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Openings, Closings, Bib Gourmands & Machaca

On this episode of Happy Half Hour, Troy and David discuss all the latest food news around the city
Photo Credit: Jackie Bryant

You know that giant bin at Best Buy that carries all those DVDs? Think of this latest episode of the Happy Half Hour podcast like that bin. There’s a little bit of everything. So, prepare for a lesson on machaca and Vietnam trivia.

After finally being removed by Petco Park security, hosts Troy and David are back at the SDM office catching listeners up on all the food happenings around America’s Finest City.The duo discuss the splashiest move yet from Consortium Holdings, the re-opening of the storied Lafayette Hotel on July 12, complete with bowling lanes, an even sexier pool, and Instagram-worthy restrooms. Zebra-prints, chandeliers, fringe, velvets, gaudy trinkets, reds, blues, greens—the new $31M hotel is straight out of a Moulin Rouge set.

In food news, after starting out as a farmers market vendor, Smokin’ J’s has opened another location in the Gaslamp Quarter. Similar to their Poway location, the joint is providing customers with brisket, pulled pork, chicken, St. Louis ribs and enough TVs to satisfy Troy and David.

Now that Michelin is finally paying attention to San Diego (thank you, Addison), North Park’s Mabel’s Gone Fishing received a Bib Gourmand and Troy shows his psychic abilities by predicting another star coming to town soon. (Days later, we learned of Valle being awarded its first Michelin star.)

Saigon Coffee has opened their first brick-and-mortar in North Park, and just like Smokin’ J’s, it started as a farmers market vendor. Vietnamese coffee traditionally takes a long time to make, but Saigon uses special filters to speed up the process. “It’s so damn delicious,” Troy says.

Brine Box also recently opened in Oceanside as a little stand on the pier dedicated to great British food and zero-waste. And it’s not all fried fare: shoutout to the seared albacore and Korean barbecue prawns.

Other openings include SoiPB from Khwanta Osanai and Truffle in North Park. With a name like that, David says you can even expect the fungi to come shaved on ice cream. Finally, Phil Esteban has opened another White Rice, this time in Linda Vista.

David and Troy end by discussing the closing of Sapporo’s Anchor Steam in San Francisco. It feels a little too close to home now that Sapporo acquired Stone Brewing Co.

Finally, in “Two People, Fifty Bucks,” David recommends the wings at The Regal Beagle. “Their blue cheese dressing was very obviously homemade,” he says. Troy praises National City’s Mujer Divina and their excellent machaca.

Stay tuned for next week’s episode of Happy Half Hour and keep up with David and Troy by following them on Instagram at @davidelimartin and @heytroyjohnson.

By William Riddell

Will Riddell is an editorial intern at San Diego Magazine. He is currently studying multimedia journalism at Taylor University, and he is planning on graduating this fall. Will has served as both a staff writer and an editor at his school's newspaper, The Echo.

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