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Where Chefs Eat With Alchemy's Ricardo Heredia

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Welcome to another installment of our new Eater Guides feature, Where Chefs Eat. We want to know where the men and women of San Diego restaurants go to feed on their all-too-rare days off. Where do they choose to spend their hard-earned pay and what do they crave?

Alchemy Cultural Fare & Cocktails' executive chef Ricardo Heredia joined the popular neighborhood eatery when it first opened in South Park in 2009.

Since then, the chef has launched a cooking program for local students, been named to the The San Diego Union Tribune's Superdiners panel and was crowned the king of bacon.

Here, Heredia shares his favorite local dining spots to frequent when he's not in the kitchen.


· Alchemy Cultural Fare & Cocktails [Official Site]
· All Eater Guides [~ESD~]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Wa Dining OKAN

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3860 Convoy St, Ste 110
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 279-0941
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I have much love and respect for the way Japanese respect and prepare food. This is my favorite place in San Diego to experience some great dishes like salmon and salmon roe rice, cold chicken skin in spicy ponzu sauce, fried baby octopus and some great Junmai Daiginjo sake.

2. Las Cuatro Milpas

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1875 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113
(619) 234-4460
Ok this joint just reminds me of my grandmother. The food is simple but a labor of love. The beans are ridiculously good. The tamales and tacos are perfect. Grab a table and watch the ladies make their signature flour tortillas that are like heaven dipped in bean broth. Don't fear the line, it moves quickly!

3. Super Cocina

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3627 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 584-6244
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The king of guisados in San Diego. The ambience is that of a taco shop but the food is the type that makes you close your eyes when you eat it and take a moment of silence. Grab their beef tongue, mole, chicarron in salsa verde or chile colorado.

4. Jasmine Seafood Restaurant

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4609 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-0888
Dim Sum holds a special place in my heart since the first time I experienced the hustle, almost stock market environment in Chicago's chinatown. Although it's much more laid back here and there are no fights over soup dumplings, the dim sum at Jasmine is great. I always enjoy the humble chicken foot, dumplings....all of them, tripe with turnip and the seasonal seafood.

5. Lou & Mickey's

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224 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 237-4900
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I am sure I will hear my critics on this one. But hey, downtown has its gems and this is one of them. Perfect for a Mafia sit down, the character here is what I want from an old school steak and seafood joint. Dirty martinis are my choice along with an array of oysters, crab, clams and scallops. Finishing with a nice cigar is my idea of happiness when heading downtown.

6. Yakyudori Yakitori & Ramen

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4898 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-2888
Not only one of my favorite spots but my daughters love this place. Smoky meat on a stick...beef tongue, chicken thigh with scallion and pork shiso to name a few. Ask for fried tofu with kimchi and they will hook it up. The ramen is always a good way to finish as well; this is the top spot for my noodle fix.

7. Cucina Urbana

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505 Laurel St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 239-2222
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Joe Manganelli runs a tight ship and it shows. I am always happy when I visit. The food some how just keeps getting better and better. The Amatriciana last time I went was one of the best I've had..sorry Babbo. I finish my 8-9 courses with the gnocchi in brown butter with sage for dessert. Perfect execution...that's why I love this place.

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1. Wa Dining OKAN

3860 Convoy St, Ste 110, San Diego, CA 92111
I have much love and respect for the way Japanese respect and prepare food. This is my favorite place in San Diego to experience some great dishes like salmon and salmon roe rice, cold chicken skin in spicy ponzu sauce, fried baby octopus and some great Junmai Daiginjo sake.
3860 Convoy St, Ste 110
San Diego, CA 92111

2. Las Cuatro Milpas

1875 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
Ok this joint just reminds me of my grandmother. The food is simple but a labor of love. The beans are ridiculously good. The tamales and tacos are perfect. Grab a table and watch the ladies make their signature flour tortillas that are like heaven dipped in bean broth. Don't fear the line, it moves quickly!
1875 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

3. Super Cocina

3627 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
The king of guisados in San Diego. The ambience is that of a taco shop but the food is the type that makes you close your eyes when you eat it and take a moment of silence. Grab their beef tongue, mole, chicarron in salsa verde or chile colorado.
3627 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

4. Jasmine Seafood Restaurant

4609 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111
Dim Sum holds a special place in my heart since the first time I experienced the hustle, almost stock market environment in Chicago's chinatown. Although it's much more laid back here and there are no fights over soup dumplings, the dim sum at Jasmine is great. I always enjoy the humble chicken foot, dumplings....all of them, tripe with turnip and the seasonal seafood.
4609 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

5. Lou & Mickey's

224 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
I am sure I will hear my critics on this one. But hey, downtown has its gems and this is one of them. Perfect for a Mafia sit down, the character here is what I want from an old school steak and seafood joint. Dirty martinis are my choice along with an array of oysters, crab, clams and scallops. Finishing with a nice cigar is my idea of happiness when heading downtown.
224 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

6. Yakyudori Yakitori & Ramen

4898 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111
Not only one of my favorite spots but my daughters love this place. Smoky meat on a stick...beef tongue, chicken thigh with scallion and pork shiso to name a few. Ask for fried tofu with kimchi and they will hook it up. The ramen is always a good way to finish as well; this is the top spot for my noodle fix.
4898 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

7. Cucina Urbana

505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101
Joe Manganelli runs a tight ship and it shows. I am always happy when I visit. The food some how just keeps getting better and better. The Amatriciana last time I went was one of the best I've had..sorry Babbo. I finish my 8-9 courses with the gnocchi in brown butter with sage for dessert. Perfect execution...that's why I love this place.
505 Laurel St
San Diego, CA 92101

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