Edible San Diego E Edition Issue #53 Special Issue May 2019


Edible San Diego E Edition Issue #53 Special Issue May 2019

Explore the flavors of San Diego County







2 ediblesandiego.com

Rooted in Flavor • Special Issue


Issue 53



4 Publisher’s Note


6 Hot Dish, Liquid Assets, Let’s Grow


9 Five Ways to Eat a Cactus


12 Finfish Farming: Envisioning

Aquaculture in San Diego


26 Finding Bliss in Tecate


28 Check This Out, Events, In Season

31 Farmers’ Markets


32 Cóctel de Frutas: How to Make a

Mexican Fruit Cocktail


Find more regional recipes

and cross-border content on

ediblesandiego.com this May

and June.

Vegan-Friendly Mexican

Street Food

Dining Out in Barrio Logan

The History of the Michelada

A Guide to Eating and Drinking

in Valle de Guadalupe

Craft Breweries to Try Now

in Tijuana

The Ultimate Guide to Ordering

Street Tacos

Eating Chiles for Health

All About Heirloom Corn

Weekend Escape to Tecate

The Story of Kahlúa


Tres Generaciones

Three Generations


Somos Diversos

We Are Diverse


A Modern Infusion of

Indigenous Ingredients


Cena con Mi Familia

Dinner with My Family


ON THE COVER: The marlin tlacoyos at Los

Compas are a twist on a pre-Hispanic

specialty made with heritage corn and

topped with marlin, avocado, and pickled

white peppers. Read more on page 18.

Modern Rituals and Traditional

Mexican Wellness Practices

Ten Essential Mexican

Cooking Tools

The Bonita Museum Displays

Cali-Mex Agricultural Heritage

How to Make Flour and Corn

Tortillas at Home

Destination Dining: A Master

Gardener in the Kitchen at

Corazón de Tierra

Fausto Polanco Furniture in

Rosarito, Mexico merges rich

traditions of the past with

modern influences of today.



2 ediblesandiego.com



Nava family

summer in

Weldon, CA,

circa 1972.

Table Talk


f we are what we eat, then we are so many things. For just

a moment, think back to when you were young: What did

you eat, and who prepared it for you? Go back one or two

generations more and consider what culinary traditions shaped

your life today.

My ancestors made their way from England, Scotland,

France, and Spain to the US and Mexico generations ago, and

fast-forward, I am a mid-century Girl Scout who learned my

way around the kitchen by helping my mom from an early age.

She passed on the essential life skills, like showing me how many

different things you can put in a tortilla for an after-school snack.

Growing up as part of a very large extended family, I looked

forward to every holiday because something fun was always in

the works—sleepovers, camping, and big Christmas potlucks.

Nowadays, plant-strong or low-carb options may sit alongside the

holiday tamales, but we make sure one cousin brings the Jell-O

salad. One bite brings back memories of beloved aunties and

uncles since passed and the countless adventures, sunsets, milestones,

and hugs we shared.

Year by year, my childhood saw a formerly rural area become

suburbanized. Our little orchard and garden became like an

island as dairy farms and citrus orchards gave way all around us.

As the summer heat rose each year, my friends, siblings, and I

would climb apricot and plum trees, eating our fill, while my

mom would stay up late to make jam when the house was cool

and quiet. Those jars glimmered like jewels all year long in our

hall closet—special gifts to be given with uncomparable flavor on

breakfast toast.

We invite you to reminisce about your own food memories,

and to make some new ones. Since we celebrate authenticity,

Edible San Diego dedicates this special issue, Rooted in Flavor, to

the culinary traditions unique to our part of the world. Because a

plate of food can reveal so much about our shared past, present,

and future.

To add more spice, convenience, and aha moments to your

days and nights, make sure to visit ediblesandiego.com and subscribe

to our monthly newsletter and social media platforms. If

you enjoy our work, please patronize our advertisers’ businesses,

subscribe, and invite your friends to join our rapidly growing

Edible San Diego community—all of which enables us to keep

these essential conversations happening. Thank you.

Katie Stokes

Publisher, Edible San Diego

4 ediblesandiego.com

edible Communities

2011 James Beard Foundation

Publication of the Year



Katie Stokes

Editor in Chief

Maria Hesse

Managing Editor

Felicia Campbell

Executive Digital Editor

Olivia Hayo

Associate Editor

Dawn Mobley

Copy Editor

Dee Gomez

Editorial Intern


Allie Wist


Olivia Hayo

Lead Photographer


Katie Stokes


Cass Husted


John Vawter

Advertising Sales

Scott White

Advertising Sales




Healthy Diet, Healthy Living




For more information about rates and deadlines, contact

info@ediblesandiego.com 619-756-7292

No part of this publication may be used without written permission

from the publisher. © 2019 All rights reserved.

Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings, and omissions. If

an error comes to your attention, please let us know and accept our

sincere apologies. Thank you.



Edible San Diego

P.O. Box 83549 • San Diego, CA 92138

619-756-7292 • info@ediblesandiego.com • ediblesandiego.com



15 off











Fresh, exciting,

and vibrant are

the themes

of the Creta

signature pita

(far left), violeta

latte (left), and

the Chicanostyle



Hot Dish

Telefónica Gastro Park


“Food Has No Border” proclaims the billboard rising over the

sun-dappled dining patio of Tijuana’s Telefónica Gastro Park.

Wood-slat stairs rise to seats overlooking the plenitude of dining

options, including many vegetable-heavy dishes and a 100% vegan

taqueria. Here, local and global flavors hug an onsite brewery

decorated in fluttering piñatas, and murals scratch at the surface of

issues like immigration, community, and humanity at large.

La Taqueria Vegiee

Chef Antonio Quintero’s La Taqueria Vegiee is beloved on both

sides of the border (they also have a food truck rooted in South

Park). The adobada taco highlights the classic flavors of Tijuana

with the craft of a vegan kitchen. Stuffed with trigo—a chewy

seitan made with wheat, barley, and rye—marinated in achiote

paste and thyme, the protein comes folded in a corn tortilla

with cilantro, chopped onions, and guacamole.

» facebook.com/lataqueriavegiee


The spirit of the Mediterranean rises in the vegetable-loaded

Creta. This portobello pita (above) rolls flame-grilled mushrooms

with cherry tomatoes, paper-thin red onions, fat cuts

of avocados, and baby greens (hold the basil aioli for a vegan

option) in a pillowy flatbread. More greens are tossed with

chopped tomatoes and cucumbers dressed in a briny Kalamata

olive tapenade and served on the side.

» facebook.com/cretaft


Colorful vegetables laze across a flour tortilla in the hongos

mixtos tacos at Satabu. Roasted mushrooms and juicy poblano

peppers come threaded with fideos de arroz (rice noodles), pinto

beans, and bits of corn under pickled purple cabbage, cilantro,

and guacamole. A self-administered splash of salsa will blend

the flavors together perfectly. Cash only.

» facebook.com/satabutj

Telefónica Gastro Park

Boulevard Aguacaliente #8924

Tijuana, Baja California 22000

» facebook.com/TelefonicaGastroPark


6 ediblesandiego.com

Liquid Assets


Three ways to satiate your thirst with modern

Mexican beverages in Barrio Logan

Where the chefs shop.

Open to the public everyday 8-5 pm.

Border X Brewing

Any of the brewery’s beers can be michelada-fied with a splash of La

Diabla mix, but the Pepino Sour, a Berliner Weisse with lime and

cucumber, serves as the ultimate pelo del perro (hair of the dog).

