San Diego has always been known for its range of eclectic eating. In fact, with so many options to consider, it can be difficult to find the best and most popular spots. Fortunately, San Diego always has something distinctive to offer. From new restaurants to established venues with renewed life, the dining scene in San Diego is constantly changing. This can be a real benefit for diners, but only if they know where to go for the best food options in this exquisite Oceanside city.
To taste the latest trends in San Diego for 2013, consider the three following restaurants.
1. Sora. The dining scene in San Diego is highly competitive, so the fact that Sora is being talked about as the next big thing in 2013 is significant. Sora offers a distinctive mix of Italian and Japanese inspired dishes. Some of the more unusual choices at Sora include traditional boxed Bento-style lunches and a full range of fromage and other ready tapas. Sora also has soups, salads, cured meats and pasta in addition to an extensive selection of entries. In true Japanese style, Sora has authentic sushi on the menu. Not to neglect the Italian influence, diners can also choose from a range of fresh pizzas as well.
Sora is open daily for lunch and dinner, and happy hour extends from 3-5 PM each day. The restaurant is located in San Diego’s financial district. The interior is large and decadent with bright red touches and fantastic ambiance. Sora’s unique blend of styles can be traced to its founders, Alessandro Minutella, Noriyoshi Teruya and Daniele V. Gilardi. Minutella has extensive experience establishing restaurants while Teruya is a well-respected chef, previously working at Nobu in New York. Sora also has an outdoor lounge and a savory list of wines, beers and cocktails.
2. Burlap. Burlap is actually located in Del Mar, which is just a few miles from the heart of San Diego. Even so, this restaurant is definitely worth a little extra commute. Burlap operates under the slogan “West Eats Meat,” which inspires its succulent range of meat dishes. Burlap is more than an average grill, however. For a little added flair, Burlap also borrows from Asian influences and incorporates a strong selection of fresh seafood into its hearty menu. Dinner options are divided into simple categories such as Green for salads, Land for meat and Ocean for seafood. Burlap also specifies dishes that feature local meat and seafood including responsibly raised poultry.
Burlap’s Asian Cowboy ambiance is available for lunch and dinner. Happy hour is available five days each week, and the restaurant is also open for Sunday Brunch. The menu is controlled by Executive Chef Brian Malarkey’, who provides unexpected and fun touches to the food and the atmosphere. The interior is decorated with deep colors and touches of Eastern serenity, all of which makes dining at Burlap a truly memorable experience. The bar is one of its more spectacular features with rich wood and ample lighting from dangling decorative bulbs. Burlap is also available for private events and catering upon request.
3. Eclipse Chocolate. Unlike the other eateries on the list, Eclipse Chocolate is more focused on desserts and sweet treats than actual meals. The counter at Eclipse Chocolate is full of options for delectable chocolate dishes including Asian truffles, burnt caramel rocky road and chocolate bars of all sizes and flavors. There is also a wide range of chocolate drinks available, all of which are expertly made. Eclipse Chocolate operates under the mantra of “Know Your Chocolate” and prefers to think of its selections less as confection and more as chocolate-making by alchemy.
Despite this range of sweet treats, Eclipse Chocolate also serves paninis and soups. Every Saturday and Sunday, Eclipse Chocolate hosts a Sweet & Savory Brunch. During this time, guests can choose three plates for $16. Menu options for brunch will vary by season and feature soups, salads, main courses and desserts. Eclipse Chocolate also has wines and beer available. There is also an exclusive dining experience each month called Small Plate. Small Plate offers thematic, three-course meals with Eclipse Chocolate’s touch of decadence. These events usually require a reservation, but the cafe is open daily starting at 9 AM.
From Asian flair to western boldness, from fresh pizza to decadent chocolate, these three hot spots have a little something for everyone. There may be many places to eat in San Diego, but the hype on these three restaurants is hard to ignore. Sora’s unique blend is alluring, Burlap’s vigor is hard to match, and there is simply no way to top the rich flavors and affordable prices of Eclipse Chocolate. Be sure to see what all the talk is about and make plans to visit Sora, Burlap and Eclipse Chocolate in 2013.