex a true homemade Caesar salad tastes than the prefab crap.

                                                  1. re: DougOLis

                                                    That's why I love my rare visits to the Marine Room. The table-side Caesar is awesome.

                                                    -----
                                                    Marine Room Restaurant
                                                    2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037

                                                  2. re: Beach Chick

                                                    Yes, grilling the romaine is really cool. A couple of years ago Terra offered a Grilled Caesar in which they grilled the romaine. An excellent version. Also had housemade croutons and a pretty decent shaved parmesan, IIRC.

                                              2. re: sdnosh

                                                ' I'm a grown woman '
                                                LOL..I thought you were a man..

                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                  Well, I have been told "you have balls" many times in my life, so I guess I'm not surprised! ;) Here's another one - squash blossoms and edible flowers!

                                                  1. re: sdnosh

                                                    solid..
                                                    love edible flowers and could eat them all day..I never see them on menus..

                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                      Gotta agree with that. I would love to find a taco shop with squash blossom quesadillas.

                                                      1. re: jmtreg

                                                        I think you can get squash blossom tacos at a stand at the Sunday FM in Hillcrest. I haven't been there in a while but when we are there we always get them and they are yummy.

                                                        1. re: LaurenZ

                                                          Well, yeah, but what about the rest of the week! Just kidding.

                                                        2. re: jmtreg

                                                          Aqui es Texcoco has squash blossom quesadillas (flor de calabaza). Huitlacoche quesadillas too.

                                                          1. re: DougOLis

                                                            Kickass. Now I just have to drag my butt down there.

                                                          2. re: jmtreg

                                                            ranas in spring valley has squash blossom quesadillas

                                                          3. re: Beach Chick

                                                            We've had yellow mole empanadas with squash blossoms at El Tejate. I guess a Oaxacan empanada pretty much what many of us think of as a quesadilla?

                                                    2. Calamari with marinara sauce
                                                      Bruschetta

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                        Actually, I'm over calling a topping that is put on bruschetta bruschetta.

                                                        1. re: jmtreg

                                                          How about ordering Bruschetta and then have the waitress/waiter correct you, "you mean Brewshetta?"

                                                          1. re: deeznuts

                                                            Yeah, totally. That one bugs me. I also like being corrected with "expresso" when ordering espresso.

                                                            1. re: Josh

                                                              Sort of a pronunciation trend.

                                                      2. Does the frozen yogurt shop epidemic qualify?

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: ipsit

                                                          Yes ;-)

                                                          1. re: ipsit

                                                            Yeah, frozen yogurt shops were opening at a breakneck pace 2 years ago.

                                                            1. re: ipsit

                                                              Yeah, what's sadder is out of the dozens of froyos, not one single Ce Fiore. That's the only one worth trying, with Pinkberry somewhere behind in second. There is no third.

                                                              -----
                                                              Pinkberry
                                                              209 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                                                            2. Steamed mussels in spiced white wine broth, crusted pan seared ahi tuna, cosmo's, most martini's that look like Hawaian Punch or Granny Smith apples, fried mozz sticks, fried veggies and mushies of any variety and any steak smoothered in blue cheese.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: cstr

                                                                Gourmet burgers. Sick of them. Have to admit I never was a big burger person to begin with but enough.
                                                                Hate to think this is true as well, but this plethora of specialty pizza places that are opening all over. Enough. It seems all SD is capable of dining at is burgers or pizza.

                                                                We need some bistros like Cafe Chloe

                                                                -----
                                                                Cafe Chloe
                                                                721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                                                              2. spring mix salad with sliced unriped strawberries and a raspberry vinagrette..

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                  dang, I forgot the candied walnuts..

                                                                2. Chocolate Indulgence
                                                                  Chocolate Guilt
                                                                  Chocolate Heaven
                                                                  Chocolate Passion
                                                                  Chocolate topped chocolate with a layer of chocolate in between ground chocolate flakes with a chocolate martini with a chocolate swizzle stick.

                                                                  in short, anything chocolate extreme.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                    Fakey..
                                                                    You forgot to add the squiggly lines of rasperry puree on the plate with too much powdered sugar!

                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                      Well, that was better than the chocolate skid marks that follow that across the plates- chocolate glopped on with a dash from a paintbrush. Yuk.

                                                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                                                      Nooooo, not extreme chocolate! Point me to it and I'll kill it for you.

                                                                    3. Bacon. Does anyone think bacon is an ingredient whose time has come and gone?

                                                                      True that everything is better with bacon, but when it starts showing up in strange places - like chocolate cake for instance - I have to wonder if it isn't time for the trend to end.

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                        Never!! bacon is like a men's button down collar shirt, always in, never a fad or trendy. Just totally good!!

                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                          DiningDiva, I am afraid it is time to show you the door!

