“When [you] walk through the door, the first thing you’re gonna smell is bacon.” That’s a promise from Slater’s 50/50 founder Scott Slater, whose restaurant serves an infamous burger patty built from half ground beef and half ground bacon. Executive Chef Brad Lyons helped with the recipe, though the original inspiration came from the all-bacon patties Scott and his friends used to grill up during Chargers tailgate parties. For the restaurant, he decided to cut the bacon with high-quality beef that, like a baby's fake ID, is aged 21 days. As if the bacon-infused patties weren’t distinctive enough (as far as they know, Slater’s 50/50 the only restaurant in the world that serves them), Scott and Brad designed a DIY menu that lets patrons customize their burgers by size and with 11 cheeses, 40 toppings, 19 sauces, and four kinds of bread. Patrons overwhelmed by these options can instead order one of the specialty burgers, such as a Peanut Butter and Jellousy with creamy peanut butter, strawberry jam, and of course, thick-cut bacon. Bacon reappears throughout the menu, including as candied crumbles on brownies and in the syrup used in bacon milkshakes.
High-quality food, all-day breakfast, and a huge outdoor patio make The Boardwalk a great place to take in a game and enjoy some sunny, flavorsome fare. No matter how late you slept off your long night of ventriloquism, snag an a.m. meal such as The Boardwalk’s most popular item, the Short on Cash ($6.95), with two eggs, two pieces of bacon or sausage, and your choice of two pancakes or toast with potatoes. Or try the healthy bestseller, the Acai Bowl ($8.25), served with fresh bananas, berries, and granola. Beach bums can interrupt their skiing fantasies with a selection from the lunch menu, including the Baja Mex-style snapper tacos ($4.25) with rice and beans ($2), and meat masticators can hang a fang on a Boardwalk Burger ($8.95), a ground-on-site sirloin-and-chuck patty topped with tomatoes, grilled onions, and American cheese.
Guava's kitchen sizzles with a menu of American, Mexican, and seaside favorites, and bartenders whip up legendary margaritas and signature cocktails. Cajun spices cling to a grill-blackened slab of mahi-mahi smothered in a sweet-chili sauce and a mango salsa made in-house ($14). The baja burrito granda ($13) clusters succulent chunks of house marinated and grilled carne asada mixed with melted cheese and pico de gallo in a tomato-basil tortilla, and the loco coconut flavors a tender chicken breast fillet with eponymous coconut ($9). Groups wash down snacks with the Bionic Beaver, a pitcher overflowing with a mix of five alcoholic varietals sweetened with cranberry juice, grenadine ($13), and a compliment from a passing stranger.
The culinary sorcerers at The BeachWood infuse a menu of classic pub grub with upscale panache served in an open indoor dining space or outdoors amid beach views. Patrons can start the morning with a culinary adventure by strapping on their tongues' rucksacks and exploring the brunch menu, where the Mex scramble's spicy chorizo nestles with avocado and green onion in a bed of scrambled eggs ($9). Dinner diners roust slumbering appetites with a starter of ahi poke paired with an entourage of avocado, soy-sesame dressing, and crispy wonton chips ($12). Entrees of lobster tacos wrap up butter-poached lobster and salsa fresca ($11), and the fish 'n' chips platter ($12) lets taste buds soak in Old English charm without being whisked away by flying, umbrella-wielding nannies.
By day, 710 Beach Club is a festive beach-side sports bar. But by night, it's one of the Pacific Beach area's most reliable music venues. The live acts that take the stage here are part of a packed calendar of events, which also includes trivia, karaoke, and open mic nights. The restaurant's food is also a major draw, whether you're stopping for happy hour after work or you just spent the day at the beach searching for a roomier seashell to live in. Burgers anchor the menu, including the half-pound So Cal burger buried beneath cheddar jack, green leaf, and ancho sauce. And during football season, 710 prepares a breakfast burrito filled with eggs, cheese, bacon, and tater tots to get fans up and running early.
Society Billiard Café combines the pool hall's social atmosphere with a full bar and eatery's complement of entrees and drinks. Pool sharks pay by the hour, sinking stripes and solids on green felt-topped tables lining the pool hall. Black chairs and marble-top tables encourage chatting over drinks and pizza slices from a full bar and food service, and die-hard pool pros can spend all three hours perfecting their trick shots off through the 8th dimension.