Michael Gardiner is a food writer and licensed California attorney living in San Diego. In addition to San Diego CityBeat he is the monthly food columnist for L’Chaim San Diego Magazine and the primary writer for the San Diego Food & Travel Blog, www.sdfoodtravel.com.
April 22 2016
Rib tipsPhoto by Michael A. Gardiner Barbecue joints tend to be located on the wrong side of the tracks. Whether that's down to the cheap rent, tradition or that folk in those communities are le
April 18 2016
Some might argue San Diego’s a great taco town. After all, we’re on the border. Others believe most of our Mexican food is Californicated; at least taco-wise we’re on the wrong side of...
April 8 2016
Is there any dish a good sauce doesn't help? Sadly, it seems, the sandwiches at Ike's Place (1010 University Ave., Suite C101) in Hillcrest answer that question
April 4 2016
When Junya Watanabe, chef-owner of Rakiraki Ramen and Tsukemen (4646 Convoy St.), talks with you, he looks through you. There's an air of the rock star about Watanabe. Part of it is his hair, another
March 25 2016
A meal at Galaxy is likely to start well. Michelada steamed mussels are a wonderful cross between the Belgian steamed mussels classic and Mexico’s beer cocktail
March 18 2016
America, it’s often forgotten, is a region of Italy…at least culinarily. Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and Sicily feature unique, identifiable regional Italian cuisines
March 11 2016
A tapas crawl in San Diego is hard to come by. A taco crawl in Tijuana a much easier find and a better bet. There may be no better place to do one than on Calle Francisco Javier Mina outside Tijuana's...
March 4 2016
There's a new formula for Chinese restaurant success in San Diego. Find a seemingly obscure region of China, focus on its specialty dishes, throw in something "handcrafted" and trade on "authenticity"...
Feb. 26 2016
Not so long ago, Americans thought "tacos" were hard pre-formed "shells" filled with ground beef, day-glo "cheese," diced tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and an utterly impotent "taco sauce."
Feb. 19 2016
Havana was known for its casinos (before Fidel Castro and before the Miami exodus). Perhaps there’s a whiff of this at Embargo Grill (3960 West Point Loma Blvd.). The décor says Cuba. The...
Feb. 12 2016
Consider the expression "it does what it says on the label." It was a slightly ironic advertising slogan that observes that the thing inside the exterior performs as advertised. This is a saying tha
Feb. 5 2016
"Subtlety" is not the first word that comes to mind when it comes to barbecue. Whatever region it is from, barbecue is about big flavors, not tweezers. At Grand Ole BBQ y Asado (3302 32nd St.) thoug
Jan. 29 2016
I love the aroma of Texas barbecue; it puts a smile on my face. I just never expected it in a Chinese restaurant. Village Kitchen (4720 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.), though, is a different kind of Chinese restaurant,...
Jan. 22 2016
Baguette Brothers ventures into cross-cultural, Asian-fusion land with the “Gangnam Style” banh mi. The filling is basically Korean BBQ-style bulgogi ribeye beef with lightly caramelized onions,...
Jan. 19 2016
It is a borderline bitter irony of the life of a chef that they feed anyone and everyone every night except their loved ones. It's a part of the profession's dark side that isn't depicted on the Fo
Jan. 15 2016
The restaurant's most interesting dishes are the ones that highlight the diverse cultural influences on Nepalese cuisine
Jan. 8 2016
"Carne" translates from Spanish to English as "meat." It is so in Spain, it is so in Mexico, and it is so in every Spanish-speaking country save one: Argentina
Jan. 4 2016
I'm not sure what about dim sum I fell in love with first—the food or the rolling carts? Sure, I loved the little stewed dishes and fried delicacies and especially the seemingly infinite variety...
Dec. 27 2015
Lobster: luxury ingredient or prison food? Not so long ago it was primarily used as fish bait, fertilizer or prison food. Nowadays, $9 per pound at an Asian market is quite a deal
Dec. 18 2015
Every culture has its street food. From Middle Eastern shawarma and kabobs to Jamaican jerk chicken and even American fast food, tasty calories with consistent menus and consistent quality are the roa


  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28