Photo by Kim Marcelo
Profiteroles at Trust
Seeing as how California hasn't executed anyone in 10 years and there's a November ballot measure to repeal the death penalty, I must have done something really bad to be pondering my last meal. I'd like to imagine I did something really cool. Like maybe I was wrongly accused, but shut my mouth because I didn't want to incriminate myself on other things (re: Johnny Cash's "Long Black Veil"). Maybe I set fire to all of Vatican City? Perhaps I set all the caged animals on earth free, but had to kill a few humans in the process (re: 12 Monkeys )? Nah, I probably just got road rage and ran over some people, a la the Dead Kennedy's "Buzzbomb."
To be honest, if I really had any option for a last meal, I'd probably want a starter plate of charbroiled oysters from Drago's in New Orleans or some fried green tomatoes from Pittypat's Porch in Atlanta. Sensing a trend? Yeah, I like southern food, but San Diego options are limited. Don't be intimidated by the janky facade and terse service at Crispy Fried Chicken (4919 El Cajon Blvd.) in City Heights. Just place your order, wait to hear your number and then enjoy the juicy crunchiness. I've gone in there just to order one chicken wing with whatever spare change I'd collected. So yeah, I'll have that as an app: one wing, please. Donít forget the little to-go cups of hot sauce.
I'm gonna die anyway so yeah, I'm gonna eat a whole pizza. Regional pie places such as Luigi's (New York-style) and Lucky's (Chicago-style) deservedly get a lot of love, but Napoleone's Pizza House (619 National Ave.) in National City has been open since 1958(!) for a reason. Sloppy, saucy and stacked with spicy toppings, an all-meat pie should come with a side order of Tums. Still need convincing? Tom Waits famously used to work here and immortalized the joint in his 1974 song, "The Ghosts of Saturday Night (After Hours at Napoleone's Pizza House)."
I'm not much for cakes and restaurant desserts. However, I do like a good donut and I recently became dangerously addicted to the profiteroles at Trust (3752 Park Blvd.) in Hillcrest. A profiterole is essentially a fancy cream puff. At Trust, they're filled with a sublime banana creme and then stacked on top of each other and drizzled with a warm caramel sauce. An order usually comes with five pastries so if you're on a date, expect to fight over who gets the last one.
For the last drink, a Thai iced tea with boba? Nah, I'm gonna need something a little stronger. Spicy cocktails are all the rage in the local drink scene and it's my opinion that Ian Ward is the man most responsible for this. Back in '08, Ward made the cocktail menu at La Jolla's Whisknladle (1044 Wall St.) something truly remarkable. He's moved on to start two successful cocktail consulting companies, but his most remarkable creation, the "London's Burning," remains on the menu. A mix of gin, jalapeño, avocado puree and lime juice, it's that rare concoction that somehow manages to be sour, sweet and bitter. Then that spice hits you and you're hooked.