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Where to Eat in San Diego: Restaurant Openings & News (Feb. 19–23)

Your one-stop shop for food and drink happenings around town this week
Food Al Toque Peruvian Kitchen food truck in Vista, San Diego which is opening a new brick-and-mortar restaurant location in Oceanside
Courtesy of Al Toque

Where to Eat in San Diego: New Restaurant Openings

Peruvian Food Truck Al Toque Finds a Home Base in Oceanside

Stephan Garcia, Rhandy Heredia, and Angelo Luna launched their Al Toque Peruvian Kitchen food truck in September 2019, hustling out of a commissary kitchen in San Marcos, working farmers markets across the county, and, two-and-a-half years ago, securing a permanent place to park at Five Suits Brewing in Vista. But the trio have always had their eyes on an actual restaurant space—and they finally found one. In April, they are opening their first brick-and-mortar in Oceanside at 1906 Oceanside Boulevard.

Heredia and Luna pulled inspiration from their mothers’ Peruvian cooking to develop some of the truck’s most popular dishes. The new restaurant menu will feature many of those crowd favorites, including lomo saltado (ribeye cooked in a wok with onion, tomato, and seasonings, served with white rice and fries) and ceviche (marinated white fish served alongside fried and boiled corn, sweet potato, and potato).

Visitors to the Oceanside eatery can also try a few new breakfast choices, like pan con chicharrón (a pork belly sandwich) and jamón del país (Peruvian ham sandwich), alongside other Peruvian specialities like empanadas and ají de gallina, a type of chicken stew. And they’re not stopping with just one space—Garcia says he and his team would love to open another five or six restaurants in San Diego. 

Owner of the South Bay Coffee Alliance inside his coffee trailer outside of the South Bay Christian Alliance church in San Diego
Courtesy of South Bay Coffee Alliance

Mobile Coffee Trailer Combines Owner’s Two Passions: Coffee and Jesus

For the past decade, Jeff Lopo has been a pastor at South Bay Christian Alliance, and he’s often found himself working in coffee shops to connect with the local community. Lopo has also spent ten years roasting beans at home. “Coffee and Jesus. Those are my two gospels in a way,” he says. 

His dual passions inspired him to park his new mobile coffee trailer, South Bay Coffee Alliance, at his Chula Vista–based church. On Saturdays, the trailer hits the road, visiting events in the South Bay. All of the trailer’s coffee beans come from local micro-roastery Sur Coffee, while the tea originates from Cafe Moto and the pastries are fresh from La Concha in Chula Vista. 

There’s no fear of analysis paralysis when ordering at Lopo’s busines—your choices are simple: brewed coffee or tea, large or small and hot or cold. There are no espresso-based drinks on the menu. And while the trailer may bear a neon sign reading “Let’s Pray” and Lopo may rock a shirt that asks guests how he can pray for them, Lopo says he leaves it up to the guest to engage with him on religious topics. In the future, he hopes to deliver free coffee to local community groups and first responders on a monthly basis. 

Person holding a tray of Girl Scout Cookies along with San Diego beers as part of a cookie-beer tasting at local breweries
Courtesy of Alternative Strategies

Where to Eat in San Diego: Restaurant News & Food Events

The Winery at UTC hosts their first winemaker dinner of the year on Thursday, February 22, alongside The Prisoner Wine Company. The four-course dinner will pair The Prisoner wines with dishes like a herby halibut and a black pepper–crusted NY steak.

Girl Scout cookie season is here, and local bars are crafting cocktails and other sips designed to accompany your favorite cookies. On February 24, The Original 40 Brewing Company in North Park will offer three cookie-and-beer pairings, including a Samoa and IPA matchup. The Smoking Gun in the Gaslamp will whip up peanut butter old fashioneds to sip while munching on Do-si-dos.

Have breaking news, exciting scoops, or great stories about new San Diego restaurants or the city’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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