5 Top San Diego Restaurants to Check Out Now


Royal Stone Bistro’s Seared Salmon Filet

San Diego’s noteworthy dining destinations to try this week.

By Sarah Daoust, adapted from November News in the November 2016 issue of Performances Magazine San Diego

Carnitas’ Snack Shack at San Diego’s Embarcadero

Carnitas’ Snack Shack
The perfect pork sandwich and gorgeous San Diego Bay views can be yours with a visit to Carnitas’ Snack Shack on the Embarcadero. It’s the third outpost of the pork-centric eatery for owners Hanis Cavin and Sara Stroud (who own locations in North Park and Del Mar). Grab a spot at the casual outdoor eatery’s 28-seat bar—located on nearly 10,000 square feet of prime waterfront property—to mull over a fun menu of smoky meat dishes. The famed Triple Threat sandwich is enough to lull you into a happy food coma, with pork loin schnitzel, pulled pork and bacon. We also love the pork belly appetizer with braised pork, sweet-spicy glaze, frisée salad, apples, radish and lemon vinaigrette. Or choose from a list of burgers, BLTs, carnitas tacos, fish tacos, seasoned fries with bacon ketchup, soft-serve ice cream and specialty cocktails. Views of the sparkling bay are free of charge. 1004 N. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.696.7675. carnitassnackshack.com

There’s a new reason to visit “The Pink Lady,” aka La Jolla’s iconic La Valencia Hotel. The property has appointed San Diego native Alex Emery as its executive chef. A graduate of the San Diego Culinary Institute, the seasoned chef’s resume includes the Grant James Vineyard in Ramona, Oceanaire Restaurant, Knotty Barrel Gastropub, The Pearl Hotel and Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Emery oversees menus at the hotel’s signature ocean-terrace restaurant THE MED, known for its New American cuisine and stunning Pacific views; as well as European bistro Café La Rue and La Sala Lounge. La Valencia is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, so be on the lookout for themed culinary festivities and events hotel-wide. 1132 Prospect St.,
La Jolla, 858.454.0771. lavalencia.com

Royal Stone  
A sleepy pocket of Bankers Hill has been livened up a bit with Royal Stone, a true hidden gem owned by John and Jackie Stone. The quaint, Euro-style bistro, whose open kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Chase Edrington, serves savory seasonal fare for breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner. For breakfast, the braised chicken wrap with cheese, scrambled eggs, salsa verde, crème fraiche and frites is a locals’ favorite; along with Stumptown coffee, Italian pastries and other baked goods sourced locally from Bread & Cie. For dinner, the succotash with crispy chicken skin, the salmon, and the pan-seared pork chop are divine. Stop by for happy hour Wed.-Sun. from 4 to 6 p.m. for wine and beer deals, and a fabulous cheese board for $7. 3401 First Ave., Bankers Hill, 619.738.8550. royalstonebistro.com

Bob’s Steak & Chop House
Calling all steak lovers: Nationally acclaimed steakhouse, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, has opened its very first Southern California location at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad. Known for its American prime cuts of meat, seafood and stellar service, the Texas-rooted upscale chain is known for its generous portions—from its steaks to its drinks, salads and desserts. Executive Chef Justin Huntington oversees the menu, with standouts including the bleu cheese salad, Prime “Cote de Boeuf” bone-in rib-eye, veal bone-in rib chop, and Maryland-style crab cakes. Save room for the decadent peanut butter and chocolate brownie sundae. The ambiance is one of low-key, woodsy elegance, and the wine list is loaded with bold reds that pair perfectly with your steak. 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad, 760.929.6346. omnihotels.com


Georges Level2 is known for its views and craft cocktails

Georges Level2
A new addition to the iconic, multilevel Georges at the Cove space in the heart of La Jolla, Georges Level2 is a fabulous spot to grab a drink. Appropriately located on the second-level bar at Georges, the new lounge is a sea of eye candy—from its elegantly stylish patrons, to the jaw-dropping ocean and cove views, to its craft cocktails that focus on the classics with a twist. Master mixologist Stephen Kurpinsky has dreamt up an impressive roster of libations, such as the Hophead with Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, grapefruit, Aperol and Meyer lemon; plus wine, exclusive local brews and elegant American cuisine. Favorites include the potato gnocchi with Mexican shrimp, and the herbed Alaskan halibut with white corn. Keep an eye out for Kurpinsky’s rotating Cocktail of the Moment. 1250 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.454.4244. georgesatthecove.com