Hop Suey - Pizza Port Solana Beach

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Hop Suey
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61 Ratings
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Ratings: 61
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 37
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pizza Port Solana Beach visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hopsaplenty on 01-27-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 44
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of magictrokini
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oily gold pour with a bubbly white head. Very nice lacing. Hoppy and resiny aroma. Lighter than expected mouthfeel. Nice piney hops that slightly outweigh the citrus, but gives it a nice bite. Smooth aftertaste with some stickiness.
11/8/08-Had again at PP-Carlsbad. Just as good, but more resin and pine oil in the nose and flavor. Creamier without detracting from the insanely good taste. Damn Pizza Port for not letting me fill my growler!

Photo of kingcrowing
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler poured into a Duvel tulip. Huge thanks to stawn for hooking me up with this!

HOLY SUEY! This thing has a crazy aroma, even after a 3,000 mile cross country trip the nose on this mother is insane! So fruity and fresh, floral and citrus dominates along with some really sharp piney notes as well, phenomenal to say the least. Color is a nice orange to dark amber with a decent white to light yellow head that fades down quickly - the D from the etching on the bottom is coming through nicely.

Wow, the tastes lives up to the aroma. This thing is all hops, what a wallop to the palate! Bitter and sharp, it's got a really interesting flavor that's a bit like sharp cheddar. It's very crisp and creamy with a subtle but nice malt profile, it obviously takes a back seat to the hops but for a big IIPA it's a nice balance of caramel sweetness. This is a bit hot, it seems higher than 9% (After reading other reviews, it appears this batch is at 11%, which explains the hotness) and that's the only slightly negative thing I can say, if the alcohol was a bit more hidden it would be near perfect, but as-is it's still one of the best IIPAs I've ever had.

If you get a chance to try this, do it. As a big east-coast IPA fan, I've got to say this really holds up to the best stuff we've got (Heady Topper, Ephraim, Hopzilla, etc).

Photo of ehammond1
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

A dark orange bordering on amber; reminds me of tree sap. Almost no head. Looks somewhat thick and oily.

Tropical and citrus fruits, namely grapefruit. Some pine.

Bitter from start to finish but refreshing and pleasant. Sweet malt backbone underneath a mountain of hops. Delicious.

Full mouthfeel. Somewhat sticky.

Fantastically drinkable for a double-digit ABV DIPA. Appropriately named, as this beer karate chops you in the face with hops: a good thing!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So when was the first time I had this, like maybe 2-3 years ago at the Bistro DIPA fest?

A faint orange glow, thin head that doesn't stick around too long, but it ain't a thing considering what I know I'm in for in terms of slick hops. Definitely a wet/grass/musty hop aroma, little bit of sweetness and definitely piney.

Taste, very good, not too bitter, alcohol remains in the background somehow. More pineapple. Dry. Had me thinking they were definitely going after the Pliny the Younger feel, except they dumped a ton of tropical fruit or citra hops into it. PTY meets Oracle.

Photo of sloejams
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad. In a place with so many good beers, this was one of my favorites. Pizza Port is really starting to become one of my favorite breweries. Now that they have a bottled line and distribution, many more will learn how truly great their beer is.

This pours an amber color with a welcoming, frothy head. Lots of lacing. Glorious, glorious hops are everywhere. Sweet and piney with a slight bit of citrus kick. In the back there some maltiness, trying to balance the hops. It's a sweet, floral delicious beer.

Pizza Port, keep them coming.

Photo of nige4958
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

They can't get Hop Suey in the UK. I just let Talismann and John for Darlington know. Those crazed English folks think they're hot shit with the beer engines and the quaint drinking places. But, you haven't lived until you've had this monster. An explosion of tropical fruit, booze, and hops. Tastes like a strong ale that someone chucked a shot of whisky into. Probably make a great octane boost for classic car enthusiasts as well. Well made and explosive, but like previously mentioned, not for all occasions.

Photo of mikey711
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

huge thanks to irishgurl4 for this growler!

A: Vibrant orange with some amber tinting. a good amount of clarity but there is some cloudiness. good amount of head that holds pretty well and leaves very nice lacing.

S: citrus orange and gooey pine. also a hint of earthy hoppiness. a bitter grapfruit aroma. slight hints of caramel and biscuit malt. as it warms there is more pine apple and papaya notes

T: The first sip is a mixutre of super bitter grapefruit and pine. there is some peach, tangerine, and apricot note. There is also a fair amount of sweetness present that was slightly cloying. I also felt this had a bit of a scallion taste too.

