There are some secrets from the kitchen that you are better off not knowing about -- never watch the hard-hitting documentary Waiting... -- but there are other secrets out there you'd be well-served (!) to uncover, specifically, off-menu dishes and drinks that are not only delicious, but will make you look even cooler than that guy from the documentary who looked just like Ryan Reynolds.
5 must-have off-menu items in SD
California Burrito Mac and Cheese, Sublime Ale House
Originally created just for Cinco De Mayo, Sublime Ale House combined a classic comfort food and an SD favorite to make the California Burrito Mac and Cheese, full of carne asada, French fries, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, avocado, and sour cream. It didn’t make it to the menu, but those who know what’s up are still asking for it.
Mozzarella Balloon, BiCE
Chef Mario Cassineri of BiCE has a menu full of seasonal fine Italian dishes to sample, but if you want to order like a badass, ask for the mozzarella balloon filled with basil air, served with prosciutto and Caprese salad. Who knew cheese was inflatable? You did, because you ordered it.
The Mirv Burger, Maryjane's
Named after the much-loved former Hard Rock employee who created it, Maryjane’s will make the Mirv Burger on request, but bring your appetite -- this is a double burger between two grilled cheese sandos made with four kinds of queso and piled with lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles.
Sea Urchin Campechana, Spike Africa's
Even though they serve a wide selection of creatures from under the sea, you won’t find sea urchin on Spike Africa’s regular menu. It's only available when chef Paul Rinaudo can get his hands on the freshest of the fresh (we're talking, like, Bel-Air fresh), so ask about the Sea Urchin Campechana, cooked up with shrimp and mango then topped with local uni.
Located in the Hark Rock Hotel, Maryjane's is an eclectic America cafe with a decidedly hard-rock twist -- they've got DJs at brunch and a whole lot more.
Spike Africa's is a Gaslamp fish house paying homage to the "President of the Pacific" thanks to its "urbanautical"-themed accents (ropes! 100yr-old wood tables!) and sea-focused menu.
BiCE is an innovative Italian resto in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter by chef Mario Cassineri, and's dishing out seasonally inspired Boot-themed fare.
Proving they're more than just a band from the '90s that got teenage chicks to say they like ska, Sublime Ale House is now gracing San Marcos' Restaurant Row with their heady presence, ready to dish out an extensive menu of "gourmet comfort fare" from a wide-open rustic joint with a covered patio and a square, centrally located bar surrounding a pillar sprouting four massive flatscreens, and 48 taps, or as it's known in Morse code "somebody being a d**k"