10 Delicious Fall Dishes From Top San Diego Restaurants

Animae

The captivatingly elegant, Animae, led by Executive Chef Tara Monsod, offers an abundance of approachable comfort foods inspired by Chef Tara’s own Filipino upbringing in addition to more upscale dishes. The sweet and salty “Ginataang Mussels” are prepared in coconut milk and feature salt spring mussels sourced from the Salish Sea off Saltspring Island, British Columbia, in the Strait of Georgia, coconut, kabocha squash, which lends to the dishes’ sweetness and orange hue, and sea bean served with a french baguette.

Another warming favorite perfect for fall is Chef Tara’s Short Rib Kare Kare, a Filipino style stew traditionally made only on special occasions, cooked with short ribs, rather than the traditional oxtail, and accompanied by “bagoong”, a fermented baby shrimp paste that adds a saltiness and umami flavor, bringing the dish to new heights.

For Asian-inspired twists on classics, try the Brussel Sprouts with chili vinaigrette, peanuts, shallots, mint and lime or the Crispy Potatoes with A5 Wagyu fat, chinese sausage jam and koji sour cream, Chef Tara’s take on a classic loaded baked potato.

Communal

Communal, the creative-minded cafe and shop, is debuted its fall menu on October 3rd at all locations. The theme for this season is healthy comfort food, featuring seasonal ingredients.

Menu must-trys include the Buratta Confit Tomato Toast with confit heirloom tomatoes, burrata, balsamic vinaigrette glaze and parmesan served on French bread; the Wild Mushroom Truffle Toast with roasted wild mushrooms, truffle vinaigrette, parmesan and arugula on rosemary sage bread; Shakshuka with spicy tomato sauce, feta, olives, herbs and soft boiled eggs served with French bread; Sweet & Spicy Squash Pizzetta with ricotta, acorn squash, prosciutto, apple cider caramelized onions, arugula and pepitas; and for dessert, try the Apple Crisp with apples, oat crumble and cinnamon topped with vanilla ice cream.

A trip to Communal wouldn’t be complete without a drink. This fall, try their Pumpkin Spice Latte made with their classic house made pumpkin spice puree and espresso topped with fresh whip and pumpkin spice; the Gingerbread Maple Latte with their house mix of spice, organic maple syrup and espresso topped with fresh whip and gingerbread spice; or their Spiced Apple Cider Martini made with spiced cider, sabe rum, caramel sauce and a spiced rim.

Communal’s fall menu evokes the enjoyable flavors of the season, so be sure to stop by one of the locations to give the new menu items a try.

Marisi

With a focus on traditional Italian Hearth cooking and handmade pastas, Marisi offers an abundance of warm, indulgent dishes perfect for fall. Satisfy pasta cravings with the Pappardelle highlighting duck ragu genovese, tehachapi rye, and preserved lemons or the Rigatoni with pomodoro, calabrian chillis and stracciatella. For nourishing, lighter coastal-inspired dishes from the hearth, order the Half Chicken seasoned with calabrian chilis, blistered tomato and chicory or the Mushrooms topped with brown butter and tuscan kale salsa verde.

Cultivating an authentic Italian restaurant experience, each of Marisi’s dishes call out clean and bold flavors, executed by the experienced and meticulous hand of Chef Chad Huff. Forgo fall travel plans and instead transport yourself to the doors of Italy by way of La Jolla.

Puesto

Known for its signature Mexico City-style tacos wrapped in crispy melted cheese, Puesto’s menu of beloved tacos, guacamole, ceviche and of course margaritas are comforting no matter the time of year, but this October, Puesto is featuring a Shrimp & Pumpkin Mole taco with Mexican shrimp in a pumpkin mole with pico topped with queso fresco, pickled Fresnos and garnished with cilantro leaves, perfect to satisfy your fall cravings.

Shrimp & Pumpkin Mole taco

Pair it with Puesto Perfect Guacamole and a Margarita and if there’s still room, the Filet Mignon taco or Verduras taco with crispy melted cheese, rajas, tatume squash, papas, corn & tomato, nopales, avocado, jalapeño, zucchini blossom to complete the perfect San Diego fall meal.

