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Banzai Bar – Loma Portal

Banzai Bar – Loma Portal

Banzai Bar is a little hidden amongst the other businesses off of Midway Drive near Valley View Casino Center, aka, Sport’s Arena. Their bright colorful neon sign might pull you in though. They opened in September and it’s part of the same family of restaurants including Werewolf and The Waterfront Bar & Grill, San Diego’s oldest tavern. They serve Hawaiian influenced fare.

I missed the narrow alleyway that leads to the parking lot in the back. Michael flagged me down and helped guide me in.

Once inside you will find a dimly lit restaurant bar with numerous tv’s and an exuberant bartender.…

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SNOICE in Paradise Hills, San Diego

SNOICE in Paradise Hills, San Diego

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Just prior to Thanksgiving, we made a quick trip up to Paradise Hills to check out SNOICE.

*If you look a little closer, you’ll notice my daughter just outside the front door super eager to go inside!  Somehow she knew she’d be in a for a special treat.

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SNOICE specializes in snow and ice desserts traditionally found in Taiwan and the Philipines.

They have a pretty cool story.  The founders, Jayrell and Dianne, started it up as a side project of the side of Dianne’s parents’ bakery.

What started out as a pop-up dessert bar has since evolved into a full fledged storefront and viable business.  …

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The Grass Skirt Tiki Lounge, Pacific Beach

The Grass Skirt Tiki Lounge, Pacific Beach

The Grass Skirt Tiki Lounge

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As you may know, Darren and I are cousins.  What you may not know is that our parents were born in Hawaii.  So, we’ve got a natural affinity towards island style cuisine and themes.

Tonight we were excited to be checking out the soft opening for The Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach.  This Tiki Lounge concept is from SDCM, the same group that brought us Kettner Exchange a couple years ago.  One thing that we realized is that they love to make a great first impression!…

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Homestyle Hawaiian Pub & Eatery –  Tierrasanta

Homestyle Hawaiian Pub & Eatery – Tierrasanta

My post of Cucina Urbana was not all rainbows and butterflies. That’s just not real life now is it. Another long time favorite of mine is Homestyle Hawaiian. It’s a steady source of comfort and I love to frequent the location near Mesa College. When I noticed Homestyle Hawaiian Pub & Eatery in Tierrasanta opened earlier this year I had to go check it out. Actually, we used to hit up the owner’s (Mo) other restaurant called Da Kitchen/Mo’s Island Grinds way back in the day until he closed it. What a sad day that was when we found out we couldn’t get his Korean chicken or kalua pig anymore.…

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Poke Etc. – National City

Poke Etc. – National City

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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably aware that poke it all the rage these days in San Diego.

It’s interesting because there was such limited options for poke just a couple years ago, and now there’s probably close to a dozen options now.

One interesting restaurant (and store) that caught our attention was Poke Etc. in National City.

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Inside they have a full Hawaiian menu with traditional plate lunches and sides.

They also have a breakfast menu which looks delicious as well.

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Just behind the main counter, they have a poke bar which houses a few different ones.  …

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Ocean Pacific Grille – Downtown San Diego, Gaslamp

Ocean Pacific Grille – Downtown San Diego, Gaslamp

A quick shout out to my neighbors, Russ and Berm, who turned me on to Ocean Pacific Grille right when they opened up 4 months ago.  They’ve been raving about them ever since.  So, I’ve been wanting to try them for some time now, but always had some sort of scheduling conflict.

Luckily for us, Kat from Crave Marketing, invited us to check them out recently.  So of course we jumped at the opportunity when it arrived and said, YES!

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Ocean Pacific Grille was opened by Managing Partner, Brian Norris, and Chef Partner, Charles Andres.  …

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Katsu Cafe – Kearney Mesa, San Diego

Katsu Cafe – Kearney Mesa, San Diego

Thank goodness is all I have to say.  It’s been awhile since I blasted a restaurant, but Teri Cafe was terrible in my opinion.  Granted I haven’t been there in years, but I distinctly remember their chicken was always dry and under season. So, I’m happy to report that Teri Cafe is no longer around and has been replaced with Katsu Cafe!

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I’m not exactly sure when they opened since I don’t work in the area any longer, but I decided to check it out with Jorgina and the kids one day while we were furniture shopping.  …

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Kyoto Japanese Market – Poke Bowls

Kyoto Japanese Market – Poke Bowls

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Kyoto Gift & Food is a Japanese Market located just West of the 805 freeway in National City, CA.  It took us awhile to find this place because it’s touted more as a market, rather than an eatery.  However, I’d say it should be known for both.  
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Just inside the market there is a small room in the back which houses their sushi production.  The market is run by a nice Japanese “mom and pop”.  Inside looks like a market you might find on the Island of Maui, with lots of traditional Japanese foods, snacks, and of course sushi.…

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