If we're talking square miles, the island nation of Jamaica is only a skosh larger than all of San Diego County (“skosh” being the urban engineer's term of art for “little tiny bit”). It sits about 60 miles south of Cuba, and that puts it sort of out in the sticks (“sticks” being the oceanic geographer's term of art for “boondocks”). Yet drop the name among would-be vacationers, and it suddenly bursts to life amid thoughts of balmy Caribbean breezes, friendly peeps and some of the most unbelievable rum this side of Mars (“Mars” being the travel agent's term of art for “best bargain this side of Jamaica”).
Those images are well and fine, but let's not forget that Bob Marley's home turf is also no sleeper when it comes to spice-, vegetable- and seafood-based cuisine. Island Spice Jamaican Restaurant is here to hip you to that expertise, and it would just as soon do so as early in the day as possible. Codfish and mackerel are big items on the breakfast menu; thyme, spinach leaf and carrots accompany each in generous proportion. Bracing condiments like jerk, pimento and capsicum peppers will slingshot you into your day, especially as served with an outstanding mackerel dish called Run Dung (which, contrary to popular belief, is not a medical term of art for “diarrhea”).
The entrées will run you anywhere from $6 to $12—but in order to eat them, you have to go to 2820 Market St. in Grant Hill between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays. You can call ahead to 619-702-9309 if you want; however, if you do so outside those hours, no one will be there. Probably best to stop in during business hours and grab a piece of the good life (the Jamaican term of art for “the good life”).