                                                                          :)

                                                                          1. re: MrKrispy

                                                                            Hey, come on, I just asked the question...this from a girl who ate the Bacon Chocolate Cake at the Riveria Supper Club 3 weeks ago. I don't really think bacon will jump the shark, but it *is* turning up in a lot of places these days :-)

                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                              I'm with you, DD. Bacon is right up there with gourmet burgers on my list!

                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                That doesn't bode well for the Bacon Chocolate Cake (is chocolate a trend too? haha). I haven't managed to get it yet, but was excited when I saw it.

                                                                                (this from the guy who makes bacon chocolate chip cookies)

                                                                                1. re: MrKrispy

                                                                                  The Bacon Chocolate Cake was absolutely delicious. The frosting was too thick and too dense, but other than that, the cake and bacon filling were really very good. I've tried the bacon chocolate bar and was rather underwhelmed, so I wasn't expecting much from the cake. It was certainly a pleasant surprise. Take someone with you who is hungry. Portions tend to be large at Riveria and the cake is no exception.

                                                                              2. re: MrKrispy

                                                                                I'm not against bacon, really, I'm not. In fact, I love the stuff and eat way more than is probably prudent.

                                                                                According to this article, as a nation we've got a crush on bacon - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36274564/...

                                                                              3. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                Sacrebleu - there is no too much bacon in any dish. How can you even think it. The food gods might punish you with eternal Mexican food from On the Border.

                                                                                1. re: honkman

                                                                                  Or El Torito.

                                                                                  1. re: Dagney

                                                                                    On the Border is worse ;-)

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    On the Border
                                                                                    103 Fletcher Pkwy, El Cajon, CA 92020

                                                                              4. Garnishes that stick out of stacked food...you need a separate plate just for all the garnishes!

                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                  Once again with Hash House.

                                                                                  [begin Jules Winnfield voice] How many innocent rosemary plants have given their lives, branch by branch, to be discarded among the flotsam of kitchen waste. They better hope nonspecifichigherpower is not fond of his/her rosemary bushes, or the pearly gates will be splattered with the blood of the chefs, like the blood of the butchered rosemary plants. There will be comeuppance, I tell ye! Someone will answer for these innocent lives!

                                                                                  And I will strike down with great vengeance to those who prune thy rosemary plants for garnish, and they will know, I AM the nonspecifichigherpower!

                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                    Deconstructed anything. Come on, we're paying for you to make dinner. Put it together...

                                                                                    And no DD, one might argue bacon is not seen enough.

                                                                                    1. re: Ewilensky

                                                                                      Actually I like it if chefs don't serve dishes in a conventional way but try for example to deconstruct it or try other ways to "challenge" the customer. For us it is much more fun to have a dinner where you "explore" dishes.

                                                                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                                                                      Wow, how prophectic, what about curly parsley?

                                                                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                        LOL! Holy crap that was hilarious. You are so on the money, HH pimps out rosemary shamelessly.

                                                                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                          I hate rosemary in any form. It tastes like soap. If only thyme, if only thyme...

                                                                                          I do loove the hammered pork.

                                                                                          1. re: SeanT

                                                                                            My favorite recipe for chicken cacciatore uses rosemary, and its good. Really, really, really good.

                                                                                          2. re: Fake Name

                                                                                            LOL..I wonder what their rosemary budget is per month for their absurd overuse of garnish?

                                                                                        2. Not sure if this is a "trend" in san diego, but it happens way too often:

                                                                                          Waiters not writing things down, going off "memory" and transposing food orders or drink orders.

                                                                                          Example I: You order the steak tartare and your date orders the foie gras. She gets the steak tartare and you get the foie gras.

                                                                                          Example II: You order the vodka soda with lime and your friend orders the Brunello. You get the brunello and they get a vodka tonic with a lemon.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: stevewag23

                                                                                            The variation I'm familiar with happens at places that have spice levels (Thai, f'r'instance). I order 8, my wife orders 5, and they make hers 8 and mine 5. That's always a good time.

                                                                                            1. re: Josh

                                                                                              LOL..same thing happens to my husband and I..
                                                                                              I love the 8-10 and they never believe me that I can handle the super hot and then they always screw it up and give it to my DH who wants about 4-5..

                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                BC, i knew you were my kind of girl! i once had a guy take me out for Thai food on a first date, and when he suggested we share some dishes, i warned him that i like an *infernal* level of spice. he insisted that was fine, and asked the server to put the order in for the spice level the way i requested...and then spent most of the meal chugging glass after glass of water, stuffing his face with rice, and leaving the table at regular intervals to blow his nose.

                                                                                                needless to say there was no second date ;)

                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                  ; )

                                                                                          2. Wow. for all those who are over braised short ribs, send them my way. I love 'em, and haven't had a bad version yet. Of course, some excel where others merely satisfy. Ditto for mussels.
                                                                                            What I'm really over - lying on the menu. If you don't actually use Kobe beef or heirloom tomato, please don't lie about it.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: juantanamera

                                                                                              Braised short ribs are so easy to make at home, I don't see the point of ordering them in a restaurant. I like to enjoy menu items that are difficult to reproduce at home. An example would be a fine, scratch, demi glace.

