The Dish: September 27-October 03

The Dish is your source for the latest menu updates, new cocktail programs, happy hours, and special offers from San Diego’s best restaurants and bars!

September 29th is National Coffee Day!

It’s the perfect chance to go support your favorite coffee shop, or explore a new one!

Bird Rock’s very own Dodo Bird Donuts will be celebrating the holiday by offering a free cup of drip coffee all day on Friday, September 29 for every customer.

With signature espresso drinks like their Cortado, Sea Salt Mocha, or Espresso Tonic, paired with seasonal pastries and breakfast sandwiches like their Maple Bacon Crunch Donut, Blueberry Glazed Donut or Cubano Sandwich, Dodo is the perfect café to indulge for the holiday.

Havana 1920, GBOD Hospitality Group’s intimate Cuban restaurant located in the Gaslamp Quarter, is celebrating with free coffee as well!

The first 25 visitors to the street-side cafe may receive a complimentary Café Moto Havana Blend drip coffee at its ground-level cafe, beginning at 11AM exclusively on Friday, September 29.

The Dish with Havana 1920

Coffee lovers can also purchase half-priced bags of coffee all day, including one-pound bags of Café Moto Havana Blend, a whole bean dark roast Caribbean coffee beans; and Seven Seas Dark Side of the Seas, a dark blend of Central and South American coffee beans. Plus, there are also a variety of lattes, cortados and more at the cafe.

Communal is helping everyone raise a mug in celebration of America’s most beloved beverages from the return of seasonal lattes to bar cart must-haves. Plus, enjoy $1 cold brew and batch coffee until 12PM at all three locations (Oceanside, North Park, and South Park).

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As the smells of pumpkin spic fill the air, Communal welcomes back three of their fan-favorite seasonal beverages including the Gingerbread Maple Latte and Pumpkin Spice Latte.

More seasonal drinks and menu items still to come!

Espresso Martinis have coffee in them, too! 😋

Espresso Martinis are still having their moment…and we’re all for it! Now some of San Diego’s restaurants are adding their own creative twists:

Mezé Greek Fusion, GBOD’s popular Greek restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter, puts a twist on the espresso martini with its Una Faccia Una Razza, a combination of Ketel One vodka, Mr. Black coffee, espresso, DropKick cold brew BOLD Brew, ouzo and pistachio whipped cream, priced at $18.

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Bencotto Italian Kitchen and Monello, located in the heart of Little Italy, puts their own twists on the espresso martini. Made with the choice of Grey Goose Vodka or Elijah Craig small batch bourbon, the cocktail is made with vanilla, almond orgeat and R&D sarsaparilla bitters, priced at $16.

City Tacos’ OB Playground Now Open

After a few delays, City Tacos’ OB Playground in Ocean Beach has opened its doors and it’s amazing!

City Tacos Ocean Beach playground will be a community hub

The 10,000-square-foot space at the corner of Voltaire and Cable Streets has a flower shop, coffee shop, C.R.I.B. (collective retail incubation biz) built out of an old Volkswagen van that has rotating small businesses selling their goods, and a dog park with real grass, a fake fire hydrant, and hoops and a tube to jump through. Games for humans include life-size chess, life-size Connect 4, Jenga, Dominos, and hop scotch.

There are 10 taps for draft beer (all are local), as well as bottled Mexican beers, wine. and seltzers. OB Playground is open daily from 11AM–9PM.

Harvest Moon Dinner at Vino Carta

We love the creative dinners and experiences that Vino Carta keeps cooking up!

For their latest, Vino Carta Solana Beach’s resident chef Juan Gonzalez of Mesa Agricola is partnering with Los Angeles-based chef, Alejandro “Alex” Bolar, for a Harvest Moon Dinner on Saturday, September 30.

Bolar, an Atlanta native, will infuse his Southern roots to the menu, which includes Fennel & Pear Salad, Lobster & Figs, Roasted Kurobota Pork Tenderloin, Candied Trombocino Squash, a special dessert, and more.

There is one seating at 6PM, and dinner will be served family style ($110 per person). Gonzalez, a Baja native, and his wife, Megan Strom, harvest produce from their ¼-acre farm in Valley Center to use on the menu. Reservations are required here.

Sky Deck Announces Collective Happy Hour With Tenants

Sky Deck’s tenants have joined forces to bring San Diegans an extraordinary new experience – the Sky Deck Collective Happy Hour.

Kicking off October 1, from Monday to Friday, between 4PM and 6PM, get ready to unwind and enjoy the best of what our vibrant community has to offer.

