Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, which always gets me excited about San Diego Symphony‘s annual Bayside Summer Nights (formerly known as Summer Pops) concert series. As one of my favorite San Diego traditions, these outdoor concerts backed by the symphony take place overlooking the bay at Embarcadero Marina Park South and end with a fireworks display. The best concert I’ve seen there was headlined by Wilson Phillips – the weather was perfect, we had a great table close to the stage, sipped on a bottle of wine, and sang at the top of our lungs to “Hold on for one more day.” Does it get any better that?
This year’s season kicks off on June 30 and goes until Sept. 3. Among the talented headliners this year, I’m particularly excited for Leslie Odom Jr. (from the Broadway hit Hamilton), Tony Bennett, La La Land in concert, and Ozomatli. Ticket prices are very reasonable, starting at $18-$25 and up. Wine, beer and catered food are available for purchase for guests with reserved tables, and guests sitting on the lawn can bring their own picnic. Viva la summer!
A few blocks over from Copley Symphony Hall, home of the San Diego Symphony, is the new coastal Mexican restaurant Curadero. Located inside of Hotel Palomar, Curadero is a taqueria and ceviche bar with a fun cantina vibe. As a starter, try the crab and shrimp flautas that have a chipotle-peanut salsa, cilantro crema iceberg lettuce slaw, and queso fresco. From the crudo bar, do not skip the hiramasa that’s rubbed with ancho chili and torched, served with an hoja santa emulsion and crispy shallots – this was our favorite menu item!
All the tacos sound tasty, but I recommend the chamorro tacos with braised pork shank, habanero-marinated onions, avocado salsa verde and cilantro. For the larger plates, I like the pollo rostizado that’s a roasted half chicken with black bean sauce and a goat-cheese stuffed hoja santa. Don’t forget to order a side of the platanos fritos (fried sweet plantains).
Speaking of sweet, save room for the flan de cajeta (dulce de leche flan with bourbon and toasted marcona almonds) or the churros with chocolate dipping sauce. They’re both so good you won’t want to share.
Curadero also has a great cocktail list with an emphasis on tequila and mezcal. Go for the pina coquito (like a pina colada with tequila) or the el diablo margarita (like a moscow mule with tequila). Stop by for happy hour daily from 3 to 6 p.m. Salud!