M: Definitely some fusel alcohol present, decent amount of creaminess but also some roughness too.

D: Overall this is one hoppy ass beer but i guess i was expecting a bit more citrus and a little less earthy (scallion and onion). there are some points where it got to be a bit overwhelming in terms of the sweetness. I am extremely happy that i tried this but it wasnt worth all the hype.

Photo of loving44
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask at the Carlsbad location.

Very thick and creamy appearance with a nice inch thick white head.

Smelled very floral with hops dominating.... I knew I would be in for some serious hop punishment!

The hop bitterness was right upfront followed by fruit... not as bitter as I expected from the aroma, I attribute this to the cask.

Mouthfeel was thick and creamy with little tight carbonation. Very nice.

I had one pint and i was done with Hop Suey... a very potent beer, but also a very nice one. Give it a go!

Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz growler into an oversized tulip. Thanks go to mrbubbler for this in a recent trade. After many visits to the different Pizza Port locations, this is one of their beers that always seemed to elude me. It's awesome that they finally allowed growler fills of this. Anyway...

Pours a crystal clear orange-hued copper, with about 1 ½ fingers of tight off-white foamy head. Good retention on this, settling into a tight ½ finger cap of creamy froth, which really flares up nicely and throws a robust cascade of rich spotty lacing all down the sides of the glass. The aroma is robust and powerful feeling in the nose, being floral and spicy on the edges, before moving into a layer of earth and herbal textures, and then finally reaching a sweet and sticky core of tropical fruit, caramel, and toasted bread. Fresh pine just cuts through the whole thing, with sharp smelling resins that stick in the nostrils. There are no hot notes from the alcohol per se here but this definitely has a heady feeling heft to its overall presence in the nose.

Hops bite the tongue in the taste with a fierce and aggressive mix of pine resins, spice, bitter citrus peel and grapefruit. Fortunately, there is more than enough thick sweetness on the edges of the flavor profile for balance, with a LOT of juicy tropical fruit character (mango, orange, and pineapple are really coming out) and a flush of caramel across the back doing an especially good job here. Toasted malts give this a tight feeling grainy support underneath, while I'm also picking up a good bit of sweetness from the alcohol presence here as well. The hops want you to remember them though, as this finishes with resins, rind, and spice that linger hard and plasters themselves to the tongue with a sticky dryness that is hard to shake. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a sharp carbonation to it that that prickles the tongue with that angry hop profile. But man oh man this is beefy overall though, with an alcohol element to it that is necessarily "hot" but nevertheless has a chewy warmth that commands you take your time with it.

Wow, quite the over-the-top but well balanced hop bomb here that I was pleased to find held up well after a cross country journey and two weeks in the growler. That big ABV is the only drawback here though and while I appreciate the fact that the 11% here could have been way worse, it's hard for me to give this more than a good on the body and drinkbility. The alcohol heft here just got to be too wearing at times and I was good after two glasses. Not sure if the higher ABV on this was an aberration but I'd love to try this more in the intended 9% range, as I bet that it would be absolutely killer.

Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Pizza Port San Clemente. Served from tap into a shaker. Poured red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a great DIPA. Not a whole lot missing in this one as far as the flavor. It definitely had a very strong citrus hop character going on here. Also a pretty good aroma as well. This one is a definite must try.

Photo of Goldorak
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Pizza Port Carlsbad, nothing like finishing off with a lunch session with a nice palate flogging IIPA.

Appearance: Golden copper, very nice head retention for a Beer like this, I'm impressed.

Smell: Bang! Someone just shot pine cones up my nose! Green, green hops, and tons of it. Grapefruits, cut grass, weedy, you name it, it's there.

Taste: Thick body gives you almost a syrupy start to it, then you just get bitch slapped with hops. It does however finishes surprisingly clean and maybe a bit salty too, something I appreciated as it left you wanting a bit more each time. Sometimes when the aftertaste is just too much I get sick of it, but not here. Spicy, pepper notes with the avalanche of C hops.
Screw the nice weather, this is why I came to California.

Photo of berkey
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8 oz mini pint glass at Pizza Port Carlsbad on 10/25/10.

Body of this beer is a clean orange amber in color and is topped by a medium sized off white head. Lacing is thick and stubborn as the head settles.

Big ass citrus blast on the aroma backed by some cannabis pungency and some caramel sweetness.

