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Where Chefs Eat With Sea & Smoke's Matt Gordon

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Welcome to another installment of our 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?

mg%20.pngIn 2007, chef/owner Matt Gordon opened his first San Diego restaurant, Urban Solace, which has since become a fixture in the North Park neighborhood. Gordon next headed north, to Encinitas, to launch sister restaurant Solace and The Moonlight Lounge. North County is also home to his third and newest restaurant, Sea & Smoke, which debuted in Del Mar last summer. The American brasserie, one of the anchors in Flower Hill Promenade, recently gave their bar area a makeover and rolled out an all new bar and happy hour menu that includes his signature watermelon salad, platters of oysters and housemade chicken liver terrine.

Here, in his own words, the chef tell us where he eats when he's not shuttling between his three restaurants, sharing that "Most of my dining out is with my family on rare nights off or quick meals before dinner service.. and though I could recommend all kinds of high-end fancy places, I think everyone should go eat at these, which are consistent and delicious."


· Sea & Smoke [Official Site]
· All Eater Guides [~ESD~]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hinotez Japanese Restaurant

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7947 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 565-4244
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It's less crowded than their sister restaurant Yakitori Yakyudori. Love the little plates, from spicy jellyfish to fried oysters, potato croquettes and I like their ramen broth (and shoyu eggs) better than most other noodle shops.

2. Jsix Restaurant

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616 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 531-8744
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I've always liked the food, but now that it's remodeled, I like it even more. I don't find myself downtown much but that's my go-to when I'm there.

3. Tony's Jacal

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621 Valley Avenue
Solana Beach, CA 92075
(858) 755-2274
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This Mexican eatery is a Solana Beach institution, open since 1946. I love the fact they roast fresh turkeys every day for the menu.

4. Cafe Chloe

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721 9th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-3242
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I like to take my family and sit at the bar for breakfast, it feels very european and we love the buckwheat pancakes.

5. Buga Korean BBQ

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5580 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92117
(858) 560-1010
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In my opinion the "nicest" of the Korean BBQ restaurants. It ain't cheap, but it's delicious. The banchan (little plates) is always fresh and the meat quality is high.

6. Cantina Mayahuel

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2934 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 283-6292
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I really love the mole at Cantina Mayahuel on Tuesday nights and one of the best mezcal selections in town. A couple of mezcals and a plate of black and red mole make for a great night!

7. George's At The Cove

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1250 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-4244
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It's a treat when we can slip away and grab a few plates at the small bar area downstairs. The food is very thoughtfully executed.

8. Claire's on Cedros

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246 N Cedros Ave
Solana Beach, CA 92075
(858) 259-8597
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This is my favorite breakfast spot and it's very aligned with my personal ethos on food and design. It's always crowded, but always yummy and worth the wait.

9. Azuki Sushi

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2321 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 238-4760
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This is consistently my favorite sushi restaurant in town. I wish I lived closer as I'd be there more. They have a great sake selection and always pristine fish; the Park West roll is one of my favorites.

10. Q'Ero Restaurant

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815 Birmingham Dr
Encinitas, CA 92007
(760) 452-2501
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This Peruvian restaurant is the best restaurant in Encinitas (except maybe Solace and The Moonlight Lounge, but probably still).

1. Hinotez Japanese Restaurant

7947 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 92111

It's less crowded than their sister restaurant Yakitori Yakyudori. Love the little plates, from spicy jellyfish to fried oysters, potato croquettes and I like their ramen broth (and shoyu eggs) better than most other noodle shops.

7947 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA 92111

2. Jsix Restaurant

616 J St, San Diego, CA 92101

I've always liked the food, but now that it's remodeled, I like it even more. I don't find myself downtown much but that's my go-to when I'm there.

616 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

3. Tony's Jacal

621 Valley Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075

This Mexican eatery is a Solana Beach institution, open since 1946. I love the fact they roast fresh turkeys every day for the menu.

621 Valley Avenue
Solana Beach, CA 92075

4. Cafe Chloe

721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

I like to take my family and sit at the bar for breakfast, it feels very european and we love the buckwheat pancakes.

721 9th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

5. Buga Korean BBQ

5580 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117

In my opinion the "nicest" of the Korean BBQ restaurants. It ain't cheap, but it's delicious. The banchan (little plates) is always fresh and the meat quality is high.

5580 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92117

6. Cantina Mayahuel

2934 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

I really love the mole at Cantina Mayahuel on Tuesday nights and one of the best mezcal selections in town. A couple of mezcals and a plate of black and red mole make for a great night!

2934 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

7. George's At The Cove

1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037

It's a treat when we can slip away and grab a few plates at the small bar area downstairs. The food is very thoughtfully executed.

1250 Prospect St
La Jolla, CA 92037

8. Claire's on Cedros

246 N Cedros Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075

This is my favorite breakfast spot and it's very aligned with my personal ethos on food and design. It's always crowded, but always yummy and worth the wait.

246 N Cedros Ave
Solana Beach, CA 92075

9. Azuki Sushi

2321 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

This is consistently my favorite sushi restaurant in town. I wish I lived closer as I'd be there more. They have a great sake selection and always pristine fish; the Park West roll is one of my favorites.

2321 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

10. Q'Ero Restaurant

815 Birmingham Dr, Encinitas, CA 92007

This Peruvian restaurant is the best restaurant in Encinitas (except maybe Solace and The Moonlight Lounge, but probably still).

815 Birmingham Dr
Encinitas, CA 92007

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