Participating restaurants include Ambrogio15Craft HouseGlass BoxMarufuku RamenUnderstory, and URBANA Mexican Gastronomy & Mixology.

Click HERE to know more.

A Culinary Journey at Bleu Bohème for San Diego Restaurant Week

We lovvvvvvvve Bleu Bohème!

If you haven’t been – or you haven’t been lately – now is the perfect time, as they’ll be taking guests on a culinary journey with a three-course menu for San Diego Restaurant Week, exclusively available Tuesday, September 26 through Saturday, September 30.

To begin, guests may choose from a selection of petit plats, including rum-cured and cold-smoked salmon, sautéed GruyeÌre dumplings, crab croquettes, roasted beet salad, French onion soup and more.

Main course selections will include Shiitake and oyster mushroom raviolis, braised beef short rib, Faroe Island salmon, and Hudson Valley Muscovy duck leg confit. For an additional $8, guests may order large dry-pack sea scallops, served with saffron lobster risotto, linguiça, English peas, fennel and basil pistou.

To finish on a sweet note, guests may choose between warm brioche bread pudding, dark Callebaut chocolate mousse, and warm gingerbread. The full San Diego Restaurant Week menu is available online here.

Bleu Bohème’s signature dinner menu will also be available and may be viewed here.

Alejandra’s Now Serving Weekend Brunch Service

Alejandra’s Fine Mexican Food and Cantina in La Costa begins weekend brunch service this Saturday. On Saturdays and Sundays only, from 10AM–2PM, Executive Chef Amy DiBiase and Chef de Cuisine Abner Peralta present a menu with Horchata Pancakes, Break Chicken and Steak Fajitas, Huevos Rancheros, Chilaquiles, and drinks such as the Mexpresso Martini, Bloody Loca, and Grapefruit Mojito.

Reservations are encouraged and can be made here.

New Happy Hour Menu at Paradisaea

Paradisaea over in Bird Rock is launching a new happy hour menu, kicking off next Wednesday, September 27. Think: 50% off signature cocktails, draft beer, and wine, on top of 50% off a special new bar menu including $1 West Coast Oysters.

This new HH will be available on Wednesdays & Thursdays from 4PM-6PM.

Dive into National Seafood Month with Q&A Oyster Bar

Starting October 1, seafood enthusiasts nationwide will embark on a flavorful journey, and at the forefront of this maritime celebration stands Q&A Restaurant & Oyster Bar. Renowned Chef Quinnton Austin has poured his creative genius into crafting an oyster-centric menu that he proudly dubs the “Wing Stop of Oysters.”

Whether you prefer the simplicity of raw oysters, the smoky flavors of charbroiled delights, or the zestiness of oyster cocktails, this restaurant has something for everyone.

For the full menu, click here.

“Oh my gourd!”

October 1 means its officially pumpkin season, and Spill the Beans is releasing their specialty menu items! Stop in to the Gaslamp or Seaport Village location to try the Pumpkin Spice Bagel with Pumpkin Cheesecake Cream Cheese, or the Pumpkin Maple Muffin topped with a Spiced Brown Sugar Glaze. Pair with any of the coffee and bagel shop’s seasonal sips – Basic Witch, Maple Blondie, or Pumpkin Pie Cold Brew – for the ultimate fall treat. You can also order online, for delivery or pick-up, directly from Spill the Beans’ website or by clicking here.

In A ‘Hunt’ For A Great Date Night?

An upscale, modern steakhouse like no other, Huntress is named after a powerful persona of strength, elegance and primal instinct – the restaurant is a direct reflection of the Huntress herself. 

Steak at Huntress

Every Monday-Thursday, make your way to the Gaslamp Quarter to enjoy Huntress Date Night with menu items featuring your choice of Lobster Soup or Wedge Salad,  6oz filet or 12oz NY Strip served with family-style whipped potatoes and broccolini, 7 Sins Chocolate Cake and a bottle of Arnaldo Caprai Montefalco Rosso. The Huntress Date Night menu is priced at $140/couple.

Masa Dumplings and Lamb Kefta at Vino Carta Wine Bar

Mesa Agricola’s Juan Gonzalez, who serves as the resident chef at Solana Beach’s Vino Carta Wine Bar, Wednesday to Sunday, has rolled out new menu items that include Masa Dumplings, Lamb Kefta, and Marinated Feta.

The dumplings use heirloom corn masa, tromboncino squash puree, huitlacoche, hoja santa, and Iberico cheese. The feta includes California bay leaf, thyme, and pink peppercorn. Gonzalez and his wife Megan Strom have a ¼-acre farm in Valley Center that provides produce for the menu.