                                                                                              1. re: Captain Jack

                                                                                                Isn't that a bit too extreme? There are lots of things that are really, really easy to make (burgers, pasta with tomato sauce, grilled cheese, carnitas, carne asada, etc.) that are on restaurant menus. And people order them because these things (1) taste good; and (2) are easier to order than to make. Short ribs are easy to cook, but they take hours of cooking - which means planning ahead to get the ingredients, taking time to prep, etc.

                                                                                                On a personal note, I think we could use one less wine bar in Mission Hills. Just sayin'

                                                                                                1. re: jmtreg

                                                                                                  Eh, maybe so jm. But for me, I have never been big on home-style cooking menus featuring items that I frequently make at home. I love making braising dishes since once the prep work is done, you can just set it and forget it. On the other hand, I once tried my hand at a scratch demi, and after three days of work, I was displeased with my results.

                                                                                            2. RED VELVET!

                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: deeznuts

                                                                                                Never! It's traditional.

                                                                                                1. re: deeznuts

                                                                                                  You did NOT just diss Red Velvet. Oh my gosh......how could you.... A properly made Red Velvet cake is the reason for living.

                                                                                                  1. re: Dagney

                                                                                                    This wasn't about the red velvet itself, it's the trend. It's quite ridiculous the explosion of improperly made red velvet.

                                                                                                    I even saw blue velvet over the weekend.

                                                                                                    1. re: deeznuts

                                                                                                      I saw blue velvet last month. Dennis Hopper never fails to creep me out in that movie.

                                                                                                      1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                        Wait, are you talking about that nightclub "Blue Velvet" in Hong Kong in the red light district?

                                                                                                        1. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                          Hmm, tell us about it Stevewag23!

                                                                                                          1. re: Dagney

                                                                                                            Crab Cakes, Seared Ahi/Ahi Tartar Stack, Fried Calamari, Bruschetta, Beef or Chicken Satay, Quesadillas, Carpaccio, The Wedge, Mac-n-Cheese, Empanadas, Risotto, Lava Cake/Flourless Cake (I prefer real soufflés....and not too many places do them....Thee Bungalow is about the only place that has them on their menu all the time).
                                                                                                            It's not that I don't like these dishes it's just that they appear on ALL menus in ALL restaurants and to make it worse the restaurant likes to put their take on these items and they let you know that when there are "quotes " put around them like The "Wedge" (which means you are not going to get a traditional Wedge salad but there concept on it) or putting duck in a quesadilla or duck in spring rolls. Restaurants that are listed as wine bar/lounge/bistro (they don't define themselves as American/French/Italian etc.) and then have on their menu what I consider specialties like Risotto, Schnitzel and Saltimbocca all on the same menu and the expectation of what these dishes should taste like are rarely met....am I being too picky?
                                                                                                            Oh and another trend (that seems more like an experience/event) is Molecular Gastronomy....may it go way of 1980's nouvelle cuisine.

                                                                                                            1. re: Coffeehead2

                                                                                                              Does anyone do molecular gastronomy in San Diego?

                                                                                                              1. re: jmtreg

                                                                                                                The now defunct Guild did the foam bit for a spell.

                                                                                                                1. re: Dagney

                                                                                                                  Foam never really hit the big time in SD, did it?

                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                    Only sea foam.

                                                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                      DD..how do you make foam..have you ever tried making it?

                                                                                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                        You could start with the Ferran Adria approach with siphons. Here is one recipe:

                                                                                                                        http://casaoliver.com/Hot-potato-foam...

                                                                                                                        If you are really interested there is a very good book with many different chapters covering basic and advanced cooking techniques includinng foams by Adria:

                                                                                                                        http://www.amazon.com/Cooks-Book-Jill...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                          BC, I have never tried making foam.

                                                                                                                          The absolute BEST foam, or use of foam, that I ever ate was a Foie Gras soup that started with a generous mound of foie gras foam in the bottom of a wide, shallow soup plate along with some garnishes which I have forgotten. A very rich, hot stock was poured out of a silver pitcher into the plate. The foie gras foam gradually melted into the soup creating this very luxurious, voluptuous, and quite addicting I might add, soup.

                                                                                                                          Clearly I did not eat this soup in San Diego ;-D. I had it (in 2006) at a restaurant called Alquímia in Mexico City. Now, the thing that's remarkable about this, is that even though Alquímia is very much a fine dining restaurant, it is part of the Centro Culinario, which is one of the primary culinary schools in D.F. The soup was made and served by students. The executive chef for both Centro Culinario and Alquímia is a CIA (Hyde Park) grad as well as an alumnus of El Bullí. There were actually several dishes that used foam in that meal, the foie gras soup was truly specatcular and the most successful of the foam preps we had.

                                                                                                                          I have heard that foam can be successfully made using the whipped cream makers with the CO2 chargers because it's dispensed under pressure. Haven't tried it.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Coffeehead2

                                                                                                                    that is an impressive list and spot on!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Coffeehead2

                                                                                                                      "am I being too picky?"

