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RESTAURANT Volume 99 | Issue 99

AND BAR guide Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cover and content designed by Ana Meza and Joanna Torress

news | 3

thursday, april 11, 2013 | Volume 99, issue 99

State St. Grill charged with 21 felony counts

campus Tara Millspaugh News Editor

State Street Grill seemed like any other restaurant near a college campus: cheap beer, slightly rambunctious waiters and an alluring happy hour. But, the owners of the local restaurant have been charged with 21 felony counts violating minimum wage laws and California theft laws, according to a press release sent out yesterday by the San Diego County District Attorney Office. The two defendants, David Dadon, 61, and his son Barry Dadon, 27, have been charged with workers’ compensation premium fraud, payroll tax evasion, sales tax evasion and grand theft of labor from 23 victims, according to the press release. However, there are more victims in this case; many of whom are San Diego State students. The Dadons would advertise for open positions at the restaurant on Craigslist, through word of mouth or a “now hiring” sign. They would offer the job to any applicant willing to work unpaid for the first seven days. The workers were told this was a “training period” and if their work ethic was acceptable, they would be paid after that. According to the District Attorney’s office, many of the employees who did make it past the training period would work 50 to 60 hours a week earning less than $5 an hour. Marketing junior Juliana Bloom is a former State Street Grill employee who has been encouraged to step forward and join the lawsuit, although she only lasted one day of the training period with State Street Grill. A few weeks before fall semester began, Bloom said she was sitting outside of Starbucks on College Avenue when she was approached

by David Dadon, who offered her an interview. Bloom, who had never had a job before, said Dadon offered her a job on the spot and asked her to start the next day. “He told me ‘you work the first week, just as a trial. We don’t pay you and after that, you get paid and it’s just a training period,’” Bloom said. Bloom said she worked eight hours washing dishes, cleaning tables and handing out fliers. She says she remembers the day the dishwasher didn’t come in and David went out on the street and coaxed a young man into working. “I worked the first day and realized that this guy was scamming everyone,” Bloom said. “The other workers would say, ‘This is my last (training) day. I’m going to get paid next week.’ But everyone had been there for a week or less.” Bloom said she didn’t report David to authorities because she didn’t know if what he was doing was illegal or if she was just naïve. Journalism sophomore Almaz Ayres, another former employee not involved in the lawsuit, said she got paid, but only $5 an hour. “I would hand out fliers and go back four hours later and he would give me $20,” Ayres said. Ayres said she went into State Street Grill after seeing a “now hiring” sign in the window. Ayres, who had no prior restaurant experience, said Dadon told her she could hand out fliers and coupons around campus. Ayres said she was a broke college student and could tell the Dadons were scamming students, so she didn’t mind working for those few days for some easy cash. San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Barry Dadon pleaded not guilty last Thursday to the charges and was released on

A view of State Street Grill’s colllege area location. The two defendants and owners of the restuarant are being charged with workers’ compensation premium fraud among other felonies.

$200,000 bail. If convicted, he faces up to 18 years in prison and possible restitution to alleged victims. David Dadon faces up to 21 years. They are both expected to attend court May 29th for trial. “The defendants in this case repeatedly took advantage of victims who were in desperate need of income and who accepted an offer to work during a ‘trainee period,’” Dumanis said. “The estimated loss in this case exceeds $350,000 and we’re encouraging any additional victims of this heartless scheme to come forward.” Those with information regarding the State Street Grill lawsuit are encouraged to contact the office of the San Diego District Attorney at 619-531-4040.

The inside of State Street Grill’s closed business. The business is being accused of paying employees less than $5 an hour.

paige nelson , photo editor

paige nelson , photo editor

APSA invests in event to promote Asian-Pacific culture

campus Amanda Guerrero Staff Writer

San Diego State’s APSA will host a free event tomorrow at the Open Air Theatre from 6-10 p.m.

One student organization is spending more than $10,000 to host a free event that’s open to the public. San Diego State’s Asian Pacific Student Alliance’s 17th annual Fashion Talent Show takes place from 6-10 p.m. tomorrow at the Open Air Theatre. Doors open early for an hour-long art segment from 5-6 p.m. FTS director and co-coordina-

tor Sophia Huynh said the funds for the show came from a mix of fundraisers, business sponsorships and personal donations from students and alumni. As its name suggests, the event includes a fashion segment and live performances. The talent portion will feature six competing acts and three headline performers from the Asian-Pacific community.

Attendees can also purchase raffles for prizes including an Xbox, SeaWorld tickets and gift cards. This year’s “Remember Your Roots” theme captures APSA’s mission to promote and preserve Asian-Pacific culture. “It is a way to always stay humble and remember our origins,” the APSA website reads. Huynh said all are welcome to

attend FTS, which is meant to educate the public about AsianPacific culture. “I’m so glad we have the opportunity to do this and share it with others,” Huynh said. “It would mean so much to have the support from not just the Asian community, but all of SDSU.” More information is available online at

4 | Entertainment

Volume 99, issue 99 | thursday, april 11, 2013

Kurt Vile violates The Casbah Friday evening sneak peek J. Hutton Marshall Managing Editor

