Beard Papa is here! This Asian bakery's bearded-grandpa mascot looks harmless enough, but he's actually a pastry-pusher whose cream puffs have been compared to crack (figuratively, of course). The puffs have an airy two-layer shell—the inner pastry is tender like eclair dough, and the outer shell is as crisp and light as perfect piecrust. The traditional vanilla custard filling has a smooth creme brulée texture that's flecked with vanilla beans; other filling flavors include chocolate, strawberry and green tea. Their newly opened store is in Plaza Bonita, 3030 Plaza Bonita Road, National City. www.muginohousa.com.
Slow Food San Diego's annual Taste of Slow Food event will be held in Old Town State Park this year, so you can spend a night strolling the historic park while sampling dishes from 20 restaurants, including local favorites Café Chloe, Starlite and Sea Rocket Bistro, with Baja's Don Emiliano restaurant representing alta cocina cuisine from Mexico. There will also be edible goodies from local food artisans like Venissimo Cheese, Chuao Chocolate and Jackie's Jams. Local wineries and hometown breweries including Stone, Alesmith and Port Brewing Company will also be on hand. The event happens Aug. 23 from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at www.slowfoodsandiego.org.
A rundown of Mangu Restaurant's décor includes a ceiling-to-floor waterfall, ostrich-leather booths and palm-bark tables. Indoor waterfalls are just plain cool. The self-described “upscale Caribbean restaurant” serves dishes inspired by the cuisine of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, like a guava goat-cheese-stuffed chicken breast and Caribbean-style roasted pork. 524 Island Ave., Downtown. www.mangusd.com.
If you're a fan of the Burger Lounge (there are two locations in San Diego—La Jolla and Kensington), a third spot just opened in Coronado at 922 Orange Ave. www.burgerlounge.com.
The Guild in Barrio Logan has a new chef—its third since opening about a year-and-a-half ago. Coming from Napa, Andrew Watson has overhauled the “small plates” menu (we mourn the loss of the tuna tartare stacked salad) and added straight-up apps like chorizo corn dogs, tempura shrimp sticks and polenta fries with passion-fruit catsup and basil aioli. New entrées include marinated skirt steak with au gratin potatoes and creamed spinach and a half-pound Brandt Farms burger with aged white cheddar and caramelized onions. 1805 Newton Ave., Barrio Logan. www.theguildrestaurant.com.
The Pearl Hotel launched its first “Tacorita Tuesday” on Aug. 12. Happening every Tuesday starting at 5 p.m., tacos and beer are $3. A “tacorita combo” (tacos and a margarita, we're guessing?) is $10. 1410 Rosecrans St., Point Loma. www.thepearlsd.com.
Pizza Fusion opened a couple of weeks ago in Hillcrest and their all-natural organic pies are totally addictive. Especially tasty is the “Seattle,” with its bruschetta-like topping that's lightly drizzled with Basalmic vinegar and a touch of cheese. There are plenty of options for veggies and even a “Very Vegan Pizza,” plus organic beer on tap. 3827 Fifth Ave. www.pizzafusion.com
—Candice Woo and Kelly Davis
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