San Diego

Weekend roundup

May 13-16

Outdoor Fun

LowKey Outside Comedy Show

May 16. LowKey San Diego presents an evening of laughter under the stars with this alfresco comedy show—staged on the backyard lawn of the Movement Warehouse. The lineup includes performances by hosts Matt Rife and Paul Elia; as well as comedians Jamie Kennedy (pictured), Yassir Lester, Dave Merheje and Dustin Nickerson. Masks are required, and temperature checks will be given prior to entry. Guests may bring their own beverages. Shows are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with seating 30 minutes prior. Tickets start at $35. 1425 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach. More Info

Flagship Dinner Cruises

Reopened. Let the cares of the day slip away with dinner on the bay. Flagship Cruises & Events offers a variety of nightly dinner cruises—each of which includes a three-course meal, choice of indoor or outdoor seating, and complimentary glass of Champagne. Experiences include the original harbor dinner cruise on Thursday; “Hops on the Harbor” on Friday (featuring a new local brewery each month); the premium dinner cruise on Saturday; and the prime rib dinner cruise on Sunday. See website for schedule, pricing and safety info. 990 N. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.234.4111.

Food + Drink

Baked Cafe

Now Open. Find all things freshly baked and delicious at this urban cafe, beginning with bagels—cinnamon-raisin, poppy, sesame, jalapeño and more. We suggest The Chosen One (pictured) with lox, cream cheese, red onions and capers. You can also build your own bagel, bialy or bowl; or choose from specialties such as the “bunz” sandwiches, filled with goodies like chicken-andouille sausage, eggs, cheese and spinach. To drink: house-brewed coffee and specialty teas. Dine outside on one of two patios or order to-go. Tu-Su 7 a.m.-1 p.m. 1000 Island Ave., East Village, 619.310.6628.

VAGA Restaurant & Bar

Now Open. Encinitas welcomes world-class, ocean-view dining by an award-winning chef. The new Alila Marea Beach Resort has opened its signature restaurant, VAGA, fronted by Claudette Zepeda—a Top Chef alum and James Beard semifinalist. Watch her in action in the open kitchen; while taking in dramatic coastal views from the striking indoor/outdoor space. The all-day menu features regional dishes such as yellowtail with fermented pineapple and black-garlic broth; and Baja sea bass with Marcona-almond basmati. Open daily 7 a.m.-9 p.m. 2100 N. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, 760.452.3484.

Bull and Bourbon

Reopened. Did someone say surf ‘n’ turf? Sycuan Casino Resort’s flagship restaurant offers filet mignon with lobster tail every Wednesday night for just $29; plus acoustic concerts by San Diego musicians every Friday and Saturday. While the AAA Four Diamond steakhouse is known for its premium hand-cut steaks—including a 36-ounce tomahawk rib eye (plus an in-house butcher program)—we also love the jumbo-lump crab cakes, wagyu burger with smoked cheddar, and vast array of bourbons and single-malt scotches. W-Sa 4-10 p.m. 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, 619.659.3374.

The Deck at Moonshine Flats

Reopened. Yeehaw! Closed since the start of the pandemic, this open-air playground—known for its backyard-style games, cocktails and old-fashioned barbecue—is back in action. Play pool, Ping-Pong, cornhole, oversized beer pong and shuffleboard; while feasting on smokehouse-style meats, including brisket, ribs, pulled pork and chicken. To drink, multiple beer tubs and bars serve craft brews, wine and specialty cocktails such as the Georgia Peach Mule, Cowboy Cooler and Rodeo Paloma—all served in Mason jars. F 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sa 8 p.m.-1 a.m.; Su 11 a.m.-8 p.m. 335 Sixth Ave., East Village, 619.255.7625.

Punch Bowl Social

Reopened. Another downtown playground reopens post-pandemic. Welcome back to Makers Quarter’s 23,000-square-foot bar venue. Sip on new cocktails such as the Catalina Sangria and Topo Chico Paloma; while enjoying arcade games, a photo booth, Skee-Ball, bowling, bocce ball, karaoke and Padres’ baseball games on multiple big screens. The food menu includes tacos, burgers, sandwiches, wings and the famously huge chocolate-chip-cookie sandwich; plus weekend brunch with apple-pie mimosas. W-Su (see website for hours). 1485 E. St., East Village, 619.452.3352.

New Happy Hour at Monkey Bar

Now Available. Feel free to monkey around at the city’s newest happy hour: “Monkey Business” at Town and Country Resort’s Monkey Bar. The fun includes live music every Thursday (including Marcela Mendez on May 13 and British singer-songwriter Celeste on May 20); plus shareable plates and craft cocktails. Try the signature Drunken Monkey with orange vodka, orange liqueur, rum, grenadine, pineapple juice, banana leaf and edible flowers. The bar features an expansive alfresco patio with towering palm trees and fire pits. M-F 4-6 p.m. 500 Hotel Circle North, Mission Valley, 619.291.7131.

Arts + Culture

San Diego Jewish Arts Festival

May 13-June 23. San Diego Repertory Theatre presents the 28th annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival. The star-studded celebration includes 15 virtual and livestream performances. Among them: Tony Award-winner Ben Platt and his brothers Jonah and Henry in Ahavat Olam; four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh singing favorites in Virtually With You; Soulfarm celebrating the music of the Grateful Dead; and the world premiere of Hershey Felder (pictured) as Sergei Rachmaninoff in Nicholas, Anna & Sergei—streaming live from Florence, Italy. See website for tickets and schedule.

San Diego International ShortsFest

May 14-16. It’s the shorter sibling of the San Diego International Film Festival. Gather in the Festival Virtual Village for screenings of 100 short films from around the world; plus 11 filmmaker panels; and networking with industry professionals and film lovers in the Filmmaker Cafe. The village also comprises the Festival Theater for live screenings, Cove Theater for on-demand viewings, and Locals Theater featuring San Diego filmmakers. Featured films each are less than 30 minutes in length; e.g., animated short Meow or Never (pictured) runs just 10 minutes. See website for full lineup and passes.

Photo credits: All images are courtesy of the businesses and venues featured.

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