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What to Eat in San Diego Before You Die

Troy and David name their favorite meals of all time and share a sneak peek at this year’s Petco Park concerts
Courtesy of Bahn Thai

Is it dark in here? Maybe a little. This week on Happy Half Hour, David and I invent the ways we’d like to undo this mortal coil (our deathways include expiring from overexposure to the almighty T-Swift and falling from a helicopter into a pool of sharks).

The whole point? To name what we’d eat if it was our last meal on earth. And then point you to the San Diego restaurants we suggest getting these last-meal greats.

I start with the meal I order every Sunday when the scaries hit, and just when pleasure is a life pursuit. Drunken noodles with duck. Those wide rice noodles, like some sort of overly indulgent, super-fettucini. And duck, my favorite protein. Some people say “gamey” as if it’s a bad thing. For me, “gamey” has always been a plus, something to put on a resume as a food. There are few places that still serve duck (most seem to have moved to mock duck only), so it’s Banh Thai for me.

David expresses his kinda surprising love for brunch cocktails (David is in a metal band, so I have a hard time seeing him in a sunny-happy meal experience, but maybe he owns some wide brim hats I don’t know about). And he raves about the Sakura Bloom at Morning Glory, a cocktail worth waiting for. Egg whites get whipped, the cocktail gets prepared, then gets put in the freezer for what feels like eternity. When it gets delivered, they pour the cocktail through the egg whites making them stand straight up four inches out of the glass, then garnished with a straw laid across it.

All told, on our last enjoyable meal on earth we’re headed to Chris’ Liquor, Royal Mandarin, OB Noodle House, Arlo, Cardellino, Wayfarer, Preger Brothers, Izola, Born & Raised, Costa Brava, Swami’s, Rudford’s, Krisp, Working Class, and City Dragon.

We also talk with event guru Jaclyn Lash, who books all the shows at Petco Park. Petco’s become one of the best live-concert venues in Southern Cal now, and she gives us a sneak peek at the 2023 lineup. Some of our favorites include Jimmy Eat World, Band of Horses, and Pixies.Can you guess what we’re having at each? Email us what you’d eat if it was your last eating, and where you’d get it. We’ll read a few on air.

Thanks for listening, guys.

By Troy Johnson

Troy Johnson is the magazine’s award-winning food writer and humorist, and a long-standing expert on Food Network. His work has been featured on NatGeo, Travel Channel, NPR, and in Food Matters, a textbook of the best American food writing.

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