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The International Cuisine of Downtown San Diego

Everyone loves international food. Whether its Chinese, Mexican or Mediterranean, people can’t get enough. The chance to try something new or ethnic is an exhilarating experience. Culture and the foods it encompasses draw individuals from all walks of life like moths to a flame. So it’s no wonder those irresistible foods have spread globally from their place of inspiration to San Diego. Downtown boasts food from all over the world and not just your side street tacos, but real quality ingredients mixed to create a work of art. Here are a few top-mark favorites.

Sushi Lounge on Market: When first walking into this “market,” there is a very modern vibe, but after taking the first bite of their cuisine, that preconception is lost. There is nothing modern about the food. Fresh fish, wrapped in pristine seaweed covered by snowy rice, does not lie. The quality of the food definitely draws on its oriental roots.

La Puerta: La Puerta, firstly, adheres to the bar-seeking crowd, but the restaurant has a side row of booths for those itching for a bite to eat. And boy, is it worth it. Once you get past the crowded bar and into a booth, the bustle becomes worth it when the food arrives. Carnitas tacos topped with guac, pico de gallo and some rose red onions. Nothing is better after a long day at the beach.

Gaslamp Pizza: Some would say that pizza is not an international dish, that it originated right here in the U.S., but they would be wrong. The first pizza was crafted in Naples, Italy for an Italian King and Queen. So it is no surprise that its golden reach has crawled out to the golden state. Gaslamp Pizza is a little pizza joint hidden amongst the roaring nightlife of the Gaslamp quarter in downtown San Diego. It also hides some of San Diego’s best pizza. Triple-mixed golden cheeses topping a variety of steamy sauces make this pizza a unique but totally amazing diversification of flavors. Brandon “Balby” Albertson aptly named these giant slices, “the Jackson Pollock of pizzas.” What else is there to say?

Rustic Root: This list wouldn’t be complete without a truly American restaurant. Although it’s not quite international, the U.S. does have a few dishes that truly represent American culture. Where else in the world can you get a juicy beef burger topped with a sunny-side-up egg? Their sunny-side burger is one of the best I’ve ever had and really represents the true American ideal of combining two ingredients that would normally never mix. When walking up the stairs to the rooftop restaurant, one passes underneath a vast chandelier of deer antlers, then you are either seated at table with two giant fireside chairs with a real gas fire rippling up through the glass fragments covering the table. All off this is intermixed with, oddly enough, tall house lamps with bell-like lamp shades. American as it gets.

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Parker Monroe

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