                                                                                                                      Yes

                                                                                                                  3. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                                    Yeah hook up the blue velvet Hong Kong info. Don't hold out.

                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                    Hong Kong Restaurant
                                                                                                                    3871 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

                                                                                                          2. You know if it shows up on the menu of a restaurant that shall remain nameless (hint it is on the north side of Fashion Valley Mall), it is probably a trend I am done with.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: littlestevie

                                                                                                              Your hint applies quite well to 2 restaurants in that location, littlestevie. :)

                                                                                                              1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                Whoops, You are so right!

                                                                                                              2. re: littlestevie

                                                                                                                OMG yes. Good call.

                                                                                                              3. I can't believe no one has said cupcakes yet.

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: DougOLis

                                                                                                                  I thought the ones at Hammy's for Alpine 2nd Sat. were quite good.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                    I agree and I don't dislike them. Have had some very good cupcakes thus I see no reason for them to disappear; I just thought it was one of those trends that had become passe. Apparently I'm wrong. That said, my one complaint with cupcakes is that they can be messy as hell to eat.

                                                                                                                    1. re: DougOLis

                                                                                                                      Yes cupcakes can go. Give me delicious layer cakes.

                                                                                                                2. "Small Plates"

                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: mjsp1

                                                                                                                    I SO AGREE. This small plate thing is for people who eat like birds. If I have to order 8 to 12 "small plates" to have a feast, it is no bargain sir. Essentially for me, small plates mean spending way too much for a meal, or having to stop by In-N-Out on the way home since I am still hungry.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mjsp1

                                                                                                                      Americans on whole need to eat more "small plates".

                                                                                                                      1. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                                        agreed, if anything the small plate thing should become more popular. If you want to get stuffed like you are at Hometown Buffet....go to Hometown Buffet

                                                                                                                        1. re: MrKrispy

                                                                                                                          2nd that, I like small tapas plates, great way to sample many items.

                                                                                                                          1. re: MrKrispy

                                                                                                                            I would not know what it is like "to get stuffed like you are at Hometown Buffet" I have never been the slightest bit interested in eating there. More space for you I guess. When I dine out at upscale restaurants, I usually order an appetizer, two entrees, and if I see an interesting side or soup, I'll order that too. It does not make me "stuffed" by any means, just happy. Small plates just mean I have to order that much more to be happy. The variety is fun, but my point is it gets expensive quickly. Fine dining/upscale restaurants, for the most part, have small enough portions already in my opinion. They don't need to get any smaller.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Captain Jack

                                                                                                                              "I usually order an appetizer, two entrees, and if I see an interesting side or soup, I'll order that too."

                                                                                                                              Wow, impressive. I could not eat that much if I tried :-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                It is a curse and a blessing mixed into one DD, lol. Once at Daniel in NYC, I asked them to double the portions on the tasting menu, and explained that I would pay accordingly. They happily complied, and it was quite a feast, with quite the price tag to match. Feasting once at Tapenade, my buddy and I got cut off on seared foie gras by Jean- Michel Diot when we each tried to order our third portion of the night for dessert. Diot explained he wanted to make sure there was enough for the rest of the patrons. Jean-Michel never forgot us after that though, and still teases me about it when I see him.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Captain Jack

                                                                                                                                Your the man!

                                                                                                                            2. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                                              Completely agree.

                                                                                                                          2. $15 glasses of wine and they don't even fill up the wine glass half way!

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                              Caramelized onions, the bully of accoutrements. They overpower almost everything they're on. I used to enjoy these, but now, it's just old!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                I agree.

                                                                                                                                And by the glass wine lists that start at $12 then quickly ratchet up to $16 (which is usually crap) then have a bunch at $22- $30 plus.

                                                                                                                              2. I am so over "organic", "sustainable", "fair trade" and any other phony marketing gimmicks that simultaneously take advantage of peoples ignorance and penchant for doing good!

                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: steveprez

                                                                                                                                  There's nothing wrong with marketing something as organic or sustainable as long as it is true. I have more problems with the term "natural" which has no legal meaning and and can be used by everybody for everything.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: steveprez

                                                                                                                                    Oh, please.

                                                                                                                                    Organic, sustainable, and fair trade all have actual meaning behind them. Organic produce has been around for decades. The only thing trendy about it is that more people are catching on to why what you eat matters.

                                                                                                                                    Labeling the organic food movement a "phony marketing gimmick" is not only ignorant, it's hugely insulting to the people who are committed to changing the way food is raised in this country.

                                                                                                                                    For people who don't care about what they eat, there's always Cheesecake Factory.