A Carne Asada Burrito Wrapped in a Cheese Quesadilla?! 😳

Tacaliente Mexican Grill in Hillcrest has introduced the Double Wrapped Burrito to its menu, a carne asada burrito wrapped in a cheese quesadilla. The burrito includes beans, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, and chipotle sauce. Guests who order the new item during happy hour (daily from 4PM–8PM) can add a beer for just $2.50. Tacaliente is open until 12AM, Sunday to Tuesday and until 3AM, Wednesday – Saturday.

Vino & Vibes Date Nights at Rustic Roots!

Every Tuesday, Rustic Root is offering the perfect weekday date night, Vino and Vibes, where guests are invited to enjoy half-priced bottles of wine and live acoustic music on the lively rooftop with views of the bustling Gaslamp Quarter below.

Located in the heart of San Diego’s iconic Gaslamp Quarter, Rustic Root brings new American Comfort food with a California twist. Classic dishes are rooted in tradition, including regional dishes from around the country. All reimagined with fresh and local ingredients and Chef’s modern flair.

Greek Taco Tuesdays at Mezé

Mezé Greek Fusion introduced a new menu of bites and beverages for Taco Tuesday, merging traditional Mediterranean flavors with Mexican favorites, now available every Tuesday from 2PM-5PM and 8PM-9:30PM.

Meze Greek Fusion tacos

Tacos, priced at $3 each, will be served on a corn tortilla and available with a range of proteins and toppings, including:

  • Chicken with pico de Greco, lettuce, cheddar cheese and spicy tztatziki
  • Gyro with pico de Greco, lettuce, feta cheese and spicy tzatziki
  • Falafel with pico de Greco, lettuce and spicy tazatziki
  • Braised lamb with feta and cilantro
  • Steak with pico de Greco, lettuce, feta cheese and spicy tzatziki

Each dish with the choice to add guacamole, a Greek fusion guacamole, for an additional $1.

To complement the tacos, the menu also features a shot and a beer for $9, well drinks and draft beers for $5 and glasses of house wine for $6. The Taco Tuesday offerings are available exclusively to locals and for in-house dining. Each guest must purchase a beverage to be eligible for the specially priced offerings.

The Flavors of Fall Now Available at Spill The Beans

Spill the Beans coffee and bagel shop just launched their seasonal sips menu, and its anything but basic. Flavors of fall, including pumpkin, maple, and caramel can be found in the three specialty drinks:

Basic Witch: the Basic Sitch gets a pumpkin makeover; a mix of pumpkin pie sauce, and vanilla with a caramel drizzle. This favorite comes back year-after year!

Maple Blondie: Spill the Beans’ classic Blondie Mocha is given a maple twist. Instead of the caffeinated drink being made with macadamia syrup, this autumnal concoction is crafted with sweet maple syrup.

Pumpkin Pie Cold Brew: This is made with Spill the Beans’ signature cold brew, house made simple syrup, and topped with a generous layer of pumpkin pie cold foam. It’s the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor while still being coffee forward!

And throughout the season, the pumpkin spice cold foam is available to add to any other drink for an additional $.50, and the pumpkin pie sauce can be added into any beverage for an additional $.50 as well. These specialty sips will only be available through November, so try all three before the seasons change!

You & Yours Now Entering Cozy Season

Was it just us, or did it feel like summer only lasted a full five minutes? If it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that we’re almost to October already, you’re not alone. But have no fear –  we’re here to help ease you into the season with a lineup of fall beauties that might just have you planning an apple-picking trip before you know it.

Take a sneak peek at the new leading ladies of autumn below, and stop by the Tasting Room starting this Wednesday at 4PM to give them all a try!

  • The Great Pumpkin: Y&Y Vodka + pumpkin + ginger + coconut milk + molasses + sage + vanilla + salted graham cracker rim
  • Folklore: Sunday Gin + pear + almond + clove + lime + sage + egg white
  • Autumn Spritz: London Dry Gin + blood orange + cranberry + cinnamon + black pepper + balsamic + sparkling wine
  • Plum Sour: London Dry Gin + plum + pomegranate + lemon + ginger + cardamom bitters + egg white
  • Pecan Joe: Whiskey Barrel-Rested London Dry Gin + Up & At ‘Em Coffee Liqueur + pecan + black walnut bitters + molasses bitters + coffee cinnamon whip

View Fall Menu HERE!

