2012 was so gangbusters with new restaurant openings they actually named one Gang Kitchen! But, what with the proliferation of the gang and those pesky Mayans, you were probably too nervous to eat, so take a cue from the places all of the industry insiders were smashing, then hit them in the New Year. Chad White, Exec Chef/Owner, Plan-Cha Baja Med “San Diego: Carnitas Snack Shack, 100 Wines, Convoy grub sprawling Valle de Guadalupe: Almazara, Finca Altozano, Corazon de tierra, Deckmans, Laja Tijuana: El Taller, Mision 19, Erizo, Kokopeli FYI: revisit mexico! Much has changed, it's safer (keep away from smuggling drugs, buying drugs, stealing drugs from cartels, or just saying and thinking drugs, and I'm positive that stuff wont cross you), the food is amazing and the hospitality is world class. Even the border wait tricks have gotten better. Last week a young boy was standing on his father's shoulders juggling torches, and a girl and her gymnastic friends did a double whipback over the hood of my SUV with a perfect landing. Can we say Mexico is going to blow up the floor exercise in the next summer Olympics?” Kevin Templeton, Executive Chef, Barleymash “My favorite new spot is a tough one. I really enjoy the atmosphere and food of Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest and I love Carnitas Snack Shack in North Park. As soon as they get their beer and wine license, I will be there even more.” George Morris, Executive Chef, Beaumont's Eatery “I'm really excited about what Chad White's doing with Plan-Cha, and I'm not just giving him a shout out as a friend. I think it's a really cool, ballsy idea, putting himself out there one night a week. While there are other people doing it across the country, Chad's the only one in San Diego.” Jason Gethin, Executive Chef, Union Kitchen & Tap “Let me think on that, NONE! Everything opening is just the same as what opened last year. I still enjoy and am attempting to find all the places that have opened 10 years ago, they are still around so they must be doing something right.” Roddy Gibbs, Owner, RodzillaReviews.com “For food: Akinori Sushi; for drinks: Societe Brewing.” David Cohen, Owner, Uptown Tavern “Carnitas Snack Shack with their recently expanded outdoor area...I have been waiting for a place like this in San Diego for years! Pork lovers unite! Don't tell the rest of the Cohen family."