New Paleo / Gluten Free Coming To Leucadia.

A new Paleo and Gluten free eatery and bake house called Cultivate 101 will be opening in the space that until this month was El Torito Market & Taco Shop in Leucadia at 948 N. Coast Highway.



The old El Torito Market. It is now totally gutted.

More when I know more.



Rooster Ramen : The Return ~coming Spring / Summer

“Here they come to snuff the rooster
Yeah, here come the rooster
You know he ain’t gonna die
No, no, no, you know he ain’t gonna die”    

Alice in Chains ~ Rooster

So, a little while ago I mentioned on northcountyfood’s Facebook page, which you should be following as well, that a great Ramen place is returning to North County.

That place is Rooster Ramen. The original, high quality pop up Ramen in North County. Do not be fooled by Johnny come latelys.

Now, I am happy to say Rooster Ramen is returning with a full-fledged brick and mortar restaurant.

Having eaten Chef David’s Ramen at the old incarnation of the restaurant, I am eagerly awaiting and trumpeting the return!

Here is what David has told me about his new restaurant

Opening late spring / early summer

Highway 101 in an undisclosed location.

Full 30 plus Sake list, plus Sochu cocktails and a complimenting beer list.

Over 9 traditional ramen dishes taken from different regions of Japan, as well as a number of specialty takes on the noodle dish.

The menu will also feature small plates and Yakatori grilled items prepared on a traditional Binchotan charcoal grill.

A revolving specials board will be available daily and feature items based off of what is fresh and in season. Luxury items such as Osetra Caviar, Monk Fish liver, and pork cheeks will also make an appearance.

Prices for Ramen will run $9 to $14 with build your own as well as vegan and vegetarian options available. Expect to see a good bowl of Pho make an appearance.

The restaurant’s digital ordering system will emulate the Ramen vending ticket machines in Japan. This will not only give customers full control of the ordering process but will also increase its speed.


Example of a Ramen ticket machine.

The restaurant will have the feel of a Japanese farm-house with plenty of outdoor seating, a lengthy Ramen bar, and a semi open kitchen.

Hours will be 11 am till midnight weekdays and till 2 am Friday and Saturday with an early morning Sunday hangover brunch. This will make it North County’s only late night spot, sans a few Mexican places..

All the restaurants plates, bowls, and cups will be hand-made ceramic from Pawena Studios out of LA.

More news and info to come as things progress.

Perfect timing as this is The Year of The Rooster! My sign as well)

Moto Deli ~ Encinitas


Moto Deli has finally opened their brick and mortar location in Encinitas at 810 North Coast Highway. The location formerly housed the Sub Palace. They must have run into some snags because I have been following the build out for a while.


Build out starts ~ October 2015


The end result ~ nice modern exterior.


You order at the counter and your meal is brought to your table.

The service was very friendly and knowledgeable.


In addition to a small interior seating area they have a patio with gas heating. The building is a historic building, all the beams you see are original. This may have led to the long build out as seismic retrofitting may have been required.

The menu consists of starters, salads, and open and close faced sandwiches. All their meats are roasted, cured, smoked, poked and prodded in-house. OK I don’t know if they poke or prod anything but if its required I’m sure they do:). They also make all their condiments, pickles and chips.

Their motto is “Our sandwiches are not engineered with over powering condiments, cheap chemical additives, or assembled to be anything more overtly garish than the sum of its parts. If singular ingredients don’t shine on their own, they have no chance of performing any better when layered together.”

It shows in their final product.


Spanish Pulpo ~ braised octopus, papas, evoo, smoked paprika

Perfectly cooked octopus and potatoes. Maybe a bit too much evoo but that is nit-picking.


Cubano ~ pork belly, turketta, aged cheddar, muenster, pickles, mustard, sourdough

Brilliantly elevated version of a classic cuban sandwich. All the ingredients were spot on and balanced perfectly. My plan was to take half home..that didn’t happen. served with house made pickle and chips.

So, was it worth waiting over a year for? Yes it was.

Moto Deli

810 North Coast Highway, Encinitas

Black Friday Shopping For Foodies

Why deal with the lines and being told we only had 4 of those $200 TVs in the ad. Grab a San Diego Dining Out Passport at 35% off if you use this website’s code. Regularly $99 – $35 with code NCF2016


These are all foodie restaurants that do not give out deals regularly. You get 2 for 1 entrees at some of San Diego’s best restaurants. Just show them the passport, they stamp their page and you save. No unfolding a piece of newspaper coupon that you have stuck in your wallet or purse.

There are many North County locations including 608, The Whet Noodle, and The Land and Water Company. Hey, jump on the Coaster and head down to Little Italy in SD and go to Bracero Cocina (that right there pays for 80% of the book.)

Disclaimers: Do not buy this as the sole gift for the one you love, do not use on a first date  (unless you are sly enough just to slip into the credit card holder with your payment). these situations will end badly.

