Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! This week our special guest was requested by listeners, and we’re excited to have him on the show: Kory Stetina, owner of Kindred in South Park. Kindred is a vegan restaurant and bar with a heavy metal vibe that opened in 2015, and it’s regularly been named both a critic’s and readers’ pick for Best Vegan Restaurant in our annual Best Restaurants issue.
Kory says he’s been vegan since his early 20s, and he was first exposed to vegetarianism through his love of punk rock. He initially started Kindred as a pop-up when he couldn’t find any local food-and-drink events that catered to his diet, so he started with vegan dinners paired with beer. He anticipated a small crowd, but a couple hundred people came out instead—seeing that demand eventually led to him opening the full restaurant. Since then, Kindred has redefined ideas of what vegan cuisine is and could be, and its “Permanent Vacation” tropical-themed cocktail nights have been a hit—Kory estimates that most of his clients (80 percent) are not vegan, but enjoy the food and atmosphere regardless. We chat with Kory about music, the decor (and the famous bathrooms) at Kindred, and his upcoming project, Mothership, a tropical-themed space bar that’s opening in South Park.
In Hot Plates, Oceanside is getting a new hotel (The Brick), and it will have a restaurant and bar from the team behind Louisiana Purchase and Miss B’s Coconut Club. San Diego breweries took home 18 medals at the Great American Beer Festival, and new breweries Puesto Cervecería and Tap Room Beer Co. won silver medals (congratulations!). In South Park, the owners of The Rose Wine Bar opened a new bakery, Secret Sister, next door, and they’re also working on Mabel’s Gone Fishing, a gin and pintxos (small appetizers in Basque country) bar in North Park.
For Two People, $50, Kory recommends the vegan chicken shawarma, fattoush, and falafel at Shawarma Guys. David’s pick is the spicy szechuan noodles with stir-fried veggies from Tribute Pizza, and Troy’s pick this week is the carne asada burrito and quesadilla from Roberto’s.
Thank you for listening! As always, we want to hear from you. Need a restaurant recommendation? Is there a guest you want us to book on the show? Let us know! You can call us at 619-744-0535 and leave a voicemail, or if you’re too shy, you can email us at [email protected]. See you next week!