How to grow your restaurant business with video.

So, we have a great restaurant community up here in North County. Another thing we have, that may go over looked, is a great number of businesses that support that community. Whether it is Cyclops Farms providing great, local, organic produce to local eateries, or organizations like Mainstreet Oceanside and Visit Oceanside helping new restaurant owners build their networks and contacts. We are pretty lucky.

Another member of that community is “The King’s Touch Video” who specialize in video photography. I met the owners, Shawn and Roberta, over a year ago at a Mainstreet  promotions committee meeting. Not only was I struck by their experience and scope of work but also themselves as people. Since that time I have introduced them to a number of local restauranteurs and chefs, who they ended up doing video and photography for.

Because I am always doing one project or another, or just stuffing my face, I talk to these Chefs and owners over and over again and have heard nothing but high praise for the quality of work and customer service provided by Shawn and his wife .

The reason I am mentioning them here is because they want to focus more of their business on restaurants, chefs, and food as it is a passion of theirs.

Press play above to see their work. They also have a lot of food based examples on their website.

This is not a paid ad for their services. I just believe in their ability and think they are a great support business for the local restaurant community.

So, if you are in the market to expand coverage of your restaurant or bar through video, I would highly recommend their services.

The King’s Touch Video

#video #food #foodporn #business #northcounty #cyclopsfarms #mainstreetoceanside #visitoceanside #localbusiness

Where Chefs Eat.

So, recently I was thinking about the places I frequently find myself eating when not going out to review a restaurant. My go to places I visit at least once a month. I decided to ask a few local Chefs the same question.

Chef Willy (1 of 1)

Chef Willy Eick ~ 608 Restaurant.

” Wrench and Rodent of course, any chance I get, like all of us.”

“I also go to Punjabi Tandoor in Carlsbad with Chef Davin Waite, Chef Ramiro from Belching Beaver Tavern, and all our kids.”

What is your go to dish at Punjabi Tandoor? ” The usual, Chicken Tikka. My wife really likes their eggplant.

I also like Enzo’s BBQ for their ribs. They use U.S. Kobe beef ribs.” ….and of course any number of taco shops for late night grub.

Wrench and Rodent

PunJabi Tandoor

Enzo’s BBQ


Chef Marc Santos ~ Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro

“Pollos Maria, obviously for their chicken.” “There is one near my house and their chicken is so tender and flavorful.”

“I love fish and chips, so Harbor Fish and Chips or Harbor Fish Cafe in Carlsbad.”

“I also love freshly made sausage, there is a little European deli in Escondido that makes wonderful blood sausage.” “It is called Continental Delicatessen.”

Pollos Maria

Harbor Fish and ChipsHarbor Fish Cafe

Continental Delicatessen


davin (1 of 1)

Chef Davin Waite ~ Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub / The Whet Noodle

Davin also mentioned Punjabi Tandoor. “Its a good place to meet up with other Chefs and all our kids.” “It’s good honest food and the outside seating works great, Chef’s kids can be little Hellions.”

“The Miller’s Table, Stacy is great and they have a lot of Vegan options for my wife.”

The Miller’s Table


Figured I would mention a few places I regular find myself visiting when I am not “working” as well.

Primo Foods in Oceanside. I go here at least once a week, before or after my beach walks, for inexpensive and great tasting Mexican food. They have great weekly specials.

Pho Oceanside. My go to comfort meal. $8.99 for a large bowl of happiness.

Petite Madeline. I usually eat breakfast here about 5 times a month. I pretty much order whatever “Chef Specials” Marc has made up for the week.

About once every two months I give in and eat a Gyro from Angelo’s Burgers in Oceanside. I have to keep it on a longer cycle because they are huge and probably over 3000 calories. Plus I have to get extra sauce, I mean I am already committing.

Primo Foods

Pho Oceanside

Angelo’s Burgers

Petite Madeline


#food #foodie #northcounty #Oceanside #restaurant #guiltypleasure



Dining Out San Diego Passport

So, if you follow me you know, I do not sell things on this website. This is a bit different, Dining Out San Diego has partnered up with me to offer their Dining Passport at a special rate through my site.


If you’re not familiar with Dining out San Diego it is a great magazine featuring Chefs and Restaurants across San Diego. Also, unlike other publications, they have supported North County Chefs and Restaurants.

The Passport allows you to receive 2 for one entrees at 50 San Diego Restaurants that normally do not do deals.

Some of the North County restaurants include 608, The Whet Noodle, Land and Water Company, Harney Sushi, Iron Fist Brewing, Wooden Spoon. There are more great restaurants up and down the coast.

Normally it costs $99 and is good for a year. With our partnership, it is $35 (64% off).

At that cost, it pays for itself in 2 meals.

You keep the passport and every time you use it that page is stamped. It is not a coupon book. These restaurants have a great relationship with the magazine. They want to be in it.

I mean Bracero Cucina De Raiz does not put coupons in the reader.

To order go here ~ Dining Out Passbook  and enter code NCF2016 at checkout.