There aren’t many artists touring these days who make me feel like a giddy preteen girl at a Beatles concert. But when Kurt Vile and the Violators bring their loud, sedated grunge pop to The Casbah tomorrow, there’s no question where you’ll find my giddy, preteen self Friday night. Vile just released his fifth studio album, “Wakin on a Pretty Daze,” on Monday, which comes with high expectations after his most critically and commercially successful album to date, “Smoke Ring for My Halo.” His newest is hard to classify, with a range of music that hasn’t been contained on any one of his albums. The first two tracks open up with fast tempos and a fullbodied sound we haven’t heard much of since his earlier work, but things quickly slow down to the quiet acoustics he mastered on his last album. One thing that’s apparent in the album’s quieter tracks is Vile’s growing comfortability with writing lyrics. “Smoke Ring” was by far his most personal effort to date, and it’s good to see he hasn’t flinched with “Pretty Daze.” While he appears to stray from social consciousness of earlier songs such as, “Society Is My Friend” or “Puppet to the Man,” the depth in some of his newest work can’t be ignored. One standout moment is Vile’s cryptically personal “Girl Called

Kurt Vile is best known for his solo work, though many still recognize him from his old band, The War on Drugs. Vile brings his lo-fi folk rock to The Casbah this Friday.

Alex,” where he sings “I wanna walk out into the night/ Without it being running away/ From a bad day in my brain/ for the sake of a strip I could’ve been cruising in/ in the comfort of a sports car illusion/

25 and under?

Admission is always free!

I think about them all the time,” which seems to tell the story of an artist’s temptation to abandon his work to live a more shallow, easy lifestyle. Many people will probably be

courtesy of shawn brackbill

surprised to hear well-layered synth work on a Vile album, and even his quieter songs have far more complex instrumentation than anything he’s done before. Especially after hearing this album,

I’m excited to hear what he can do with The Violators behind him on Friday night. Definitely don’t miss this chance to see a young songwriter who’s only getting better with age.

THURsday, APR 11, 2013 | Vol. 99, issue 99


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restaurant and bar guide Volume 99, issue 99 THURSday, APRIL 11, 2013

3rd corner Tara Millspaugh News Editor


A yummy Sunday brunch is the way to my heart, but what’s even better than that are bottomless mimosas at The 3rd Corner. This restaurant looks like a small hole-in-the-wall, but is quaint and intimate inside. This is an excellent date spot and a great place to grab a drink with some girlfriends on a Saturday morning. It’s quiet enough to hear each other talk, yet lively enough for young college students. One of the best features of The 3rd Corner is the location. It’s located on Bacon Street, near West Point Loma Boulevard in Ocean Beach. After knocking back three or four mimosas, the last thing you should do is get behind the wheel of a car. So, it’s the perfect scenario: With a full belly and a slight buzz, you have the beach within walking distance.

san diego’s tasti kensington cafe Ashley Williams Staff Writer

Aero club Leo Castaneda Opinion Editor

WE RECOMMEND: Corsair Artisian Rasputin Hopped Whiskey

funky garcias Caitlin Johnson Staff Writer


II Postino Julie Aeilts Copy Chief

WE RECOMMEND: Mushroom-stuffed ravioli

Many great restaurants and bars crowd the Gaslamp Quarter, but none are as unique as Funky Garcia’s. True to its name, the bar’s atmosphere blends fun with a touch of crazy—just enough to make any night out a little more, well, funky. Located on Market Street, the bar’s distinct vibe is instantly apparent. A painted portrait of the restaurant’s portly namesake overlooks the booths lined with genuine cowhide. The worn brick walls come to life with colorful sombreros and serapes, while chandeliers made out of old barrels create a bright, inviting ambiance. Great drink specials make Funky Garcia’s a perfect go-to spot any day of the week. All drinks and appetizers are half-price during happy hour, which runs all day on Monday and Wednesday, as well as 3 to 7 p.m. every other day. Weekend partygoers can drink during late-night happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday. An authentic Mexican eatery wouldn’t be complete without Taco Tuesday. From 7 p.m. to close every Tuesday, the restaurant offers $1 carne asada and chicken street tacos topped with onions, cilantro and avocado. They pair perfectly with beers and tequilas, which are also offered at a discounted price. For those seeking a more

Before heading to some of the more rambunctious bars in North Park, hungry patrons should drop in at the ruggedly vintage restaurant and bar, II Postino, located on 30th Street, less than a block away from University Avenue. The postthemed interior of this Italian eatery emphasizes simpler days of the past, with warm images depicting the weathered leather of mail satchels and rotted mailboxes with peeling paint. Hanging lights and exposed ventilation running the length of the ceiling offer an industrial vibe, similar to what I imagine an early-century mail sorting room would look like. Brick accent walls the color of rust, wooden tables stamped with black postage and a bar encircling a wood-fired pizza oven contribute to the atmosphere. I ordered an appetizer of bruschetta, which was prepared with 3-inch high mosaic mounds of fresh mozzarella, basil, diced tomatoes and olive oil towering atop grilled, house-made bread slices. For dinner, I savored five mushroom-stuffed raviolis soaked in a rich cream sauce. And for dessert, cocoa-powdered tiramisu drizzled with

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bu Fo Ca Th to ac dustin michelson , senior staff photographer

WE RECOMMEND: Root beer floats

The Aero Club is a bar that knows its booze. Featuring more than 600 whiskeys, most of them prominently displayed behind the counter, the place likely has what you want. Built in 1947, the Aero Club doesn’t scream “Whiskey connoisseurs, come here.” In fact, the only way to distinguish it is the iconic neon sign outlining Delta Dart airplane in flight. If the name wasn’t enough of a hint, airplanes played a prominent role in the creation of this local dive. Maryann Prophet, who founded the bar with her husband, was a pilot, and decided to establish the bar just off the Interstate 5, across from the San Diego International Airport. Inside, bar goers will find nothing short of highflying class. The bar is small, but still manages to fit two pool tables and a row of booths. Neon signs cover the walls and ceiling, and well-dressed bartenders serve the knowledgeable clientele night in and out.