                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                    Cheesecake Factory
                                                                                                                                    2015 Birch Rd Ste 705, Chula Vista, CA 91915

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                      I have to admit that I have sometime problems with the "fair trade" marketing because at least in Germany and some other parts of Europe some politcal newspapers found over the last few years several reports where fair trade stuff just got a label as "fair trade" even thought it really wasn't. I think with 'fair trade" you have to sometimes careful where you buy the stuff - if I get it at a large supermarket for example and it went through many different middlemen from the farmer, e.g. coffeebeans, there is a certain probability that the label might not be true. If you buy it from somewhere who has a more "direct" connection (or just one middleman) I have a higher confidence in the fair trade label.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                        But decades ago, organic really meant organic. Since the USDA has gotten hold of the concept and tried to regulate organics, there are all kinds of levels of organic these days. And what about those products that are "partially" organic? Is there a benefit to a product that's 60% organic? Or is that like being 60% pregnant.

                                                                                                                                        I think there are people and companies trying to capitalize on organic, sustainable, fair trade, etal because they perceive it to be a hot trend. I don't think it's a trend, I think it's a paradigm shift that's still in it's infancy. If the poster was talking about the folks trying to capitalize on a trend, then I agree with him. If he's talking about the trend in general, I don't agree with him. I think sustainable, organic, fair trade, are all concepts with legs and that will grow as awareness does.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                          USDA enforces organic labels, and there is no such thing as 60% organic and you will never be able to find a product labeled as such with a USDA label.

                                                                                                                                          The guidelines are so simple it fits on a single page. Say what you will about the concept, but I don't think people realize this is actually one of the few food labels consistently being enforced.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: royaljester

                                                                                                                                            I beg to differ, I have purchased items clearly labeled as partially organic. They are products that contain both organic and non-organically raised products. I personally think it is misleading to allow products to be labeled as organic when they are not.

                                                                                                                                            Having dealt with the USDA for 15 years I can tell you nothing is "simple" and certainly not straightforward when it comes to USDA regulation.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: royaljester

                                                                                                                                              I recommend "What to Eat" from Marion Nestle which (beside many other things) describe how USDA more recently became more and more involved in the organic certification process and changed certain parameters in such a way that it will be easier to get the organic certification for "big" organic companies. Since organic is becoming more and more "mainstream" big corporations are also interested to get the most money out of it and are slowly trying to dilute the organic certification. So I agree with you that the organic label is important but it is not as simple as you described regarding the consistancy of criteria.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                            Wait, wasn't Cheesecake Factory voted "San Diego's Best Restaurant" 12 years in a row? Only to be edged out by the Cohn group joints as of late?

                                                                                                                                        2. I have never tried a "raw food diet," but I am over the priceing. My next door neighbor flies to Las Vegas to work as a stripper, Thurs through Sat, each week. She bought Carol Alt's book, and follows a "raw food" diet claiming it helps maintain her figure, which clearly is important in her line of work. The thing is, we were at People's in OB, and it seemed if a product said "raw" on it, it would cost 5 times as much as its regular sibling. What is up with that? Is this just a clever marketing ploy?

                                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Captain Jack

                                                                                                                                            She should market "The Stripper's Diet".

                                                                                                                                            Could be a hit.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Captain Jack

                                                                                                                                              Suspect you heard wrong. Perhaps it was the "In the Raw" diet?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                No, it's raw food meaning food which has never been cooked and instead has been prepared in other ways. Adherents claim it is healthier since heat damages some vitamins and no enzymes have been denatured but the reality is those enzymes will be denatured the moment they hit your stomach acid so this really is a trend with little scientific merit.

                                                                                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_foodism

                                                                                                                                                Cooking does make food more digestable so a raw food diet does indeed normally result in a lower calorie diet (thus the stripper's enthusiasm for it) but it is also a vitamin deficient diet.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: oerdin

                                                                                                                                                  That was a joke...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                    I'm still pissed at the Captain for letting it out that I'm his next door neighbor..
                                                                                                                                                    I'm off the raw diet..should of taken Steve-O up on his 'Stripper Diet' book..could of been a NYT best seller!
                                                                                                                                                    ; )

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                      BC raw diet???... sounds like you need a juicey patty melt and a cold one! Time to get back on track.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                        Did you see the post in General Chow that I made my own PM with a Veggie burger..damn, it was so good!
                                                                                                                                                        Always love a cold one..
                                                                                                                                                        Thanks my sista/cstr!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                          Did you make your own veggie mix? What was the topic title?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/714080

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                              Make my own veggie mix?
                                                                                                                                                              That's funny..no silly girl..it's called Morningstar Garden Veggie Burger in the frozen section of the marche..had a coupon for $1 and a 'double coupon' so the effective price was .49cents..that's right..saving money, eating well and not eating meat..happy girl, happy cow!

