Erin Chambers Smith is senior editor at San Diego Magazine.
Liz Bradshaw is curator at The Loft at UCSD.
CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Restaurant work is almost over. But we have a few last-minute tips, plus music, surf board art, and an event that can take off a few of those restaurant week pounds. It's all on our weekend preview. I'd like to introduce my guest, Aaron Chambers-Smith is the senior editor at San Diego magazine. Welcome.
CAVANAUGH: And Liz Bradshaw is the curator at the loft at UCSD, she's worked in the music industry for a lot of time. Of Liz, welcome back.
BRADSHAW: Good morning.
CAVANAUGH: Good morning, good afternoon, hello.
BRADSHAW: Oh, yeah.
CHAMBERS-SMITH: I'm still not used to that.
CAVANAUGH: We start off with I think a really interesting event, Aaron. This is the taste of opera cooking place that's happening tomorrow at great news cooking school in Pacific Beach.
CHAMBERS-SMITH: It's kind of a school concept. The San Diego opera teams up with great news cooking school to do a series of classes that correspond with their four different operas throughout the year of the idea is to get the opera patrons excited about the up coming season and give them a taste of the foot that relates to that show coming up, and this one is for the barber of Seville.
CAVANAUGH: So people will get to actually cook. This is a real cooking class.
CHAMBERS-SMITH: If you've never been to great news, you're sort of sitting in a classroom setting, and they have those great mirrors set up so you can see the structure cooking. I call it the watch and taste kind of class, which to me is better, you watch, they give you lovely print outs, you can sip your wine, you don't need to get dirty.
CAVANAUGH: No work involved! Will so barber of Seville is what the cooking class is tied to. So what kind. Dishes might we expect? Traditional Spanish?
CHAMBERS-SMITH: Yeah, they're doing some traditional Spanish dishes, tortillas, beef empenada, a special flan. Some mushrooms done in garlic. So some classic Spanish flavors.
CAVANAUGH: How much does it cost to sit back and get fed and learn about opera?
CHAMBERS-SMITH: It's $54 for this class at great news, which is just about on par with most classes of that level. And you do get to taste everything. So you get the class, but it's like getting a full dinner with wine as well.
CAVANAUGH: The taste of opera cooking class is tomorrow, Friday, are at great news cooking school in Pacific Beach, and the barber of Seville opens at the San Diego opera in April. Liz, be the Mexican institute of sound. Now, that sounds like an imposing kind of a thing. But this is one guy! He's going to be at the loft at UCSD. Tell us about him.
BRADSHAW: Yeah, so this guy, Camilo Lara, is such an interesting character. He has this huge CK, he's a former vice president of AMR Mexico, he's a DJ producer, and the mastermind basically behind Mexican studio of sound. He's remixed a long line of artists in rock and roll, hip hop and electronic world, and you can hear Mexican institute of sound tracks on things like big love and Californication. So he's all over the place. He released his first album in 2006, and that featured a lot of vintage sample, instrumental tracks, and he started off his career remixes and sampling other people's work. But a few years later, the latest album, soy sauce, he's brought on a drive drummer, a DJ, a bassist.
CAVANAUGH: So not really just one guy anymore.
BRADSHAW: Yeah, he is the project, and it's expanded. And then he has a live band that performs with him now.
CAVANAUGH: Is this contemporary Mexican music? Tell us what it sounds like.
BRADSHAW: It's so funny. I've seen and heard them described in so many ways. My favorite one was hot tip visiting the Buena†Vista social club. Mariachi, disco, rock and roll, and this big, infectious blend of Mexican folk, hip hop, electron ca, and with groups like kinky, Mexican institute of sound is part of this huge growing Mexican record label movement there. This impressive line of artists like Manu Chow, and hello sea horse.
CAVANAUGH: So have a clip. Here's a song that's Alocatel, and it's from the Mexican institute of sound.
(Audio Recording Played)
CAVANAUGH: That's a clip from the Mexican institute of sound, some of the music you might hear tomorrow at the loft. What do we expect from this live show?
BRADSHAW: A sweaty dance floor, I think. Yeah. I would say, if anything like previous shows, the crowd should be nuts, super fun. We've got San Diego locals cumbia machine, and Mexican dub wiser, who spends half his time in Mexico and half his time in it LA coming to play at the show too.
CAVANAUGH: It does sound interesting. Mexican institute of sound performs tomorrow at the lost at UCSD. Restaurant week is almost over. But they have extended it in the past. Not this year?
CHAMBERS-SMITH: Well, it's always the kind of thing, if they extend it, you think it's ending, then the day it's over, oh, the website is still up, and here's a bunch of restaurants. If they do it this year, just keep your eye on the website at sandiegorestaurantweek.com. I think technically the last day is Saturday. Not all of them do it though. So the official week is ending this weekend.
CAVANAUGH: So you have some tips for what could be the last few days. Tell us what is on offer at bluepoint.