Kensington Cafe has a versatile menu that provides for all types of eaters. Vegetarian, vegan and omnivores can all find something tasty here. Breakfast and lunch are served until 4 p.m. and the dinner menu is available from 5-10 p.m. Better yet, happy hour specials

stacked Kelly Hillock Staff Writer dustin michelson , senior staff photographer

For a whiskey bar the prices are ideal, especially for those hoping to experiment on a budget. The selection of whiskies is also worthy for those with a better-developed taste. Whatever your preference, this bar is the perfect place for a layover your next night out.

WE RECOMMEND: Egg on Your Face

antonio zaragoza , editor in chief

substantial meal, the full menu features many delectable dishes, such as sizzling fajitas and carnitas with rice and beans. One of the more noteworthy dishes is the Funky Roll, a must-try appetizer that is perfect to share with a small group of friends. The next time adventure calls you to the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, be sure to check out Funky Garcia’s. If the zany vibe doesn’t bring you in, the good deals and fantastic food should. As the slogan goes, Garcia’s is the place “Where dreams become a reality…after a few drinks.”

Stacked is a restaurant for artists, foodies and those who wish to create their own masterpiece of a meal. Stacked offers America’s favorite foods, including pizzas, burgers,

Small bar Sofie Casillas Assistant Copy Chief

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antonio zaragoza , editor in chief

chocolate syrup graced my taste buds and capped my full stomach. With fair prices and attentive waiters, II Postino is an ideal place to subdue hunger with delicious Italian foods. The restaurant also boasts a deli with a large display showcasing fresh cheeses, saucy artichoke hearts and other classic Italian sides, as well as a wine cellar and a bar with more than 500 wines imported from around the world. This eatery is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5-10 p.m. with extended weekend hours. With the Italian word for “the postman” as its namesake, this eatery won’t fail to deliver.

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WE RECOMMEND: Wells Banana Bread Beer

n re a n s d s

restaurant and bar guide

iest temptations

re available daily from 4-7 p.m. When friends can’t agree on what type of estaurant to go to, Kensington Cafe is the place to o. The menu contains Asian, Italian, Mediterranean nd Mexican options that somehow work together o create a seamless American cafe lineup. The cafe is a mere 3 miles away from campus, ut completely shakes the cheap College Area feel. or a moderately priced restaurant, Kensington Cafe is able to pull off a fairly upscale atmosphere. his Adams Avenue find is the perfect place o impress a date without breaking your bank ccount. For those craving brunch, there are plenty of fun rinks to accompany a waffle, scramble or bagel. Beverages such as spiced apple, creamsicle and aspberry lemonade mimosas add unique twists o conventional breakfast items. There is also an extensive menu including spresso, blended beverages and root beer floats for those who want to relive their childhood hrough a straw. Sweets include shakes, cakes, elato and brownies. This eclectic medley of options makes for a un dining experience that explores a variety of elicious options.

salads and macaroni and cheese. But this particular restaurant gives patrons the freedom and creativity to design their own version of a classic. Each table is equipped with an iPad, which customers can use to browse menu items, design a burger and place their order. Stacked is reasonably priced, with entrees averaging at approximately $10. However, Stacked is priced according to the ngredients, which means customers only pay for exactly what they eat. I stacked smoked bacon in he Egg on Your Face macaroni and cheese, and t ended up costing less than a dollar. The food at Stacked is hearty, comforting and delectable for hose on a budget. My favorite part of Stacked, however is the dessert menu. Customers can build their own ice cream cookie sandwiches or design their own milkshakes. Oozing, creamy ice cream sandwiched between two freshly baked cookies is a highlight of any night out—and it only costs $3. The only notable negative aspect of this estaurant is the ambiance, which is too dark with uncomfortable seating. But the thrill of creating a combination of one’s favorite foods and the quality of the food itself overshadows its atmosphere. Stacked is located at the Fashion Valley mall, which makes it a perfect place for dinner after a day of shopping. This restaurant is the ultimate place to dine for those searching to embrace their nner chefs.

Located on Park Boulevard in University Heights, Small Bar serves its patrons a wide selection of beers, cocktails and food in a cozy pub-like environment. Small Bar’s customers enter through the side alley where they ring a hanging bell to order. On Saturday and Sunday, Small Bar offers brunch with dishes ranging from biscuits and gravy to chilaquiles, as well as omelettes and French oast. Small Bar even pairs brunch dishes with mimosas, a French 75, michelada, draft beer or he restaurant’s signature bloody mary. For dinner, best-selling dishes include fish and chips, fried pickles, assorted sandwiches and various house ground beef burgers. Dinner dishes are complemented well with one of Small Bar’s 42 beers on tap or a spicy signature mule, which are spicy concoctions made of ginger beer. Small Bar features Anchor Brewing Company products, n addition to beer aficionado favorites, such as Delirium Tremens, Wells Banana Bread Beer, Green Flash Surfs Up India pale ale and Ballast Point. Happy hour specials are from 5-8 p.m. every day and include $1 off drinks. Small Bar Manager Louis Mello said newcomers should always ask bartenders for ecommendations because of the overwhelming amount of beer options. Those looking for a unique neighborhood bar experience, where drinks are served in fancy goblets, visit Small Bar. It will not disappoint. At only three and a half years old, it’s still considered one of San Diego’s hidden gems.

