Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.






  • pinitbutton Enjoy San Diego Restaurant Week
SDRES050704 01 Enjoy San Diego Restaurant Week

Jsix restaurant in downtown San Diego, CA

 by Jeff Hoyt 

San Diego Restaurant Week features more than 180 of San Diego’s best restaurants offering fixed price, three-course meals for $20, $30 or $40. Starting this Sunday, San Diego-area diners can save money while dining out. Choices range from A.R. Valentien and The Grill at The Lodge at Torrey Pines in North County to Vincent’s in Escondido to Downtown’s Bice Ristorante and Jsix. Reservations are recommended, but not necessary.

San Diego Restaurant Week occurs twice a year. Besides September 19-24, it is also scheduled to be held January 16-21, 2011. For more information and a complete list of participating restaurants, visit

Stay on top of the San Diego dining scene with San Diego Restaurant Reviews, News, Culinary Events and Wine Dinners.

  • pinitbutton Baby Brain? Nanny Caddy to the Rescue!
nanny caddy vending machine 179x300 Baby Brain? Nanny Caddy to the Rescue!

The Nanny Caddy vending machine

by Jeff Hoyt

The next time my family visits LEGOLAND, there will be a new addition that will thrill parents. No, I’m not referring to the new water park, which is sure to please the kids. I mean the three Nanny Caddy vending machines strategically placed throughout the attractions that sell items that are easy to forget, misplace or use up, but can make the difference between a delightful vacation and disaster.

A Nanny Caddy, which is making its California debut at the park this week, carries items that parents rely on: diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, and even pacifiers, which could replace one dropped overboard by an excited child during a water ride. Infants wear different sunscreens than their thicker-skinned parents, so that’s available as well, along with Tylenol, which presumably can be used to treat an adult headache as well as a child’s. But headaches should be reduced due to these devices, which also carry hand sanitizer, diaper cream, and disposable cameras.

Political Growling

on June 29th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Political Growling
main 300x225 Political Growling

One of three polar bear residents at the San Diego Zoo

by Jeff Hoyt 

Do politics belong at the zoo? Like Oscar winners giving their acceptance speeches, when you’re one of the world’s best, I guess you’re not afraid to speak out at the risk of alienating your audience.

Last year, the San Diego Zoo re-opened their Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge at a cost of a cool $1 million. But the world-renowned institution isn’t content with just showing their three bears at play on land and water. The conservation-minded organization which also runs the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is trying to get the message out that global warming is melting the ice floes that these animals need to live.

Delicious Delicias

on June 10th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Delicious Delicias
delicias2 300x132 Delicious Delicias
The dining room at Delicias restaurant in Rancho Santa Fe, CA near San Diego

By Jeff Hoyt   

You’re not supposed to drink and drive, or drive and text, or drunk dial, but how about drinking and typing on an iPad? Delicias, the highly-rated Rancho Santa Fe restaurant, plans on offering diners iPads at their tables to peruse the wine list electronically.
General Manager and Sommelier “Gino” Campbell, plans on expanding his holdings to a 5,000-bottle list, so think of all the trees that will be saved. He will also be teaching wine classes here on Saturdays starting next month.  

Wet and Wild

on May 12th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Wet and Wild
lego man waterpark 246x300 Wet and Wild

Currently under construction, the LEGOLAND Water Park in Carlsbad, CA is set to open May 28

By Jeff Hoyt


We recently visited LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad outside of San Diego for the very first time. Our two-year-old was impressed with the Fairy Tale Brook ride which took us over water through storybook characters like the Big Bad Wolf and Jack and the Beanstalk, as well as the 3-D Bob the Builder movie.


The indelible memory I have is of the Mexicali earthquake which measured 7.2 on the Richter scale. There was still plenty to do in the quake’s wake as the rides were shut down and inspected, including visiting MINILAND USA, which features notable buildings from New York City to San Francisco made entirely out of LEGOs.


Continue reading “Wet and Wild” »



  • pinitbutton GAYOT 2010 Restaurant Issue
sophiegayotandregayot 300x178 GAYOT 2010 Restaurant Issue

Michael Cimarusti, Providence; William Bradley, Addison; Josiah Citrine, Melisse; Tony Esnault, Patina; André Gayot; Wolfgang Puck, Spago; Sophie Gayot; Hiroyuki Urasawa, Urasawa; Craig Strong, Studio. Photo Walter Mladina.

