The Tilted Stick

    Courtesy of David Harvey

    If you can get past the dirt — the dirt of the bar, the dirt of the customers, the dirt of the dogs fresh off of Dog Beach — then you can probably get past the dirty kitchen and enjoy what is almost universally known as the most delicious bar food in San Diego. The Tilted Stick, one of the diviest dive bars in Ocean Beach, has a reputation and a surf shack decor that can intimidate classier beach-goers. Nonetheless, this reputation is part of the draw for most of the bar’s patrons.

    The bartenders are renowned for their moodiness and the rule list posted behind them accentuates the myth. Rule one: If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to be here. Rule Eight: If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong. The third rule on the list tells patrons, in more colorful terms, to keep their dogs behaved. Located right off Dog Beach, the Tilted Stick may be OB’s only dog-friendly pub.

    It’s almost tradition to have a basket of wings — served hot, medium, mild, teriyaki, barbeque, Caribbean jerk or naked — or an order of mahi tacos and wash the meal down with one of the 20 beers on tap, all while holding off some drunk patron’s wandering canine.

    Courtesy of David Harvey

    A sporadically stocked jukebox partially obscures the closet-door entrance to the women’s bathroom and when sports games aren’t playing on the bar’s 12 television sets the music can go from Journey to Slayer without anyone skipping a beat. One rundown pool table gets heavy use, and it shows in its torn felt and crooked cues. But the table is free, a real rarity. An outside patio offers a quiet, shaded and secluded spot to down a beer and a burger and fight through a basket of heavenly Cajun fries.

    None of the food costs more than $7.75 and half-orders of wings are available as well as simple starters like chips and salsa for as little as $2.75. On top of the fantastic food, the Stick has a monthly beach cruiser and surfboard giveaway. If you want a great meal after a great surf, and you don’t mind a little grime and a lot of character, swing into the Tilted Stick. You probably won’t regret it.

    Courtesy of David Harvey
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