u-31 cocktail lounge Ethan Bailey Assistant Features Editor


There are countless spots to get a cold drink in San Diego. However, my favorite area to go barhopping is North Park. One of my favorite bars is U-31 Cocktail Lounge, located on University Avenue and 31st Street. While U-31 doesn’t have the same flashy firepower as downtown bars, it embodies the seedy, undercover nature of North Park with its simple logo and dimly lit interior. Thirsty Aztecs will find a yellow backlit bar where they can order cocktails or draft beers. For bargoers who enjoy dancing, U-31 is the place to be. On a Saturday night, the bar is packed with abundant dancing. Loud music fills the bar, and the wide-open dance floor provides plenty of space for bad—or good, depending on the point of view—decision-making. All jokes aside, U-31 is easily one of the best bars in the area to dance at. Also, they’ve got a couple of pool tables for patrons. There’s nothing better than some slightly intoxicated friendly competition. Taco Tuesday at U-31 is a highlight, as the bar offers all of its draft beers and tacos for $2. Taco

Volume 99, issue 99 THURsday, APRIL 11, 2013


antonio zaragoza , editor in chief

varieties include fish, Cajun chicken, steak and spicy black bean. The beer specials are from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., and the discounted tacos are served from 5 -9 p.m. For some fun without the overpriced flashiness of downtown or the beach, head to U-31 in North Park. You’ll be glad you did.

Magic Hat #9

super cocina Christian Benavides Staff Writer


Veg-n-out Sheena Jafari Contributor

WE RECOMMEND: Western Burger

world famous Bridget Chapman Staff Writer

WE RECOMMEND: Capellini California

People make the mistake of only going to restaurants that look good or are in neighborhoods bustling with people. Super Cocina, a Normal Heights restaurant, offers amazing food in an atmosphere where patrons don’t feel the need to double-check a mirror to make sure their outfit is up to par. Super Cocina offers traditional Mexican food that focuses more on creating tasteful dishes. The menu is as simple and organized as the food display, highlighting the low prices that seem too good to be true. With $6, one can get a fulfilling meal of rice, beans and your choice of three “antojitos.” These antojitos, or snacks, include dishes from empanadas to sopes. Super Cocina also has delicious Mexican stews that are perfect for cold days and hangovers. Coming from a Mexican household, I’m apt to being highly critical of Mexican restaurants that profess they’re authentic. While eating my choice of antojitos at

Vegans, vegetarians and meat lovers alike, there’s a restaurant in town everyone should try. Does Veg-N-Out ring a bell? I can truly say it’s the healthier version of In-N-Out Burger. Located in North Park, Veg-N-out is a restaurant where customers can devour “meat” made of tofu. This tropical restaurant displays a beautiful array of bright colors and tiki-themed decor, including bamboo trunks and cultural artwork. With the beautifully casual ambience, the restaurant almost feels like a mini vacation. Veg-N-Out is known for its veggie patties, which contain no wheat, gluten or dairy. With prices less than $10, it’s a steal to get a healthy meal. The restaurant’s famous Western Burger was definitely on my list of things to try. The soy patty came topped with cheddar cheese, homemade onion rings, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Did I mention it’s drowned in delicious barbecue sauce? There’s an option to add imitation bacon for meat lovers, although the meal would no longer be gluten-free. Veg-N-out is also the perfect place to get fresh juices I couldn’t resist creating my

Dining on the boardwalk with the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach can be an ideal way to spend an evening. World Famous in Pacific Beach offers this experience with the ocean in sight. Whether dining inside on the patio or, the large windows allow each diner to have the ocean ambiance and the menu reflects this view with its emphasis on seafood. Each dish varies in complexity. A salad of greens with fresh ahi tuna is a simpler item while the Capellini California was a uniquely crafted angel hair pasta dish with sundried tomatoes, spinach, Greek olives, Parmesan cheese and chunks of asparagus tossed in a clam garlic olive oil sauce. The portion size was filling, but small enough to finish in one sitting. The main downside of World Famous is that it’s pricier than the typical college budget allots for dinner, with main dishes for lunch and dinner ranging from $8.25 to $55. It would be a perfect

paige nelson , photo editor

Super Cocina, I had to constantly remind myself I wasn’t at home. As I walked out, I may have glanced once or twice at the kitchen just to make sure my mom wasn’t cooking back there.

paige nelson , photo editor

own apple and strawberry juice to complete my delicious meal. The portion sizes are extremely large, so don’t worry about not feeling full. The staff is extremely friendly and the food is prepared immediately after ordering. This self-seating restaurant also offers a takeout service, as well as an excellent catering business. Who says meat lovers like myself can’t enjoy a vegan meal? I know I can, with Veg-n-out to fill a hearty appetite.

dustin michelson , senior staff photographer

spot to have a drink and appetizers rather than a complete meal. There’s also a decent selection of classic desserts, such as key lime cheesecake and creme brulee, averaging $7 each. Without a doubt, the quick service and experience by the sea is worth a visit.

