Michael’s 40th Birthday Party and “Welcome back to California” party, October 14

This dude turns 40 soon

If you didn’t know, Michael and Steph are back in California, living in the East Bay.

Their arrival happens to coincide nicely with Michael’s 40th birthday, so we’re having a combination birthday party and welcome-back-to-California party for them on Tuesday, October 14th, at The Half Orange.

Starts at 5pm. There will definitely be country ham. Probably some other treats, too.

Uncle Jesse Ice Cream


Luis Abundis of Nieves Cinco de Mayo is an alchemist who turned Ale Industries “Uncle Jesse” ale into delicious, hop-forward ice cream

The other day we were sitting around with Luis, who operates the amazing Nieves Cinco de Mayo artisanal ice cream shop adjacent to our restaurant The Half Orange, drinking beers from Ale Industries, which brews amazing craft beers a couple blocks from us.

It suddenly seemed very important that Luis make ice cream from the Ale Industries’ “Uncle Jesse” session ale. So he did. And it’s really good, with a distinct hop character in balance with the sweetness — just like in a great West Coast style ale!

Come in to the Half Orange and try it, it’s on the menu now until it sells out.

Los Pilares Wine Party, Thursday October 9 at The Half Orange

Los Pilares tasting at El Take It Easy, August 2011

Now that their wine is possibly San Diego’s most well-regarded culinary export to the Bay Area, we get to brag that we’ve been friends with Michael Christian and the crew from Los Pilares since back in the day. We love both their philosophy and drinking their wine.

It wouldn’t even be too far to say that, when Katie and I started seeing Los Pilares wine pouring at Ordinaire and on the shelves at Bi-Rite Market, it helped me understand what some of the possibilities might be for me here, as a San Diego import myself.

In any event, we’re open now, and there’s wine, and it seems like a great time to celebrate. So on Thursday, October 8th, starting at 6pm, Michael will be in the house while we pour from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 vintages of Los Pilares red, and also taste some of their “garage” experiments that provided the foundation of their winemaking decisions. We’ll of course whip up some food pairings for the occasion, too.

These are the minimalist reds that attracted attention to San Diego wine from the likes of Jon Bonné, Alice Feiring, and many others. For us, though, this is about great wine from home, to be enjoyed with tasty food and friends old and new.

We hope you’ll join us.