By Sophie Gayot


For the just released 2010 Restaurant Issue, we gathered seven Southern California chefs who all earned a spot on our Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list. The photo was taken at CUT restaurant in Beverly Hills to celebrate Wolfgang Puck, who was also honored as our 2010 Best Restaurateur in the U.S.


Besides the Top 40 Restaurants, we also reveal the Top 40 Cheap Eats, and much more. You won’t believe what we have to say about Food Trucks!


We’re happy to publish your thoughts on our 2010 Issue in our Forum.



  • pinitbutton Sippin by the Dock of the Bay
foodies and oenophiles at the grand tasting event 300x225 Sippin by the Dock of the Bay
The Grand Tasting at the Sixth Annual San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival

by Ann Wycoff



The 6th annual San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival, a five-day foodie fête, was a smash success with 170 world-class wineries and spirit producers, along with 70 of San Diego’s award-winning fine dining restaurants on hand.




The East Village was hopping Friday night at the Wonderhaus, the iconic Wonder Bread Factory downtown, where merry imbibers sampled reserves, rum concoctions from Tommy Bahama, a jazzy effervescent champagne cocktail with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, a robust seasonal ale from Sierra Nevada and myriad good wines.


Continue reading “Sippin’ by the Dock of the Bay” »

  • pinitbutton Of the Good Use of Math in the Hospitality Industry
img 21831 262x300 Of the Good Use of Math in the Hospitality Industry

The Nautilus shell, 450 million years old is still a mystery and an inspiration for mathematicians

By Andre Gayot


Usually, hotel meeting rooms bear grandiose names like “The Imperial Room” or “The Majestic Room.” But in The Indigo, a San Diego boutique hotel, their modest function space is dubbed “The Fibonacci Room.” Many visitors would immediately assume the Italian name in such a location refers to some variety of pizza.


Shame on us! We should be taught in first grade to pay respect to the genius Fibonacci (1175-1250), whose real name was Leonardo Pisano, who changed our lives when he changed the way we represent numbers way back in the XII, I mean 12th century. Fibonacci helped the world to adopt Arabic numerals instead of the Roman numbers that were then in use. He also popularized the use of the figure zero despite the resistance of the traditionalists, who, as usual, did not understand the concept and were up in arms against it. Hey! Zeros and ones: does that ring a bell for you, computer nerds?

Continue reading “Of the Good Use of Math in the Hospitality Industry” »

  • pinitbutton The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist
williambradley 300x200 The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist
Chef William Bradley of the Addison restaurant

By André Gayot

To count how many places in the entire world belong in the same class as The Grand Del Mar hotel near San Diego, you probably won’t need all ten of your fingers. Perched in the foothills of the Sierras, hidden within the rolling hills, this domain is nothing but majestic beauty.


Good enough, but how can we spend—without drastically breaking the bank — an unforgettable evening in this palatial Moorish style Kasbah spiced with a good ladle of Florentine art where no effort (nor money) was spared to erect this paramount of handsome hospitality? Follow me. Let’s walk to your table in the Addison restaurant, between the Porphyry columns sustaining the caisson ceiling over the encrusted marble floor.


Continue reading “The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist” »



  • pinitbutton Red Bull Air Race in San Diego
mike mangold edge 540 256x300 Red Bull Air Race in San Diego

Pylon turn

Racing Bulls

By Alain Gayot

Motorsports are elevated when you are a live spectator from the sound of the roaring engine to the anticipation of an active crowd of 55,000. But when you are talking about the Red Bull Air Races, everything get kicked up a notch – especially when fans can get right up to their favorite pilot for a quick autograph on a recently purchased t-shirt. Finally it certainly can’t get much better than the setting in San Diego Bay with perfect weather conditions.

Created in 2003 by the energy drink guru Dietrich Mateschitz, the air racing series is a cross between the air races of the twenties and modern aerobatics flying. Although the aircrafts are small in size, the show they put on is big – very big. And beyond the actual race plane, there are all sorts of other acts and fly-bys by the U.S. Navy, demonstrations by the Coast Guards etc. You sort of need to attend to catch the full effect.

  Continue reading “Red Bull Air Race in San Diego” »

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