restaurant and bar guide Volume 99, issue 99 THURsday , APRIL 11, 2013


SD Food trucks gain traction FOOD & DRINK Artuto Garcia Staff Writer

Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but not when they gather at a food truck venue in their respective mobile kitchens ready to serve hungr y San Diegans. Be it Reuben fries from the awardwinning vendors at New York On Rye or an exotic mix of Greekmeets-Mexican in a Mediterranean torta at Tortally Tasty, tourists and locals munched on the alternative dishes provided for the first time in food truck history in a centralized location, San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. After Wednesday’s debut, the gourmet street vendors parked between 3rd and 4th avenues on J Street to sell their distinctive dishes on Thursday evening. Managed by Curbside Bites, a Southern California food truck booking ser vice, the trucks plan to station weekly at the same time and place. “We are just thrilled that they are down here,” downtown resident Sandee Wilhoit said. “I read about them in the newspaper. I knew they were in North County and I thought, ‘We need them downtown,’ so we’re really happy.” On other occasions, one of two trucks would park and sell their dishes downtown, but there had never been a street-closure for a more formal event. The food trucks lined one side of the street with chairs and tables set for guests to eat on their own. Co-owner at New York On Rye Rich Huarte said having more than four trucks in one place is good for business because gatherings attract more people. The reason gatherings had never been held at the Gaslamp Quar-

ter was because of downtown’s restaurants and their fear of competition from these mobile businesses. “They were getting a lot of pushback from some of the businesses that are here,” Curbside Bites owner Christian Murcia said. “It’s not courteous to park right in front of a restaurant; and we didn’t want this to be a free-for-all because we know how disruptive it can get. We worked with the city and tried to find something that is beneficial to ever yone, so we created a formal street closure.” Huarte said San Diego is still learning how to cope with food trucks. “The San Diego food truck industr y is in its infancy,” Huarte said. “The cities where it’s mature, like Los Angeles and Portland, have gone through this and are already on the other side. Now they get it. Here, they’re thinking ice cream trucks and road coaches; they’re not thinking that this is real food.” Each food truck has it’s social media plug displayed somewhere in it’s colorful compact kitchens. Huarte’s New York On Rye has more than 800 followers on Twitter and more than 700 likes on Facebook. “Twitter is everything,” Huarte said. “Tumblr is not as big— Facebook is good, but not as good as Twitter.” Building a following is vital for these on-the-go kitchens. “Instead of having your location and building your clientele in that location, you have to have seven locations and build up a clientele in seven locations,” Huarte said. Another difference about food trucks is space. “It’s also much smaller than a

arturo garcia , staff writer

restaurant kitchen—you have to go with a leaner menu,” Huarte said. “It’s small; you really can only have, at the most, three people on that truck and then it’s tight—it helps if they’re thin.” Crepes Bonaparte shift manager Jonathan Hernandez said he preferred working for a food truck rather than a restaurant because of the atmosphere. “The customers are a lot nicer,” Hernandez said. “We get food out a lot quicker and you can control how food comes out better.” Murcia said regardless of the issues between the mobile kitchens and the stationary ones downtown, restaurants can only

do so much when complaining about the food trucks. “Cities are allowed to regulate food trucks in the interest of public safety, not in the interest of protecting businesses,” Murcia said. “Everybody has been wanting it; it’s just been trying to figure out how to make it work with the city.” Murcia said having a food truck event was mutually beneficial because it draws people to an area. “It’s giving exposure to the restaurants,” Murcia said. “We may have 500 people tonight and it’s letting them know this is a street where there’s stuff going on. Most of the stuff going on in

Gaslamp is over at 5th Avenue and Market Street, and if we can drive people to this side, it’s showing people that there’s other stuff going down here too.”

have your cupcakes and eat them too at pure

food & drink Laurela Balangue Contributor

I can now live in utopia because my quest to find the best cupcake shop in San Diego is finally done. Hands down, PURE Cupcakes takes the cake. Located between Vons and Starbucks in Pacific Beach, PURE Cupcakes offers the finest and freshest cupcakes. The talented women behind the sweet works of art are owners Mary Sarain and Nikki Black, who have been friends for more than 25 years. It’s no surprise PURE Cupcakes won the season premiere of the Food Network show “Cupcake Wars.” The fierce was no match for the local cupcake shop. Even Sprinkles Cupcakes Founder Candace Nelson congratulated the duo. The “Cupcake Wars” winners described the experience as surreal. “Facing those judges and hearing my name was amazing. It was a great experience. I would do it again,” Sarain said. The team was prepared for the pressure of the competition. “I do handle pressure pretty well when I know what I’m going for, have a set time and a game plan. I do pret-

ty well with that,” Sarain said. Sarain began baking for her friends and family when she was 10. Her passion stemmed from the cupcake that started it all—a chocolate ganache. “I created it when my daughter was 1 year old and now she’s 16,” Sarain said. All of Sarain’s recipes, except the carrot cupcake, are based off the chocolate ganache. She prides herself on creating each recipe from scratch and perfecting them throughout the years. PURE Cupcakes has 27 cupcake flavors, which are categorized as standard, specialty or premium. The shop also offers gluten-free chocolate and vanilla bean cakes with a variety of frosting. From buñuelos and Mayan “Cheri” cupcakes to the classic red velvet and vanilla bean, PURE Cupcakes offers an impressive and ingenious menu that creates excuses to go back for more. Various flavors greet customers as they enter PURE Cupcakes. The atmosphere is simple yet inviting. No fluff or kitschy decor is needed because the cupcakes speak for themselves. I ordered the salted caramel cupcake. I removed the wrapper, cut a generous piece, then took a bite. It was as if everything around me