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks GHG for the post..can someone post something so I'm not batting a big fat zero!
                                                                                                                                                              ; )

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                @BC, actually, i was having a hard time wrapping my brain around your PM description, because in my mind, rye bread + Swiss + Thousand Island = a Reuben (corned beef & sauerkraut) or Rachel (turkey & coleslaw). i know, my Jewish roots are showing ;)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                  I never heard that sandwich called a Rachel. You learn somthin' new every day. A now long closed restaurant by UCLA had that sandwich with turkey and ham and they called it a "Chatam" . Oddly enough the restaurant had the same name.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littlestevie

                                                                                                                                                                    ha! well you certainly won't find a Jewish deli that serves ham on *any* sandwich ;)

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Captain Jack

                                                                                                                                                  Damn Captain letting it out that I'm his next door neighbor!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                    sw23, Fakey, BC, you are all very clever and humorous. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction, right? I live in a nice crib, but I have some very interesting neighbors to say the least. I don't even want to start about this uber-wealthy guy that calls himself "The Wizard." Anyway I'm off to Cucina Urbana in about an hour for my first visit. I hope it rocks, and I promise to report back.
                                                                                                                                                    Cheers,
                                                                                                                                                    Cj

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                      Pictures or it didn't happen!!!!

                                                                                                                                                  2. I'm over poke that doesn't have limu. if it doesn't have limu it just isn't the same and isn't poke in my book.

                                                                                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: daimyo

                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, the bad poke trend was out of control for a while.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                                                                        Tapas type food...talk about highway robbery. Little puny portions like the old Wendy's where's the beef commercials. Food made for dwarfs LOL

                                                                                                                                                        And blue cheese in freaken everything...enough already!

                                                                                                                                                        and lastly...CHIPOTLE

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: zoey67

                                                                                                                                                          "And blue cheese in freaken everything...enough already!" - I haven't seen blue cheese on many menus.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                            Neither have I.

                                                                                                                                                            Not sure sure what is wrong with tapas either.

                                                                                                                                                            I think san diego could use 5 good spanish tapas resturants.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                                                                              Don't most of the burger places have a blue something or other? :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                                                                                Agreed. I like good tapas places,e g. A.O.C.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: zoey67

                                                                                                                                                              I'm not sure I would consider either blue cheese or tapas a trend. Blue cheese has been on many things for as long as I can remember, and deservedly so - it has an irreplaceable umami flavor... I do hope that we see some restraint from chefs using it as we move forward, though. "Tapas"-style food is popular worldwide and frankly, I'm shocked (but at the same time, also not surprised) that it's taken so long to make it here. I've personally seen some folks react with disgust at the thought of dining family-style and sharing small plates at restaurants. They are so entrenched in the "3-course all for myself" mentality that it almost seems like they are overwhelmed by the thought of ordering multiple dishes as the meal goes on. I think as more people come around to it, this movement is here to stay, especially with people getting hammered with advice about portion control, etc on the news every day. I say it's all for the best, I love small plates dining :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: shouzen

                                                                                                                                                                Tapas might cure America's obesity problem. Our #1 killer now.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                                                                                  "... America's obesity problem. Our #1 killer now."

                                                                                                                                                                  Fat chance. Boredom is both the #1 and the #2 killer.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: shouzen

                                                                                                                                                                  I totally agree with you on tapas. One of my tried and true date restaurants was Appertivo because I could buy multiple dishes to share with my date. It just feels more festive. Plus, because the individual dishes are relatively inexpensive (or they should be), I feel like I can be more adventurous.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shouzen

                                                                                                                                                                    +3 for more small plates restaurants....preferably a new one in place of every cupcake or bundt cake shop that's sprung up in the last year or two.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: shouzen

                                                                                                                                                                      I dine alone, and I'd like to opportunity to try a number of different dishes at a new restaurant without an enormous "doggy bag" at the end of the evening, OR a gigantic check. I'm all for small plates.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                        When I'm on the road, I leave the doggy bag at the commuter rail stop or bus stop for the homeless.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                          I love trying many dishes so small plates are welcome. Small plates at full plate prices however ...

                                                                                                                                                                3. mixed spring greens, blue cheese, raisins, sliced almonds salad...don't get me wrong - this is a great salad, but it's tired when i see it on a menu. I make this at home weekly!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Rainbow-colored bacon, truffle-flavored French fries, and chicken parm sliders have turned the culinary world upside down—but Jacquelynn D. Powers is calling for the chaos to end. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-an...

                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                                                                                      Count me in the camp guilty of over-loving truffle fries. I can't help it!!! It's almost a compulsion every time I see them on a menu :(

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: shouzen

                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed, shouzen. Hard to ignore the menu offering, isn't it? I, too, suffer from the same compulsion. Any particular favourites?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: shouzen

                                                                                                                                                                          Me too. I can't help it, truffle oil on anything potato related is just too intoxicating. About the only thing I would eat at epazote steakhouse before they changed

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: stevewag23

                                                                                                                                                                          Parm Sliders? In SD? I must have blinked and missed those

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                            I did notice some chicken sliders of some sort at Suite and Tender. Not parm though.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. Cedar plank grilled salmon. Enough already!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. those stupid ass squiggly lines out of a squirt bottle to dress up a plate of food..
                                                                                                                                                                            stop it..it's so early 90's!

