San Diego

Weekend roundup

February 15-18


Chinese New Year Festival at Balboa Park

Feb. 17-18. Celebrate the “Year of the Dragon” at the 2024 Chinese New Year Festival at Balboa Park’s International Cottages. Presented by the House of China, the festival includes colorful cultural performances, lion dances, Chinese cuisine, crafts, calligraphy and more. Event highlights include performances by the Fan Dance Academy, JING Institute of Chinese Martial Arts & Culture; Ken Entertainment Group, CART Youth Performance Team, Southern Sea KSK Dragon and Lion Dance, and many more. See website for full entertainment schedule. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free entry. 2191 Pan American Road W., Balboa Park.

Presidents Day Weekend S.D. Club Crawl

Feb. 17. “Club crawl” your way through the Gaslamp Quarter on Saturday, with stops at four fun nightlife venues and front-of-the-line access at each. The party kicks off at American Junkie, where participants can enjoy free welcome shots, DJs and dancing; then onto Double Deuce for a round of hosted drinks and mechanical bull riding (if you dare); then continuing to Bloom, San Diego’s newest nightclub; and finishing at Parq, the city’s largest nightlife destination. Wear your dancing shoes! 9 p.m.-midnight. $35 per person (21+). 628 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. More Info

R&B Block Party at Quartyard

Feb. 17. Extend your Valentine’s Day celebrations into the weekend at this R&B block party-meets Valentine’s dance party, themed: “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” Head to outdoor venue Quartyard for an evening of mostly ‘90s and early-2000s R&B jams “that you just don’t get in the club no more.” Think: throwback tunes by artists such as Jodeci, Bell Biv Devoe, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Blackstreet, Keith Sweat and Jagged Edge. The party features resident DJs, as well as special guests and performers. 5-10 p.m. $22-$32 (21+). 1301 Market St., East Village. More Info

“Crazy Stupid Brunch” at Mic Drop Comedy

Feb. 18. Love and laughter are in the air at Mic Drop Comedy—San Diego’s destination for standup comedy. Inviting gals and their pals (and anyone else who could use a good laugh), the entertainment venue is hosting a special comedy brunch event on Sunday—featuring a variety show filled with standup comedians, trivia, a Cupid-inspired lip-sync battle, mimosa flights, specialty cocktails and a hearty brunch food menu. See website for more info. 1 p.m. (Doors open at 11:30 a.m.) General admission is $10. 8878 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Kearny Mesa, 858.225.2100. More Info

Food + Drink


Now Open. North Park welcomes its newest culinary outpost, Finca, a Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant, wine bar and bottle shop. The brainchild of partners Dan Valerino, chef Joe Bower and restaurateur Ricardo Dondisch, Finca features an illuminated wraparound bar and open kitchen—where you’ll find California tapas being created, such as patatas bravas, pork belly with cocoa nibs, fried chicken and caviar, and surf ‘n’ turf toast with beef carpaccio and shrimp sausage. To drink: house-made vermouth, sangria, wine, sherry and cider. Open daily beginning at 5 p.m. 3066 North Park Way, North Park. 619.202.3564.


Now Open. The latest addition to the Busalacchi family of restaurants, Lala has opened one door north of its popular sibling, Barbusa, in Little Italy. The cozy-chic restaurant boasts plush velvet and leather furnishings, curved walnut paneling, antique mirrors, a sheltered garden patio and wraparound cocktail bar. The lounge-style menu, architected by executive chef Nino Zizzo, boasts veal parmigiana, cioppino, caviar blinis, steak tartare, “loaded potato” gnocchi with cheddar and bacon crumbles, and tiramisu for dessert; plus cocktails like the Italian Old Fashioned. Open daily 5-11 p.m. 1919 India St., Little Italy. More Info

New Menu at Tahona

Now Available. San Diego’s first dedicated mezcal tasting room and restaurant, Tahona, debuts a new menu for 2024, crafted by chef Adrian Villareal. An exploration of Baja and Oaxacan flavors, the menu features dishes such as suckling-pig green pozole (pictured); mini tostadas with pulpo carpaccio and Hokkaido scallops; potato “tortita” tacos with chickpea-black-bean puree, nopales, zucchini and spinach; house-made tortilla-noodle soup; and new craft cocktails like the Pasion de Maiz and Old Town Fashioned. See website for hours and reservations. 2414 San Diego Ave., Old Town, 619.255.2090.

Arts + Culture

San Diego Symphony & Pacho Flores Concert

Feb. 15. Music is in the air Thursday evening. As part of San Diego Symphony’s Jacobs Masterworks programming, renowned trumpeter Pacho Flores (pictured) joins maestro Rafael Payare and the Symphony for a special concert at Mandeville Auditorium at UC San Diego. The repertoire includes the West Coast premiere of Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz’s Altar de bronce; Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin and the Suite No. 2 from Daphnis et Chloé; and concludes with by Debussy’s La mer. 8 p.m. See website for ticket pricing. 9390 Mandeville Lane, La Jolla, 619.235.0804.

Broadway Musical Chicago

Through Feb. 18. Telling its famed tale of fame, fortune “and all that jazz,” the Tony- and Grammy-winning Broadway musical Chicago stops by the San Diego Civic Theatre on its 25th anniversary tour. Set in the Roaring Twenties, the story follows aspiring chorus girl Roxie Hart and fading Vaudeville star Velma Kelly—both facing trial for murder and competing for the services of shady lawyer Billy Flynn. Expect famous songs such as “All That Jazz,” “Funny Honey” and “A Little Bit of Good.” See website for showtimes and tickets. 1100 Third Ave., downtown.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

Closes Feb. 18. Catch it before it closes! Cygnet Theatre, in association with Ebony Repertory Theatre, presents Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill—at Old Town Theatre through Sunday. Travel back to 1959 Philadelphia, where legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday shares her life story via songs—belting out one of her last performances of her lifetime in a small bar. Wren T. Brown directs; with the talented Karole Foreman (pictured, known for her role in A Little Night Music) starring as Holiday. See website for showtimes and tickets. 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town, 619.337.1525.

Photo credits: S.D. Club Crawl courtesy of Finca by James Tran. Lala by Kimberly Motos. Tahona by Megan Jane Burgess. Chicago by Jeremy Daniel. Lady Day / Cygnet Theatre by Craig Schwartz. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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