Come winter, we throw waistline-caution to the wind and dine on rich, indulgent dishes. It’s the season when feasting is encouraged, even mandated at most holiday events. Eat warmly - no holds barred - with these winter-inspired dishes from local restaurants.
Flavor Del Mar: Their Butternut Squash Soup is a true comfort food that was recently featured in the Los Angeles Times. With orange marshmallow and brown butter, the soup encompasses the spirit of fall. It can be consumed on its own or as an appetizer to one of Flavor’s generous entrees. $8
333 Pacific: While most of the year in San Diego is spent on shrimp rolls and seafood salads, the winter calls for the much thicker Coastal Clam Chowder. Spoil yourself in the surf & manila clams, potatoes and light broth at 333 Pacific. $8.95
GANG Kitchen: This all-new Asian-inspired hotspot downtown gives locals something modern and fresh to feast on. In harmony with Chinese culture, the menu proudly boasts a Roast Duck on the winter menu. The appetizing dish is served with black vinegar sauce, scallion pancake and sake fruit. $25
Cusp Dining & Drinks: Make your salad bright! Cusp’s Candy Cane Beet Salad brings the joys of the season to your dish in this creative, colorful salad. Chef Lockhart takes roasted local beets and combines with warm epoisses cheese, endive and shaved apple. $13
Jsix: The Double-Cut Niman Ranch Pork Chop is revved up and ready to give your stomach that winter satisfaction. This seasonal comfort dish features a thick cut chop with stone-ground community farms polenta, roasted chicories and apples served with a spiced molasses and apple brandy sauce. $28
Sabuku Sushi: Sabuku celebrates the holidays with an added menu that features festive holiday fare. Making spirits bright is the Yule Log Roll, taking on the flavors of the season. Inside, you’ll find tempura fried Japanese pumpkin, tuna and shiso leaf. The roll is topped off with cinnamon spiced persimmons compote with preserved lemon slices. Dip it in the red hot sake sauce to make it merry! $16
Quality Social: The Braised Short Ribs will turn your dining experience downtown into a feasting fiasco. This Quality Social favorite is made with pumpkin polenta, baby broccoli and pepitas. $16. Insider Tip: Quality Social is rolling out a new menu for their monthly dining event - Sinatra’s Supper - on Tuesday, Dec. 18 where guests can try out Not Your Momma’s Pot Roast and Butternut Squash Lasagna.
Burlap: Up in Del Mar, a new winter menu of tantalizing dishes is calling your name. Chef Anthony Sinsay has created fresh standout plates just for the season. We’re loving the Roasted Japanese Pumpkin & Walnut dish, which best encompasses the restaurant’s Asian Cowboy theme. $10
Saltbox: For something that’s a little sweet and savory, order up the Black Garlic Pasta from Saltbox Restaurant. Chef Dolinky’s winter dish is a creamy delight, served with roasted fennel and chanterelle mushrooms alongside the black garlic. $19
Beaumont’s Eatery: When you need that extra winter padding to keep you warm, Chef George Morris’ 3 Way Jidori Chicken dish does just that. It features a pan roasted breast, chicken fried leg and smoked wing, served with goat cheese smashed potatoes, Blue Lake beans, bacon and gastrique. $22
Cucina Urbana: Just for the winter, Cucina Urbana has debuted a few new flavorful dishes. We have our eyes set on the Tahitian Squash Agnolotti. It’s served with caramelized garlic and maple glazed rutabaga, plus a ricotta salata. $17
True Food Kitchen: Right on trend for the season, True Food Kitchen in Fashion Valley is whipping up a Butternut Squash Pizza. This vegetarian dish is filled with healthy and delicious tastes of walnuts, smoked mozzarella, sweet onion and arugula. $12 (Main image)
Bo-Beau: Over in Ocean Beach, Bo-Beau is serving up a new, mouthwatering Moules Lobster Bisque. As you dig into the dish, you’ll be pleased by the flavors of garlic, winter wine, chives and a sherry crème fraiche joining the mix. Appetizer size $12.50; Entrée with Pomme Frites $18.50
Gaijin Noodle + Sake House: Although their menu already boasts more than enough comfort dishes, Gaijin is now adding everyone’s favorite pho to their menu. Guests can order Steak and Brisket, Shrimp, or both in their pho that's made with chicken and beef broth, rice noodles, bean sprouts, basil, jalapeno slices and lime. $9 for Steak; $12 for Steak and Shrimp
Harney Sushi: Coming January 1, keep your eyes out for the new hot side menu. More info TBA.
Gingham: This “urban cowboy diner” has added a Smoked Butternut Squash Soup with sage crema and candied pecans from Chef de Cuisine Ryan Studebaker. $7
Sprinkles: For that sweet tooth, Sprinkles has the winter-inspired solution. The Vanilla Peppermint Cupcake is causing quite a commotion among sweet-lovers with its Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cake topped with vanilla-peppermint frosting. The cupcake is complete with crushed peppermint candies on top. $3.50 per cupcake