Boozy alcohol sweetness momentarily dominates the flavor before being smacked back into submission by the citric hoppiness and leafy bitterness. As I drink on there's a tobacco leaf and oddly vegetal character going on here as well.

This is a nice DIPA but it's not all I remember it being the last time I tried it. It's been about three or four years so I can't be certain if that's due to changes in the beer or in my tastes. Either way I wouldn't recommend spending too much time or effort trying to trade for it considering what you'd probably have to give up.

Photo of largadeer
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Pizza Port Solana Beach. 11% ABV, apparently.

Copper colored with slight haze. More a collar than a head, but that's due to the pour.

The nose is dank, weedy, very pungent. Grapefruit, herbs, earthy hoppiness. Perhaps a hint of malt buried beneath the hop aroma.

Flavors of grapefruit and earthy, weedy hops are dominant. Herbal toward the finish with a hint of toasted, caramelized malt. Bitterness is strong and mildly astringent, which inhibits drinkability a bit.

The mouthfeel is substantial, on the heavy side for the style but quite dry - or at least the sweetness is covered up by the hops.

A very good DIPA overall, but I've had a few better ones from Pizza Port.

Photo of vacax
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark orange amber with a thickish cream colored head displaying above average retention and a few strands of lace encircling my glass. The bouquet is intensely hopped, creating an explosion of herbal, fruity, and floral notes akin to smelling actual hop cones. Candied oranges, pineapple, honeysuckle, flora, and a backing of alcohol. Loaded with hops, alcohol, and malt. Note--this was listed on the board at C-bad as 11% ABV.

The flavor features a tongue abusing smack of hops, so much it strikes as herbal though it is highly fruity with orange, pineapple, and bitter geranium flowers. Full bitterness comes with the hops, and an attempt is clearly made to balance it with plenty of malt sweetness. Huge amounts of malt are here, but the even more massive dose of hops obscures it. It is really quite scary how extremely hopped this is, we are safely in triple IPA waters here and this is one of the most extreme hop bombs brewed anywhere on earth.

Body is quite full on the palate, the hidden malt backbone makes this extremely nice on the tongue with the present bitterness, and to match the carbonation is moderate to high but not as high as most DIPAs. It works very well on the feel, though it should be noted that the lesser CO2 volume also impacts the size/stickiness of the head (and it should not be punished for that). Delicious brew, strong, packed with sticky hops and sweet fruity notes.

Photo of carln26
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light hazy copper color, almost no head. The nose has a lot of floral hop, with a mild grapefruit rind back. Flavor is dominated by the floral hop. This is a real hop bomb. I mean that in a good way. Not overly bitter, not grassy. Just a nice floral and herbal nose and taste. Lemon citrus back, mild sweetness. Mouth feel is slick, finish has a lot of heat. Interesting beer.

Photo of AgentZero
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thumbs up to Alex for sharing this at Darkness Day, and then allowing me to share it with other randoms.

A - Orange colored IPA that is a bit hazy. Nice off-white head, with good retention, and some spots left on the outside.

S - Huge and full hop profile. Nice citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, and some sweeter floral all balanced out with a slight bit of resin bitterness. This smells really fantastic, and not too sugary on the backbone.

T - Awesome beer, a solid but not dominating malt backbone bursts into fruity hops, notes of citrus, a bit of floral, all balanced by some refreshing bitterness. Very good balance and taste.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied, quite refreshing with the moderate dose of carbonation.

D - This is a fantastic beer, kind of surprised at the reviews under A, but guess it truly is a matter of taste. Highly sessionable, maybe a tad dangerous at the ABV. Would love to drink this all the time.

Photo of smcolw
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Extreme Beer Fest in Boston on February 11, 2006

Slightly cloudy in appearance. Expected coloration for an IPA.

A wonderful burst of fresh floral hop aroma. No noticeable malt smells.

The flavor profile follows the aroma expectation, although the malt is far more present. Still, this is a hop based beer. The only distraction (for me) is the high level of carbonation.

If you like to suck hop pellets, this is a beer up your alley. In some ways, this is an extreme beer that pushes the sensibilities of traditional beer expectations. As much as I like expirementation, this pushes the envelope.

Photo of womencantsail
3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: The pour is a somewhat dark orange color with a fair amount of haze and a thin (light) khaki colored head.

S: Lots of sweet tropical fruit notes such as pineapple and mango. Plenty of fleshy grapefruit and resinous pine as well, but still a lot of sweet caramel maltiness and hints of alcohol.

