Dining

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Some folks love to spend a leisurely Sunday morning strolling the stalls of a gourmet farmers market, scoping out seasonal offerings from local growers and purveyors, and feeling like part of the community. A couple of Sundays ago, I joined a group of intrepid foodies in a farmers market trip on steroids — an adventure that began in the state-of-the-art Studio Kitchen, San Diego headquarters of Specialty Produce, the glitterati of fruit and vegetable sellers. There, the first in a series of “Food as Medicine Cooking Classes” was launched by Chef Christina Ng, chair of the Berry Good Food Academy, a non-profit that embarks on benevolent food programs.
BO-beau Kitchen + Bar sits on West Point Loma Boulevard in Ocean Beach, but once you walk in, you’re transported to a beautiful cottage in a small village in the South of France.
A Bird Rock business is revolutionizing the wine bar business, creating craft wines and pouring innovation into every glass. Lowell and Anne Jooste, the married owners of LJ Crafted Wines on La Jolla Boulevard in the heart of Bird Rock, explained how they’re helping to improve the community, one beverage at a time.
Tucked into the busy corner of Voltaire Street and Famosa Boulevard, you’ll find a cozy neighborhood spot called Royale Cocktails & Hamburgers.
We do have some powerful self-protective weapons at our disposal — food selection and handling being the most effective. Ancient cultures relied on that for their health; even before old Hippocrates advised using food as medicine. So, while you arm yourself with tools provided by personal trainers, meditation gurus and other healers, I’ll provide the edible components of your healthy lifestyle to keep you vibrant for years to come.
  • Put sushi on the menu and Nak Joon Kim behind the bar and you have Haru Sushi, La Jolla’s “neighborhood” sushi bar since fall 2018. “I don’t want a big restaurant,” he said. “I prefer a smaller, quiet one (it seats 60) where we’re part of the neighborhood and our customers are our friends.” Kim believes that good food makes you comfortable and 90 percent of Haru’s patrons are locals: “They come in and enjoy the environment, the experience and the food.” They must. Kim claims that 50 percent of first-time customers come back. One customer told Kim he enjoyed Haru because he “didn’t like to feel like a mackerel in a can.”
  • At the supermarket produce aisle, I befriended a shopper choosing assorted leafy greens and venting about how she must pay the piper for an indulgent holiday food orgy. She grumbled about the light, airiness of salads, and how “rabbit food” was hardly a satisfying meal. Looking outside the bowl, you can easily find an exciting bounty of roots, fruits, seeds, grains, gourds, greens, succulent seafood and other lean proteins to beef up an otherwise anemic salad, giving it a nutritional and gratifying oomph.
  • Strolling the aisles of my favorite supermarket looking back at the gustatory highlights of the year, I then gaze at my culinary crystal ball perched in the child’s seat of my shopping cart to predict what’s ahead for 2020. This has been a year of imposter foods — cauliflower impersonated everything from mashed potatoes and rice to pizza crust, breads and gravies. Plant-based proteins and molecules (like pea and heme iron) made mock meats taste, smell, chew and even “bleed” like the real McCoy. Shredded Jackfruit doubled for crab cakes, while spiral sliced zucchini and other squashes disguised themselves as noodles, aka “zoodles.”
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