» borderxbrewing.com

Por Vida

Unique drinks like violeta latte, spicy mango lemonade, and

horchata cold brew are offered at this neighborhood coffee shop

and art gallery. But the mazapan latte, served hot or cold with

De La Rosa mazapan crumbles, is a standout.

» porvidacollective.com

Barrio Dogg

The Chicano-style mimosa features a mini bottle of Mexican bubbly

upended in tropical punch with key lime juice and chamoy. A

Tajín rim adds a salty, spicy bite that boosts the fruity flavors.

» barriodogg.com

Let’s Grow

El Chayote



Native to Latin America, specifically Mexico and Guatemala,

chayote was a staple in the Aztec diet for centuries. San Diego’s

proximity often affords us a similar climate, providing a spectacular

opportunity to grow one of Mexico’s prized culinary gifts.

This tropical squash is a perennial favorite and gardener’s dream

as it produces year after year. Likened to dense cucumbers, chayotes

can be consumed raw or cooked. Thinly sliced in fresh ceviche,

added to soups, or pickled atop carnitas tacos, chayotes deliver an

exceptionally versatile harvest.

Chayotes are opportunists: The hearty vines are enthusiastic

climbers, so placement is key. Select an organic chayote from your

local farmers’ market and rest it, stem end up, on organic garden

soil in full sun. Within a few weeks your chayote will sprout

(think sprouting potatoes) and begin unfurling small vines. Once

the vines are five to six inches long, pop the chayote directly in the

ground, ensuring the vines are exposed. This rapid grower wants

organic compost, nitrogen, and a layer of mulch. Water your plant

when the soil is dry to the touch, adding diluted fish emulsion

every two to three weeks. Harvest chayote when they are four to

six inches long. They keep well refrigerated for up to a month.









8 ediblesandiego.com


Low in fat, high in fiber

and antioxidants, tart

and crisp nopales grow

abundantly throughout

our region.

Five Ways to Eat a Cactus



he most commonly eaten cactus is the prickly pear or Opuntia.

In Mexico, the pads or nopales are called lengua de vaca—

“cow's tongue”—and in Sicily, the fruit or tuna is referred to as fico

d'India, or “Indian fig.” Both the fruit and the pads can be eaten

cooked or raw and are a great source of fiber and antioxidants, but

they do require a little prep before getting started.

Nopales have a bright, vegetal flavor, like an amped-up stalk

of asparagus. Select paddles that are green and plump. Smaller,

thinner young paddles are more tender. While most store-bought

pads will already have their sharp spines removed, you’ll still want

to wash the pad. Hold it at an angle to slice off any remaining

spines and cut out the eyes where the spines were attached. Trim

off the outer quarter-inch of the pad and the thick base and the

nopales are ready to cook.

The tuna fruits are a great addition to any fruit-based dish or

salad, with a taste that’s somewhere between watermelon and

bubble gum. To prepare them, slice off both ends and make one

vertical cut down the body of the pear. Slip your fingers into the

slit and grab the skin. Peel off the thick outer skin and discard. The

flesh is filled with tiny seeds, which are completely edible. Chop

and toss with orange slices and mint for a simple fruit salad.

Now that your nopales and tuna are ready to go, here are five

ways to cook with them.

Grilled Nopales

Preheat a grill to medium and brush the pads with olive oil

and a hearty sprinkle of salt and pepper. Grill them over medium

to medium-high heat until golden, about 3 minutes on each side.

Grilled nopales can be cut into strips and added to tacos

or left whole and used as a base for tostada toppings like salty

cheese, refried beans, or stewed meat.

Blanched Nopales

Add cleaned nopal paddles, whole or sliced, to cold water in

a pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. As the cactus

cooks, it turns a darker green and releases a sticky liquid similar



to your muffin or cupcake batter, or use the juice to add a complex

layer of flavor to your lemon bars.

Nopal Tortillas

Soften 4–5 cactus pads in boiling water with a pinch of salt and

½ teaspoon baking soda for 5 to 10 minutes. Process the pads

with a few sprigs of cilantro in a blender or food processor until

smooth. Add about 4 ½ cups masa harina to a large mixing bowl

and slowly add pureed nopales and warm water in batches, mixing

as you go, until the dough is the consistency of soft cookie dough.

Mix in 1 teaspoon of salt. Separate the dough into 16 small balls

and refrigerate for 10 minutes to an hour. When ready to cook,

flatten each ball between two sheets of wax paper with a rolling pin

until they are about ⅛ inch thick. Cook on a skillet or comal over

medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until they puff.

Enjoy in place of traditional corn or flour tortillas.

to okra; skim this juice and discard while the nopales simmer.

Continue cooking until the cactus is al dente, about 10 minutes.

Rinse to remove any remaining liquid and pat dry.

To make a simple salad, toss blanched nopales with tomato,

onion, cilantro, and ranchero cheese with lime and salt to

taste. You can also add the blanched nopales to casseroles or

scrambles along with diced chiles to add a hearty texture to a

meatless dish.

Juiced Prickly Pear

To extract the juice of the prickly pear fruit, place peeled

fruit into a blender or food processor and pulse until liquefied.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher or bowl and discard

remaining pulp and seeds. Six to 12 tunas will yield about

one cup of juice.

Add the juice to fresh lemonade, add an ounce to your margarita,

or simply combine equal parts seltzer water and juice for

a refreshing spritz.

Baked Prickly Pear

Swap peaches for prickly pear in a simple cobbler, dice and add


We publish new seasonal

recipes every week. Get inspired

at ediblesandiego.com.

Prickly Pear Soda with Tajín

and Mint

By Olivia Hayo

Chili-Lime Avocado Salad

By Olivia Hayo

Grilled Elote: Mexican-Style


By Felicia Campbell

Vegan Cajun-Spiced

Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos

By Alexa Soto

From the left: Vegan

Cajun-Spiced Cauliflower

Chickpea Tacos and

Charred Corn and Grilled

Stone Fruit Salad.

Charred Corn and Grilled

Stone Fruit Salad

By Olivia Hayo

Grilled Green Tomato

Panzanella Salad

By Olivia Hayo

Watermelon, Feta, and

Tomato Salad

By Olivia Hayo

Agua Frescas: Tasty Mocktails

By Miguel Valdez

Three-Step San Diego-Style


By Mitch Conniff


10 ediblesandiego.com







SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 11


Finfish Farming

Envisioning Aquaculture

in San Diego



bout three miles offshore, a fishing boat tethers to a large

circular ring bobbing on the surface—a fish pen swaying in

a current and moored to the ocean floor nearly 300 feet below.

Inside the carefully structured net, thousands of yellowtail flash as

they move up and down the water column. The pen casts a shadow

where wild fish cluster and claim shelter, while others shuttle

beneath looking for food.

This is the vision Don Kent, CEO of Hubbs-SeaWorld Research

Institute (HSWRI), shares with other scientists, the Port of San

Diego, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

(NOAA). While local shellfish farms have been successfully

established for years, open ocean finfish pens in federal waters along

San Diego’s coast would be a first for the nation.

Eating fish is generally considered a healthy, environmentally

positive option and aquaculture could make the benefits more accessible

and affordable. The scientists at Sustainable Fisheries point

out that “the more seafood that is eaten in place of cow, the better,

since [industrial] bovine farming is the largest driver of rainforest and

biodiversity loss on the planet.”

