San Diego

Weekend roundup

January 21-24

Outdoor Fun

Hiking at Hollenbeck Canyon

Open. With 6,100 acres of rolling hillsides, Hollenbeck Canyon is one of San Diego’s better-kept hiking secrets. The main trail is about 4.5 miles out and back; starting in an open meadow, above which hawks and raptors often soar. The trail climbs along an eroded wall of a steep gorge—with views of Otay Mountain and Lyons Peak ahead, and a sweeping vista of the valley behind. It then drops back down to an oasis of green trees along a streambed—a great spot to rest before turning back. Honey Springs Road (just off Campo Road), Jamul, 858.467.4201.

Magical Adventure Balloon Rides

Open. Up, up and away! With strict safety protocols in place, Magical Adventure is offering daily hot-air-balloon rides for small groups. Soar up and over the Del Mar and Solana Beach coastline, luxury estates of Rancho Santa Fe, San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, and more. Evening flights each last three hours and include a premium Champagne, juice or mimosa toast; a cheese and chocolate plate; digital souvenir pictures, a commemorative flight certificate; and wine-tasting vouchers for area wineries. See website for flight options, reservations and pricing. 15609 San Andres Drive, Del Mar, 866.365.6987.

Seaside Cinema

Open. Looking for a romantic winter date idea? We suggest Seaside Cinema—an intimate film-watching experience on the beach. The company does all the work; simply choose your adventure. The “Classic Cinema” experience includes projector setup, blankets, stadium-style seats, pillows and movie treats. Or pick “Bali by the Bay,” which includes a grazing board of cheeses, bread, fruit and more to enjoy while watching your favorite movie bayside. Bookings also can be tailored for small groups and special occasions. See website for details and pricing.

Food + Drink

Artisanal Epicurean Market at Sisters Pizza

Jan. 23. Stop by the pizzeria’s ample patio for its first-ever Artisanal Epicurean Market. Offerings include drink specials, snacks, live music and alfresco “socially distanced socializing.” The community-focused eatery is known for its East Coast-style specialty pies (try the Uncle Jesse or Chickie Chickie Parm Parm), pizza-by-the-slice, fried artichokes, calamari, salads, sandwiches, Italian-inspired entrees, and NYC-style cheesecake for dessert. Face coverings are required; RSVPs to attend the event are not. Noon-4 p.m. 3603 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.255.4200.

Rollin Roots Food Truck

Now Open. Have you heard of Rollin Roots? It’s the little food truck that could! Owner Avonte Hartsfield had been operating a vegan food stand at local farmers markets until the pandemic hit, shutting business down for him indefinitely. He since has opened a “pay what you can” food truck—serving entirely plant-based cuisine—now garnering a large following thanks to several news stories on his plight. And his food lives up to the hype; try the hearty vegan sandwiches, fries, mac-n-cheese balls, brownies and banana bread. Open daily noon-7 p.m. 8040 Armour St., Kearny Mesa, 619.500.3548.

Winter Treats at Solomon Bagel Company

Now Available. Two words: chocolate croissants. It’s OK to cozy up to these and other carbs this winter—and Solomon insists. Bagel connoisseurs will love the artisanal bakery’s New York-style, water-boiled, perfectly chewy creations—from tomato-basil to poppyseed to pumpernickel—accompanied by homemade spreads such as olive-pimento and garden-veggie cream cheese. Or choose from scratch-made doughnuts, fritters, bialys, croissants and other pastries; plus vegan sandwiches, salads and drip coffee. Open daily 6 a.m.-6 p.m. 4152 30th St., North Park, 619.326.8248.

Winter Dishes at The Whet Noodle

Now Available. It’s not a traditional ramen house, and The Whet Noodle is the first to point this out—even asking patrons to “keep an open mind and a sense of humor.” Chef Davin Waite’s fun izakaya is serving up winter comfort food in the form of—first and foremost—noodles. Try the stone soup ramen with carnitas; or the Hangry Vegan 2.0 with plant-based “chicken” and kale noodles. We also love the sweet-chili-tofu stir-fry; and the extra-crispy cauliflower with house-made serrano-fish sauce. W-Su 4-8:30 p.m. for takeout only. 1813 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside, 760.453.2738.

Arts + Culture

A Thousand Ways

Begins Jan. 21. Created by theater-making duo Michael Silverstone and Abigail Browde of 600 Highwaymen (pictured), La Jolla Playhouse presents this immersive digital experience like no other—beginning with “Part One: A Phone Call.” As a ticketholder, all you’ll need is a phone, through which you’ll be connected to another ticketholder who is a total stranger. You’ll then be guided by a thread of automated prompts over the course of an hour—after which, a portrait of your mystery “partner” will emerge. Sound intriguing? Try it. Recommended for ages 16 and older. Tickets are $25.

Powers New Voices Festival

Jan. 21-24. Presented virtually for the first time, The Old Globe theater delivers its eighth annual Powers New Voices Festival—comprising four days of live-streamed readings of new plays by some of theater’s most prominent voices. (Pictured: Dairrick Kahlil Hodges at the 2019 festival.) The lineup includes Celebrating Community Voices, an evening of short works created by San Diego residents through the Globe’s arts engagement programs; Fuente Ovejuna (a classic of Spanish Golden Age literature), translated by William S. Gregory and Daniel Jáquez; and much more. Reservations required. Free.

Kristina Wong for Public Office

Jan. 22-24. It’s OK to laugh a little (or a lot) at the current state of American politics, and Kristina Wong will try her best to make sure you do in San Diego Repertory Theatre’s presentation of Kristina Wong for Public Office. Streaming live on Zoom from Wong’s apartment, the one-woman show—written by Wong and directed by Diana Wyenn—takes viewers literally inside the “World of Wong.” We look at local politics, social justice and democracy through her eyes, as she runs for public office—expressed through satire and stand-up comedy. 7 p.m. each evening. Tickets are “pay what you can.”

Photo credits: Powers New Voices Festival by Rich Soublet II / courtesy The Old Globe. Kristina Wong by Tom Fowler. All other images are courtesy of the businesses and venues featured.

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