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Paon’s fish-bearing sibling opens in Carlsbad

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Because doing the same thing all the time is for obsessive compulsives and married people, the dudes behind Carlsbad’s Paon decided to switch it up by creating “the polar opposite” of their pricey, Frenchy, previous joint. Enter Catch, a humpback whale-sized seafood spot with a cool, under-the-sea vibe that that crab from Little Mermaid would totally take Twitpics of thanks to its blue/green hues & lighting, tentacled chandeliers, and brushed steel bar.

Genre-spanning ocean comestibles include a full sushi and sashimi menu, uber-local Carlsbad clams and oysters, or your choice of albacore/mahi mahi/ Fijian ono/white trout pan-seared, charred, blackened, or grilled, in case you suspect it’s acting…yep…fishy (SPOILER ALERT: it is). Aside from a worldly spread of wines (32 by the glass, 25 bottled), the real fermented stars are on the 27-strong sake menu separated into categories like crisp, fruity, cloudy, and ultra-premium, which features billfold breakers like Liquid Gold junmai daiginjo made from 60yr extinct rice, and an ultra-rare koshu daiginjo (only 300 bottles are produced annually) dubbed the Flying Pegasus, probably because a Flightless Pegasus is just a horse.

If you prefer to go harder, they’ve got a “Catchy” ‘tail list, currently including seven picks like the White Russian-esque double espresso vodka/ vanilla vodka/ cream “Fly by Night”, though if you want something else, that’s cool, too. It’s not like you’re married to it.

Carlsbad gets more hoppy

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You like beer. And you like Carlsbad, and not just because of the Motherhood Maternity Factory Store at the Premium Outlets. So it’s only logical that you should like Fezziwig’s Brewing, the newest brewery ready to tell your taste buds, “I got hops. And barley and stuff”. Dance into their tasting room to sample:

Classics: As of now, you can find yourself the proud taster of go-to’s like a dry, “Darby” Porter Ale with hints of cocoa, a fresh, citrusy, and “deceptively sessionable” India Pale Ale, and a lighter bodied “Tiny Tim” Cream Ale with “floral character” — something you really only get when you stop and smell the roses. Then stop doing stuff with flowers.

Seasonals: Right now they’ve got an 11% barley wine that is “big, dark, and sticky”. And soon, they’ll rock a Cuvee, which they describe as “barley wine souped up with secret ingredients”, making it strong enough for a man, and also hopefully ph balanced for men, too.

You’ll want to keep coming back to their tasting room as they’re very serious about constantly changing their styles, proving they could teach a thing or two to that complacent wrap dress buyer over at Motherhood Maternity.

Sandos by the beach in Carlsbad

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SoCal institution Board and Brew has expanded their robust craft beer lineup and signature sandwiches to a new beachside location in Carlsbad. Hit the waterfront this weekend and scarf down a roast turkey/ cream cheese/ sunflower seed California Delight, then bemoan the 90mins you have to wait to get in the water… ah screw it, get another sandwich.

1. Board & Brew

SoCal institution Board & Brew has expanded their robust craft beer lineup and signature sandwiches to a new beachside location in Carlsbad.

Corner Bakery Cafe Opens in Carlsbad

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SD’s first franchised CBC (strategically posted across from the C-bad outlets) is serving all-day eats ranging from Cinnamon Creme Cake, to Pesto Cavatappi w/ roasted chicken, to the applewood smoked bacon/ bell pepper/ onion/ shroom/ potato/ cheddar “Anaheim Scrambler”, which’s also the name Disneyland had picked out before the lawyers suggested “Space Mountain” instead.

These are San Diego’s finest sushi spots

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Live in San Diego long enough and you’ll realize that you can’t throw a ninja star without hitting a sushi restaurant in this town (note: please don’t go around town indiscriminately throwing ninja stars). The trouble is filtering through a sea of so-so California rolls to find the sweet spots. Next time you have a hankering for wasabi, here are the eight SD sushi restaurants you need to let take care of you.

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Sushi Ota
Pacific Beach
You normally wouldn’t expect to find amazing sushi in a strip mall tucked between car dealerships and a 7-Eleven, but that’s what makes Sushi Ota a hidden gem. Despite the unspectacular location, it’s usually packed (okay maybe not THAT hidden), so unless you like hanging out in parking lots, make a reservation. You can order rolls if you want, but what they’re really known for is their spot-on, fresh sashimi and some of the most reliably delicious uni in town.

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The Joint
Ocean Beach
In true OB fashion, The Joint is doing something a little different — serving a long list of legit sushi and specialty rolls in addition to a tapas menu that has absolutely nothing to do with Asian fare. No matter what kind of sushi you like, you’d be hard pressed not to find something you love on their list — like the tuna poke (above) or the Bomb-A-Licious roll full of spicy crab and tempura shishitto peppers topped with hamachi, avocado, micro cilantro, habañero, masago, and cilantro pepper sauce.