Aquaculture, the practice of growing water based species, has been

going on for millennia. The Chinese farmed freshwater fish a thousand

years ago and people in the Mediterranean raised carp as far

back as the Middle Ages. Much later, in 1851, the state of California

began regulating fisheries. By 1970 the Aquaculture Development

Act declared that “it’s in the interest of the people that the practice

of aquaculture be encouraged in order to augment food supplies,

expand employment, promote economic activity, increase native fish

stocks…and better use the land and water resources of the state.”

California aquaculture has been in process ever since, along with

growing pains and well-documented aquaculture fails outside of

California that have left deep impressions, concerns, and mistrust.

In 2018, a marine salmon farm in the Pacific Northwest failed,

allowing over 300,000 Atlantic salmon to escape into Puget Sound.

There’s little evidence that many survived, and whether they’ll

compete with wild salmon has yet to be determined.

The yellowtail that HSWRI is proposing for pens are a local

species that is mostly caught in Mexico. San Diego waters, on the

northern end of their habitat, are just warm enough to potentially

make farming them sustainable.

Issues and opportunities

Pen density is one environmental issue that local aquaculture

must manage. Elsewhere around the world, packed cages have

increased the risk and transmission of disease. Kent and fellow

HSWRI scientist Mark Drawbridge have been refining aquaculture

best practices to keep pen populations low and yield

healthier fish. Since 1982, HSWRI has worked with the state’s

Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program to grow

and release white sea bass spawned and raised at their Carlsbad

hatchery for both sport and commercial fishermen to harvest.

Meanwhile, HSWRI has been exporting technical knowledge

as well as hatchlings across borders to operations like Pacifico

Aquaculture, a striped bass farm in northern Baja California.

“Our investment in research is used across the border and then

we buy the product back,” notes Kent.

Striped sea bass came to Northern California by train for the

World Expo in the 1920s and were later released into the San

Francisco Bay. In Southern California, the fast growing striped

bass flourish in the Pacifico pens but can’t spawn successfully

outside of their freshwater hatchery.

Pacifico founder Omar Alfi and partner Daniel Farag both

graduated from USC with degrees in business and private

equity. Alfi felt that they “weren’t making anything tangible

or impacting the world” before looking at food spaces and the

growing global need for more protein. When they took over an

existing northern Baja aquaculture facility that was in bankruptcy,

they quickly realized that success was dependent on a

closed system. Today, their fish pens float above an offshore

submarine canyon. The health of the fishery is validated by the

nearly 200 diverse employees and weekly water and ocean floor

tests conducted by Mexican regulatory agencies.

Some environmental concerns with aquaculture are more

verifiable than others. A Coastkeeper report warns of “elevated

levels of antibiotic residues, antibiotic resistant bacteria… and

viruses in aquaculture raised finfish and shellfish.” Kent asserts

such reports are unreliable since regulations require that chemical

treatments can only be made with the consent of a veterinarian,

and only chemicals that are not retained in the fish flesh are used.

Problems with fish deformities, genetic integrity, and


12 ediblesandiego.com


euthanasia have also been reported. Although, aside from

euthanasia, these harsh realities occur in the natural world

and inform the practices of raising healthy farmed fish.

Much has been learned and remedied in US waters and

local operations could continue to make improvements with

easier oversight, while reducing the carbon footprint by

harvesting closer to market.

Feed accounts for 50% of operation costs, and its

ingredients are another sensitive topic for consideration.

HSWRI is interested in a fish-based diet made from byproducts,

or fish cuttings that are currently considered waste.

This feed would reduce impacts on wild-caught fish and

keep protein out of landfills. Overfeeding or feed waste is

not a problem for aquaculture companies like Pacifico where

employees watch a video monitor as fish pellets drop into

the pens. When the fish stop feeding, they turn off the food,

which minimizes waste on the ocean floor.

Most wild fish harvests are reaching maximum

sustainable yield

In US waters, fish stocks are managed carefully on many

levels. However, imported seafood, whether wild or farmed,

is not subject to the same verifications, restrictions, size and

capture limits, humane labor conditions, and water monitoring

regulations. Kent says, “If we farm it ourselves, we’ll set

our own standards.” We’ll know what we’re getting.

Fish farming could help address the confusion over labeling

or fish fraud: For example, LoveTheWild, a packaged farmedfish

product endorsed by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

uses labeling that reveals where the fish was harvested. Kent

envisions a QR code system at fish counters that would disclose

when, where, and by whom the fish was harvested.

Fishing jobs and the independent fisherman

Commercial and sport fishermen aren’t convinced that US

aquaculture development is in their best interest and demand

a place in the discussions at national and state levels. What

impact fish farming will have remains to be seen but there is evidence

that aquaculture pens can be fishery enhancement tools.

Pablo Sanchez-Jerez from the University of Alicante reported

at the Offshore Mariculture Conference in 2010 that

“the effect of attraction seems to be higher around farms than

around traditional FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices)…with

up to 2,800 times more wild fish in their immediate vicinity

compared to areas without farms.”

Drawbridge agrees, citing a study at their Catalina fish farm

that found “pens are aggregating devices where fish seek shelter

and create a thriving ecosystem, one that fishermen could use.”

Aquaculture creates fishing jobs, as Pacifico has shown, but

some fishermen prefer independence —though aquaculture

might also provide stability for those in the ever-shifting

industry. Kent says, “I know guys that leave from San Diego

and go all the way up to Oregon to fish for tuna, and they’re

tired of it. They’d like to make a living for their families here.

We need the boats. We need the labor. The 75 jobs on the

farms themselves aren’t guys in white lab coats. It’s going

to be guys that know how to work in rough water handling

product. We’ll create another 200 jobs upstream and down,

directly and indirectly. That’s 300 jobs from less than onethird

of a square kilometer of surface area in the open sea.”

The farmed species could also supplement wild landings, and

it’s possible that wild-caught seafood would continue its trend

towards greater value.

Aquaculture: Net gain or net loss?

Could aquaculture devastate the US fishing industry? Noah

Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Fisherman,

claims that “this emerging industrial practice is incompatible

with sustainable commercial fish practices embraced by our

nation for generations.” The sentiment was supported by over a

hundred organizations in reaction to proposals easing aquaculture

permitting in Congress. Others are looking for one agency

to provide oversight of projects.

Hallie Templeton of Friends of the Earth, a non-governmental

agency (NGO) has attended NOAA public comment panels

around the country and also worries that pushing for corporate

profits will come at the expense of the environment and

fishermen’s livelihoods. Currently, less than 10% of the seafood

SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 13


consumed in our country is landed by US fishermen, so fishing

jobs have already been lost to other countries.

With increasing protein sources as a goal, other NGOs recommend

land-based fish pens, but to date operation costs make the

fish too expensive to compete in the marketplace. The abundance

of water necessary to operate is an issue and more than one

land-based seafood operation went under when oxygen levels,

overheating, or water quality issues decimated their stock.

Much has been made of the fact that only big players are

involved in the game. The pro-aquaculture lobby Stronger

America Through Seafood (SATS) has members in every part

of the industry. Their mission is to increase the “US production

of healthful, sustainable, and affordable seafood.” In truth, only

large, well-funded endeavors have a chance to build and operate

fish farms big enough to be commercially viable.

San Diego finfish aquaculture remains a possibility

The United Nations notes that about 8.6 billion people will

call earth home by 2030, indicating a great need for future

sources of protein—and aquaculture could be part of the

solution. The US has the opportunity to create new sources

for seafood or cheap imports will continue to dominate and

further decimate wild fish stocks. Our domestic fishing industry

struggles to compete.