Here is a complete list of restaurants:

 608, Americana, Arterra Del Mar, BICE, Bracero, Bullys, Cafe Gratitude, Cafe Lulu, Caffe Calabria, Cali Comfort BBQ, Catania, City Tacos, Common Theory, Crest Cafe, Cupcakes Squared, Eclipse Chocolate, En Fuego, Enoteca Style, Farmers Bottega, Fig Tree Cafe, Hacienda de Vega, Harney Sushi, Henry’s Pub, Hodads, Holiday Wine Cellar, iDessert, Indigo Grill, Ironfist Brewing, Isabel’s Cantina, Kous Kous, Land & Water Co, Maderas, Mish Mash, Napizza, North Park Market, Pearl Hotel, Petrini’s, Prepkitchen, Puesto, Pushkin, Salad Style, Salt & Cleaver, Sausage & Meat, Solare, Spike Africa, Studio Diner, Talavera Azul, Toscana, Tostadas, Tuscany La Costa, VIVA, Whet Noodle, whisknladle, Wooden Spoon, Wrench & Rodent, Yummy Cupcakes

I have used mine 3 times now and know where I’m going for the 4th.

Cork & Craft ~ (N)East County

So, out of the range of my normal stomping grounds and kind of in the middle of nowhere, Lies Cork & Craft tucked away in an industrial Park….some things are worth seeking out.

To be honest I was brought here by Chef Ian Smith who had heard good things. I’m happy we went.

cork ext

Stolen pic off google images..we were there at night and I could not get a good exterior shot.

The Chef is Filipino and while the menu is more classic upscale bistro American you can see that influence coming through.

The Space itself is interesting it also houses Abnormal Beer and Wine Company so the Beer and wine menu showcases a lot of there own creations rounded out by other choices.

interior 1


The interior is open accented with brick and wood with a good sized open kitchen.


dining and kitchen


We started sharing 3 apps.

head cheese

HEADCHEESE ~ pistachios | hay smoked onions | verjus raisins | bruleed goat cheese | alliums

Headcheese is a terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig, or less commonly a sheep or cow, and often set in aspic.

This was probably the best version I have had, I love offal but if you did not tell someone who would not normally eat this they would love it.


GRILLED OCOTOPUS ~ ajoblanco | lemon ricotta | agnolotti | etrog citron confiture | pearl onions | sorrel

Perfectly charred and so tender.


CURED SARDINES ~ cauliflower puree | cucumber | dill | kale sprouts | ikura | butter cream

I love fresh Sardines. I just left the Hospital earlier in the day and was told to watch my salt intake ..these and the headcheese f’d that up quickly. I’ll atone tomorrow.

On to mains.

Rib Eye

RIBEYE ~ sweet potato puree | broccoli rabe | mattock | pickled mustard seeds | bordelaise

I only got to try the bordelaise sauce but it was to die for, you could tell a lot of time and skill went into it. Also Ian who usually picks everything apart as a chef just sat there and ate.


VENISON ~ cocoa oats | verjus raisins | pearl onions | smoked turnip puree | juniper | malt glaze

post venison

The aftermath

Both these dishes were perfect examples of great ingredients prepared simply and perfectly.

So, while it is kind of (no it is) in BF nowhere Cork & Craft is worth checking out

Cork & Craft

16990 Via Tazon
San Diego, CA 92127





Pho Lee ~ Escondido

So, I was trying to decide where to go for lunch today and cover for the website. I narrowed it down to three places last night and then ended up going somewhere completely different. Which is usually what happens, so I don’t know why I go through the whole process anyway.

I ended up grabbing Chef Ian Smith at the end of his shift and going to have Pho at a new place that has opened up in Escondido in the last Month or so. The word of mouth has been good so thought it was worth a shot.

Pho Lee 1700 E Valley Pkwy. Escondido

ext 1

What all great Pho places look like…located in a strip mall next to a Joannes’ Fabrics (you know because big box 40 sq thousand foot fabric stores are still a thing)

Spring rolls

We ordered two plates of spring rolls to start.

Sausage Spring roll

Bo Bia Cuon ~ Spring rolls with egg and Vietnamese sausage. I had never had these and was eager to try them after seeing them in a photo in another review. Very tasty, lost of flavor and full of freshness. A lot of times the with spring rolls the rice paper is too thick or chewy; not in this case a new favorite of mine.

Shrimp Spring roll

Chao Tom ~ Spring rolls with shrimp and sugarcane.

These were second on my list to try. Luckily Chef Ian ordered these so we did a 2 for 2 trade. These were really fresh tasting again but lacked the flavor of the first ones.

Pho #1 close up

#1 Pho Lee Special Combo ~ Rare slices of steak, brisket, flank, tendon & tripe

My order, very good, nice depth of flavor in the broth and tons of meat and vegetable goodness. $7.50 by the way.

Ian 1

#4 Pretty close to mine but ordered with no tendon and extra tripe. According to Ian “Very good”.

The “not so happy look” on Ian’s face is because he realized and admitted that adding Siracha half way through his Pho killed the broth’s flavor. (BTW he gave me shit for needing a fork so turnabout is fair play).

Ian 2

Not sure what this picture is, I think it’s Ian explaining how T-Rex with his tiny arms could never have enjoyed Pho…or something like that.

I was very impressed with Pho Lee and want to go back. After talking to our great server Andrew, I learned the menu has grown but is only current on their Facebook page. They have added a lot of new and interesting dishes so i would go there to get a true feel for what they are offering.

Pho Lee has taken over as the best Pho for me in North County, replacing Pho Oceanside and Mr. Pho, both of which are respectable.

I was invited back to see behind the scenes and go over the menu more extensively,,which I plan to do in June. If you’re in the area or craving Pho and don’t mind the drive go check them out.

Chef thought they missed a marketing opportunity with the name though…

axel pho lee


Pho Lee

1700 E Valley Pkwy.
Escondido, CA