courtesy of pure cupcakes

paused and the only sense I had left was taste. The salted caramel was amazing. The concoction of rich dark chocolate cake with caramel buttercream and drizzle and a sprinkle of sea salt could only be explained as a culinary masterpiece. The cake, fluffy and moist, was complemented by the buttercream without overbearing sweetness. Within seconds, pleasure passed from my eyes to my mouth. In a highly competitive field, it’s hard to stand out from all of the cupcake shops in San Diego. Fortunately, PURE Cupcakes doesn’t have anything to worry about. “I’ve been to all of the cupcakeries in San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles,” Sarain said. “I always,

always went with the intentions of wanting to discover something that was better than mine and I never did.” Sarain said she trusts her gut and her talent. “Everything has been organic,” she said. I never spent a penny on advertisement, so for me, that was validation.” This can be seen from PURE Cupcakes loyal customers. Clientele includes corporate clients, gourmet food trucks, wholesalers and caterers. Word of mouth is what made the home business grow and expand into a fully functioning storefront. PURE Cupcakes offers a reasonably priced menu, unlike most trendy cupcake bakeries. These pieces of

heaven range from $2.75 to $3.75 each—a definite bargain for a gourmet cupcake. “The only complaint I have is that they’re too small, but that’s just me being gluttonous,” patron Gian Trinidad said. Thank the cupcake heavens— PURE Cupcakes is open seven days a week. I’ll be back this Saturday to try the Bacon Baby, a vanilla bean cake packed full of yummy bacon, topped with maple vanilla bean cream cheese and sprinkled with candied bacon. Every baker needs to bow down to these cupcake queens.

10 | opinion

Volume 99, issue 99 | thursday, april 11, 2013

Grading software fails students’ education



’m a writer. Hopefully this is obvious because you are reading this and my name is at the end of the column. I take pride in a finished written piece and hope my readers enjoy the argument I constructed. What I wouldn’t like is to put in all the effort of creating a unique and thoughtful story only to have a computer label its worth based on some engineer’s uninspired idea of the ideal essay. Unfortunately for me, and many other students, this may soon be the fate of all our hard work. EdX, a nonprofit founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently created an automated grading software. It’s supposedly able to grade essays and short answers equivalent to the ability of a human grader. According to The New York Times, the program first requires an instructor to grade 100 essays by hand. Then, the software uses artificial intelligence to

create grading algorithms and standards. The point is for students to submit essays to the program and receive an instant grade back based on how much of the computer-generated criteria is met. It therefore eliminates the long, tedious hours professors spend grading and the apparently unmanageable wait time for students to receive their work back. Is it efficient? Yes, but is it worth it? Not in the slightest. What the technically minded brains at EdX failed to consider was the subjectivity of writing and the impossibility of a computer to grasp the emotional response from written work. Sure, it can scan for key phrases and correct citations. But can a computer appreciate the creativity of an outside-the-box response? San Diego State English and comparative literature professor Alida Allison doesn’t think so. Although she grades more

than 100 essays per semester (without help from any teaching assistants), she firmly believes in the necessity of human grading and will not use any computerized grading software as it becomes available. Thousands of educators across the country feel the same way. Last month, a petition by the group Professionals Against Machine Scoring of Student Essays in High-Stakes Assessments began circulating and now carries more than 3,000 signatures. These are the people who are meant to be the primary benefactors of such a program, and even they don’t support it. Students who just want to meet the bare minimum requirements and be done with writing essays will surely be ecstatic about the possibility for even more blandness. But for those of us who enjoy the creative opportunities presented by a blank page, it’s just one more way to conform to the

standardization of education. The same way instructors of elementary and high school students often focus class material on tips and tricks to pass standardized tests, English teachers may soon only instruct on the best way to match a machine’s requirements. The point of a written assignment is to challenge students to think critically and stand out from one another. By creating a program with one correct answer, students will create one response. Chances are it wouldn’t even stop there. I doubt it would be long before some of the more tech-savvy students crack the code for the necessary requirements of an A paper. One critic has already accomplished that by creating nonsense sentences, which tricked essay-grading softwares into granting him a good grade. The implications of situations such as this on the SATs or Advanced Placement exams could throw

off the whole system. How do you compare a student who wrote a thought-provoking, original response with one who wrote random phrases that met the requirements? Well, if it’s the computer making the decision, it may just give them the same grade. In a time where art and music programs are being cut throughout the country, we need to salvage what little creative education we have left. Although an automated grader would save money on hiring instructors and teaching assistants, it comes at the expense of originality. Technology is meant to make life easier, not to control it. To even create software such as this requires innovative thinking. If we continue to expect new ideas, we must encourage individuality, not restrict it to the limitations of a machine. — Assistant Opinion Editor Madison Hopkins is a journalism and media studies junior










sports | 11

Thursday, april 11, 2013 | Volume 99, issue 99

Aztecs upset by Gauchos, fall to third in Big West water polo Courtney Muller Staff Writer

