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A South American drink has come to Pacific Beach, creating a quiet revolution of “medicinal” tea drinkers.
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.
Got biscuits and gravy on your mind? What about fried chicken and waffles? You’ll find them all at Old Townhouse Restaurant in Ocean Beach/San Diego, open for breakfast and lunch every day, where the menu is packed with homestyle favorites served in a cozy, family-friendly setting.
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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As pies and tarts are the quintessential desserts of fall, here’s a lesson on crusts of all manners to suit assorted palates, dietary restrictions, skill levels and entertaining needs. There are four ways to go with pie crusts: 1) divine, scratch-made ones with choice ingredients have a somewhat complex and time consuming methodology, but well worth the effort; 2) crust mixes need the addition of a fat and liquid; 3) dough balls or pre-made pastry sheets only require rolling into the desired shape, or molding into a pan; and 4) pie crusts a-go-go come ready-made either refrigerated or frozen in pie plates.
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