san diego

San Diego Food, Story Researching in LA and Other Mentions

I've recently joined the team at Eater San Diego as a contributor and am thrilled to be on board! It's definitely the gold standard when it comes to food news in San Diego, so it's a great opportunity. My first two pieces for them were for Eater national's "Road Trip" week: a day-long food itinerary for Ensenada, which usually gets the shaft in favor of Tijuana and the Valle de Guadalupe, and a heatmap for Tijuana.

Ensenada, Photo Credit Jackie Bryant

Ensenada, Photo Credit Jackie Bryant

I contributed to three Thrillist pieces: about Baja California as a good weekend trip destination, the unwritten rules of flying and Dresden as a must-visit destination for Americans.

My friend Jim Sullivan and I headed up to Los Angeles a few weeks ago to investigate vertical farming pods for Life & Thyme. We went to Otium and had a delicious brunch before interviewing the chef and seeing how the pods work in real life. While there, Jim also shot some pictures of yours truly! I didn't shower that morning (whoops) so my hair's a little mangy.

Me! Photo Credit Jim Sullivan Photography

Me! Photo Credit Jim Sullivan Photography

I'm at the end of a long weekend trip home to New York, where I kicked around the city and Hamptons for a few glorious days. God, I miss it so much here, but I'm energized to get back to San Diego because that's where the work is. My time in San Diego will be short-lived, though: it's off to Spain for an entire month on the 29th! I'm also in the middle of planning a border road trip to begin doing research for a web series I'll be contributing to, as well as begin the process of formulating a border-related book proposal.

Me, again! At Otium in Los Angeles. Photo Credit Jim Sullivan Photography.

Me, again! At Otium in Los Angeles. Photo Credit Jim Sullivan Photography.

Driving the Oregon coast, Redwood forests, Tiki and Mezcal

It's been quite a few weeks! Last week, I was tied up with Salt & Wind, touring through Tijuana and the Valle de Guadalupe yet again to put the final touches on our trips there. Our first is in just a month and we could not be more excited!

We also got the opportunity to stay in the new OneBunk hotel on Avenida Revolucion in Tijuana. It's an industrial-chic space with masculine, tasteful design and a perfect perch from which to explore Tijuana's most infamous drag. It's booked only through Airbnb and I highly recommend checking it out--if you haven't had a reason to visit Tijuana yet, the city's first boutique hotel is probably a good one.

I just arrived in Napa for one of my good friend's weddings, which will be in the exceptionally charming town of Calistoga. It was a fun week of getting to this point. On Monday, I flew to San Francisco to spend the day in Tomales Bay at Hog Island Oyster Co.--I interviewed them, had a decadent charcuterie and oyster lunch, went out on the boat to check out the oyster beds and jetted out to Seattle in the early evening. It was a magical day with good food.

From Seattle, I set out with one of my best friends on a two-day road trip to Napa. We drove the entire Oregon coast, which is one of the most rugged and stunning I've ever seen. The charming towns and steel grey ocean reminded me of New England, but the sheer power of the sea, dense evergreen forests cascading down mountains into the water and the accompanying rock outcroppings made the scene distinctly Pacific at the same time. We also stopped in the cool Columbia river town of Astoria, Oregon, which is a hipster-blue collar fishing town hybrid with cool shops, cute boutique hotels and good dive bars--not to mention a lot of craft beer.

We stayed in an Airbnb in Brookings, Oregon, which is on the border with California. It was directly on the ocean and had a hot tub with unobstructed, pristine views. After two days of driving, it was a welcome reprieve and one of the best Airbnb experiences I've ever had, for only $165/night. We continued on to California and drove through several Redwood forests, which was my first time. The combination of the sheer size and age of the trees alongside the force of the Pacific Ocean that we had felt the last few days made me feel small in the best way.

This week saw some of my favorite pieces go live:

This in-depth look at Ilegal Mezcal at New Worlder. I had a long, boozy afternoon-long lunch and interview with its founder, John Rexer, while I was in Antigua Guatemala in February. We talked asshole white people; precious narratives surrounding mezcal; economic, social and environmental sustainability and other things. I think it's a great story and a must if you're into agave spirits.

I also produced a list for Thrillist in conjunction with San Diego Tourism about why San Diego is the place to be in 2017.

Also at Thrillist, I wrote a story about tiki culture in San Diego--why we've always had it and always will in high quality form. TIki is taking the country by storm right now, but I think San Diego is its natural home, being a beachside city.