Coming off of a monumental Big West Conference win against University of Hawai’i, the No. 6 San Diego State water polo team dropped an 8-5 decision to No. 16 University of California, Santa Barbara, falling to third in the conference standings behind Hawai’i and University of California, Irvine. As SDSU sat in the top spot of the Big West standings, the

Gauchos were eager to knock the Aztecs down a peg. The Aztecs played catch-up from the first sprint, falling behind early in the contest and never recovering. The Aztecs trailed 3-2 after the first quarter and 5-3 going into halftime, after tying the match at three early in the second quarter. SDSU was able to keep UCSB off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, but the Gauchos’ three third-quarter goals put the game away. Senior utility Alex Ford and sophomore utility Taelor

Moreno led SDSU in scoring with two goals apiece. Senior defender Kacey Creek and freshman utility Samantha Murphy each had three goals for UCSB. The Gauchos were able to hold senior utility and reigning conference Player of the Week Amber Pezzolla to only one goal in the game. With the loss against UCSB, SDSU carries a Big West Conference record of 4-2 and an overall record of 20-9. Pezzolla continues to impress in her final season on Montezu-

ma Mesa, having garnered her second Big West Player of the Week honor last week. The San Dimas native scored five goals on six attempts in the team’s win against Hawai’i and leads the Aztecs with 63 goals in only 28 games. Pezzolla and Moreno are the only SDSU players to earn Big West honors this season. SDSU has two regular-season games remaining before the conference tournament begins in two weeks. If the Aztecs can win the Big West Conference tourna-

ment, they will travel to Harvard University in hopes of winning a national title. SDSU last earned a bid to the national tournament in 2008, under the leadership of two-time All-American Anna Gonzales. Both of SDSU’s remaining regular-season games take place at the Aztec Aquaplex. The Aztecs host the University of Pacific at noon on Saturday before battling the University of California, San Diego for the Harper Cup at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20.

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Volume 99, issue 99 | THURSday, APRIL 11, 2013

Trapped in the eternal eatery satire Eric Dobko Staff Writer

As I got dressed for dinner, I reflected on the legends I’d heard about this restaurant. Anthony Bourdain hailed it as one of the best eateries in San Diego. Guy Fieri described the aromas lingering inside as a reason to live life. It has even been said that Martha Stewart received her foundational kitchen apprenticeship at this place in her early 20s. With a curious combination of desire and apprehension, I strutted through the front door to begin what would likely be the most significant restaurant review of my life. Upon entering, I was surprised to find but only a single table. I couldn’t help but think that surely a restaurant with 4.9 stars on Yelp would have seating for more than a single party. But perhaps that’s just how it’s managed to produce such a high demand for it’s culinary delights. I resolved to leave any past pressures on the coat rack, take a seat in one of the four mahogany chairs and enjoy dinner without reservations. As I waited for the staff to acknowledge my arrival, the ambiance left me stupefied. Words such as luxurious, avant-garde, flamboyant and posh came to mind right away—but not as words to describe the environment. Rather, these were descriptions that the restaurant seemed to evade completely. While it was somewhat, well … homely, I couldn’t help but wonder if the cleaning crew was on leave for vacation or a tornado had swept through the room. A variety of unlikely objects were scattered throughout the

restaurant: a stack of envelopes, old clothes, surfboards, bicycles and what appeared to be a spear gun. And where my past restaurant experiences dictate a place mat belongs, I found nothing but a small pile of sand. It struck me that maybe this was just another one of those eccentric dining experiments for eaters wearisome of routine, but my skepticism was coming to surface nonetheless.

I strutted through the front door to begin what would likely be the most significant restaurant review of my life. With the hopes that the food quality might serve as an antidote for my growing disenchantment with this restaurant, I diverted my attention from the strange atmosphere and resolved to hold off on any potential cynicism until I had gotten what I came here for—the food. And so, I waited for service. Then, I waited some more. After 45 minutes I had not even been given a glass of water, let alone a menu. The only help I received so far was from the weevils cleaning old grains of rice from the floor. The sands of time were moving just about as fast as that offputting pile that still sat in front of me, and I was getting quite tired of waiting. Unable to take it any longer, I rose out of my seat to see what the holdup was and stormed into the kitchen. But when I got there, I discovered something even

more disturbing than the lack of customer appeasement. I took cautious steps across the old battleground of a war waged by green onions and eggshells. The pungent aroma of whiskey and fermented kombucha assailed my nasal canals. A sink flooded with unwashed dishes and encrusted with old seafood devastated my senses. All of the ceiling lights had burnt out, except for one that was flickering—much like my courage to remain in this distasteful restaurant. And most unsettling of all … there was not a soul in sight. Where were the employees? Where were the chefs? Where was the owner? I had entered into what appeared—but wait. It couldn’t be. Not the diner of death! Trapped in food critic purgatory, I could not escape. I had been warned by my colleagues, but I naively disregarded their forebodings of the future. My restaurant reviews had not pleased the gods, and I had thus been vanquished to an afterlife of infinite digestive peril. Within these four walls I would be fated to spend eternity, imprisoned in the culinary void— the really bad restaurant of pseudo-existence. As the sound of eating lousy food forevermore amplified within my mind like an endless feedback loop, the front door suddenly burst open. “Satan, is that you?” The silhouette grew as it entered the room and walked toward me. With a raised hand, it slapped me across the face. “Dobko, what the hell is wrong with you? Seriously.” It was my roommate. I had not even left home.


