Restaurant of the Moment: Underbelly

3000 Upas St.

San Diego, CA 92104

www.GodBlessUnderbelly.com

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Ramen is the latest food trend that has taken San Diego by storm! While authentic asian cuisine has always had a home on Convoy St, delicious ramen shops have been popping up all over San Diego. With two locations in the Little Italy and North Park neighborhoods, Underbelly is one of the highest rated ramen restaurants on Yelp and for good reason: it’s simply delicious!

Underbelly’s most popular ramen dishes are the Underbelly and Belly of the Beast entrees. The Underbelly ramen features soft boiled egg, char-siu belly, applewood smoked bacon, and adobo pulled pork topped with all of your favorite traditional ramen toppings. The Belly of the Beast features soft boiled egg, oxtail dumplings, smoked brisket, and hoisin glazed short rib. They also have a Vegetable Ramen that is packed full of tasty veggies!

If ramen isn’t your thing, Underbelly also has some notable non-ramen dishes. The North Park location has a more extensive menu than Little Italy so be sure to check out the menu before you decide on a location to visit. At the North Park location, we tried the Chicken Karaage Rice Bowl which was absolutely delicious! It featured tasty fried chicken, cabbage, furikake, kewpie mayo, and nori.

Seating at the North Park location is limited, with much of the available seats being on their outdoor patio. Underbelly North Park is located right next to Modern Times Brewery so if you’re feeling hungry after an afternoon of tasting craft brews, pop on over for a bowl of satisfying and delicious ramen!

 

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Restaurant of the Moment: Coop’s BBQ

2625 Lemon Grove Ave

Lemon Grove, CA 91945

www.coopsbbq.com

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For an amazing BBQ experience, you have to visit Coop’s West Texas BBQ in Lemon Grove! Trust us – it’s worth the drive!

The shop itself is small so be prepared to wait in line especially if it’s near lunch or dinner time. But all great things take time and Coop’s BBQ is no exception. The storefront definitely has a hole-in-the-wall feel…which is a nice change if you’re used to going to Phil’s. You definitely get the sense that you’re supporting a local San Diego institution!

You can order their meats on sandwiches, on a plate with sides, or just the meat by itself! Can’t decide what to get? Try the sampler platter! We recommend getting either the pulled pork sandwich or the pork ribs. The meat is tender, smoky, and topped with some of the best BBQ sauce we’ve ever had! For the sides, we recommend the mac ‘n’ cheese, cornbread, and red beans and rice.

For an authentic BBQ experience that’s a little off the beaten path, visit one of San Diego’s hidden gems, Coop’s West Texas BBQ!

Restaurant of the Moment: Las Olas

2655 S Coast Hwy 101

Cardiff, CA 92007

www.lasolasmex.com

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Las Olas has kept the Mexican tradition alive with their spectacular menu and incredible atmosphere.  They serve authentic Mexican food including outstanding fish tacos, local craft beers, and the best margaritas at their two beach locations in San Diego, Cardiff-By-The-Sea and Carlsbad. The food is prepared fresh daily and only from scratch using wholesome ingredients. Cool down this summer with one of Las Olas’ great tasting margaritas or an ice cold beer. Las Olas Margaritas are famous, and many of their draft beer selections are from San Diego’s own incredible breweries! Check out Las Olas today and see for yourself why everyone is headed here to try some of their spectacular dishes.

Don’t forget about Happy Hour at Las Olas which offers some incredible deals. Happy Hour is Monday – Friday from 4 to 6PM. The Taco Tuesday specials run from 4PM till close!

Restaurant of the Moment: The Naked Cafe

106 S Sierra Ave

Solana Beach, CA 92075

www.thenakedcafe.com

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The Naked Cafe is a perfect healthy option for breakfast, brunch and lunch!  With their huge selection of vegetarian and vegan options, there is no way this restaurant doesn’t have something for you!  Knowing that whole foods are the key to living a healthy lifestyle, they have perfected the art of balancing wholesome grains, robust herbs and spices, and the freshest produce to create sensational flavors. Their concept of eating “naked” has shown the population of San Diego the importance of natural foods and how they maintain good health.  So check out this fantastic restaurant and see why all of San Diego is enthralled by their delicious plates and warm atmosphere!

Restaurant of the Moment: Oink and Moo

121 North Pico Ave

Fallbrook, CA

www.hstrial-oinkandmoo.homestead.com

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If you’re in the mood for the best BBQ in San Diego and you’re looking for some place that isn’t Phil’s, Oink and Moo is well worth the drive up to Fallbrook. Just make sure you make a reservation as seating is limited!

Oink and Moo primarily serves burgers, BBQ, and stuffed pork chops. If you’re looking for BBQ, get either the pulled pork sandwich or one of the platters. We recommend the rib sampler platter which comes with a little bit of everything: Baby Back Ribs, Pork Spare Ribs, and Bronto Beef Ribs. On the burger side of the things, you can’t go wrong with the Oink a’Doodle Moo, which is a burger topped with a fried egg, bacon, and your choice of cheese. You can also BYOB (Build Your Own Burger). The OINK brand on the burger buns is a nice touch! They also have specials including rare meats like alligator! For sides, we recommend loading up on the mac n’cheese, waffle fries, onion rings, tater tots, and biscuits. The sides are almost as delicious as the main course!

Oink and Moo is open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner – come hungry and bring the whole family!

Restaurant of the Moment: Pacifica Del Mar

155 Camino Del Mar

Del Mar, CA 92014

www.PacificaDelMar.com

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Experience award-winning coastal cuisine and stunning views in one of San Diego’s most sought-after ocean view restaurants! Pacifica Del Mar’s dramatic setting is a canvas for their highly acclaimed cuisine, served daily for lunch and dinner.  Pacifica has been awarded the prestigious Gold Medallion for “Best Seafood Dining in San Diego,” and Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence”. Seafood is their passion and it shows in their thoughtfully selected menu.

While Pacifica Del Mar is normally open for lunch and dinner, they also serve a spectacular weekend brunch.Standout brunch items include the cinnamon brioche french toast and sugar spiced salmon hash. Some of our favorite menu items for lunch/dinner include the lemongrass shrimp cocktail, macadamia crusted mahi mahi, and the blackened fish tacos. For desert, try the chocolate bon bon or lemon tart!

For a world-class dining experience you won’t soon forget, make a reservation at Pacifica Del Mar!

 

Restaurant of the Moment: The Crack Shack

407 Encinitas Blvd

Encinitas, CA 92024

www.crack-shack.com

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The Crack Shack is a great place to dine with friends and family! They believe in sourcing happy, pastured chickens fed all-natural grain to ensure quality.  They also have a full bar program with craft cocktails, a thoughtfully chosen wine list, and curated local craft brews on tap.

With two locations in Encinitas and Little Italy, The Crack Shack is a casual spot to hang out with friends and family! You can even bring your dog! Our favorite menu items include the Coop Deville and Senor Croque sandwiches. We also recommend trying the Mexican Poutine for a fun twist on this classic Canadian dish. If you’re looking for something a little more simple, you can’t go wrong with an order of the Fried Chicken. And no visit to The Crack Shack is complete without an order of the Mini Biscuits and special Miso-Maple Butter!