The Port of San Diego is developing Blue Tech incubators to

promote aquaculture that is environmentally and economically

sound. They offer planning tools, look at spatial concerns, and

help to identify opportunities. Port program manager Paula

Sylvia helps locate finfish sites around San Diego, juggling

regulations that exist in federal and state waters with multiple

agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the

Coastal Zone Management Act and interfacing with NOAA and

the National Ocean Service Centers of Coastal Sciences.

HSWRI and its partners have invested significant resources

and time searching for viable aquaculture sites near San Diego.

The pens need to be in water shallow enough with acceptable

currents to tether to the ocean floor. Balancing the interests of

commercial and sport fishermen, the Navy, NGOs, and recreational

and environmental groups has been difficult. Once a

site is agreed upon, the long process of permitting will begin.

Local finfish aquaculture may be years away, but the vision

moves towards reality.

14 ediblesandiego.com


Tres Generaciones

Three Generations



El Indio

3695 India St.

» elindiosandiego.net


any generations ago, the Pesqueira family paid

a flat fee of 50 cents to enter Arizona from

Sonora, Mexico.

“Not like it is today,” laughs El Indio president

Jennifer Pesqueira as she shares the story of how

her great-grandparents came to the United States.

The pair moved to Los Angeles, where their family

continued to grow. One of their children, Ralph

Pesqueira, eventually became Ralph Pesqueira Sr.—

and Jennifer’s grandfather and the founder of El


“My grandfather started El Indio in August of

1940,” explains Jennifer. “He ran the business up

until he passed away in 1981, and then my dad

[Ralph Pesqueira Jr.] took over.”

Although El Indio has always been in the family,

Jennifer admits she didn’t expect to end up working

there. She’s the only one of her generation at the restaurant,

and even she didn’t officially join the staff

until after college at San Diego State University.

Still, some of her earliest memories come straight

from the kitchen.

“About the only thing I learned to do was ask the

people in the kitchen for my little burrito. My dad

would make me say ‘gracias’ to the whole room, and

they’d always giggle at me,” she recalls.

Over the years, El Indio grew to four locations,

but consolidated back to the original space around

1994. Even with these shifts, much remained the

same—especially the recipes brought from Sonora

by the first Pesqueiras.

While El Indio is famous for their taquitos and

their bagged corn tortilla chips at local food retailers,

they’ve added non-fried items to their menu

to meet the demands of health-conscious diners.

Jennifer also mentions recent laws aimed at reducing

plastic and styrofoam waste as bigger financial

hurdles for the small business to absorb, but both

she and her father are confident in their ability to

roll with the necessary changes.

After nearly 40 years at the helm, today Ralph Jr.

enjoys a more relaxed grip on the restaurant. “My

dad’s kind of retired. He just sort of sits back and

makes sure I don’t mess up,” chuckles Jennifer.

SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 15


Somos Diversos

We Are Diverse

Sacred Expedition with Captain Gaspar de

Portolá and his party of soldiers going through

Goat Canyon in what is the US-Mexico

border today. Painting by Benjamin Meza

San Diego-Baja Cuisine Has Been

Multiethnic for Two Centuries



n 1821, Mexico declared independence from Spain and Alta

(Upper) California came under the Mexican flag. By then,

a large community of men and women had come from Baja

California and Central Mexico during the late 1700s onwards

and settled in what today constitutes the state of California.

They forged a fiercely autonomous identity, and not wanting

to be known as Españoles or Mexicanos, they began calling

themselves Californios.

The Californios held prominent political offices in towns

throughout Alta California. They also raised cattle, as selling

hides became a lucrative business. Many of the Californios

traced their ancestors back to 1769, when Gaspar de Portolá

trekked from Baja California into San Diego with a large party

of soldiers who were of blended ethnicities precisely because

Mexico under Spanish colonialism had been such a vast melting

pot for centuries. The Californios, like those who came

before them, were of mixed backgrounds, including mestizo,

Afro-Latino, Spanish, Portuguese, Amerindian, and even Jewish


The Californios had a distinct way of cooking. William

Smythe, the first to write a definitive history of San Diego, described

their food as such: "The Californios naturally survived on

a diet of mostly meat. Alongside beef, they enjoyed veal, but did

not eat venison, mutton, or pork. Added to their staple protein

diet, they made tortillas, tamales, and chili con carne. They ate

fish on Fridays and their sugared pastries were highly prized."


16 ediblesandiego.com


After California became part of the United States in

1850, the Californios began to lose both their political

influence and their land. Many prominent families from

Old Town San Diego migrated to the border region

and their descendants continued living in towns on the

American side, such as San Ysidro, and owned small

cattle ranches outside Tijuana. While their prominence

waned, their cuisine experienced a renaissance thanks to

a native-born Virginian named Bertha Haffner-Ginger

who came to Southern California and published the first

known book of Californios cuisine, appropriately titled

California Mexican-Spanish Cookbook.

Her cookbook included recipes for salads, soups,

tamales, omelets, and beans, among others, and she

explained the early distinction of Mexican cuisine in her

introduction: "It is not generally known that Spanish

dishes as they are known in California are really Mexican

Indian dishes. Bread made of corn, sauces of chile peppers,

jerked beef, tortillas, enchiladas, etc., are unknown

in Spain as native foods; though the majority of Spanish

people in California are as devoted to peppery dishes

as the Mexicans themselves, and as the Mexicans speak

Spanish, the foods are commonly called Spanish dishes."

Today, the influence of the Californios persists in the

San Diego-Baja region. Their blend of Mexican, Indian,

and Spanish foods became part of the border culture,

with tamales eaten during Christmas and enchiladas

eaten all year round. In keeping with the multiethnic

heritage of the Californios, the continued growth of

diversity in this area also enriches the culinary terrain.

The Chinese began to settle in Baja California during

the 1800s and to this day tout their signature shark fin

soup at many restaurants. Jewish communities in Chula

Vista, Bonita, and Tijuana remain kosher, refraining

from pork as has been their tradition for thousands of

years and mirroring the diet of early pioneers to Alta

California. The Filipino community has made its mark

in National City where a bust of Filipino nationalist

icon Jose Rizal stands in front of Seafood City, a market

that offers traditional Filipino delights including

lumpia and pancit. Individuals from these communities

have sometimes intermarried, their children tracing

their descendants to ever more diverse heritages. The

children of Filipino and Mexican parents, for example,

identify as Mexipino and continue to shape San Diego-

Baja cuisine through new culinary traditions such as

adding longaniza sausage to Mexican scrambled eggs

with chile.

As everywhere, so too in the border region the adage

remains true: We eat our culture. Old and new at once,

these food traditions represent 200 years of the ever-changing

multiethnic heritage of the San Diego-Baja region.

SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 17


A Modern


of Indigenous



Chefs Mario Peralta and Juan Cabrera come from two different

worlds but were united by a mission to preserve the indigenous ingredients

of Mexico’s past through seasonal, modern dishes that point to

an exciting and sustainable future.


uan Cabrera was born in Mexico City and earned his

cooking chops at the world-renowned Pujol restaurant in

the capital, while Mario Peralta, a native of Tijuana, worked up

north under award-winning chef Javier Plascencia at Misión 19

and at Fuego Cocina del Valle in Valle de Guadalupe. The pair

met in 2017 on the second season of Top Chef Mexico. A year

later, in July 2018, they opened Los Compas in Tijuana. The

restaurant’s name loosely translates to “buddies” or “compadres,”

but as they explained, it implies a mission-oriented connection

closer than friendship. Their bond was forged over a shared passion

for celebrating traditional Mexican cuisine and elevating

indigenous ingredients.