by Nancy Black, Tribune Media Services

Today’s Birthday (4/11/13) - A new ease in communications advances your projects faster. Grow your health and happiness. Review your financial plan, especially regarding insurance and investments, to discover a windfall. Adapt gracefully to changes. Find your way home to family and friends. To get the advantage, check the day’s rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging. Aries (March 21 - April 19) - Today is a 9 - Focus on making money. However, don’t deviate from your personal rules. What goes around really comes around. Celebrate your good fortune. Taurus (April 20 - May 20) - Today is a 9 - Expect something out of the ordinary. Transformation is power right now. Use what you’ve learned, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Create a new possibility from nothing. Gemini (May 21 - June 21) - Today is an 8 - Set aside extra time for surprises and contemplation. Help a family member with a personal task. Financial awareness is a priority, as it provides power. It’s getting inspiring. Cancer (June 22 - July 22) - Today is a 9 Things get easier. Reassess your own position. Set up a meeting. Check public opinion as you enter a social phase. There could be a challenge or test. See yourself winning. Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22) - Today is a 9 - Enforce the rules, even as there’s a change in plans. Establish them, if the game is new. Water figures in this scenario. Pieces come together. Consider career advancement. Learn voraciously. Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) - Today is a 9 -

You’re entering an intense two-day expansion phase. It’s good for travel, too. Stay somewhat practical. Saving is better than spending now. Turn down an invitation. Thoughtful introspection gets the job done. Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22) - Today is a 9 - These days are good for financial planning. Tell friends you’ll see them later. Manage numbers now, and focus on your work. Set priorities. Identify ideas with greatest potential. Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21) - Today is a 9 - Peacemaking comes naturally. Discover romance today and tomorrow. Savor artistry and beauty. The path ahead seems obvious. Entice others along by pointing it out to them. Offer concrete results rather than platitudes. Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) - Today is a 9 - Avoid distractions, and get to work. Take on a job you’ve been putting off, and complete it for freedom and accomplishment. Spend a little on yourself. Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19) - Today is an 8 - Love blossoms. Hold out for what you want; don’t waste your money on poor substitutions. You’re looking good, and you’re up against tough competition. Accept a challenge. Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18) - Today is an 8 - Household issues demand attention. Keep on top of the supply chain. There’s some fierce competition. You’ve got the mental acuity to solve the problem, if you can find what you need. Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20) - Today is a 9 - Get into practical study. Embark on an adventure, and call if you’ll be late for dinner. Keep clear communication. Don’t bend the rules; gravity has no sympathy. ©2013, TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES INC.


by The Mepham Group, Tribune Media Services

Difficulty Level: 4 out of 4 Instructions: Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit 1 to 9.


Solutions available online at ©2013, TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES INC.

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file photo





food and nutrition seniors lisa abrahams and julie kingston give catherine pauu a cookie taste test in the professional studies and fine arts building on april 17, 1986.




The views expressed in the written works of this issue do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec. Letters to the editor can be sent to

Across 1 Gives pieces to 5 Space-saving abbr. 9 Academy teacher 14 Leak slowly 15 Prep, as apples for applesauce 16 Didn’t despair 17 Support girder 18 Teatro alla Scala highlight 19 From days gone by 20 Post-marathon sounds? 23 Salon supply 24 Scottie’s relative 27 ID theft target 30 Wined and dined 34 Messenger __ 35 Bygone depilatory 37 Golfer’s outdated set of clubs? 39 Egyptian leader between Gamal and Hosni 41 MIV ÷ II 42 Pester, puppy-style 43 Casualty of an all-night poker game? 46 “__ be young again!” 47 SFO posting 48 Welcome sight for early explorers 50 Poetic dusk 51 “Thy Neighbor’s Wife” author 53 Ill-fated fruit picker 55 Problem for Sherlock when he’s out of tobacco? 62 Eastern adders? 64 Smart 65 Corp. money mgrs. 66 Sax range 67 Rolling rock 68 Berlusconi’s bone 69 Is without 70 One bounce, in baseball 71 Kids Down 1 “A likely story!” 2 Country’s McEntire 3 Crux 4 Bit of mistletoe 5 Dress uniform decoration 6 Empty-truck weight 7 Desertlike

by Rich Norris & Joyce Lewis, Tribune Media Services

Solutions available online at 8 Route to an illogical conclusion 9 Expressed an opinion on “The Dan Patrick Show,” say 10 Many converted apartments 11 Sign of omission 12 __ Aviv 13 Like some socks after laundry day 21 Whence BMWs 22 Floored 25 Hard-wired 26 Crayola Factory’s Pennsylvania home 27 Get testy with 28 Madrid madam 29 City whose average elevation is below sea level 31 Dizzy with delight 32 Prospero’s spirit servant

33 High-end camera 36 Borrow money from 38 __ Grande 40 Prophetic attire worn by most doomed characters on the original “Star Trek” TV show 44 De Matteo of “The Sopranos” 45 Patella 49 Netflix rental 52 Sentence finisher? 54 Florida attraction 56 Kareem’s coll. team 57 Deposed ruler 58 Modern recorder 59 “Given that ...” 60 Chime in at a blog 61 Those, in Tijuana 62 Olympics entrant: Abbr. 63 Actress Arthur


Volume 99, Issue 99


Volume 99, Issue 99