Craft House

Craft House Sky Deck interior

New American Mexican fusion restaurant, Craft House Sky Deck, offers an elevated yet casual dining experience with a plethora of warming menu options perfect for the cooler fall weather.

Experience a fusion of flavors in each bite of the Shrooms + Truffle Burger highlighting an 8 oz. patty with an herb roasted mushroom medley, black truffle, smoked gouda, wild baby arugula, garlic aioli, onion and jam or cozy up with a bowl of the famous Fishermen’s Stew made with salt spring mussels, little neck clams, pacific jumbo shrimp, octopus, seabass, pomodoro and served with a side of grilled sourdough.

Craft House and Deck Shrooms + Truffle Burger

The plethora of fall flavors and comfort food offerings set against the backdrop of a dark, rustic ambiance reminiscent of a sunken ship make Craft House the perfect dining destination this season.

Ranch 45

Honey & Thyme Roasted Rainbow Carrots

Ranch 45, North County eatery, butchery, restaurant and coffee shop, has an abundance of fall flavors and comfort foods available for breakfast, lunch, dinner and pickup. Starting October 1, try Ranch 45’s signature homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte paired with a freshly baked pastry.

As holiday preparations begin, let Ranch 45 take the pressure off of cooking with their full menu of pickup items. Choose from soups like Roast Butternut Squash Soup or Brandt Beef Bone Broth, comforting sides like Olive Oil Smashed Potatoes and Honey & Thyme Roasted Rainbow Carrots, mains like Herb Crusted Prime Rib with wild mushroom demi and horseradish cream or Smoked Turkey Legs, as well as desserts including an Assorted Cookie Box with chocolate chip, chocolate crackle, ginger molasses and oatmeal cranberry, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake, or Apple Crisp.

Ranch 45 Herb Crusted Prime Rib

Come by for dinner on the moonlit patio for a glass of wine or beer paired with hardy entrees like the Veal Milanese or Mushroom Risotto. As the days get shorter and the temperatures start to drop, Ranch 45 is the perfect casual, yet chef-crafted, eatery to venture out to or pick up from.

Bleu Boheme

Bleu Bohème, located in Kensington at 4090 Adams Ave., will welcome the change in seasons with two new dishes, each made with fresh fall ingredients, available now.

Crafted by Chef and Proprietor Ken Irvine, the new menu includes Poulpe Rôti, a petit plat of roasted Spanish octopus served with Yukon gold potatoes and sauce vert; and Poulet Rôti, a grand plat featuring half of a house cold-smoked and hickory-roasted Mary’s Farm chicken with a classic green herb sauce atop a bed of pommes purée and French green beans.

Bleu Bohème is open from 5PM to 8PM, Tuesday through Thursday, and from 5PM to 9PM, Friday and Saturday. More information is available on the website here, and reservations are available by calling 619.255.4167.

Louisiana Purchase

The American South is arguably the most haunted region of the US. If you’re looking to get into the mood of spooky season and embrace sweater weather without taking a trip down South, you must visit Louisiana Purchase in North Park.

The intimate French Quarter style restaurant that is Louisiana Purchase encompasses all that is New Orleans, including its mystical character and superstitious traditions. Lush swampy greens peek out from around the bar’s elements of wood, marble, and rich velvet, and voodoo décor is playfully placed around. Born and raised in NOLA,

Culinary Director of Grind and Prosper Hospitality Group, Chef Q did his formal training at the Culinary Institute of New Orleans, where the groundwork was laid for a well-seasoned career. Blending Cajun, Creole, and Caribbean heritages, Louisiana Purchase offers a delicious reflection of the American South. His influence has since spread North to Oceanside with the recently opened Q&A Restaurant and Oyster Bar, which occupies the ground floor of The Brick Hotel.