Seriously, though it will allow you to try some great places at a great discount. Dining Out San Diego Magazine is well respected in the industry. Plus I would not be posting it if I did not think it was of value or pizza hut was in there.

Check out the magazine as well some great articles, the latest features an interview with North County’s own Davin Waite of Wrench & Rodent.  Click here

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.

Bits and Bites..Plus Dish Of The Month & Stuff

So, this is a way for me to call out great food or places that either, I have covered at length or it was my day off. By the way, my days off look a lot like my days on, they still involve food and friends.

Let’s get started..


Hummer Toast—hummus, cranberry, pecans & white iced tea.

Mario and Ton Ton are two of my favorites and they bring passion to every dish and every coffee.

Banana Dang! 


The “Highway To Hell” Chicken Sandwich ~ Grilled chicken breast tossed in wing sauce, topped with melted pepper jack cheese, crispy fried onions and jalapeño slices, lettuce, tomato, and PCH sauce, served on grilled sourdough slices.

Not the best pic, but I was getting too much attention. Look I’m cute, but that not cute:). I think I was made. These guys delivered elevated bar food and great local beer selection.

PCH Sports Bar and Grill


Bagby’s anniversary tacos and margaritas.

Full Disclosure..never been a fan of Bagby’s. The food is passable. This day they shined, both the food and service were spot on. Plus for a brewery they make a great margarita.

Bagby Beer Company


Ajito, a small and  hard to find Japanese bento box and sushi place, run by a husband and wife team who were disciples of Kaz from Kaito Sushi. It is located next to fully loaded juicery in Encinitas off the 101.


Salmon bento box and Japanese sausage. Nice little lunch.



Marinated beef omelet.

One of Chef Marc’s weekly specials @ Petite Madeline.

Petite Madeline Bakery

Dish of the month (really month and a half) …is a tie!


Scallop Nagiri ~ red jalapeno, sesame seeds, mystery sauce.

Chef Alex ~ Wrench and Rodent

Wrench and Rodent


Pan Seared Opah ~ grains, organic micro greens (day off was not taking notes)

Chef Samantha Parker

Flying Pig /Oceanside

#greatfood #northcounty

Birdseye Kitchen Lunch Report, Plus New Openings, and Coming Soon. ~ Encinitas

So, I was in Encinitas yesterday afternoon walking the 101, north of Encinitas Blvd. and decided to have lunch at Birdseye Kitchen after my first choice was closed (more on that later).

Birdseye Kitchen is a smallish cafe serving both Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. So after my first place did not pan out I made my way inside for what turned out to be a nice lunch.

birds eye kitchen exterior

Birdseye Kitchen ~ 504 North Highway 101, Encinitas

birds eye kitchen int

It is nice there main front window rolls up to give the dining room plenty of light and fresh air, especially on a hot day like Friday.

birds eye pork cheek

Pork Collar ~ Pork collar and bang bang sauce.

A simple dish of tender yummy pork with a great sauce to go with it.

birds eye Green papaya salad

Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

As good of an example of this dish as you can get. Light and full of Umami. I ordered an 8 on the spicy scale and it had a nice kick to it without overpowering the other flavors.

Birdseye Kitchen

504 North Coast Highway, Encinitas

As I was saying I had an original lunch destination. I had planned on hitting up a new Sushi and Bento box place that just opened called Ajito. It is the sister restaurant to one of the best Sushi places in all of San Diego, for traditional Sushi, Kaito in Encinitas. Unfortunately, the owner has taken some time off to spend with the family so they will not be back until August 22nd.

Ajito ext

The building on the left of Fully Loaded Juicery is the “blink and you will miss it” Ajito.

Ajito sign 2

Ajito sign

The only signs.

Culture Brewing

Making my way to downtown Encinitas it appears culture Brewing is set to expand to a third tap-room. There were a few small Culture Brewing signs, a permit application notice in the window, and a large fan blowing along the floor like it was drying sealant. The space is next to Vuori Yoga Clothing on Coast Highway, Encinitas in the 600 block.

Just a mural I liked.

frog mural.jpg

Have a great weekend.

Cancun’s Mexican Food ~ Leucadia

Gas, Big Gulps, and great Mexican food:)


This makes me happy do not know why it just does.

So, understand these are the places I live for. What comes to mind is Flying Pig BBQ in Vista and the best tri-tip ever at a gas station only on the weekends in Paso Robles.


Do not be miss led these guys put out great Mexican Food a step up or more of anything ending in bertos.

What I had…


Shrimp Diablo ~ do I really need to list ingredients?

So, I just ordered shrimp at a Mexican restaurant connected to a gas station…guess what it was great. I made two shrimp tacos with the corn tortillas provided and ate the rest as served. The shrimp were cooked perfectly BTW.

Never judge a book by the cover.

They have a huge menu…name a taco or burrito …done.

