New outdoor food hall debuts on busy Pacific Beach corner, and we had a taste

Mission + Garnet, a new six-unit quick-service restaurant destination, has opened in Pacific Beach.
(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Mission + Garnet, from Slater’s 50/50 restaurant chain founder Scott Slater, will have six quick-service eateries when complete this spring


The intersection of Mission Boulevard and Garnet Avenue is the busiest intersection in Pacific Beach, especially in the summer when throngs of pedestrians pack the sidewalks. It’s about to get even busier.

On Feb. 16, restaurateur Scott Slater (founder of the Slater’s 50/50 burger chain) opened Mission + Garnet, a sort of outdoor food hall that, when complete, will feature six walk-up, quick-service restaurants with mostly outdoor seating. I visited Mission + Garnet earlier this week to try some food items and learn about what’s to come. Here’s an overview.

An al pastor taco at Spitfire Tacos at Mission + Garnet in Pacific Beach.
(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Spitfire Tacos — This Mexican-with-a-twist outlet serves tacos, burritos and bowls filled with fried chicken, Korean barbecue pork belly, black truffle carne asada and jerk chicken, as well as traditional options. I chose an al pastor pork taco that was filled with fresh and nicely seasoned ingredients and wish I’d ordered two. $4.75-$15.

Earlybirds Breakfast Burritos — Three eggs, fried or scrambled, are packed into these big, stuffed meals in a tortilla. I ordered the bestselling Bacon Bird, filled with eggs, bacon, American cheese, salsa and guacamole, plus the nice crunch of tater tots and crispy tortilla strips. There are eight burrito options, including a veggie one. $9 to $14.

Head Lettuce — There are nine made-to-order salad options with choice of proteins including fried chicken to crispy tofu, up to 10 additional ingredients and house-made dressings. Freshness is key in these moderately sized but still satisfying dishes. I ordered and enjoyed the Miso Ginger Ramen Crunch, which included bean sprouts, edamame, cilantro, crunchy ramen noodles and miso ginger sesame dressing. $10.95-$14.95.

The Campfire S'Mores waffled churro at Checkered Churros
(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Checkered Churros — These are made-to-order churros, baked in a waffle shape, then fried, dusted with cinnamon-sugar and topped with sauces, cereals and other toppings. Top sellers of the nine varieties are Horchata Crema, Ube Wan Coconutti and Campfire S’Mores, which I tried. It was topped with chocolate glaze, toasted marshmallow fluff and Teddy Grahams cookies. It was filling, fun and really delicious. $4.95-$6.95.

Scotty Dogs (opening soon) — Gourmet third-pound beef, beef-and-bacon and Basque chorizo hot dogs served from a custom trailer. $7.95-$9.45.

Harvey Carvers (opening soon) — Steak, chicken and veggie sandwiches made with house-roasted meats, rather than cold cuts, as well as chicken tenders and soups. $9.95-$14.95.

Mission + Garnet was built on the site of the old Denny’s restaurant, which has its own parking lot, but be prepared to spend $10 an hour if you park for more than 15 minutes. The outlets open at 7 a.m. and will eventually stay open until 3 a.m. All eateries are cashless. 4505 Mission Blvd., San Diego.

Quick-service outlets at newly opened Mission + Garnet in Pacific Beach.
(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)