At their small, stylish restaurant, heirloom corn varieties are

nixtamalized each day and ground for use in everything from

tortillas to dessert tamales, which retain the corn’s vibrant pink

and blue hues even after being cooked. Though corn has been

cultivated in Mexico for over 10,000 years —with an amazing

diversity of regional variations—this essential ingredient is

in danger of being lost to a monocrop of industrialized yellow

corn. According to Rafael Mier, the founder of the Fundación de

Tortilla Maíz Mexicana, at least 59 varieties of native corn are on


18 ediblesandiego.com



The restaurant has a full bar

menu of cocktails, wine, and beer

with plans to offer a selection of

craft beers made in collaboration

with local brewers.

the verge of extinction. The reintroduction of heritage corn varieties

by innovative restaurateurs and chefs, like Peralta and Cabrera, is a

vital part of efforts to raise awareness and promote farming of this

indigenous crop.

At Los Compas, marlin tlacoyos (pre-Hispanic masa ovals, thicker

than a tortilla) are made using pink heirloom corn and come topped

with locally caught marlin, house-pickled güeros chiles, and wedges

of avocado. Tostadas de ceviche verde (green ceviche tostadas) feature

a citrus marinated local catch served on crisp tostadas alongside

smoked cauliflower and draped in a cilantro pesto.


n addition to their focus on corn, many of the menu items are

built around seasonal ingredients that reflect the pair’s close

relationship with local farmers. The romanesco asado dish stars

grilled romanesco and mustard greens from Wulf Ruiz’s Cengrow

Organic Farm near Ensenada. The tender, smoky vegetable is

served over what they describe as a Mayan romesco sauce made

with roasted onions, chiles, garlic, and toasted sunflower seeds.

This, and pretty much everything on the menu, benefits from a

drizzle of earthy housemade hot sauce made from chile de arbol,

peanuts, garlic, and dried shrimp heads still bobbing in the spiced

oil and emparting their salty complexity.

Other dishes take inspiration from international influences

that have informed the borderland cuisine of Baja Norte. There

is a prevalence of Chinese food in Mexico thanks to several waves

of Chinese immigration that began in the late 19th century, and

Peralta explained that when he was growing up, Chinese was his

family’s special occasion treat. At Los Compas, such flavors are

incorporated into the taco Chino (Chinese taco), which features a

slightly sweet, Chinese-style sausage, a smear of hoisin sauce and

fresh pickled vegetables served in a silky corn tortilla. Carnitas de

papada de cerdo (pork jowl with kimchi Mexa) features a luscious

fried pork jowl served over a bed of finely shaved, house-pickled

vegetables inspired by the increasingly popular Korean kimchi

variations served at gastro parks around Tijuana.

The playful surprises and pitch-perfect execution continue through

the dessert menu, which features the likes of creamy-as-cheesecake

guava flan and an inventive pan caramelo cornbread bread pudding

topped with white chocolate, cornflake praline, and vanilla ice cream.

Far from a traditional menu, the dishes at Los Compas are a vibrant

celebration of sophisticated, modern Mexican cuisine that is informed

by deep heritage and history, without being limited by it. This

approach makes it one of the most exciting places to taste the terroir

of the region’s past while experiencing a glimpse of its future.

Boulevard Agua Caliente 10594, Aviacion, 22014 Tijuana, BC

» loscompastj.com

NOTES ON GETTING THERE: You’ll need your passport. The restaurant is

a 30-minute drive from downtown San Diego and crossing into Mexico is

simple. Getting back to the city can take longer‚ over an hour during peak

traffic. Alternatively, park behind H&M at Las Americas Premium Outlets and

take a 10-minute well-lit walk to the border crossing pedestrian bridge. Use a

ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft for a 10 to 15 minute drive to the restaurant.

SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 19

• Best Italian


• Best Chef

• Best Service

• Best Wine List

Local organic produce,

meat & seafood

Authentic Italian cuisine

Food, wine & spirits

pairing events

Patio dining

Dog friendly

Fresh & Local





Fish Market | Food Demos |

Special Events

Committed to sourcing better seafood

choices from responsible fisheries or farms.

2820 Roosevelt Road • Liberty Station, Point Loma • (619) 270-9670 • solarelounge.com

5202 Lovelock St., San Diego 92110

619-297-9797 | www.catalinaop.com


20 ediblesandiego.com





f you’ve lived in San Diego long enough, you may have learned that there’s more than tacos at the

heart of regional Mexican cuisine. Ask around and you’ll hear warm childhood stories depicting a

mother’s various renditions of sopa de fideo and quesadillas, sometimes served twice a day. Others will say

it was the first bite of a California burrito that led to a secret guacamole recipe reserved for special occassions.

In this age of modern conveniences, it’s also about knowing which friends keep a fresh tub of La

Salsa Chilena and a bag of El Indio tortilla chips regularly stocked. These are the foods and experiences

we share with our loved ones, embedded deep within our core, a single bite transporting us back, flavors

manifest memories rich with emotion. Cena con mi familia is Spanish for “dinner with my family.” Here

we share the memories and recipes of cherished dishes from three Edible San Diego readers, their stories

represent a broader picture—that love for delicious foods connects us all.

Edgar Chong (page 24)

sits in grandmother Irma’s

lap, along with greatgrandmother



Maria, and other family

members in Guadalajara

enjoying tacos.



SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 21


or a paper towel. Set aside.

Peel and roughly dice potatoes

to 1-inch cubes and boil

in lightly salted water until

tender, about 15 to 20 minutes;

drain potatoes and place

in a large bowl.

(Tip: Save the potato water

for wild yeast sourdough


Add goat cheese, salt, pepper,

and cumin to the potatoes

and mash with a potato


In a separate bowl, whip egg

whites and cream of tartar

with an electric hand mixer

until stiff peaks form, about 4

to 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare peppers, first slice

one side of the pepper to

open, making sure to keep the

stem intact.


Baja California Sur. When I

visit, we adventure around

the area and try different

restaurants, then I try to

recreate the dishes I liked

at home. While dining at

Cielito Lindo in Cardinal, the

restaurant owner invited me

into the kitchen to learn to

cook my favorite version of

Chiles Rellenos de Cardinal.

Chiles Rellenos

de Cardinal



3–4 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ cup beer or dry white wine


Ojai and Baja

1 15.4-ounce can tomato sauce

1 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

1–2 tablespoons butter



6 poblano peppers

3 large potatoes

10½ ounces goat cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon cumin seeds,


5–6 large egg whites

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup all-purpose flour

Peanut oil

¾ cup–1 cup grated cheese

In a medium frying pan, over

medium heat, sauté olive oil,

onion and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes,

stirring occasionally until

onions are translucent. Add

beer or dry white wine and

bring to a simmer for 30 seconds

to burn off the alcohol.

Stir in tomato sauce and water,

return to a boil; lower heat and

simmer for about 30 minutes.

Season to taste and I like to

add butter to finish the sauce.

Char peppers by placing them

over an open flame, dry roasting,

or broiling them. Turn

often to blacken skin evenly,

about 10 minutes. Allow the

peppers to rest until they are

cool enough to handle, 3 to 5

minutes. Place peppers in a

large plastic bag and seal it to

sweat off skins, about 10 minutes.