Grenada, Mezcal in Guatemala and monthly San Diego

Greetings from the magical island of Grenada! I've been here for the past 4/5 days on a whirlwind tour of this misunderstood island nation. I don't want to give too much away here, since the blog is primarily for sharing published work and I intend on saving the good stuff for forthcoming articles, but this place is wonderful. Grenada is less touristed than other Caribbean islands but just as beautiful--essentially, a winning combination. More to come.

I've been working like a madwoman but things have been slow to publish, and I'm pretty sure I have a whole lot of yet-to-be-published work out in the world that will surface without me remembering I even wrote it. Which is exciting! This short piece at Roads & Kingdoms went live--it's about my recent trip to Guatemala with the folks at Ilegal Mezcal. The brand owner also owns a bar, called Cafe No Se, and I think it might be the greatest bar in the world. And definitely one of the shadiest, but that often goes hand-in-hand. 

On the print front, it's time for the monthly magazine release and deluge. My Ranch & Coast column talks about botanical cocktails you can find around San Diego. I have a very short part of San Diego Magazine's Best of North County issue, where I plug my favorite Spanish restaurant in the United States, Cesar in Rancho Santa Fe. In Modern Luxury San Diego's April issue, I wrote the Eat Sheet, which talks about the new incarnations of local favorites: the new Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station, the new Streetcar Merchants in La Jolla and Herb and Wood's casual eatery, which recently opened in Little Italy. Called Herb & Eatery, it's my designated "on the way to Mexico" stop for their awesome vanilla-mint latte and its location right off the freeway. I also wrote about the opening of Hive, a new eating and drinking adult arcade on Convoy. 

Lots of good things on the horizon, including the launch of our Salt & Wind trips in late May and trips to Baja, Napa, Seattle, San Francisco, Germany and Oregon's Tualatin Valley. Almost all of it is work-related, so keep an eye out for corresponding articles.


Recently eaten (and published) and an exciting announcement! 1/19/17

At the beginning of this week, I received a last minute email offering a rare interview with famed French chef Joel Robuchon. The catch was minor: I had to go to Las Vegas to do so and would also get a chance to eat at his 3 Michelin star eponymous restaurant, Joel Robuchon. Since I'm a little bit lazy, the first thing I did was check flights. $550 and none at the ideal time--I had to be in Vegas by 11:30 Tuesday morning and my best friend was visiting until late Monday night. 

So, driving was the only option and I left at 4 AM Tuesday morning for my solo trek across the Mojave desert. Which, by the way, is beautiful! Everyone told me the drive to Vegas was "super boring," but I was delighted by the elevation changes, mountain vistas and random outcroppings of Joshua Trees. Not to mention, the In-n-Out in Barstow saved my ass on the way back. 

Interviewing Mr. Robuchon was a real treat: I learned about his absolute, near-religious devotion to cooking more healthily, something that trickles down to his restaurants. He also told me about his new culinary school, in France, which offers guests and would-be chefs an all-encompassing hospitality experience by also building a on-site hotel. The dinner, of course, was excellent. We sampled some new menu items, the creation of which was overseen by Mr. Robuchon himself. It's hard to pick a favorite, but in the running was the duck with acacia honey and coriander, glazed turnips and his famous pomme puree or the John Dory filet with shisho leaf tempura on squid ink risotto. Or the rose shrimp in bonito broth with ginger and kombu seaweed. Or the avocado and Scottish salmon canneloni with osetra caviar that was paired with a sublime Chablis: Vielle Vignes Saint Clair, Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard 2013. You get the idea.

My first pieces were published at Thrillist this week, as well. I helped them roll out a full-scale guide for visitors to San Diego, with my contributions being the best beaches and must-eat, most iconic foods in the city. I also helped with some of the general introductions around the guide. Also live is the video we did for the Fork Yeah series, which is about the tuna ribbon fishbowl. I art directed and also wrote the accompanying blurb. PETA will be thrilled about this one.

Also exciting, I'm partnering up with Aida Mollenkamp of the gorgeous travel & food site Salt & Wind. I'll be contributing editorial content about San Diego and Baja and will be helping her get her upcoming trips to Baja off the ground. It's a real, tangible way to turn my knowledge of the region into something fun and useful and I am honestly thrilled to be on board. Please, if you're interested at all, ask me more or sign up to be on the information list HERE. We're looking at a late spring launch with trips running throughout the rest of 2017.