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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

Bahn Thai’s known for its noodle dishes. The broccoli in the chicken pad see ew was colorful and crisp, and both the chicken and noodles themselves were nicely cooked. more

The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

The restaurant business is notoriously fickle. Today’s empire can quickly become tomorrow’s smoking pile of rubble. And you may not even get a t-shirt to show for it (though you might just get a large tax deduction). Brian Malarkey knows this. more

Jan 9, 2017 1:40 PM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Perhaps the best dishes at La Querencia are the carpaccios. In addition to beef, Guerrero offers scallop, salmon, squash and beet versions. more

Dec 30, 2016 3:00 PM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

When I heard that Facing East Noodle & Bar (4647 Convoy St.) was doing black truffle and foie gras versions of xiao long bao, I was excited and dubious in equal parts. more

Dec 27, 2016 11:00 AM The World Fare

The way 2016 played out, 2017 surely has to be better, right? Right. We won't judge readers if they just want to stay home, play Prince records and cry, but why not kick 2017 off in style? more

Dec 20, 2016 6:30 PM , , , Culture

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

The story of lunch at The Red Door Restaurant is a tale told by a persimmon. That persimmon wasn't supposed to be the star of the dish, mind you, but it went ahead and told the story anyway. more

Dec 19, 2016 3:00 PM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

The "Tortas Washmobile" name may sound like something right out of a Saturday Night Live sketch but the carne asada tortas it slings are what every little carne asada torta wants to be when it grows up. more

Dec 12, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

"Edible art" is an idea often attached to Japanese high cuisine like sushi or kaeseki. But the notion that Japanese food is inherently precious and high-end is exaggerated at best. more

Dec 7, 2016 10:30 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Hot pot is having its moment. It's a moment that was, perhaps, crowned when Anthony Bourdain sang its praises and wielded it like a weapon in Eric Ripert's direction on the Sichuan episode of Bourdain's Parts Unknown CNN show. more

Nov 28, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

In Britain and many of its former colonies, pie brings to mind a world of robust, savory offerings. Pop Pie Co. (4404 Park Boulevard) in University Heights aims to get us in touch with our inner Brit. more

Nov 17, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

While we don't have many good tapas bars in San Diego, certainly not enough for a classic Spanish "tapas crawl," perhaps the one that best exemplifies the tapas spirit is Cueva Bar (2123 Adams Ave.) in University Heights. more

Nov 11, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

We pretty much suck at deli. There are many types of food and restaurants we do really well in San Diego but deli just isn't one of them. more

Nov 4, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Once upon a time Cantonese cuisine was the shiny new thing. Then again, there was a Gold Rush going on back then. Now "regional Chinese" is all the rage (as if Guangdong Province's Cantonese were not one of China's eight great regional cuis... more

Oct 28, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

According to Gordon Ramsay, "Cooking today is a young man's game." But is cheffing? Ordinarily it takes over a decade to climb the back-of-the-house ladder. more

Oct 21, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

At one level, Sabina’s is an indoor incarnation of her iconic street cart. And it would truly be difficult to say that there is any dish there better than La Guerrerense’s most famous dish: the tostada de erizo con almeja . more

Oct 17, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Before I noticed the painted "wall" ringing the top of the dining room I thought it might just be a silly name. But was "Great Wow" really a politically incorrect pun on "Great Wall?" more

Oct 7, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

When TripAdvisor named San Diego the country’s best pizza city, many scoffed at the notion a place with no signature pizza style of its own (and one best known for fish tacos) could come out on top. more

Oct 3, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

The food at Sanvil reflects the heritage of its executive chef, Surinder Veer Singh Ortega: half Indian, half Mexican. more

Sep 23, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

Sauerkraut dogPhoto by Michael A. Gardiner One of the most enduring images of Manhattan streets is food carts—not taco trucks—on every corner. Nothing’s more emblematic of that than the blu more

Sep 19, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare

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Photo by Michael A. Gardiner

It crept up on us some time around the early 2000s—a growing recognition that P.F. Changs has little to do with "Chinese" food. Watered down Chinese? Perhaps. more

Sep 12, 2016 12:00 AM The World Fare