Most of the charred skin

should fall off easily, but rub

off any excess with your hands

Stuff the pepper with a small

handful of the potato mixture,

just enough to fill the inside

of the pepper.

Lightly dredge the pepper in

flour, shaking off excess. With

your hands, cover the pepper

with the egg white mixture.

Repeat with remaining peppers.

Heat 1” oil in a medium frying

pan over medium-high heat.

Carefully place 1 or 2 peppers

in the oil and fry until you see

a beautiful golden brown color

around the edges, about 1 minute;

gently turn peppers with

tongs and brown the other side.

Place on a paper towel-lined

plate and fry remaining peppers.

Cover the bottom of an ovenproof

casserole dish with a bit

of red sauce. Place peppers

in casserole dish, cover with

more red sauce, and top with

grated cheese.

Bake in the oven until sauce is

sizzling and cheese is melted,

about 25 minutes.

22 ediblesandiego.com



Valley Center



warm comfort of the Mexican

bread pudding called

capirotada. This love came

before I knew what salty and

savory meant and before I

knew cheese and dried fruits

paired so well. It was sweet and

a little salty and I loved it.

As a teen, I finally watched

my grandma make it and was

taken aback by everything that

went into it (and, quite frankly,

maybe even a little grossed

out?). She started with a layer

of tortillas, then added queso,

nuts, and pieces of crusty

bolillo soaked in butter or lard

mixed with brown sugar and

cinnamon. She threw in some

raisins and topped everything

with another layer of tortillas

to keep it moist —all this and I

never saw measuring spoons!

Now, as an adult, it’s comfort

food—yet it’s also something

else. Slightly salty from the

nuts, with sweet cinnamon

syrup and rich, creamy cheese,

it’s everything sophisticated.



3 cups water

3 cinnamon sticks

6 whole cloves

2 cups dark brown sugar

6 corn tortillas

4 stale bolillo rolls or French

bread, sliced into about 20

slices (for layering)

6 tablespoons lard or butter,

divided by tablespoon

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped nuts (almonds

or your choice)

1 cup queso Oaxaca or

Monterey Jack cheese cut

into small cubes

½ cup sweetened shredded


(Tip: I buy bolillo bread already

bagged, sliced, and toasted

in Mexican markets. But you

can toast bread if it’s not stale

enough. You want the bread to

be hard. Capirotada is typically

a Lenten food so the bread is

easily available around Easter.)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Make a syrup by bringing

water, cinnamon sticks,

cloves, and sugar to a boil in

a small saucepan over high

heat. Reduce heat to medium

and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove cinnamon sticks and

cloves and set syrup aside to

cool slightly.

In an 8-inch round pan, rub 2

tablespoons lard or butter to

coat the bottom and sides of

the pan and line with 4 of the

corn tortillas.

Dip sliced bread in syrup mixture

and begin to layer in the

pan over tortillas, sprinkling

¹/ ³ each of the lard or butter,

raisins, nuts, cheese, and

coconut over the bread.

Repeat for 2 more layers

and drizzle with any remaining

syrup. Top with 2 tortillas

rubbed with butter to keep

moist while baking. Bake until

tortillas on top are crisp and

capirotada is moist in the

center, about 30 minutes.

SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 23



Little Italy


grandmother in Torreón,

Coahuila, Mexico, where I had

the most humble and delicious

meals of my life. One particular

taco that my grandmother

made for me is called Tacos a

La Malinche. I’d help get all the

ingredients ready for her to cook,

like getting the hen from our

backyard, going to the tortilleria

for a kilo of freshly made tortillas

for 5 pesos, and asking Doña

Chachina for permission to pick

avocados for guacamole from

her backyard tree.

The tortillas are heated directly

on the fire for a unique smoky

burnt tortilla flavor. The chicken is

slowly braised with fresh herbs

and hoja santa, then served

on a bed of guacamole, and

garnished with crispy chicken

skin chicharrones and homemade

crema de rancho (sour cream).

My grandma still makes this

meal for me on my birthday

every year, and I think it’s an

example of family traditions and

embodies how Mexican cuisines

are represented. It’s all about the

remembrance of childhood and

the love of family that was put

into making a simple taco. This

will be a memory that’s in my

head every day of my life.

Tacos a La Malinche



4 quarts water

3 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon fresh oregano

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 leaf hoja santa

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary

1 pound boneless, skinless

chicken breast



2 sides of chicken breast skin

2 cups kosher salt

4 quarts canola oil


2 avocados

½ serrano chile, minced

½ lime

1 teaspoon salt


1 pint heavy cream

½ cup buttermilk

4 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon salt


White corn tortillas


Make the chicken: Bring water

and salt to a boil in a large pot;

lower the heat to medium and

add the herbs. Simmer for 3

minutes, then add the chicken.

Cook chicken on low until it

will shred easily, about 30

minutes. Remove chicken from

the pot and finely shred.

Make the chicharrones: Place

chicken skin on a sheet pan

and cover completely with

salt; remove excess. Air dry

for 2 days. In a large cast iron

Dutch oven, heat oil to 350°

and deep fry chicken skin for

45 seconds. Drain on a paper

towel lined plate.

Make the guacamole: Smash

pitted avocados with serrano, a

squeeze of lime juice, and salt

until well incorporated.

Make the crema de rancho: In

a mixing bowl, bring heavy

cream to room temperature

and stir in buttermilk. Cover

the bowl with cheesecloth and

let it sit overnight. Mix in lime

and salt to serve.

Assemble tacos by reheating

tortillas on an open flame. Add

guacamole, top with shredded

chicken and drizzle with

crema de rancho. Garnish with

microgreens and chicken skin


Now the executive chef at

Puesto at the Headquarters,

Chong plans to offer

this taco on the menu. Below:

Edgar with his grandfather at the

mango fields in Jalisco.


24 ediblesandiego.com

SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 25


A Luxurious

Day Trip to

Tecate Beckons



f you’ve ever had any trepidation about crossing the border,

this might be the perfect local excursion for those who want

to be spoiled. Rancho La Puerta is located in Tecate about

an hour east of the Otay border. The spa and health-centered

resort renowned for its luxurious weeklong accommodations

offers single-day excursions on select Saturdays of every month.

The day trip includes a 50-minute classic massage, fitness

classes, free time to get in touch with nature or relax by the

pool, healthy morning snacks, Mediterranean lunch, a tour of

the organic garden, and a cooking demonstration and buffet at

La Cocina Que Canta. Round trip transportation to and from

San Diego is included for $345.

My day started with a 7:30am bus ride from the Mission Bay

Visitors Center, and within two hours I found myself seated on

the second floor of a rustic dining hall nibbling on a breakfast

snack buffet of breads and muffins (with and without gluten or

dairy), seasonal fruits, and freshly squeezed juices.

I indicated my food preferences as non-dairy and pescatarian,

and servers and supervisors attentively directed me to the most

suitable choices on the buffet line before I even had to ask. Ingredients

and preparations were readily communicated at every

meal, making it clear that dietary restrictions are addressed with

genuine concern.

We split into groups for a tour of the grounds after breakfast.

It seemed a bit overwhelming and sprawling at first, but once I

learned to make the loop I realized the property is a series of circuitous

paths that make getting lost nearly impossible. Rancho La

Puerta is designed with accidental exercise in mind and the amenities

are purposely sprinkled throughout to incentivize wandering.

