Themed Restaurants San Diego
San Diego's Little Italy has become a hot foodie destination, with big-name chefs opening restaurants. But not to worry: The neighborhood has remained true to its heritage, with Italian-themed restaurants and festivals. You'll still find plenty of fine Italian fare from old-fashioned to new wave.
India Street, its hub, is always bustling, drawing crowds to its stores and sidewalk dining.
The hottest stars of the sizzling food scene are Juniper & Ivy and Bracero Cocina de Raiz.
Juniper & Ivy touts the dishes of its "Top Chef All-Stars" winner Richard Blais. We had appetizers (lamb meatballs with feta and squash, and the best biscuit I've had outside of the South), beer and a strong White Summer cocktail (bourbon, vanilla, ginger, lime, mole bitters).
A larger meal followed at Bracero Cocina de Raiz, which opened last year and is packing them in. The eatery from Javier Plascencia, a high-profile chef in Tijuana, features modern twists on classic Mexican dishes.
We had a bowl of guacamole and shared four delicious tacos - beef cheek, lamb neck barbacoa, beef tongue confit and Mexiterranean (gyro style) Adobada, each steeped in its juices with no need for salsa.
If you need a break from the restaurant scene, Waterfront Park (1600 Pacific Highway) in front of the landmark County Administration Center, a grand 1938 Works Progress Administration project, is a fine spot to have a picnic and let the kids romp in the interactive water fountain.