No longer the poor stepchild of San Francisco and L.A., San Diego has finally earned national credibility by their side in a national ranking of the the top 10 cities for food in the U.S.
On April 19, Food & Wine Magazine announced the results of its inaugural Global Tastemakers Awards, a new reader’s choice competition celebrating culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. The votes were based on voters’ travels in the past three years and looked at restaurants, bars, cities, hotels, airports and more.
Among the top 10, San Diego ranked No. 9 (with San Francisco at No. 3 and L.A. at No. 4). San Diego was lauded for its top restaurant, Addison, which was the only U.S. restaurant to earn a third Michelin Star in 2022, and the rise of Matsu, chef William Eick’s modern Japanese restaurant in Oceanside, that started in 2019 as a pop-up at Mission Ave. Bar & Grill. Also mentioned were small spots like Jomaru Korean Hot Pot on Convoy and the hidden bar Raised by Wolves in La Jolla.
Food & Wine writer Erika Owen said in her article that San Diego wasn’t always recognized for its food scene in the past but the city’s culinary scene is undergoing an “evolution.”
Filling out the top 10 list are New York at No. 1; New Orleans at No. 2; Portland, Ore., 5; Chicago, 6; Charleston, S.C., 7; Miami, 8; and Austin, 10. For more, visit foodandwine.com/global-tastemakers-7375526
Rubio’s crowns taco champ
Diners at Rubio’s Coastal Grill restaurants will soon get to sample a new customer-created fish taco that won first prize in a recent cooking competition.
On April 21, Rubio’s hosted its first fish taco cook-off in the test kitchen at its Carlsbad headquarters. Several hundred customers submitted their recipes to Rubio’s in March for the contest. Three finalists were chosen to prepare their tacos live before a panel of judges, including finalist Art Knori of La Mesa.
The winning taco-maker was Cynthia Phillips of Phoenix. Her coconut shrimp and mango salsa tacos will arrive on the Rubio’s menu sometime around National Taco Day, which is Oct. 4. Phillips also received a $1,000 cash prize.
Three longtime restaurants close
Bub’s at the Beach in Pacific Beach closed April 30 after 25 years in business. The sports bar known for its burgers, wings and tater tots is now closed at 1030 Garnet Ave., but its East Village location, Bub’s at the Ballpark, remains open. Visit bubspb.com.
In Oceanside, the Millwood family is closing two family-owned restaurants in the coming weeks. That Boy Good barbecue and Miss Kim’s by That Boy Good were opened by Mark and Kim Millwood, who worked in the restaurants along with their son, Victor. In a tearful Instagram video last month, Kim Millwood said that the family decided to close the restaurants after 11 years in business due to financial challenges. She said they had discussed renovating their restaurants but the cost would have been in the millions of dollars and they didn’t own the buildings, so closing was their only option.
“We had to make some hard choices and decisions. We thought heavily about it, debated for a year and decided to close,” she said.
Miss Kim’s will close at the end of May and That Boy Good will close in June. Millwood said that her husband, Mark, may open another That Boy Good barbecue joint some day, but not in California. And she has decided to leave the corporate restaurant business altogether.
New chef takes helm at Greystone
Christopher Osbourne has been appointed as the new executive chef at Greystone Prime Steakhouse & Seafood in the Gaslamp Quarter.
A former chef at San Diego’s Cowboy Star steakhouse, Osbourne spent more than a decade working under the late Michelin-starred chef Charlie Trotter. Since taking the helm, Osbourne has introduced new six- and eight-course tasting menus. Some of his new dishes are filet tartare with Prime filet mignon, quail egg and stone mustard aioli with truffle on ciabatta; escargot with shallot truffle butter and French puff pastry; and lamb shank with butternut squash risotto.
Greystone, at 658 Fifth Ave, will make its 25th anniversary next year. Visit greystonesteakhouse.com.
Kragen writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at [email protected]