Following the morning tour, the itinerary in my welcome

packet described a schedule of fitness classes ranging from

intense core workouts to gentle meditation. I selected the abs

class, followed by yoga—and then it was already time for the

Mediterranean lunch buffet. The maître d' recognized me from

breakfast and guided me to accommodating dishes. I ended up

with a plateful of salads and vegetables that included a blend

of roasted eggplant, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, snap peas,

tomatoes, and sweet potato, plus a side salad topped with spicy

garbanzo beans.

There was just enough time after lunch for a massage and nap

under a blanket in a quiet lounge area, so I decided to skip the

two-mile hike up Alex’s Oak Trail.

At 3pm we were whisked off to the resort’s culinary center,

La Cocina Que Canta, which translates to “The Kitchen That

Sings.” It was named after the delightful bird songs from the

property’s morning visitors.

We toured the six-acre organic farm attached to the culinary

center and cooking school and got a lesson in devotion.

The farm uses no commercial or animal fertilizers, and we

were introduced to an abundance of happy worms working

through compost. Chef Denise Roa, who has been with the

ranch for eight years, said that the worms are just one of the

many things that make the soil so fertile and the produce so


26 ediblesandiego.com



As we sauntered through the farm rows, she encouraged us

to bend down and snap off tiny stalks of broccoli and leaves of

different varieties of arugula, spinach, and mustard greens. We

stopped often to sample and almost everyone smiled in surprise

at the pleasant flavors of the raw leafy bits. The arugula was

spicy and the broccoli sweet. The real selling point was when

Roa tugged up a bulb of celery and passed around pieces of it.

It was vaguely peppery, earthy, and faintly sweet; certainly not

your typically bland, crunchy stick used as a delivery system for

something with actual flavor. This was celery you could snack

on cheerfully, even if you weren’t on some torturous diet.

The evening meal was made largely from the garden and included

Moroccan sweet potato lentil stew, citrus-marinated kale

with apple and pepitas, arugula salad with quinoa and avocado,

and roasted shrimp and turnips served on cedar planks with

lemon-cilantro chimichurri.

Dessert was a chocolate coconut ginger mousse. We all agreed

that the cups for this heavenly concoction were much too

small—and like the day—ran out too quickly.


SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 27



Check This Out


As founder of Taste Venture Tours, Dominique

Cancio guides curious explorers to

Barrio Logan to experience the neighborhood’s

unique culinary offerings and learn about its history

and culture.

“I want people to have real conversations—

and the best way I know how to do that is over

food,” says Cancio.

Tours typically depart from Iron Fist Brewing

Co. and include a guided stroll to view the

Chicano Park murals, a behind-the-scenes look

at Thorn Brewery with tacos from Chicano Soul

Food, and a taste of something sweet before a

final stop at Border X for loteria or Latin jazz

night. From start to finish, the experience typically

lasts three to four hours.

Cancio is expanding the company’s offerings

to include daytime Barrio Logan tours and crossborder

excursions to Tijuana and Ensenada.

» tasteventuretours.com



Gator By The Bay returns with classic

New Orleans cuisine, live music, and

bon temps from May 9–12.

» gatorbythebay.com

Join executive chef Jeff Jackson and

Matt Gordon (of Urban Solace) for Playing

With Fire, a wood-fired dinner at

The Grill at Torrey Pines on May 6.

» lodgetorreypines.com

AVANT’s culinary team will teach you how

to make a delicious dinner that’s light on

calories and rich in flavor at the AVANT

School of Cooking on May 8.

» ranchobernardoinn.com

Journey to Wild Willow Farm for a

South Bay Culinary Tour featuring a

coffee demo, farm-to-table lunch, and

wine tasting on May 25.

» epicureansandiego.com


The Seedling Soirée is the Olivewood

Gardens & Learning Center’s

annual fundraiser that showcases the

season’s bounty with garden-inspired

cocktails and a chef’s culinary feast on

June 1.

» olivewoodgarden.org

Taste of Little Italy returns with

tasty bites and beverages on a

self-guided tour through one of San

Diego’s most vibrant dining neighborhoods

on June 19.

» littleitalysd.com

Go behind the scenes on a Beer

Geek Tour that starts at White Labs,

followed by lunch at Brothers Provisions

and a tour at Societe Brewing

Company. The info-packed beer experience

takes place on June 29.

» epicureansandiego.com

Find more events online at ediblesandiego.com/event-list.

a comfortable, affordable healthy home awaits you

EcoArtisan Builders

Healthy Homes, Consciously Crafted

Mark Letizia


license 882970


858.569.0415 phone

Gelato, Coffee & Panini


Small Batch Gelato


Downtown Escondido

Featuring local produce from our community.

28 ediblesandiego.com



In Season


Although our spring showers have already

come and gone, that old adage about May flowers

still stands, especially this year. Hike any

ditch or crevasse and find greens like dandelion,

sow thistle, purslane, wood sorrel, wild fennel,

mallow, wild mustard, and watercress.

Sow thistle, dandelion’s close cousin, is one

of my favorites. Everything from root to shoot

can be eaten on this plant and similar ones, but

watch out for the central stalk that tends to have

small thorns. Kumquat stands out as a citrus

that’ll be plentifully available. Burdock should be

prime for its artichoke-flavored stalk and root.

Last but not least, forage for the common garden

snail in the evening. This snail was reportedly

introduced to California during the Gold Rush

by a Frenchman who dearly missed his escargot.

Disclaimer: When foraging for food, anything

collected should be properly identified and prepared

before consuming.

Step intowonder...

... and explore an endless array of fitness classes and the

beauty of a sacred mountain. Fill up with fresh air and

sun-kissed fare grown on our organic farm. Rancho La

Puerta marries simplicity with splendor. We don’t just

renew minds and bodies. We tend carefully to your soul.

Destination Wellness Resort & Spa


SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 29


Neighborhood Dining Guide

These restaurants are either locally owned, passionate about local sourcing, or both. Enjoy a delicious meal

and make sure to tell them that Edible San Diego sent you!





11480 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla

858-453-4420 • lodgetorreypines.com/ar-valentien

The Torrey Pines Lodge’s signature restaurant,

A.R. Valentien, highlights regional San Diego

cuisine served in an elegant, timbered indooroutdoor

dining room overlooking the 18th hole

of Torrey Pines Golf Course. Executive chef Jeff

Jackson sources only the best local provisions,

and the menu changes frequently based on

seasonal fare available. The restaurant takes

its name from a talented early-20th-century

California artist whose works are exhibited

throughout the restaurant.


122 South Kalmia St., Escondido

760-745-6500 • escogelato.com

Located in the heart of Escondido, EscoGelato is

made fresh daily using the highest quality ingredients

and fresh fruit sourced from local farmers.

The result is a luscious, super-creamy gelato that’s

full of flavor. You will taste the difference. In addition

to the main event, enjoy a nice selection of

paninis, soups, salads, coffee, and tea.


3733 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach

858-488-0800 • juicewavesd.com

What began as San Diego’s first organic juice truck now has

two happy homes in Miramar and Mission Beach. Still, their

commitment rings true: “Refresh and nourish the soul by

using the best quality farm-fresh ingredients from local farms

that reflect the radiant growing season in Southern California.”

Check out their creatively named cleanses, like Lettuce

Love, Turnip The Beet, and Kalefornia.


3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego

858-539-8635 • catamaranresort.com/dining-entertainment/


Oceana Coastal Kitchen features chef-driven California cuisine

and a modern, ocean-inspired design. Oceana offers bayfront

dining at an iconic Pacific Beach hideaway. Executive

chef Steven Riemer’s playful interpretations of classic dishes

highlight the purity and flavors of California local produce

and a commitment to sustainable ingredients. A cold bar with

sushi options, small bites, and main dishes includes the freshest

seafood available from the coast of Baja and the Pacific.


