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Food Experts Share Best Meals of 2017 and Predictions for 2018

Local food writers reveal their best meals of the year and look ahead to 2018

Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop

As is Eater’s annual tradition, we’re closing out 2017 by surveying local food writers (including our own staff and contributors) on various restaurant-related topics, and we’re publishing their responses in these final days of the year. Readers, please feel free to chime in with your own thoughts in the comment section below.

Keep an eye on the Year in Eater archive page for other stories in this series.

Today’s questions: What was your best meal of 2017 and what’s your headline prediction for 2018?

Best meals of 2017:

Barbarella Fokos, SD Reader: Cowboy Star and Herb & Wood. Both expensive af, but worth it for a splurge on a special occasion. The food and service were flawless.

Michael Gardiner, San Diego CityBeat: My best San Diego restaurant meal of 2017, easily, was at 1500 Ocean in the Hotel Del Coronado. Patrick Ponsaty’s food at 1500 Ocean is French food (but not the way you know it), it’s California cuisine (but with a pronounced Gallic accent) and it possesses the powerful capacity to surprise (and yet it isn’t showy).

Caron Golden, San Diego Foodstuff: My birthday dinner at The Marine Room last August was sublime. It didn’t hurt that we were seated in a little alcove by the window with the ocean just steps away on the other side. We were fed hiramasa sashimi, an ahi tuna tartare, and my main course was a delicate Maine Lobster Tail, basted in agrume butter.

Frank Sabatini, San Diego Uptown News: I can count two. One was in Spring Valley of all places, at Ranas Mexico City Cuisine. It’s a full-service mom-and-pop restaurant that blew me away with their tri-color mole enchiladas and a pambazo sandwich involving a giant torta roll dunked in guajillo sauce and filled with carnitas, cotija cheese and lettuce. More recently, I was wowed by nearly everything at the new Havana 1920 in the Gaslamp Quarter. Best Cubano sandwich and ropa vieja (shredded beef with peppers, onions and tomato sauce) I’ve ever had outside of Florida.

Erin Jackson, Thrillist: The chef's tasting menu at Double Standard. Brandon Sloan and Shane Cartularo are a culinary force to be reckoned with.

Edwin Real, Eating and Drinking in San Diego: Omakase -- regular and vegan -- at Wrench and Rodent. Davin Waite is amazing. An incredible Wagyu, Sushi and Sake dinner recently at Temp.

year in eater

Headline predictions for 2018:

Michele Parente, San Diego Union-Tribune: (Fill in the blank) Accused of Sexual Harassment

Barbarella Fokos, SD Reader: Scientists Discover Gluten Is Actual Super Food

Darlene Horn, Zagat: Cupcakes' Approval Rating Has Hit an All Time Low​

Jackie Bryant, Eater: New, Exciting Restaurant Concept Opens Somewhere Other Than Westfield UTC

Candice Woo, Eater: New, Exciting Restaurant Concept Opening at Westfield Horton Plaza