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3 Hot Ingredients

BY Andrea Bennett, Casey Hatfield-Chiotti, Darlene Horn and Ann Wycoff | June 27, 2018 | Feature Features

Pull up a chair! From dazzling dishes to classics we'll love forever, here are 46 reasons San Diego's dining scene is hotter than ever.
The Mr. Nice Guy cocktail at Madison on Park won't make you high, but you can claim the CBD oil is easing any social anxiety.

Fermented Foods
Gut-friendly fermented foods are popping up all over town. At The Pearl’s Charles + Dinorah, Alex Santana pairs a whole fish with fermented black beans, and tosses fermented chili into his coconut, mango and taro root ceviche mix. Their boozy brunch mule cocktail is made with ginger-lime-rosehips Boochcraft kombucha, vodka and bitters. At Wrench & Rodent, Davin Waite makes tangerine koshu, fermenting the sweet pulp with chilis for a month, and then serves it with his Baja hiramasa (yellowtail). Both probiotic-rich kefir soda and kombucha spill from the taps at Flower Child in Del Mar.

Cannabidiol oil (CBD)
The nonpsychoactive component of marijuana is said to relieve anxiety, decrease pain, ease inflammation and more. Madison on Park has concocted two tasty cannabis cocktails: Mr. Nice Guy is a silky sipper with mezcal, matcha, pineapples and coconut, decorated with drops of CBD oil and a marijuana leaf; and Purple Rain melds peach liqueur with aquavit, lemon, egg whites and butterfly pea flower. Gold CBD oils deliver the Prince-style glitz. At Herb & Wood, Meghan Balser has crafted the Herb & Diego—featuring local Old Harbor gin, green chili liqueur, cucumber, egg white, lime and CBD oil.

With the second largest Filipino-American community in the United States, San Diego has adopted many of its flavors and ingredients. Chefs are getting creative with ube, the popular Filipino purple yam. Take its clever use at Bivouac Cider where the Pikes Peak Colada is a mashup of pineapple-infused cognac, coconut milk, lime and an ube infusion. Ube panna cotta rests on a bed of coconut rice festooned with tropical fruit and coconut shavings. At Jsix, Filipino influences color executive chef Anthony Sinsay’s menu, so it’s likely you’ll discover an ube ice cream sandwich as a dessert special. At the more traditional Manila Sunset, ube takes center stage in the Halo Halo dessert—a medley of tropical fruit bits, shaved ice and milk topped with ube and leche flan.

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