CHAMBERS-SMITH: This is a tip from our new food critic, Troy Johnson of the he's got all kinds of good tips on our website of the and at bluepoint, they're not advertising this, really, but they're putting almost their entire menu up at the restaurant week prices. So typically, you get one or two options in each course during restaurant week for either 30 or $40 for dinner. I know there's some lunch options. Bluepoint which is kind of an up scale restaurant on fifth avenue. But you have to ask.
CAVANAUGH: You have one tip that diners should not miss.
CHAMBERS-SMITH: This is a teeny new spot in north PB on turquoise street, called cable 926. And I love when I hear about a restaurant this week, it just sort of is bubbling up from the neighborhood. A friend of mine's sister is cooking in the kitchen, and he told me about it. Then about a day later, someone in my office gave me the business card and said, oh, I live right by this, it was really good, they had a wine I can never find. And a third person a couple days later also told me about it. So it's just sort of neat to hear about a restaurant like that. It's called table 926, neighborhoody spot, a local guy, local chef owner. His name is Matt Richmond, he went to La Jolla country day, and cooked at a few of the places if foodies remember upon Elum bistro. He was there for a little while. And he's got a neat local menu.
CAVANAUGH: And another restaurant, lion's share?
CHAMBERS-SMITH: This is the opposite. This is all over every food blog and all kinds of buzz, and everyone is talking about it. This is in the Marina district in downtown San Diego, around the corner from the brick yard. They've got a great craft cocktail kind of vibe. If you're into those house infused liquors and the whole craft cocktail movement, you've got a chef who used to be at red velvet, and they've got a neat menu, focused on gamey kind of meats. If you're into cocktails and nibbles and you want to go to a buzzy new place, this is it.
CAVANAUGH: Again, San Diego restaurant week now through tomorrow. But check those listings at various restaurants. Elephant revival, Liz, will perform tomorrow in normal heights. Who are they?
BRADSHAW: So firstly, I think my goal is to see how many genres I can preview in just a couple of artists. Because the elephant revival are this great acoustic indie group from Colorado. One minute you'll hear these really kind of traditional Celtic folk sounds and ballads, then the next Monday it would be, like, jammy, psychedelic country. And then some, you know, pretty contemporary acoustic indie rock, all with orchestral strings, and really wonderfully beautiful vocal arrangements as well. And the -- every member of the band plays, like, two or three restaurants, sometimes four, and they all join in these great melodies, and they all really tribute to the group. You'll even hear some 40, '50s jazz standards in there, and they've played people from, like, Michael fronte, to left over salmon. So they're a great, grass-rootsy group.
CAVANAUGH: We do have a clip. Here's sing to the mountain.
(Audio Recording Played)
CAVANAUGH: That's pretty. Sing to the mountain, by elephant revival. Just a word about the venue, are the band is playing at AMSD concerts in normal heights. What makes this venue unique?
BRADSHAW: Well, this space is a big old church. So you see the group, and I should say the AMSD concerts, they have been holding concerts there since about 2003 now. Of and so it's really a listening room. Because you've got this big old church with satin pews that have these big, red velvet cushions on them, and the focus is really on the music. There's no bar in the the back, no noise coming from anywhere else. Then you get those lovely acoustics from the building, the church itself.
CAVANAUGH: What a great group for that venue. Elegant revival performs tomorrow at AMSD concerts in normal heights. We're going to have to buzz through the last two, I'm afraid. But I don't want to miss shape diva dash.
CHAMBERS-SMITH: This is a fun obstacle course/race happening in mission bay. It's going to be a little cloudy and rainy. They have tires set up, then you jump through the tires and jump into mission bay and swing on a rope, and do your last run that's a mile long.
CAVANAUGH: You jump into mission way bay?
CHAMBERS-SMITH: Yeah, you get wet through it, there's a maze that's part of it. If anybody knows about the mud run in Carlsbad, this one is just for women, it's called the diva dash.
CAVANAUGH: You have to be in good shape to be in this?
CHAMBERS-SMITH: Pretty good shape. It's 3†miles long. There's tires and ropes and water, so it's not for beginners, but it is a whole-day event with freebies and food after that. And the procedures go to charity. It's $70 if you haven't registered yet. They go to the YWCA, and other local charities.
CAVANAUGH: And there's a board art benefit, an art opening for surf fans. Liz, tell us about it.
BRADSHAW: The board art benefit is a project designed to bring leading artists and board shapers together to create these original pieces of work, utilizing the surf boards for the purpose of supporting surf age international. Their aim is to improve health, well being, and self reliance of people living in isolated regions. They first came to the public eye after the Tsunami in Indonesia. So the artwork is -- there's some big names in the surf art world, and the shaping world as well, shapers like Jerry Lopez teaming up with artists like damion Fulton from the Orange County. They've got an array of bright colors, different mediums, different styles of boards, and really interesting stuff.
CAVANAUGH: And a really big follows down in this area. The board art benefit is this Saturday at the Aaron Chang ocean art gallery in Solana beach. Of the party you're having?
CHAMBERS-SMITH: 50 people to watch party tomorrow at hotel pal mortomorrow night.
CAVANAUGH: Fabulous. Thank you both.
CHAMBERS-SMITH: Thanks Maureen. Good to see you.
BRADSHAW: Thank you.