Cancun Mexican & Seafood

1766 North Coast Highway

Encinitas, CA

I know it says Encinitas but it is Leucadia damit:)

Coffee Trail Encinitas to Oceanside

So, this has been something I have been planning for a while, finally got it done.

OK, so if your favorite coffee place is not on this list it does not mean they suck, they are just not up to the standard these guys are.

Coffee is a funny thing it comes down to the Barista, the machine and water temp. You can give a Chef truffles and a dry aged steak and if he / she does not know what they are doing they can still f’ it up.Same with coffee

OK, disclaimer done.



Better Buzz Coffee ~ Encinitas

A local chain but a damn good local chain. always packed and they make a good cup of coffee.


Iron Smith Coffee ~ Encinitas

These guys are the real deal. Small place blink and you will miss it. Straight up minimal menu but great coffee. Also roasters.


Lofty Coffee ~ Encinitas

This is the best coffee in San Diego hands down. If I do not even want coffee and I am near this place I go here. They have a roasting facility right across the street.They also have a pastry Chef on site. If you have not been here and you think you know about coffee….you do not know about coffee. Go back to your  Frappuccino.


Had to include Pannikin just because it is a staple. They roast their own beans and it is in a historic old train station building. Great for bringing out-of-town friends.

OK, So Carlsbad get your act together you have no note worthy coffee on the coast. The only one worth mentioning is Copa Vida which is off the beaten path. Worth checking out.

copa vida

Copa Vida

Back in Oceanside



Revolution Roasters ~ Oceanside

Glad these guys chose Oceanside for their first brick and mortar store. They provide beans for a lot of the coffee shops on this list as well as many others. Wish they had not put it next to Captain’s Helm but more on that in a second. Great Coffee.


Captains Grounds ~ Oceanside

Used to be just a little cart like thing now has moved into Captain’s Helm (one of the best vintage stores IMO) Great coffee (San Diego Roasters) so right next store to Revolution.

There are a lot of politics here. I just want good coffee or Iced Tea, I see both sides so I’m out.



Coastal Coffee ~ Oceanside

Great location, great coffee out of Sacramento. They also do a mean Panini. The head barista knows what she is doing and they are supporting local artists and musicians.

last but not least…



Banana Dang! ~ Oceanside

After Lofty these guys are the shit. They bring love and passion into every cup. Disclaimer these guys are two of the most important people in my life but there is a reason for that and a lot of it is their passion for their business and each other.

Best pour over coffee in Oceanside for sure and up in the top ten in San Diego.

So, that is my list you can disagree but unless you pay my bills that is what I am sticking to:)

Also I want to call out 2 non coffee but great places…



Living Tea ~ Oceanside

We know them and love them (while at least I do) These guys are doing the right thing. Making a great product and the best attitude ever. Damn it I did not see the T Shirts till posting this picture. Another T-shirt I have to buy…I like representing local businesses and T Shirts.


Loose Leaf Tea Bar ~ Oceanside

Tea is my go to, I love coffee, but I LOVE Tea these guys are the real deal. Been there every morning.

So link time..

Iron Smith

Better Buzz

Lofty Coffee


Revolution Coffee

Captains’s Grounds

Coastal Coffee Connection 

Banana Dang!

Copa Vida

Living Tea Brewing Co.

Loose Leaf Tea Bar

Some Stuff I Saw & Ate Today ~ Oceanside and Encinitas

So, while I put the finishing touches on the 608 post  (It will be up tomorrow morning).

Here is some stuff I saw and ate today. I know riveting right? It did happen though.

eggs benny

Maui Benny ~ Poached eggs, smoked chicken, vegetables, pineapple, and rice.

Started my day with this and it was delicious.@Petite Madeline

Later after the 608 opening ceremony (I said it’s coming) I walked from Leucadia Blvd all the way to downtown Encinitas. Along the way I saw some things.


Moto Deli Sandwich Co. is closer to opening (and by closer is I mean they put up a big black wall) Sandwiches, Salads, Craft Beer.


Bread & Barley is opening a second location in Leucadia …They have one now in West Covina. I would say Gastropub for lack of a better word.


The Taco Stand is getting ready to open a location across from the Whole Foods plaza on the 101 in Encinitas. They have had a La Jolla location since 2013 and are opening two more this year. Traditional mexican tacos on handmade tortillas. Take a look at their website landing page they look like the in and out of mexican food (They will probably not like that its just not the best pic)


Salmon, asparagus, smoked roe, pea puree @Solace and Moonlight Lounge.

This was yummy . I forgot to take a pic of the dozen oysters I started with. $1 each during happy hour.

OH, I did come across this new Vegan place called Eve in Encinitas which I am really really excited about. Met one of the owners briefly before I had to catch my train. going back Friday. It is really cool.

Not the most interesting post but i just have my camera all the time and need to do something with the pics.

608 post will be up tomorrow have a good night:)