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Industry Tastemakers Share Headline Predictions for 2014


As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, food writers, reviewers and bloggers. This year, we asked the group eight questions, from Meal of the Year to Restaurant Breakups; so far, we've looked at top restaurant standbys, top newcomers , had the writers sum up the year in one word, pick the dining neighborhoods, name their biggest dining surprises, the single best meals of 2013 and share their restaurant break ups. Here now are the answers to our final question of the series.

Readers, please do add your own answers in the comments.

Q: What are your headline predictions for 2014?

Michele Parente, features editor, U-T San Diego: Richard Blais blazes onto the San Diego food scene, with Juniper & Ivy. South Bay the new dining hot spot in the county. Led by the amazing Rachel King, desserts finally given the recognition they deserve. Nine-Ten beats all odds, get EVEN BETTER.

Troy Johnson, dining critic, San Diego Magazine: "Michelin-Starred Chef Opens Baja Med Pop-Up on Park Bench"
"China-to-Table Restaurant Specializes in Giant Carbon Footprint"
"iPad Servers 100% Less Likely to Intercourse Coworkers"
"Body of Food Truck Operator Found In Gaslamp Restaurant Stockpot"
"San Diego's Seafood Is Delicious, Reports Beijing"

Erin Jackson, San Diego city editor, DiningOut Magazine: Someone other than Ty Hauter finally opens a restaurant in the East Village, Waffles, waffles, everywhere!, Brian Malarkey permanently relocates to L.A.

Kirk K, mmm-yoso blogger: I'm waiting for an upcoming Cohn Restaurant Group concept restaurant that does Beerish-Cronuttiness. My dream would be substance over style at last...

Caron Golden, San Diego Foodstuff blogger: Expansion -- We're seeing so much movement by independent restaurants that started in one neighborhood and are growing into others. PrepKitchen, Blue Ribbon, Matt Gordon's newest Sea & Smoke, Cucina Urbana et al, Jeff Rossman and Bunz, and, of course, the Cohn explosion and Malarkey's group. In 2014, here comes Carnitas Snack Shack to a neighborhood near you. The question is, can the quality that defines one with the chef/owner at the helm extend to multiple locations?

Michael Gardiner, restaurant reviewer, San Diego CityBeat: "Juniper & Ivy surprises by actually meeting 'expectations'"

Ian Pike, food writer, San Diego Reader: Mid-century hotel cuisine is going to make a huge comeback. We'll be seeing aspic'd hams, and centerpieces composed entirely of a fennel bulb in a crystal chalice.

Kristin Díaz de Sandi, Life & Food blog: As far as making headlines, my predictions for 2014 will be some restaurants focusing more on traditional dishes, and with that being said perhaps their own interpretations on "street food". Great quality ingredients with simple yet authentic preparations.

Amy T. Granite, freelance writer, @saysgranite: Crop dusting alert: more SD farmer's markets bite the big one

Marcie Rothman, FoodbuzzSD: Look for dishes that resonate comfort, rustic and seasoned with bold but nuanced flavors. Pizza on every corner? Enough already!