As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. We've already covered the 2014's restaurant standbys and top newcomers, seen the year summed up in one word, discussed the best dining neighborhoods, shared dining surprises, the best meals of 2014 and the year's biggest restaurant grievances. Now, in our final installment, our media panel predicts future food headlines for the year to come. Thanks to all our contributors!
Q: What are your headline predictions for 2015?
Erin Jackson, city editor, DiningOut San Diego: "San Diego's Coffee Roasters Momentarily Steal Spotlight from Local Brewers", "Riots Ensue After Matt Gordon Considers Taking Cinnamon Rolls off the Menu", "Bread Baskets Make a Triumphant Return After Everyone Agrees Life Without Hot Buttered Bread is a Bottomless Abyss of Sorrow" (seriously, have you had the focaccia at The Grant Grill?).
Michele Parente, dining and lifestyle reporter, Union-Tribune: Javier Plascencia’s Bracero launches an arms race for best new restaurant. Brian Malarkey, back in the kitchen, reminds San Diego that he can really cook. Rick Bayless makes us cheat on Baja cuisine. 10 more restaurants open with "Public," "House" or "Something + Something " in their name.
Michael Gardiner, restaurant critic, San Diego CityBeat: "Javier Plascencia brings high-end BajaMed to San Diego with Bracero: Cocina Mexicana de Raíz.", "Restaurant XXXXXX closes despite great reviews and happy customers, just not enough of them."
Omar Passons, eat.drink.give.go.: I expect to see more seafood elevation, which shouldn't be a headline but I don't feel like I get enough great seafood. Also, now that Scott Peters and his friends in Congress have made it actually fast to get across the border I expect we'll see a significant uptick in cross-border collaboration. And the one I'm really excited about is now that our craft brewery total in the region is in the high 90s, brewers are going to have to elevate their game and work with some chefs on more complementary styles. Some brewers already crush this, but as a craft beer guy who loves good food, seeing our whole region mature as an artisanal destination is one I'm pretty excited for in 2015.
Frank Sabatini Jr., restaurant critic, San Diego Community News Network, and contributing writer, Pacific San Diego Magazine: Roasted Brussels sprouts will officially become as severely passé as garlic mashed potatoes; a few brave chefs will stop pandering to those elusive diners who claim they can’t live without ahi tuna; and restaurants touting "craft beer" as a marketing draw will realize that everyone else within an exceptionally wide radius carries them too.
Marcie Rothman, FoodBuzzSD: That the food scene will continue to grow with good food and a dining public that respects the food and chefs of this city.
Barbarella Fokos, contributor, San Diego Reader: The Falconer’s Diet: Eat only what your raptor captures
Troy Johnson, restaurant critic, San Diego Magazine: "City Tap Water Replaced with Cold Pressed Juice", "Live Ocelot Poops Out Magical One Magical Coffee Bean At A Time While You Wait", "How Transcendental Yoga Can Help You Deal With Kale Shortage", "Restaurateurs Plus Gasoline Leads to Hot Night at Review Website Headquarters"
Caron Golden, San Diego Foodstuff: More Baja chefs opening restaurants in San Diego.
Darlene Horn, city editor, Zagat San Diego: Bars Make Room For Designer Water Despite Drought
Amy T. Granite, food writer, DiscoverSD: "Fried chicken skin is the new Molly"