As seen on T.V.

Ocean Beach only

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.

Hodad's catering 2

Hodad's shirt

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.

OB Pier

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.

WOW cafe

Lobster Taco

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.

Hodad's lineup

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.

Azucar Interior
Azucar potato ball

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.

Potato ball

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.

Newport Ave. 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.

Superman hardcover
Vintage Pyrex
Antique kitchenwares
Vintage cookbooks

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.

Galactic Comics

13 thoughts on “As seen on T.V.

Add yours

  1. One of the Terriers in the middle of the season was filmed on what I think the rooftop bar at the Hard Rock, based on the view of the convention center. I made Superfro pause it so I could look again! I totally get a kick out of seeing places I recognize or have been too on TV. After being on the Oscars bleacher seats I have palpatations every year when I watch Oscar coverage!

  2. I’m so bummed I missed “Terriers” and will have to catch it on DVD (when I’m done catching up on “Supernatural”). I LOVED Shawn Ryan’s other brilliant drama “The Shield” and am a big fan of Donal Logue.

  3. hi darlene – just read in the u-t today that terriers was cancelled due to low ratings! bummer huh. i haven’t even watched the show yet.

    liked your pix of the pyrex stuff at the antiques store. my mom still has pyrex from the 70s at the house. wonder how much it’s worth now.

  4. The author of this little piece seems to have a lot of misery in her life and displays it by her contempt of OB culture. OB isn;’t perfect but its where I grew up. There is no eden in the world, but paradise is what you make it to be, and choose to experience day to day. there’s no perfect restaurant and every coin has two sides, but when overweight, stressed out middle aged woman want to act out at the world, they turn to the internet to externalize their anger at life.
    This piece wasn’t a valid critique of the San Diego restaurant scene, it was a sad woman on zoloft crying for help.

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