Animae Brings In The Heat With Seafood Hot Pot

Animae is throwing a HOT POT PARTY on Wednesdays! Executive Chef Tara Monsod created a Korean-inspired hot pot with 1 ½ lb lobster, 1 ½ lb dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, calamari, mixed mushrooms, tofu, squash, napa cabbage, udon, rice cakes, and spicy broth.

Served with raw seafood salad, rice, yuzu sorbet and bubbles. $80 per person. Serves 4 – 6 people. Find a table here.

The Dish features Animae

Nova Easy Kombucha Released First Ever BEER!

NOVA Easy Kombucha has expanded its Ocean Beach taproom. The new family-friendly space, which is less than a half mile from the OB Pier, features games like foosball, a pool table, and air hockey.

NOVA has 12 different flavors on tap, including a kombucha craft cocktail on draft that was released earlier in September called the Sandia Sunset (gin with cool mint, sweet watermelon, and hint of line). The kombucha brand also released its first-ever beer: NOVA Beach Lager. The light, 4% ABV brew is made with coconut water and Sabro hops. NOVA also has non-alcoholic options, and all are naturally fermented, gluten-free, and vegan.

Prime Time Milanese is City Tacos’ Taco of the Month

City Tacos’ Taco of the Month for September is the Prime Time Milanese, which features thin-sliced breaded prime beef topped with a special version of pico de gallo that includes pineapple. Also included is avocado, cilantro aioli, skinny tortilla chips, and micro greens – all on a flour tortilla with grilled cheese.

City Tacos has six locations throughout the County, including downtown, Encinitas, La Mesa, North Park, Pacific Beach, and Sorrento Valley. A seventh location, OB Playground, will soon open in Ocean Beach. For Taco Tuesday, enjoy 10% off your entire food order as well as $2.50 Mexican beers.

Brunch at Whiskey House

Downtown San Diego’s iconic Whiskey House, renowned for holding the Guinness World Record for the Most Varieties of Whiskey/Whisky Commercially Available, is rolling out a brunch experience.

Available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9AM to 3PM, indulge in an array of choices, from classic breakfast items to Mexican delights.

Favorites include the luscious Banana Peanut Butter Caramel French Toast, the savory Egg, Basil, Tomato, and Fresh Mozzarella Breakfast Sandwich, and the flavorful Chorizo Burger. Vegan options are also available, along with an impressive drink menu featuring craft cocktails.

Enjoy both indoor and patio seating at the corner of 3rd Avenue and J Street.

All Things Football at Johnny WAHOO!

Located in the heart of Gaslamp Quarter, Johnny WAHOO! Golf Bar is a lively entertainment venue that offers interactive Full Swing golf simulators, handcrafted bar fare, large-format cocktails and rousing weekly programming for social, sports enthusiasts, and not just for golf fans. Johnny WAHOO! Is the perfect hub for all things football, with incredible specials for every game day:

The Dish features Johnny WAHOO

Celebrate the thrill of Monday Night Football with specials including: $25 All You Can Eat Wings, $1 WAHOO! cans, domestic & premium pitcher specials, happy hour from 3PM-6PM, $3 shots specials, free play football simulator games, raffles & giveaways

Celebrate the season with specials including: $9 cheeseburgers, served with house chips, $1 WAHOO! cans, domestic & premium pitcher specials, happy hour from 3PM-6PM, $3 shots specials, free play football simulator games, raffles & giveaways

Johnny WAHOO! Golf Bar opens Saturday & Sunday at 9AM for fans to get their weekend football fix: $9 breakfast burritos, $5 mimosas, $8 bloody marys, $1 WAHOO! cans, domestic & premium pitcher specials, $3 shots specials, free play football simulator games, raffles & giveaways.

Nason’s Nostalgia Nights

Fridays, from 5PM to 10PM: Nason’s Beer Hall is bringing back the taste of time-tested classic snacks with ‘Nason’s Nostalgia Nights,’ serving a special 90’s throwback menu by Chef Brandon Sloan. The nostalgic menu will serve old-school favorites with an elevated twist, featuring Bagel Bites, Hamburger Helper, Cosmic Brownies, Oatmeal Cream Pies, and Toaster Strudels.

Cheers to retro drinks and games, including an Appletini with vodka, pear cognac, granny smith apple juice, apple slices, Luxardo cherries, and a pop rocks rim; or Hawaiian Punch Runner with bacardi, banana liquor, pineapple juice, lime juice, Hawaiian punch and pop rocks.

View the full menu here.

See you there, San Diego!

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