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San Diego Food News: Oct. 31 – Nov. 4

The latest in food and drink happenings around town this week
Credit: Deanna Sandoval
Polo Steakhouse

Polo Steakhouse

Credit: Deanna Sandoval

The Mains

Carlsbad Gets a New Modern Steakhouse 

Polo Steakhouse recently opened in the old West Steak & Seafood space with a focus on serving “the highest quality and cuts of beef featuring foreign and domestic wagyu.” The restaurant takes over a nearly 5,000 square-foot space off Avenida Encinas and will feature a selection of steaks like filet mignon and even a $110 16 oz. Bone-In Ribeye American Wagyu from Red Top Farms.

In addition, executive chef Judd Canepari has developed a menu with a variety of seafood options like rock lobster, buffalo scallops and salmon. Two sommeliers will also be on hand to help guests sift through the more than 650 wine bottles available to pair with their meal. And, if wine isn’t your thing, a cocktail menu is available with a special focus on the Italian digestif, amaro—80% of the drinks contain the liqueur.

Fresh Mediterranean Hits Local Gas Stations 

Nino Rabbaa, founder of Tiko Tiko, opened a restaurant location in Carmel Valley about a month ago and an Encinitas location at the end of October—all inside of gas stations. Rabbaa has spent 16 years in the food industry, previously in Napa Valley, and was looking to “offer something authentic” to San Diego while providing fresh food to people on one of their regular trips to a gas station.

“I tell everyone the slogan of Tiko Tiko is ‘flavor to remember.’ We wanted to create something where people enjoy the food and recognize that everything is fresh and made in-house,” says Rabbaa. The menu allows guests to build their own pita or bowl with items like falafel or shawarma, add toppings, and choose one of nine dressings.

The Desmond

The Desmond

Courtesy of the Kimpton Alma

Quick Bites

San Diego Beer Week is back from November 4-13 to celebrate San Diego’s award-winning craft beer industry. Some event highlights include the San Diego Brewers Guild on November 5 at Surf Sports Park in Del Mar and a beer garden featuring 28 craft breweries and local chefs on November 13 at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.

Herb & Wood is hosting its first celebrity chef match dinner on Tuesday, November 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. between chefs Carlos Anthony and Joe Sasto, who first met on the Food Network’s Tournament of Champions. Guests will watch the two chefs compete for the best first-course dish and will get to be the final judges. The evening includes a four-course dinner, along with wine pairings and welcome cocktails. 100% of the ticket proceeds ($200/person) will benefit CJ’s Smile and the Ronald McDonald House.

The new Kimpton Alma recently opened a“1960s vibe” restaurant and cocktail bar called The Desmond. The space opened on October 19 with chef Jason Neroni leading the kitchen. Menu items include a chilled seafood selection, pastas, and entrees like donabe of beef cheeks or koji marinated hanger steak.

Ranch 45 in Solana Beach just launched Wine Wednesday and a happy hour menu from Thursday through Sunday. On Wine Wednesday, guests can enjoy $8 to $18 glasses of wine or 25% off a bottle. The mid-week special will feature a sommelier-curated selection alongside a special menu with items like a charcuterie and cheese plate or seasonal burrata.

Have breaking-news, exciting scoops, or great stories about San Diego’s food scene? Send your pitches to [email protected].


By Elena Gomez

Elena Gomez is an Emmy-nominated reporter who has spent much of her journalism career working in broadcast news in San Diego and Los Angeles. She joined the San Diego Magazine team as a freelance writer in 2020.

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