                                                                                                                                                                            18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                              Kind of like leg-warmers for the dinner plate, no?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                DD..aren't you reaching into the 70's vault..
                                                                                                                                                                                ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                  Feel the burn ;-)
                                                                                                                                                                                  (particularly when bending an elbow with that Dos XX in hand)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                    DD..
                                                                                                                                                                                    Your 'honor' stool at Bully's East has pink leg warmers on the legs..
                                                                                                                                                                                    hee hee

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                      Cool!! I must check them out :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                        DD..is your website still in operation?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's got a the hiccups and I'm having some difficulty getting it fixed

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                Hahahaha... great minds, great minds, BC. I was at Indigo Grill last week, *everything* was covered in those squiggles, and I was thinking the exact same thing. What I hate the most (and I'm looking at you, The Mission) is when the squiggles are actually really tasty, but there's barely any of it on the plate! The only time the squirt bottle thing is acceptable, methinks, is with desserts.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: geekyfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                  I had the most fantastic meal in Aix en Provence Thursday night that had squiggles of -get this- sangria reduction.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Those squiggles had a tremendous effect on the flavor of the rest of the dish. The chef (with whom I'd made great friends despite my lack of French and his of English) made it a point to indicate it was required.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Completely changed my outlook on the squigglies.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I remember the first time with the squigglies- it was at French Side of The West and the chef's name was Guy. He personally signed the entrees with his squirt bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                                                    I take the trip was an excellent one, Mr. Fake? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                    Too bad I'll need to travel to France to discover good squiggles. I doubt any place in San Diego might make good use of squiggle-pairing.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: geekyfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                      The squigglies of whatever sauce it is they put on the crab-stuffed squash blossoms at Blind Lady are awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                        love the sauce of the 'squigglies', but it's pedestrian use of the squigglies, that deface the beauty of the food..imvho

                                                                                                                                                                                        crab stuffed squash blossoms with squiggly sauce sounds sublime.
                                                                                                                                                                                        wonder what the sauce is.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                                                      you blow, Fakey!
                                                                                                                                                                                      ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Couldn't help myself...but it IS relevant.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                                                          Did you have a blast?
                                                                                                                                                                                          So so jealous but happy for you!
                                                                                                                                                                                          I believe that Sangria reduction squiggles are exempt in the food code of bad 90's technique.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Glad your back Fakey..never the same without you here!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, had a great time. Can you contact me off-list? I'll send you a link with pics.

                                                                                                                                                                                            And now, cue the mods.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                                                              put your e-mail in your profile..

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: geekyfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                      Geeky..great minds do think alike!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Pricey menus with service that sucks..

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Bump for Cucina Urbana touting itself as sustainable while serving Brandt Beef. Note to restauranteurs: boxcars of corn brought in to feed your animals isn't sustainable. Please make a note of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                        It's either that or the world learn to eat much less beef (of a learner variety at that).

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                                                                          Grass-fed is a good choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                          Math Lessons for Locavores

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/opi...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Encinitan

                                                                                                                                                                                            He raises some good points, but seems to be banking on perpetual usage of petroleum as a component of the food system. He's also removing from the equation the building of local economies.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                              I would say the author, Stephen Budiansky, raises outstanding points that go far beyond merely "good points." His goal is to address certain "self-indulgent — and self-defeating — do-gooder dogmas," not paint a comprehensive picture of food processing and management, and he does it very well within the limits of a short op-ed piece. Most of the subsequent letters-to-the-editor are mild rebukes from people with vision problems, but one raises a point about loco-vorism having a positive effect on building a sense of community that's similar to your point about building local economies, and I agree with both. I'd be willing to guess that in 100 years, however, both will be seen as quaint views from what is often called "a simpler time" (the early 21st Century, in this case).

                                                                                                                                                                                              Just after I complained about how boring this thread was, I was proved wrong -- thanks, Encinitan!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harry Niletti

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't agree. It's not hard to gain attention by criticizing popular movements, and labeling the encouragement to eat locally as "do-gooder dogma" is patently absurd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Are people in Italy who eat locally-grown food engaging in do-gooder dogmatism? Or are they simply eating as they always have, not having experienced the dubious benefits of a commodified industrial food system?

                                                                                                                                                                                                Another question: would salmonella or E.coli outbreaks be as potentially lethal if constrained to a smaller geographical region?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Josh, you lose me when you don't explain the relevance of your allegations about the Italian attitude towards "loco-vorism." What if most Italians -- or any group -- eat locally grown food, most of the time? What if they don't? In other words, how is it relevant to Budiansky's quantitative arguments about farming and food distribution?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Like everyone, he's all for eating local where it makes sense. But, as I said previously, Budiansky's goal in the NY Times op-ed that Encinitan referenced is to show that some of the worst excesses of "self-indulgent — and self-defeating — do-gooder dogmas" are, well, unsustainable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  By the way, he answers your question about disease in a blog entry ( http://www.budiansky.blogspot.com/201... ), pointing out, e.g., that "the devastating hoof-and-mouth epidemic in Britain a few years ago began on a small, local, traditional farm where pigs roamed around in the muck and ate natural, recycled food." Obviously (see below), he doesn't think there's anything wrong with the idea of small farms, only that the quasi-religious excesses of loco-vore fundamentalism need countering occasionally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You may not know that Budiansky has lived on and worked a small farm for the last thirty years. That doesn't mean everything he says is correct, but it should require us to give careful consideration to his engagingly expressed and thoughtfully supported views. It's a helpful and useful piece, and I hope interested 'hounds will take a look.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I think there should be a ban on the dimmed "interesting- old fashioned" lightbulbs with visible filaments- enough already. And the shabby chic lampshades made of chicken wire, those, too. Banned.