Chef Q’s October Neighborhood Tastes, where he experiments with seasonal ingredients and eclectic whims feature Cajun Mussels and Sausage, Catfish Creole, and a Caprese Seafood Flatbread with shrimp, crawfish, crab meat, tomato, mozzarella, basil and garlic oil. Pair these dishes with a made-from-scratch cocktail—expect simple Southern classics, bourbon, and rye whiskeys. Try a Voodoo Carre with Cognac, Rye, Amaro Nonino, sweet Vermouth, peach balsamic, bitters and applewood smoke dramatically presented in a glass dome. Once removed, the smoke spills out onto the table to give a spooky, haunted vibe.

Louisiana Purchase 2305 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104.

Mister A’s

The Mister A’s remodel centers around the elements of a high-end brasserie with rich wood millwork, custom wall coverings and marble while also pulling in retro influences that hint at the restaurant’s original decadent styling. The elevator doors open to a black and white checkered marble-floored lobby with an array of crystal chandeliers, lending a classic European feel.

From here, guests can exit right to the 180-seat main dining room, or left to the newly built 18-seat bar and 72-seat indoor-outdoor lounge. Raised to meet eye-level with A’s unparalleled skyline views, the space brings back lounge culture with a cocktail program of classics and barrel-aged versions and a bar menu to complement the dinner service offerings.

New fall-inspired dishes from Executive Chef Stephane Voitzwinkler:

  • Hiramasa Crudo – blood orange fresca, serrano, avocado, puffed quinoa (gf)
  • Chickpea Panisse – chino’s eggplant, oven dried tomatoes, shishito relish, tzatziki (vg*/gf)
  • Rack of Colorado Lamb – sugar snap peas, mint gremolata, “blooming onion” (gf*)
  • Wild Caught Salmon “Wellington” – foraged mushroom duxelles, black kale, bearnaise
  • Delicata Squash – epitas & maple sage brown butter (vg*/gf)

Bar Manager Alvin Pulgeda and his team are crafting riffs on the classics, creating their own housemade bitters and offering barrel-aged versions of an Espresso Martini ( millet v.s. armagnac, oak-aged espresso, st. george espresso liqueur, vanilla) and Mesquite Manhattan (warbringer mesquite smoked bourbon, amaro montenegro, luxardo maraschino, black walnut bitters). Their Smoke & Mirrors cocktail features Chichicapa mezcal, tobacco bitters and smoked hoja santa, a savory, culinary herb that’s an essential staple in Mexican cuisine.

Campfire

Bar Manager Nick Sinutko and the Campfire bar team recently introduced an array of new cocktails centered around the fall/winter seasons. Whether it’s roasting, toasting, embering, smoking, or grilling, each drink honors Campfire’s holistic ethos of returning to the roots — to the fire. Utilizing ingredients such as oats, plum, bell pepper, toasted pecan, and lots of seasonal stone fruit, each libation is unique — offering both bright and refreshing, and warm and cozy seasonal sips. Perfect for welcoming the change of the seasons.

Highlights include:

  • Kentucky Crest (rye. roasted nectarine. hojicha. campari. lime.)

Kentucky – a nod to where the distillate comes from, and crest – referring to both the crest on a bird’s head & of the mountains of both Kentucky and Japan, the two connection points for this drink.

  • El Centro (mezcal. pepita. smoked oats. chai. cream sherry. lemon.)

This one started with the team dreaming of an ingredient to make in house and that ingredient was smoked oat milk. The quintessential “cozy” drink for the season.

  • Mountain Shadow (mezcal. blood orange. ayuuk. holy basil.)

Another drink that started with an ingredient. Mommenpop, a natural vermouth. The team especially loved the Blood Orange this year, and decided to create a Mezcal Manhattan around it.

  • Pinoy Thunderbolt (rhums. papaya. charred lemongrass. coconut. bell pepper. lime.)

The cocktail is inspired by the flavors of ‘Atchara’; a common Filipino pickle that is a perfect complement to their bbq-driven cuisine.

See you there, San Diego!

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