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Michael A. Gardiner

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.

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

It’s In-N-Out versus Shake Shack versus Burger Lounge. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

That garlic dip is Fattoush’s best meze, a class of Middle Eastern small dishes analogous to Spanish tapas. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

It’s easy to fall into the trap of ordering the same thing every time we’re at a particular kind of restaurant. A friend of mine calls it “ordering right.” I call it boring. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Some of the best proteins at Gyu-Kaku are the simplest: little or no marination and little preparation beyond some knife-work (traditional for yakiniku). more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

The idea that chefs crave “cheffie” food when they’re off work is largely a myth. In reality, off-the-clock chefs tend to want comfort food. That is, simple food done well. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

The best dish at Hachi is the Tan Tan, a ramen take on dan dan noodles, a fiery Sichuan classic. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

It was in the midst of the Great Recession that Tracy Borkum closed fine dining fixture Laurel Restaurant in Bankers Hill in favor of Cucina Urbana (505 Laurel St.), a concept more in tune with the times. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

For Barrio Dogg (2113 Logan Ave.) in Barrio Logan, though, the TJ dog—like the lowriders that are a regular staple in the neighborhood—can be art. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

A $6.5 million renovation comes with some expectations. Big ones. To be good, even very good, just isn’t going to be enough; only excellence will do. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Many in the restaurant industry seem nonplussed about the impact of legalization on their businesses. Matt Gordon, the owner and chef of Urban Solace, said he’s not “terribly worried there will be a big impact on our industry, at least yet.” more

Features

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

After one bite of the Cuban sandwich at Havana 1920 (548 Fifth Ave.) in the Gaslamp District, I knew it was the best I’d tasted this side of Tampa more

The World Fare

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Photo courtesy of T. Tseng / Flickr Commons

Over the years I’ve found that instead of struggling for a last minute reservation at the typical “romantic” bistro, there are some under-the-radar places (some don’t even take reservations) that are a better option. more

Love and Sex Issue

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

The Brits have a saying: “it does what it says on the tin.” It is, of course, an observation of the obvious: The thing inside the box performs or functions as advertised. It’s an observation that clearly applies to Ceviche House. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Ethiopian food is definitely vegetarian friendly with a wide array of legumes (split lentils, chickpeas and split peas, for example) and greens (kale and collard greens, for example) on the injera. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

I’m passionate about street food. I’m also passionate about fine dining. And I’m really passionate about street food done with a fine dining attitude. And that is precisely what I found at Taqueria Criollo. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Al pastor, fish tacos and the best street cart on the rock are all the reasons we need to visit Ensenada more

Staycation Issue

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Michael A. Gardiner

The show—the entire dish being prepared tableside with attention and care on a gorgeous, elaborate service cart—is an essential part of the experience. At the end of the day, it’s the salad itself that is its own payoff. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael Gardiner

Terzoli makes no bones about the fact he’s not the guy behind Fishmonger’s stove on a day-to-day basis. That’s a younger man’s game. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Red Cate (3860 Convoy St.), the Convoy’s newest hot pot destination, provides “warming” services in more ways than one. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael Gardiner

The Hotel Del Coronado has had “high end” restaurants as long as anyone can remember, and for years the biggest name has been 1500 Ocean (1500 Ocean Ave., Coronado). more

The World Fare