photo credit: Deanna Sandoval
This moody wine bar in the North Park neighborhood is all dark interiors and lush plants. They pour a short list of natural bottles from California to Croatia, and unusual for San Diego, have a nice selection of vermouth. Food comes from Papalito, the Sonoran-style restaurant situated within, and is equally excellent, ranging from smoked and cured meats for its BBQuterie boards to sandwiches on Japanese milk bread and buns. Don’t miss The Rustler with brisket, herby papalo chimichurri, and lemon aioli and the smoked tomato toast with a gratin made from whatever the local farmers market has got that week (maybe leeks, or a rainbow of sweet peppers). This should be your first stop before you begin a night of North Park bar-hopping—we like to start at The Office Bar or Coin-op Game Room.