                                                                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sometimes those lightbulbs are the most interesting thing in a restaurant. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe, if I'm not there.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                                                                Well-played.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Drinking a Dos Equis no doubt ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fake that is too freakin funny!
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Curious, what restaurant were you in when you decide enough already with the visible filaments?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Island

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Smoking Goat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                                    They're kinda crunchy and not well seasoned!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's a darned good point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dmckean

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did too, the first 50 or so times I saw them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Cupcakes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    28 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DougOlis mentioned this earlier in the thread (April 16 of last year), but it bears repeating given the recent opening of Sprinkles in The Shops at La Jolla Village.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've yet to give them a try - it will require a major confluence of events for that to happen (a trip to CVS or Whole Foods, no line out the door, and my feeling the desire to cheat on the current diet).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Did someone mention water service yet? I'm usually pretty savvy, but I've been had a couple time paying $20 for Fiji water. I need to remember the answer to still or sparkling is tap. I like good water but $20 is insane and it's usually a hidden charge you don't know about till you have seen the bill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: stevuchan

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jus curious - where did you pay $20 for Fiji water ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1500 Ocean and Blanca.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1500 Ocean
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: stevuchan

                                                                                                                                                                                                              the markup is because they offer the free-range grass-fed Fiji Water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MrKrispy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                was that also sustainable and farm to table? Which reminds me, I so over trhose 2 words and throw in grass fed as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It is unfortunate to see people reinforcing the meme that sustainable food practices are merely marketing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is nothing trendy about a cow being fed its natural diet, any more than it is trendy to eat food raised locally. In fact, it is the consumption of commodity foodstuffs sold by giant agribusiness conglomerates that is trendy, since that is a practice that only goes back a few decades.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is disturbing is the number of restaurants, such as Urge Gastropub, that call themselves "farm-to-table" while selling Cargill meat products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    like a moth to a flame!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MrKrispy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd hate to disappoint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gastropub. Over that word.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Totally agree, it's like seeing the words 'all natural' on products in our mega-marts. Using and stretching such terms hurts the credibility. The best ones I've seen as 'all natural' on a jar of honey. Well, where the heck do you think that honey came from the 'bumble bee tuna' mascot?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Given the way genetic engineering is going, yeah, I do expect honey to (someday) come from the bumble bee tuna mascot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bizzwriter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And maybe Chicken of the Sea *will* be chicken!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: MrKrispy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good one sir

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can order their cupcakes ahead of time and cut straight to the front of the line. Or have them delivered for $10-20.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: daantaat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't you have to order a dozen if you phone it in? No thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    no you don't. You can order singles, 1/2 dozen or full dozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: daantaat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Really? From the Sprinkles web site (http://www.sprinkles.com/pre-order-cu...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "For advance order, there is a minimum of 1 dozen cupcakes. 24 hour cancellation required for all advance orders. Sprinkles only offers cupcake delivery by courier in our local markets; however, we ship our cupcake mixes and other retail items."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess the local shops can alter that policy somewhat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just read what you wrote then looked at the site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The mixes are 'only' $14 for a box to make 12. I guess that 'trademark dot decoration' is what makes it so exclusive. It includes a recipe for the frosting, no frosting mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.sprinkles.com/cupcake-acce...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I really want to read the ingredient list and see some nutritional information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We pre-ordered 4 cupcakes and there was no problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: daantaat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          'Order cupcakes online or by phone for pickup or delivery today!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          At Sprinkles, you can always buy any quantity of our freshly baked gourmet cupcakes on the spot. Or, skip the line when you place an advance* cupcake order online or by phone for pickup or delivery!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In a hurry? Sprinkles now offers online ordering for pickup in 2 hours or delivery within 4 hours

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *For advance order, there is a minimum of 1 dozen cupcakes. 24 hour cancellation required for all advance orders'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          www.sprinkles.com/pre-order-cupcakes-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My name is BC, and I approve this message.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You got that right home boy!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not worth the price of gas. Finally tried some last week that were given to me...left circular grease puddles on the plate. Blech.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shoulda hada V8!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or a slice of pie!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "They got a cherry pie there that'll kill ya!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - - Agent Dale Cooper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We are Pie Chickas...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Candied nuts in salads. I like 'em plain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Wisey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nuts or salads?