What We’re Loving Right Now
Me a t C u t e
A drive-up butcher shop, more international eats, and a new big-name “ghost kitchen” in town by Marie Tutko
Are you a meat lover? Save a trip to the grocery store and pick up some quality steaks at Blue Box Butcher , a new butcher shop in Lile Italy with a digital edge. Order prime cuts of rib eye, filet mignon, or wagyu beef on their app, then pick them up curbside or at a takeout window as soon as 15 minutes later. Founder Rick Wright is a master butcher who sources from distributors that supply high-end restaurants, so you can be sure your steak is a cut above what’s in the meat aisle. 2102 India Street, Lile Italy blueboxbutcher.com
1 Global Feast
It’s easy to armchair travel in San Diego if you go by way of our food. You could experience a bit of France, Italy, Japan, and Ethiopia just by dining out in Lile Italy, Convoy, and City Heights (and all in one day, if you really pushed it).
This spring and summer, we’re geing an influx of new restaurants serving cuisines that are scarce in San Diego, expanding our ever-wandering palates. As of press time, Grumpy’s Meat Pies ( 1146 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach ) is planning to bring a taste of the Southern Hemisphere with its menu of authentic Kiwi meat pies—a savory hand-sized meal to go that’s ubiquitous in New Zealand. It’s the second restaurant for the owner of Coastal Eatery in Encinitas, so expect to find pies made of flaky dough stued with steak and cheese or chicken curry, along with vegan options. There’s only a handful of restaurants here that serve Russian food, so Ksenia Nesterova is opening Smoked.Cured.Tasty ( 138 West Grand Avenue, Escondido; smoked.cured.tasty) to showcase delicacies from her home. The eatery and catering service specializes in Russian smoked meats and fish ranging from duck to salmon, along with sandwiches and charcuterie to go. A new food truck, The Sticky Rice Spot ( thestickyricespot), brought Lao and Khmer street food to East Village and Point Loma, such as cha krueng (lemongrass chicken), Lao sausage, and coconut sticky rice. Last, FurnSaj ( 3888 Fourth Avenue, Hillcrest; furnsaj.com ), an acclaimed Lebanese bakery from LA known for its shawarma and mana’ish (oven-baked flatbread), is making its San Diego debut when it opens in Hillcrest this summer. Add these new restaurants to your culinary itinerary!
Special Delivery 2
If you recently ordered food from a delivery app and couldn’t find a physical address for the restaurant you picked, you just had a meal from a “ghost kitchen.” But there’s nothing spooky about it. Ghost kitchens made industry headlines a few years back as tech and delivery companies were looking to expand their reach in the food supply chain. Also called virtual kitchens, these industrial spaces have cropped up across the country, stocked with
traditional restaurant. Ever since food delivery rates skyrocketed last spring, some restaurant owners who were forced to close have found new homes in ghost kitchens. Celebrity chefs and large corporations want in, too: Michael Mina, Sam the Cooking Guy, and Guy Fieri all started ghost kitchens in San Diego (Red Lobster even launched one in Chicago). The trend is only picking up steam. Now, CloudKitchens (founded by Uber’s former CEO) has set up shop in Barrio Logan. Called Barrio Food Hub , a former warehouse on Boston Street now houses kitchens for more than two dozen eateries, including Omelette Factory Santee, Big Kahuna Chicken Company, and What the Fries. If you want to see the food hub (or just need an excuse for some fresh air), you can opt to pick your order up there instead of having it brought to your door. barriofoodhub
professional cooking equipment solely for meals intended for delivery. One ghost kitchen can house several food businesses—think of it like a coworking space—and they can be a boon for chefs who can’t afford a
APR I L 2021
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