Taco ‘bout It

San Diego may be known for the birth of fish tacos, but these days, chefs are elevating even the most simple and traditional dishes. Take, for example, these Big-Eye Tuna Tacos from executive chef Brian Redzikowski of Kettner Exchange, which were featured in the November 2016 PACIFIC magazine and are definitely NOT an average fish taco. (Eduardo Contreras/Union-Tribune)
(Eduardo Contreras / San Diego Union-Tribune)

My interest and love for food hasn’t always been so.

I grew up in a small town in Northern California where adventurous eating in my family was considered going to the nearest chain restaurant. Memories of unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks, Bloomin’ Onions, loaded potato skins and cheddar biscuits still remain.

Not that there’s anything wrong with these places or dishes, but they come from a place of comfort and familiarity - a narrow scope of what dining can be. There is a whole other world out there that I had no idea existed - one with exciting, complex dishes being whipped up by talented chefs. Places where the menu is dictated by the season and, with the exception of a few mainstays, you’re almost always guaranteed to find new creations to please the palate.

While San Diego is a big city, its food scene hasn’t always been so. But in the past decade it has made leaps and bounds from the city known primarily for its fish tacos to one that launched 140+ breweries and draws Michelin-star chefs.

Celebrity and award-winning chefs are starting to call San Diego home. Whole neighborhoods and towns around the county are being transformed because of the restaurants that are opening there (see La Mesa, Oceanside and even Little Italy - where Italian food isn’t automatic anymore).

The local food scene is something PACIFIC is proud to celebrate as it evolves. In the pages of the magazine we highlight new restaurant openings and exciting chefs (see features on chef DJ Tangalin and the Chain of Gourmand), crushable cocktails and master mixologists.

But I want PACIFIC to be more than that. As editor, I want to make sure we evolve right alongside this growing scene, making sure to look to the future, but also not forgetting about the core of what makes up the local dining scene.

This month, PACIFIC will launch a new partnership with the quickly expanding, highly engaged Facebook group called Eating and Drinking San Diego. Keep an eye on these pages and online at as we reveal new features that I hope will leave you wanting to get out and explore beyond what’s comfortable and familiar.


Leslie Hackett

PS: If you’re interested in joining the EDSD Facebook group, you must first be approved into the private group, but can start the process here.


PACIFIC: November 2017

Dish It Up: A look at ‘in the moment’ cooking