As the morning sun streams through Lemon Grove Deli’s windows, diners ponder the ultimate breakfast choice: sweet or savory. If they choose the former, they’ll excavate a belgian waffle from beneath an avalanche of strawberries and whipped cream. If the latter, they’ll bury bacon-and-cheese omelets under dollops of salsa, or enjoy a plate of huevos rancheros. The smoky scent of the grill signals the onset of lunchtime, when the eatery’s wooden tables fill with sandwiches inspired by flavors from California to New England, ranging from grilled pastrami to california cheesesteaks. Customers can also choose from their selection of loaded fries, including loaded gyros fries.
As a New Yorker expose details, chef Javier Plascencia believes in the transformative power of food. The piece describes how in Tijuana, he strove to redefine the city's culinary paradigm with his gourmet food, made exclusively with, as he says, materia prima, or ingredients sourced strictly within 120 miles of the restaurant. He did it, too. In the process, he gained the respect and business of famed chef Anthony Bourdain. After moving to the U.S., he opened Romesco using the same cooking philosophies he prescribed to south of the border, and was recently hailed by Zagat for his skill and innovation and named Chef of the Year by San Diego Eater.
Named Best Mexican restaurant and one of the Top 10 best restaurants by San Diego Magazine Romesco's culinary slate is solidly grounded in Mexican cuisine, but Chef Plascencia has accented his dishes with Mediterranean flavors and cooking techniques. The cuisine is derived from all corners of the globe, from traditional tapas to fettuccini alfredo and baja California lobster ravioli. The carefully selected vintages on the wine list pair with the menu's diverse flavors, especially on Wednesdays when the restaurant also serves Italian dishes with half off wine bottles. On Friday and Saturday, the restaurant stays open late to accommodate night owls, serving tapas until 11:30 and, on every last Saturday of the month, hosting live flamenco music. From 3-7, there are also happy hours?named after what a round trip to the moon will be like in 2060.
The gustatory artisans at Ono's Café populate their menu of Asian-fusion cuisine with a bounty of fresh ingredients that evoke the flavors of California and the distant Pacific Rim. Tables strain under the heft of such entrees as the macadamia-crusted salmon, which ladles a regal banana sauce atop grilled king salmon before showering the plate with an aromatic confetti of black thai rice and asian slaw ($17). Bearing a mosaic of temporary grill-mark tattoos, the kalbi short ribs ($14) waft their flame-kissed aromas across the dining room, and tempura-battered shrimp and vegetables snuggle alongside a salad with miso-raspberry vinaigrette to create the tempura mix ($11). Ono's Café proffers an array of delicate sushi delights, including assorted hand rolls ($4+) as well as a signature house roll, which gives softshell crab and cucumber a great big rice hug before layering albacore tuna, avocado, and a fully paid mortgage atop the creation. Visitors considering a drink can turn to Ono's beverage menu, which comprises beer, cocktails, sake, wine, and multifarious hot and cold options for those who prefer nonalcoholic swallowing.
The health buffs behind Feel Good Nutrition are big fans of herbal supplements. Carrying everything from the brand's supplements and smoothies to its body wash and shampoo, they pave a way for clients to find a healthy life full of energy and public feats of strength. Within the homey storefront, guests can snag a nutritional drink mix or meal-replacement shake, or have a strawberry-banana smoothie blended with protein, aloe, and an energy-booster.
Whether they're teaching music-and-movement classes to infants or leading high-school gymnastics, Tumble Wee & Dance's instructors strive to foster a love of movement and activity. Their diverse class roster includes hip-hop, ballet and tap, and gymnastics classes, and they also lead students in a competitive dance program that performs across California and Arizona.
Owner and head chef Francesco Basile cut his culinary teeth as a young boy in his native Sicily, peeling potatoes and cleaning fish for traditional family feasts. After graduating from culinary school, Francesco broadened his skills and palate, mastering meals of hand-rolled pappardelle at Italian resorts and learning to craft mouthwatering feasts of Italian-American fare at bustling restaurants in southern California. By opening Antica Trattoria in 2001, he built a business dedicated to cooking with fresh ingredients and celebrating simple, traditional Italian dishes, enrapturing diners with meals of pepper-crusted pork loin, melted brie with figs jam, and seafood stews swimming in tomato-herb broth. Together with right-hand-cook Eric Ruiz, Francesco changes his menu with the seasons, delivering seafood plates tinged with the aroma of fresh herbs and fennel in the spring and walnut cream sauces and pumpkin ravioli in the autumn.
The restaurant exudes a rustic, timeless charm, with walls of bare brick decorated with tops of wooden wine crates and colorful murals of idyllic Italian countryscapes. A towering china hutch in the rear dining area evokes images of a grandmother's kitchen, and an elegant marble-topped wine bar brings forth memories of a grandmother's secret speakeasy, inviting diners to sample tasty digestifs of fine vino from across Italy, France, and the Pacific coast.