Perched on the corner of Date and India Streets, Napizza is not only one of the newest establishments in Little Italy, but it also has a new concept that is gaining attention. Green-certified and committed to utilizing locally sourced, organic ingredients with no preservatives or chemicals, this is not your typical pizza joint. But that new philosophy is underscored by one of the oldest traditions in pizza-making techniques. Pizza al taglio is the centuries-old art of utilizing special flour, yeast and water and allowing for a slow rise, creating a product with no equal. The large, square-cut pieces are familiar to anyone who’s sampled street food from Italy’s larger cities. Produce is sourced daily from local and organic farmers, whether you enjoy it on a pizza or sample it from the organic salad bar. Read more about Napizza in my new book: San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond.
Located in downtown La Jolla, this upscale fast-casual eatery features a walk-up counter where you can dine in or get your food to go. The menu offers a variety of authentic Mexican food ingredients including all-natural meats, sustainable seafood, local and seasonally organic vegetables, homemade all-natural stone-ground corn tortillas, and 6 homemade signature salsas made from scratch daily. Customize your guisados (grilled foods), which can be mixed and matched and are served as tacos that are layered with crispy hot cheese. Diners can choose from a variety of toppings such as fish, shrimp, chicken, carne asada, and gourmet Mexican vegetarian items like zucchini flower, corn truffle, and soy chorizo potatoes. For a healthy dessert or refreshing side, Puesto serves a Mexican street cup of sliced jicama, cucumber, carrots, mango, and dried mango sticks with lime, chili, and sea salt. Puesto Mexican Street Food, 1026 Wall St., La Jolla, CA 92037; (858) 455-1260; eatpuesto.com; Mexican; $$.
©Food Lovers’ Guide to San Diego by Maria Desiderata Montana
Nestled in the heart of North Park. Waypoint Public highlights their commitment and enthusiasm for great food and beer pairings while trying to hit the trifecta of great food, great beer, and a determination to appeal to a neighborhood demographic, which includes a growing number of young families. “There’s a growing demand for dining environments that cater to both children and adults and being family-friendly was an essential element when conceptualizing Waypoint Public from the get go,” says John Pani, co-owner of Waypoint Public. “I’m the father of three young children, and like many other families around our Kensington neighborhood, I want to enjoy great food and drink without sacrificing quality time with my family.” For group dining, Waypoint Public can accommodate larger groups in the main dining room, or the private “Bear Den” in the back of the restaurant. (www.waypointpublic.com)
©Written by Maria Desiderata Montana
Sophisticated and modern, Isola Pizza Bar offers warm and friendly service to every guest whom walks in the door. Located in a tiny storefront in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy, the menu is a surprise that will leave you craving more for your next visit. Read more in the ‘San Diego Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes From America’s Finest City’, now available for pre-order.
ISOLA PIZZA BAR
1526 INDIA STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA 92101
Back to Roots
Philip Ariza, who along with his brother Jan, heads El Campito Farms located in Descanso, specializes in heirloom varieties of produce which are hand-harvested daily, using deep-organic methods to create very rich soil without the use of organic fertilizers or pesticides, providing local distribution to noted San Diego restaurants and a biweekly farm stand.
Spaniard Alvaro Miranda, whose family has long been involved in making cheese and raising pigs, established Iberico Taste 3 years ago, specializing in importing products including Iberico ham, chorizo, and truffle oil mainly from Spain. Limited production, high quality artisanal producers make up a portfolio which includes unique items such as Jamón Ibérico (Iberico Ham) is a unique ham, cured for up to four years, which comes from an ancient breed of pig found only on the Iberian Peninsula, known as Cerdo Ibérico, or “Pata Negra” for its black hoof. Philip and Alvaro together identified a need among food connoisseurs to source handcrafted items locally and abroad, created a partnership, and Back To Roots Market was born. Back to Roots is designed to bring people back in touch with what they eat, according to Philip, “offering varieties and products that don’t necessarily last the longest on the shelf, but are flavorful and hormone and chemical-free”.
With Iberico Taste and El Campito Farms as permanent vendors, Back to Roots brought in renowned regional Chef Flor Franco’s healthy food to go, including organic roasted chicken and seasonal items, to feature in her “Esquina de Flor” (Flor’s corner). Other purveyors brought on board include Prager Brothers Artisan Breads, started by Louie Prager, a plant biologist with a degree from Cal Poly, and his brother Clint, a professional musician, with their production of handcrafted and naturally leavened whole grain and rye bread. Taste Enoteca’s Chef, Martin Gonzalez, will have fresh-made pasta and sauces available including carrot and ginger tagliatelle and sugo al pomodoro.
Back to Roots Market is located at 3318 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA, 92103 and will open November 19th, 2014
To round out the mix at Back to Roots Market, Descanso Valley Ranch, with their locally raised chickens and eggs from Farmers Carl and Tamara, was also selected along with Baja Food + Wines for its cellar curated by Fernando Gaxiola, offering boutique, family-owned and artisan wineries from Valle de Guadalupe in northern Baja California, from where 90% of the Mexican wines are produced. Also featured are ceramics by Karla Patterson, abstract and organic pieces which bring together elements of nature, color and texture, as well as custom furniture from Planet Rooth Design Haus.
Back to Roots Market
3318 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
*Courtesy information Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade
Established in 2002, locally owned and family operated Village Pizzeria offers an authentic slice of New York City in the heart of beautiful Coronado, California. “We don’t want to sell New York style, we want to sell authentic New York pizza in Coronado,“ says Owner David Spatafore. “It may seem a tad obsessive to truck in water in 1-gallon jugs all the way from New York, but the end result is worth every penny.”