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Best Things I Ate This Month: June 2015

Strawberries at Chino Farms, El Chileno Ceviche at Sirena Latin Gourmet, Pain Au Chocolat at Le Parfait Paris

By Troy Johnson

Strawberries @ Chino Farms

Best Things I Ate This Month: June 2015

Best Things I Ate This Month: June 2015

For our July issue, I worked on a big story called “Farm to Fable.” It’s an exploration of the stories I’d heard for years about restaurants claiming to be using local farms when they’re actually not. As part of that research, I went to talk to Tom Chino of San Diego’s legendary Chino Farm. As I left, I took with me four baskets of different kinds of strawberries: Amandine, Mara Des Bois, Sweet Ann and Albion. It reminded me just how incredible fresh, local strawberries grown right can taste. And it reminded me that maybe if I wanted to eat at the apex of flavor, I should always, always buy from local farmers markets. Chino Farm stand is open six days a week (closed Mondays). It’s worth the trek and the price.

Chino Farm Stand, 6123 Calzada Del Bosque, Del Mar.


El Chileno Ceviche @ Sirena Latin Gourmet

Best Things I Ate This Month: June 2015

Best Things I Ate This Month: June 2015

For our next issue, I review Sirena Latin Gourmet in Little Italy. It’s a boxy little bistro just off the main drag. There are some truly exceptional things, and some things that need to be improved. But any restaurant billing itself as Peruvian/Chilean/South American must thrive in ceviches, and the El Chileno is phenomenal with scallops, octopus, bell pepper, cilantro, leche de tigre and lemon. The key is the leche de tigre—a silky, almost milky fish sauce base—and the excellent, crispy flatbread served with it.

Sirena Latin Gourmet, 1901 Columbia St., Little Italy, 619.564.8970.


Pain Au Chocolat @ Le Parfait Paris

Best Things I Ate This Month: June 2015

Best Things I Ate This Month: June 2015

Addison at the Grand Del Mar is one of the best restaurants in the country. At a recent meal there, their Parker House Rolls were among the best I’d ever tasted. Chef William Bradley informed me they were from relatively new Downtown bakery, Le Parfait. So I paid a visit. The storefront is beautiful—sleek, modern and with a wide-open front façade for patio dining. And every baked good we tried was a hit. Especially, though, the pain au chocolat—a sweet roll filled with just enough dark chocolate. Le Parfait is one of my favorite arrivals of the year.

Le Parfait Paris, 555 G St., Downtown, 619.245.4457.


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