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.
May 27 2016
It is the Little Lion Cafe & Bar (1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.). It is in Ocean Beach and it is heir to a legend. It's one part tasty, one part funky, totally charming and, yet, perhaps not quite sure exactly...
May 20 2016
Say the word "sandwich" and it seems to come with the notion of "serviceable" trailing close behind. Perhaps, as the legend goes, the "sandwich" was invented when the Fourth Earl of Sandwich in
May 16 2016
Its name translates as "The Railroad" though there's no rail line in the vicinity and likely never was. Googling the place is futile, so you wonder whether it really exists
May 9 2016
Tidal’s duck confitPhoto by Michael A. Gardiner My blood began to boil almost as soon as well-known local chef Flor Franco said it: "Why don't you write about female chefs, Michael?" My firs
April 29 2016
If sun and sand don't define our city's national image, craft beer does. And if there's one type of beer that put San Diego on the sudsy map, it's the IPA
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


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