2820 Roosevelt Rd., San Diego

619-270-9670 • solarelounge.com

Solare is an authentic Italian restaurant with a special

focus on southern Italy and Sicily featuring a menu made

with fresh ingredients selected daily. Blending modern

and traditional tastes, the results are light and healthy

dishes brimming with natural flavors. Complement your

meal with one of 2,000 bottles of wine from the cellar or

30 wines by the glass. Solare is committed to serving the

cuisine of today, created with all the love and attention to

detail from generations past.



3986 30th St., San Diego

619-725-0844 • bivouaccider.com

As a center for experimentation and

camaraderie, Bivouac Ciderworks

is a welcome home for active, creative,

and outdoorsy cider and food

enthusiasts alike. Their goal is to inspire curiosity and

foster a passion for what craft cider brings to the table.

The outdoor-inspired tasting room, right in the heart of

North Park, features a full menu of food options. Don’t

miss the Impossible Burger, award-winning tuna poke,

and vegan jackfruit sliders.


30 ediblesandiego.com

Farmers’ Markets


Escondido—Welk Resort †

8860 Lawrence Welk Dr.

3–7pm, year-round




1st St. & B Ave., Ferry Landing



Escondido *

262 East Grand Ave.

2:30–7pm (2:30–6pm Oct to May)


Mira Mesa *

10510 Reagan Rd.

2:30–7pm (3–6pm fall-winter)


Otay Ranch—Chula Vista

2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd.

4–8pm (3–7pm winter)


Pacific Beach Tuesday †

Bayard & Garnet

2–7:30pm (2–7pm fall-winter)


People’s Produce Night Market

5010 Market St.



San Marcos NEW!

1035 La Bonita Dr.



UCSD Town Square

UCSD Campus, Town Square

10am–2pm, Sept to June


Vail Headquarters *

32115 Temecula Pkwy.




Little Italy Wednesday *†

501 W. Date St.



Ocean Beach

4900 block of Newport Ave.

4–8pm (4–7pm winter)


State Street in Carlsbad Village

State St. & Carlsbad Village Dr.

3–7pm (3–6pm fall-winter)


Temecula—Promenade *

40820 Winchester Rd. by Macy’s




Lemon Grove

2885 Lemon Grove Ave.



Linda Vista *†

6939 Linda Vista Rd.

3–7pm (2–6pm winter)


North Park Thursday *†

2900 North Park Way



Oceanside Morning *

Pier View Way & Coast Hwy. 101



Rancho Bernardo

16535 Via Esprillo




Campanile Walkway btwn Hepner Hall

& Love Library

10am–3pm, Sept to June


Horton Plaza Lunch Market

199 Horton Plaza



Valley Center

28246 Lilac Rd.

3–7pm (2–6pm, Nov to Mar)



Borrego Springs

700 Palm Canyon Dr.

7am–noon, Oct to May


Horton Plaza Lunch Market

225 Broadway Circle



Imperial Beach *†

10 Evergreen Ave.

2–7pm, (2–6pm winter)


La Mesa Village *

La Mesa Blvd. btwn Palm & Allison

3–7pm, year-round


Mission Valley *†

Civita Park

7960 Civita Blvd.

3–7pm, Apr to Jan


Bernardo Winery

13330 Paseo del Verano Norte




City Heights *†!

Wightman St. btwn Fairmount & 43rd




Del Mar

1050 Camino Del Mar



Kearny Mesa

8725 Ariva Ct.



Little Italy Mercato †

600 W. Date St.



Pacific Beach

4150 Mission Blvd.



Poway *

14134 Midland Rd.



Rancho Penasquitos YMCA

9400 Fairgrove Ln.



Scripps Ranch

10380 Spring Canyon Rd.



Temecula—Old Town *

Sixth & Front St., Old Town



Vista *†

325 Melrose Dr.




Allied Gardens Sunday

5170 GreenBrier Ave.


858-568-6291, 619-865-6574

Hillcrest *

3960 Normal & Lincoln Sts.



La Jolla Open Aire

Girard Ave. & Genter



Leucadia *

185 Union St. & Vulcan St.



Murrieta *

Village Walk Plaza

I-15, exit west on Calif. Oaks & Kalmia



North San Diego / Sikes Adobe †

12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido



Rancho Santa Fe Del Rayo Village

16079 San Dieguito Rd.



Santa Ysabel

21887 Washington St.



Solana Beach

410 South Cedros Ave.



* Market vendors accept WIC (Women, Infants, Children Farmers’ Market checks)

† Market vendors accept EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer)

! Currently only City Heights accepts WIC Farmers’ Market checks and the WIC

Fruit and Vegetable checks.

All San Diego County markets listed except SDSU and Seeds @ City are

certified by the County Agricultural Commissioner.

Visit ediblesandiego.com and click on “Resources” for more complete

information and links to farmers’ market websites.

SPECIAL ISSUE • MAY 2019 | edible SAN DIEGO 31



How to Make

Cóctel de Frutas

Mexican Fruit Cocktail


he pucker of lime and heat of chiles are addicting

sensations, but couple them with cooling fruits

and vegetables and you’ve got a recipe for the ultimate

refreshment: cóctel de frutas. You’ve undoubtedly seen

fruterías, Mexican juice bars or kiosks lined with cups of

fresh-cut fruit doused in lime, chile powder, and dripping

in a deep red sauce, and you either bought a cup

and found yourself hooked, or wandered by curiously

vowing to try it another time.

Here’s a quick guide to create one of your own at

home with natural ingredients that will make you a

devoted fan in no time.

1. Chile Powder

Popular under the brand name Tajín, this seasoning

blend is made from chiles, salt, lime, and an anticaking

agent. While we’d grab Tajín from our pantry in a pinch,

there’s nothing like making your own that’s completely customized

to your palate and free of any preservatives. Here’s

a recipe to get you started: Remove seeds and stems of 1

cup dried chiles de árbol and 1 whole ancho chile. Toast

in a skillet until fragrant and set aside to cool. Break chiles

into smaller pieces and finely grind using a spice grinder;

mix with 2 ½ tablespoons ground dried lime (available at

international markets) and smoked salt to taste.

2. Chamoy

Sweet, sour, spicy, and salty: This condiment is a secret

weapon you’ll want to find any excuse to use. Aside from

its use as a sauce on cóctel de frutas or swirled through a

fruit smoothie, it’s also great in savory dishes (just imagine

it as a glaze brushed over grilled chicken). There are many

brands available at the grocery store but making your own

with a few ingredients means you always know what’s in

it. Soak 5 dried apricots in warm water for 30 minutes

or up to overnight. Discard liquid and add the fruit to a

blender with 1 cup apricot jam, ¼ cup fresh lime juice,

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon ground ancho

chile, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. Store in

the fridge for up to a week.

3. Fruit

Spices and condiments can only do so much, so be

sure to select seasonal fruits and vegetables with varying

textures, colors, and sweetness for the best result.

Favorites include mango, watermelon, jicama, cantelope,

cucumber, pineapple, and young coconut. Cut into

spears, wedges, cubes, or slices, and arrange on a serving

platter, or divide into cups.

Dust everything with chile powder, drizzle with

chamoy, and top with dried coconut, chile mango,

crushed peanuts, or pieces of tamarind candy.


32 ediblesandiego.com



4 ediblesandiego.com

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