I get a bit of a thrill seeing my hometown of San Diego on national television. News items are one thing, but I’m talking dramas. Veronica Mars, for example — which was set in the fictional city of “Neptune” — had its own professional baseball team and managed to exist within the boundaries of San Diego County. Names of places were changed and familiar landmarks were called by completely different names. But anyone who knew San Diego was well aware of the shooting locations.
Enter the television show Terriers.
Terriers is a set in San Diego, specifically in Ocean Beach. Terriers follows former police detective Hank (played by Donal Logue) and his partner, Britt (Michael Raymond James from True Blood!), a reformed petty thief, as they investigate crimes around town in conjunction with uncovering a plot involving Ocean Beach. While I won’t ruin this season, it’s a smart crime drama that refers to actual locales by their real names.
The first few episodes has Hank and Britt driving on Newport Avenue, a main thoroughfare of Ocean Beach. Several episodes later is a scene that takes place at Hodad’s — a great place known for their burgers, as well as the collection of license plates on their walls. Interior shots of Old Town House Restaurant (several breakfast scenes), the Harp (bar scenes) and even the skanky drive-thru coffee shop Pirates Cove Coffee have made appearances.
Other shots filmed in San Diego include Santa Fe Depot, O’Connell’s nightclub, Balboa Park and several residential streets of inland Ocean Beach.
It’s still up in the air if there will be a second season but season one concludes tomorrow (Dec. 1) at 10 p.m. on FX. You can also catch up online.
While I don’t go to Ocean Beach very often, it’s a nice place to visit and a few miles from where we live. Due to our obsession with Terriers, we recently paid a visit.
Ocean Beach pier is similar to the one in Imperial Beach, in that it juts out into the ocean and splits north/south and they both have a restaurant. However, Ocean Beach is mostly concrete while Imperial Beach has a wooden walkway.
Ocean Beach Pier Cafe sells the usual regional Mexican/American food along with some seafood. I’m sure it’s to feed the few fisherman that litter the pier, hoping to get catch some fish and the occasional tourist. After trying out their lobster tacos ($4.76), I can’t recommend this as the place to go after surfing/fishing/hanging out. I could not see any lobster under the mounds of chopped cabbage. And why go here when there are so many other places on the the main strip just a walk away?
I will put it harshly — O.B. has a lot of burnouts, transients, stoners and bums. Add some dive bars, head shops, hostels and greasy spoons to the mix, and it’s an appropriate setting for Terriers. Drive down Newport Avenue and see for yourself.
Also on Newport Avenue lies Hodad’s. Ever since Guy Fieri featured the place on the Food Network, lines have been forming outside of the door — even before it opens. It’s a great burger and they’re opening a second location in downtown San Diego.
Three block aways on Newport is Azucar, a Cuban-style patisserie. Azucar is unique in that it almost doesn’t fit in with the rest of Ocean Beach. It’s clean. The desserts are beautifully displayed under glass but I am not a fan. Why? It all revolves around the potato ball. A racquet ball-sized papas rellenas is a very pricey $2.95. Unlike my beloved Porto’s, there aren’t rows upon rows of fresh balls waiting for mass exodus to my stomach. Azucar has… one. Or two if I’m lucky. God forbid if there aren’t any on display because the wait time for one potato ball to be heated up can be more than 5 minutes.
As for the desserts, they are all so pretty but little too sweet for my taste. These folks seriously need to make a trek up to Porto’s and see how a Cuban bakery is done.
Despite my cranky views on Ocean Beach, there is another gem besides Hodad’s and that is Newport Avenue Antique Center.
This huge antique shop is nestled between other smaller shops but what sets it apart is what it sells: interesting antiques that even a non-antique aficionado like me can appreciate.
First-edition copies of a Superman hardcover, antique kitchenwares, estate jewelry, vintage postcards and newspapers … the selection is endless. You can easily waste an afternoon perusing this shop.
Just remember that if you do decide to wander Ocean Beach that Galactic Comics is quite possibly the worst comic store in the tri-county area. You have been warned.