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From left: Becca Gherardini, Kelli Thompson and Morgan Mallory of the Corner Frame Shop & Art Gallery in Leucadia share where they like to eat around town. Photo by David Boylan
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Lick the Plate: Where the Corner Frame Shop eats around town

Ever since I moved to Leucadia I’ve had an affinity for the Corner Frame Shop and the folks that work there. The combination of the amazing location on Coast Highway that is full of warmth and charm, the fun and engaging staff, and of course their stellar framing make it my favorite place to get that special piece framed.

In addition to all those endearing qualities, it’s just one of those places that is a pleasure to hang out at, and really, how many stores can you say that about?

Officially called Corner Frame Shop & Leucadia Art Gallery, they have been satisfying art, mirror and picture framing needs for more than three decades. They have the largest selection of frames in the county and expert design assistance.

The Leucadia Art Gallery displays a variety of art and mediums, including originals in oil, acrylic, and giclee editions and sculptures by fine local artists mostly depicting local images.

They capture the independent and creative spirit of Leucadia perfectly and I wanted to get to know owner Morgan Mallory and his team a little better and find out some of their favorite places to eat around town, so we caught up recently to talk food.

I’ll start with design consultant and framer Kelli Thompson.

Kelli shares my opinion on the local food scene and put it perfectly: “There’s never been a more exciting culinary time in Leucadia, and I’m hungry.”

She added, “For classic comfort, a patty melt smothered in onions from A Little More hits the spot. For something unique, I head to Le Papagayo for crab enchiladas or salad with mangos, nuts and hearts of palm with mint vinaigrette that I’m crazy about. Sometimes we order Fish 101, and one of my favorites is the three fresh tacos tucked neatly into a little brown box with all the accouterments. I’ve been eating California burritos from Karina’s since I was 12, and an honorable mention goes to Pandora’s for amazing pizza.”

Nice picks Kelli, I will have to revisit the Karina’s California burrito though, I’ve been stuck on Juanita’s version for so long that it’s time to mix it up.

Becca Gherardini is another one of the fine design consultants and framers and a local’s local, having grown up in Leucadia.

Her thoughts on the changes under way in Leucadia are spot on: “I’m old school, so as Leucadia slowly gentrifies, I feel a responsibility to stay true to the Leucadia ‘funk’ I grew up in. That being said, I depend on Captain Keno’s and the Pannikin to always make me feel at home.  It’s certainly not farm-to-table, but at Captain Keno’s if you’re hungry all you need is literally $5. Plus, they have been there for 70 years! Just north of there is a big yellow train station built in 1888.  That’s where the Pannikin has been serving fabulous coffee and tea and their house made muffins are simply the best.  Make sure to ask for them toasted! I always drip their free honey all over mine.  If you want eggs, go for the Greek eggs…they are as consistent as it gets.”

Wow, so cool that you share my affinity for Keno’s. That was one of my favorite columns to write and still my go-to place to get funky in Leucadia.

Owner Morgan Mallory steers the ship at Corner Frame shop and lives in Cardiff with his wife, Brenda Dizon. He is a self-proclaimed “Carcadian,” which is a new one to me and I love it.

He has been eating lunch in Leucadia for over 30 years and, as he put it, “is still hungry.”

Having been in the area for so long, Morgan had a lot to share on past and present eating options in the area: “In younger years, I would start off with a big-o-breakfast at Little Moore and Mison and Hon would take good care of me and sweet Roz would fill my coffee cup. Now I make a massive yummy, healthy, fresh fruit and soy smoothies for my wife and me. Then, I admit, I’ve been known to stop at VG’s or Leucadia Doughnuts and drink the smoothie later. There are meals I miss from restaurants that are no longer around like an Angelina’s calzone, Sub Palace subs or Birdhouse gyro or kabob plate. Over the years, Leucadia has nurtured appreciation for good food as it has for good art. We are always more than satisfied when we get Fish 101, treat ourselves to Le Papagayo or pick Pandora. Or the No. 69 in top 100 best of Saveur magazine, the soup at LaEspecial Norte. Thanks Angel.  I can’t forget to mention Haggo’s as a fresh and healthy, yummy option as well. Or if we can’t decide whether to do Italian or Chinese, we can do both at once at Chinatown, only in Leucadia.”

Morgan, did you see my recent column on the Chinese/Italian combo at Chinatown? Only in Lecuadia is correct!

Thanks to the funky cool crew at Corner Frame Shop & Leucadia Art Gallery for their fun contributions to Lick the Plate this week. Stop in and say hi to this talented team and keep them in mind for all your framing needs.

They are located at 1038 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas.

David Boylan is the founder of Artichoke Creative an Encinitas based integrated marketing firm. He also hosts Lick the Plate Radio that airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on FM94/9, Easy 98.1, and KSON. Reach him at [email protected] or (858) 395-6905.