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SD Food News: June 26–30

The latest in food and drink happenings around town this week
Photo Credit: Kimberly Motos
HomeState Oceanside

HomeState Oceanside

Photo Credit: Kimberly Motos

The Mains

LA-Based, Texas-Inspired Restaurant Opens in Oceanside

“You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl,” goes the old adage. That phrase rings true for Briana Valdez, owner of HomeState, a new restaurant in Oceanside that serves Texas fare (not to be confused with BBQ or TexMex).

When Valdez left her home in Texas and moved to Los Angeles after college, she realized she couldn’t find similar foods that she grew up with in her Mexican-American home. “I really, personally, needed this restaurant to exist,” said Valdez, founder and CEO of HomeState. “I always realized that the Texas story of region and culture hadn’t really been shared in a way that I felt connected to.”

So, she decided to bring Texas to California and opened her first restaurant in 2013. With five LA locations under her belt, she opened her first San Diego output in Oceanside on Monday, June 26 as a part of the community’s new Freeman Collective.

Her favorite item on the menu is the Frio—a simple, yet classic breakfast taco with refried charro beans and Monterey jack cheese on a freshly made flour tortilla. You’ll also find other breakfast tacos on the menu from picadillo (ground beef with potatoes, carrots and cabbage slaw) to shredded brisket.

She’ll also feature variations of her family’s migas egg dish, using day-old tortillas that are fried with onion, butter and eggs. And, while she didn’t grow up eating queso, it’s a big part of Texas food culture. Her version of queso and chips took her five years to perfect using cheddar, tomato and spices.

La Jolla Gets a Cuban Restaurant in Mid-July

James Torres grew up with his family’s Cuban cooking fare, filling his kitchen with empanadas, Cubano sandwiches and ropa vieja—a shredded beef dish stewed in tomato, wine, onion, bell peppers and wine. But, outside of his family’s home, he couldn’t find traditional Cuban in his hometown of Los Angeles.

“I think Cuban food is underrepresented everywhere,” said Torres, owner of Havana Kitchen. To honor his family’s culture, he opened Havana Kitchen in Murrieta in 2006 (which migrated to Old Town Temecula in 2011). Now, he’s expanding down south with his second location opening in La Jolla.

The new restaurant will feature counter service, a coffee house using blends that he and his daughter created from a roasting facility in Temecula, and an in-house dining space. He recommends his Cubano sandwiches made with roasted pork, ham, pickles, swiss and a Cubano sauce; empanadas; or the sofrito, a mixture he says is the “foundation of most Cuban cooking.”

Havana Kitchen’s soft opening is on his late mother’s birthday, July 11, as a special tribute to her and his Cuban family who were the inspiration for his restaurant venture. The space is located at 1055 Torrey Pines Road.

Hommage Bakehouse

Hommage Bakehouse

Photo Credit: Brendan Cleak at One Apparatus

Quick Bites

Hommage Bakehouse is taking over the One Paseo farm truck through July 15, serving pastries, breads, bagels and sandwiches such as their pesto, salami, and mozzarella on focaccia or a veggie sandwich on focaccia bread blending hummus, cucumber and roasted bell pepper.

Mission Bay’s The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa welcomed Paul Arias, previously of The Grill at Torrey Pines, to their team as the new Executive Chef.

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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