by Steve Kang  |  photos by Andi Pianalto

Ever since we first came up with the concept of 4L Magazine, we always talked about doing a “Guys Night Out” feature or monthly column. Well, it’s finally come to fruition. We decided to get together a band of misfits to paint the town red. We obtained concert tickets for TV on the Radio on Little Friday (a.k.a. Thursday), so we decided to go out for happy hour, dinner, then hit the show.

guys night out

Crew Background
I know William because we have had a long standing business relationship since the inception of 4L Magazine. His company handles our social media. In the past few years we have shared several meals, millions of drinks, gotten tattoos together and have become very good friends.

I first met Johan when we reviewed his restaurant, Fig Tree Café in Pacific Beach. He serves great food in a great space. I was doing three food reviews that day and I went to Fig Tree first. Big mistake: I generally only eat a couple of bites but since it was so good, I ate everything. Oh no, I still had to eat at two more establishments in the next three hours. Oh well, it was well worth it. I still remember when he brought out a plate of man candy at the end … awesome!

I met Jake playing noon-time basketball. After hanging out with him, I soon found out that he was pretty much the mayor of Solana Beach/Del Mar. EVERYBODY knows Jake. He has close ties with people but what makes things even better is that we also share a good number of friends. Next time you go into the Belly Up Tavern and you see all the upgrades, thank Jake … yup, he did it.

Happy Hour
Happy hour gives us an opportunity to wet our whistles and unwind from work before dinner and the show. True North Tavern is a large casual bar that has tons of televisions, great food and great drinks. There is a large center bar, booths along the walls and outdoor seating in front and in back.

After our first shot of tequila, I suggest a challenge. Let’s assign points for kisses and see who can win by the end of the night. If a lady kisses you on the forehead, it’s 1 point, cheek is 2 points and lips are 3 points. William is going to be the wingman since he is married. Game ON!

Loaded Tots with carne asada
(Classic Tater Tots, house seasoning blend, signature warm queso sauce, fresh cilantro, chipotle crema and salsa fresca)

Fried Artichokes
(Battered artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese)

Spicy Mango Margarita
(Jalapeno infused Espolón Tequila, mango puree, agave nectar syrup, lime juice, orange juice and sour mix served with a Tajin chili rim)

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA with Grapefruit (7.0% abv)

Shots of Don Julio Anejo

True North Tavern | 3815 30th St., San Diego | Neighborhood: North Park
(619) 291-3815 |

We get to dinner and I soon find out that there aren’t a lot of single women there. Everyone seems to be coupled up. We still manage to sneak a couple of smooches from the server staff. Oh well, we still have the concert venue to find some lovely ladies.

After a great dinner and several drinks, West Coast started to fill out because the concert was about to start. You can access the Observatory North Park concert venue through the back doors. Since the show was “all ages,” you had to get your cocktails on the West Coast side. The back bar started to get really busy. We met a few more ladies but the whole kissing competition just went out the window. We just took some fun pictures with some fun ladies.


Sesame Crusted Ahi
(wonton chips, radish, sesame soy aioli, green onion)

Grilled Cabrillo Steak
(Garlic thyme baby potatoes, celery root puree, bleu cheese butter, king trumpet mushroom)

Hawaiian Flatbread
(Barbecue sauce, diced ham, mozzarella, shaved red onion, pineapple)

Steak Flatbread
(Chimichurri, Cabrillo Steak, cherry tomato, red onion, Point Reyes Blue cheese, balsamic reduction, baby arugula sylvetta)

The Stallion
(Captain Morgan’s White Rum, blackberry liqueur, lime juice, bitters, ginger beer)

The Dude
(Ketel One Vodka, coffee liqueur, cream, ginger beer)

A Oaxacan the Garden
(Mezcal El Silencio, asparagus syrup, cucumber juice, bitters, lemon zest)

Shots of Jameson

West Coast Tavern | 2895 University Ave., San Diego |  Neighborhood: North Park
(619) 295-1688 |


TV on the Radio (TVOTR)

This indie-rock band was formed in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York. It was great to see them gain notoriety and tour around the country and play a great show for us right here in San Diego!

We were able to get up really close. They are a pretty mellow band but they still have a great live show. The sold-out crowd was very responsive and all had a good time. After the show wrapped up, we decided to go the 7 Grand for a nightcap.

This will be the first of many installments of Guys Night Out. I had such a good time eating, drinking and being merry with my buddies that I’m already brainstorming for what we are going to do for the next one. Maybe we will be in your part of town next. If you see us and you’re a guy, come have a drink with us. If you’re girl, feel free to give us a kiss … haha! Oh, by the way, I was wearing fake teeth, my grill isn’t that bad!

The Observatory | North Park | 2891 University Ave., San Diego
(619) 239-8836 |