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Shiku Sushi
La Jolla
In a neighborhood where everything is typically overpriced, Shiku’s standout sushi comes with a bonus of solid value. You can’t beat the happy hour roll specials, hot sake for just a buck, and their specialty roll menu with cleverly named options like the I’m So Baked roll made with crab, tuna, and cream cheese wrapped in white fish and topped with lobster and jalapeño, then baked with a garlic crab dynamite sauce.

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Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar
Carlsbad
If you’re looking to try something really new, the guys who own Love Boat Sushi just opened this spot in Carlsbad, combining skewered meats and veggies cooked on a robata grill with some unique specialty rolls, like this concoction of soft shell crab, avocado, more crab, and rice baked in a puff pastry. Their bar holds a selection of Japanese whisky, sake, a craft cocktail list, and a few sake bomb options, one of which is made with 151.

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Café Japengo
La Jolla
At Café Japengo, not only can you dine on an award-winning selection of sushi like the Summer Roll made with spicy crab, broccolini, grilled shrimp, and avocado on the inside and salmon, lime, and sweet ponzu on the outside — you can learn how to make it yourself. Executive Chef Jerry Warner has been around since the place opened over 20 years ago, and offers a hands-on sushi making class once a month.

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Sushi Tadokoro
Old Town
Old Town isn’t exactly the part of SD you’d think to visit when a sushi craving hits, but nestled amongst the Mexican restaurants is a little place serving some of the freshest traditional Edo-mae style sushi in town. They’re only open for dinner and the place is small, so reservations are definitely advisable.

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Harney Sushi
Old Town and Oceanside
Harney has been serving San Diegans for over a decade, and with their dedication to serving sustainable sushi, they can tell you exactly where every piece of their seafood comes from. Both locations have a dimly lit bar vibe with a daily food-and-drink happy hour, in addition to a late-night social hour and an all-day Monday happy hour at their Oceanside spot.

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Bang Bang
Downtown
It’s not every day that you get to dance under a massive disco ball, pee in front of Ryan Gosling, and eat pretty amazing sushi all in a night out downtown. Bang Bang has a great selection of nigiri, sashimi, and a list of specialty rolls like the Hello Kitty (spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, avocado in a pink soy paper topped with bay scallops, tempura flakes, chili aoli, and eel sauce). If you don’t like your Bruce Lee roll with a side of party, you can always mellow out in the sushi room.

Published by: Norris, Sarah. “These Are San Diego’s Finest Sushi Spots.” Thrillist., 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.

San Diego’s best under-the-radar taquerias

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With our proximity to the border, it’s no surprise that San Diego is up to its piñata in taquerias. Everybody has their favorite go-to spot, but it seems like the same handful of places make every “Best Taco” list in town while there are unrecognized hidden gems around every corner. Here are a few places to try next time you want to mix it up:

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Jalapeños Mexican Food
Carmel Mountain
The last place you’d think to look for delicious Mexican food is in a Carmel Mountain strip mall next to Supercuts, but that’s exactly where you’ll find Jalapeños serving some of the best carne asada in town. Order it any way you want it: in a quesadilla, burrito, taco, or on nachos — but its best piled on top of a plate of fries with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa from their selection at the salsa bar.

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 9.09.25 PMSuper Cocina
Normal Heights
Super Cocina has a rotating selection of truly authentic Mexican food served up cafeteria-style. The menu is made up of traditional soups like pozole or menudo and dishes like Puerco en Chile Colorado (pork, pork ribs, and potatoes in a spicy red chile de arbol and tomatillo sauce). Chances are you won’t know what half of the dishes are, so don’t be shy, they are happy to give you samples.

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Tacos El Gordo
Imperial Beach and Chula Vista
If you want traditional TJ tacos without having to take a trip South of the border, Tacos El Gordo has two locations, neither of which requires a passport. Their tacos are made with fresh tortillas and just about any kind of meat you could want — from lengua and cabeza, to buche and spicy pork adobada sliced right from a giant slab.

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Sara’s Mexican Food
Mission Beach
Usually “hole in the wall” is a figure of speech, but Sara’s is literally a hole in the wall between bars on Mission Blvd. There’s no seating, just a window for to-go orders. Get one of their giant burritos to take to the beach, or stop by late-night to grab some life-saving tacos on your way home from the bar.

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Taco Express
Little Italy
A taco shop is the last thing you’d expect to find in Little Italy (fine, maybe not the LAST thing, but certainly not the first either), but when you get tired of pizza and pasta, this place is well worth your attention. The tacos are on point and fairly priced, the covered patio out back is the perfect place to destroy them in relative anonymity, and the friendly staff won’t judge you.

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 9.15.53 PMTommy’s Tex Mex
Point Loma
Whether you call this place Tommy’s Tex Mex, Don Tommy’s, Don Tommy’s Tex Mex, or any combination of those words, the fact remains that they have amazing homemade tortillas, and you need to be eating them. Right now. Go!

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La Fachada
Logan Heights
Ok, so you may not be accustomed to the neighborhood, and ordering would be easier if you spoke Spanish, but don’t let that scare you off — La Fachada is the real deal when it comes to street tacos, and their fantastic selection of aguas frescas make for the perfect chaser.

Published by: Norris, Sarah. “San Diego’s best under-the-radar taquerias.” Thrillist., 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.

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