San Diego

New Year's Week Lucky Foods

Dec 31st 2010 8:00AM / by Nanette Wiser

In Spain, revelers guarantee their new year luck by consuming 12 grapes at midnight. Cooked greens (cabbage or chard) represent folded money, with the Danes dining on stewed kale sprinkled in sugar and the Germans gorging on sauerkraut. Lentils and other legumes swell when cooked, representing prosperity/coins, and in the South, black-eyed peas or hopping john are all the rage. Pigs symbolize progress, so pork is popular, such as pig's feet in Sweden. In Mexico, hiding a trinket or coin in a cake and eating sweet tamales guarantee great fortune. The Chinese associate citrus fruit with prosperity since the words for orange and gold sound similar. If you're looking for lady luck, follow these fortunate fare.

China Max: Dim sum delicious, awesome Peking duck and the best Asian seafood live from the tank, this bustling restaurant's pork dishes are brilliant, especially the stir fried minced pork taco, pan fried minced pork with salted fish and the Peking sauce pork chop. The fortune cookie says a perfect start for the new year.
4698 Convoy St., #C101, Kearny Mesa; 858-650-3333

Don Carlos Taco: Surfers swear by the burrito bowls and carnitas tacos at this Mexican restaurant, but the big kahuna is the top-notch tamales (mango peach, sweet corn, pineapple raisin, jalapeño cheese, mushroom tofu and the usual chicken, pork, turkey and ground beef).
737 Pearl St., La Jolla; 858-456-0462

Opera Café & Patisserie: Read your tea leaves while devouring citrusy concoctions such as Key lime mini cheesecake, lemon meringue tartlettes, pucker up lemon bars at this café and patisserie. If that's not enough, lunch on a pear blue cheese or duck confit and spinach salad, honoring your gobble greens resolution.
9254 Scranton Road, Suite 101; 858-458-9050

Kaiserhof: Authentic German décor, beer steins filled with Dinkel Acker Pils and heaping helpings of spatzle, red cabbage and sauerkraut, best consumed with creamy herring or schnitzel, promise 2011 will be a gas at this German restaurant.
2253 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., Ocean Beach; 619-224-0606

Magnolia's: Authentic Southern cooking, from the crispy fried chicken to the collard greens and black-eyed peas, this strip mall jewel celebrates all things Cajun, complemented by simple chic decor. Deep-fried oysters, crawfish bisque, jambalaya and Creole Okra gumbo, finished with peach cobbler or sweet potato pie, promise a happy belly in 2011.
342 Euclid Ave., Suite 403, East San Diego; 619-262-6005

Photo courtesy of Opera Cafe & Patisserie

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