2013 Favorites and Surprises ~ North County, San Diego

So I’ll be predictable and list a few favorites and some surprises from 2013. The website has only been up since August and I don’t really don’t consider it launching till mid November, still in that time I hit a lot of places met a lot of great chefs and ate a lot of food.

Just a note; I do not post if I try a place and it was just OK or it disappointed, so the actual number of places I hit is probably 35% higher than the number of featured restaurants on the site.

Favorite Restaurant: Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub (Green building with no sign)


Only open since July Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub delivers inventive sushi and sushimi.Jessica sushi pic Fin

I believe the key to its success is the creativity and passion of Chef Davin Waite and his staff. Even at five months the restaurant is packed each night with regulars and newcomers alike, luckily an expansion that will provide a larger dinning capacity is underway.(more to come on that later.)


Favorite Dish: This is a tie between the following two dishes, both are complex in flavor using great ingredients that work perfectly together.


Solace and Moonlight Lounge ~ Veal Sweetbreads ~ Brussel Sprouts, Wild Mushroom Ragu, Bacon Lardon, Maple Bourbon Glaze.

The Maple Bourbon Glaze, which is used sparingly in the dish just adds that extra something.


Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub ~ Salmon hand-roll ~ SAIKOU Sushi Grade Salmon from Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, New Zealand , Rice, Seasame Seeds, Nori, and Miso Butter Glaze.

Saikou is the Cadillac of salmon and the glaze adds the perfect touch to the roll.

Best Surprise of 2013: The number of great South American Restaurants in North County.


Panca Peruvian Cuisine and Rotisserie ~ Oceanside


Sabor De Vida Brazilian Grill ~ Encinitas


Gauchito Grill Argentine Grill ~ San Marcos

Favorites Outside of North County:

HRD Cafe SF Fin

HRD Cafe, San Francisco ~ Korean / Mexican fusion goodness.

Mozza Octopus

Mozza Pizzeria, San Diego ~ Grilled Octopus, Celery, and Potato

…more North County restaurants here.

So 2013 was a good year for North County as far as food goes and 2014 looks even better.

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