After photographing the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival's La Plancha Pop Up Dinner on Monday, celebrating the best of Baja and tequila, I popped in for another festival event at Stone Brewery World Bistro and Gardens last night, The San Diego Classics: Fish Tacos & Craft Beers. Another photographer was covering this event, so I was free to partake in my Tuesday Night Taco ritual at a great venue, and take a few photographs to share on the blog. Taco exhibitors included Casanova Fish Tacos, Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro, Spike Africa's, Oceanaire, Bull Taco, Fat Fish, Sandbar, Marriott's Tequila Bar & Grill, Blind Burro, Pacific Beach Fish Shop, and Stone Brewery.
Most of the tacos were full-size tacos and too amazing to simply take a few bites. As a result, I was unable to sample more than a few. The abalone tacos offered by Marriott's Tequila Bar & Grill, with Marina Kitchen Executive Chef Aron Schwartz manning the grill, were very unique and the perfect tasting-size. My friends from Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro, who hosted the La Plancha Pop Up Dinner, were there with exceptional halibut tacos, but I needed another beer tasting after that habanero sauce!
Spike Africa's executive chef Paul Rinaudo hauled in a beautiful mahi mahi caught off the coast of Cabo, which he filleted and grilled at the event for the restaurant's signature taco (blackened mahi mahi, guacamole, butter lettuce, and diced mango, served on a flour tortilla). Although I have not yet experienced the pleasure of dining at Spike's, I may need to venture over the bridge one of these Tuesdays.
The big winner of the Fish Taco TKO Competition was Sandbar Sportsbar & Grill, with its fabulous taco assembled with marinated and grilled dorado, hand-roasted chipotle aioli, spicy guacamole, beer-braised escabeche slaw, and lime crema, stuffed inside a smokey paprika and cotija cheese-crusted flour tortilla, and garnished with tobacco onions and fried cilantro. Instead of a paper plate, the taco was served on corn husk. Sandbar plans to put the taco on its menu within the next week. Blind Burro placed second and Casanova third.
|The Winning Fish Taco Team (Photo courtesy of Sandbar)|
|The Winning Taco (photo courtesy of Sandbar)|
It's only Wednesday, and I'm just getting warmed up. I'll be at Addison at The Grand Del Mar tonight for the sold-out Haute French Cuisine & Vintage Burgundy Tasting. Although photography will be limited at this intimate event, I will be "escorted" to the kitchen and Le Grand Table to meet Grand Chef William Bradley and sommelier Elizabeth Huettinger and will be able to spend some time in the kitchen photographing the chefs and plated dishes. I'm a bit nervous, but incredibly excited! I first met Chef Bradley a few months ago when I photographed his Butternut Squash Velouté, offered on tonight's menu and Addison's special seven-course Thanksgiving menu.