T: A fair amount of bitterness but still a lot of sweetness, especially for a Pizza Port DIPA. Sweet caramel and tropical fruits do provide some nice flavors, but there's also a somewhat harsh alcohol presence.

M: The body is medium to full with a moderate level of carbonation (I'd probably like a bit more with such a rich beer).

D: I'm guessing this must have been a lot better in the previous batch a couple years ago because I was just not a fan of this beer. Far too sweet and too much alcohol.

Photo of sfoley333
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap At Pizza Port Carlsbad.
Poured into 16oz pint glass with good white head, the color was a amber copper color with visible carbonation. The smell was Hops with pine and citrus overtones. The taste was an explosion of hops giving off the flavor of pine resin, fresh cut grass, grapefruit, and a strong alcohol warmth. The mouthfeel was thick but not overdone by sryu sweetness. The alcohol was warm but the level of carbonation was just right to let this alcohol effect not overpower.
While this is a might tasty Double IPA ( especially if you like piney earthy double ipa's) it is certainly not a session beer and after even one beer you feel the effect at over 10% alcohol.

Photo of Rampage1
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unfortunately for me in the end this had way too much alcohol hotness.

Appearance: This beer pours a menacing dark glowing orange with a slight haze to it. When poured it had a slight yellowish with a little green color to the head of the beer. First time i can think of where there is a slight green color to the head-- Crazy.

Smell: The overwhelming smell is definitely grapefruit with some orange,mango and slight pineapple in there. Not much if any pine to the smell to me. A little apricot there as well.

Taste: The taste almost follows the smell. Like drinking fresh grapefruit juice. This stuff definitely has some bitterness to it with all those hops chucked in there but there is a slight malt backbone where it doesn't bite as bad as say Ruination. Pretty clean and dry on the after taste. Not too much alcohol to the taste.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation to deliver the flavor and pretty thin on the mouthfeel itself. Nice little bite from the carbonation.

Drinkability: I just cracked this growler and am half way through the first glass in my Bruery tulip. This stuff for as high of IBU's as it has is going done pretty quick surprisingly. I won't go as far as to say it sessionable but would love this stuff to come out in bombers. I have some drinking to do here and some dreaming tonight for my Raiders to beat down on the Chiefs.

Photo of mcallister
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deeper copper color the the Poor Man's otherwise nearly identical yet with less bubbles so I suppose far from identical.

In your face pine with citrus close behind and floral excitement. Malt is somewhat hidden except for a bit of RS it purveys.

Truly a fresh hopped beer. Sticky thick resiny mouth with lush piney notes and thick herbal formultations. Light on fruit but high on alcohol in the chest. Big bad and difficult to drink.

Photo of bigbelcher
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

WOW!!! One of the biggest double IPA's I have ever had. Over 10% alcohol and a huge hop monster. Great bittering, flavor and aroma hops. Not as much aroma as a Moylans Hopsickle but much more bitterness and flavor. Color was average, not much head but could be because of all the hop juices in it.

Not a beer for the faint of heart.

Photo of GClarkage
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

10/24/06- Had on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- From the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Clouded orange pour. Ultra fine yeast filters through the light as held outside the Toronado double door. Smaller 1/4 inch head, but ultra gleaming white and creamy. Light trails of lace remain.

Smell- Intense tropical fruit notes. Both sweet and sugary. Fresh fruit scents of orange. lemon and tangerine juice make up the hop profile. Very light caramel malt presence. Hop lovers dream smell.

Taste- A hop fest brew for sure. The most fruit flavors in a batch of hops I have ever tasted. Fresh orchard fruit goodness. An ever so slight pine bite is discovered as well. A mild toasted malt base rounds this out a bit and gives it some of the malty backbone it needs to be fabulous.

Mouthfeel- Leaves behind a nice fruity sugary coating. Lower, almost cask like carbonation level. Viscous, maybe just a touch too thick.

Drinkability- Wow, this was friggin incredible. Tasted like a mixed fruit cocktail smoothie with hops. Right up there with my two favorite DIPAs Pliny and Hop Juice. It may be blasphemous, but I think I like it better than Pliny. Highly recommended...seek this out or try it if you see it.

Photo of Sideswipe
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler consumed 10/22/10 Purchased at PP Carlsbad 10/17 Poured into my Delerium Tremens tulip.

A- The beer pours a dark orange,coppery color. Good clarity. A half inch of frothy tan foam manifests itself and quickly fades leaving a small ring around the inside of the glass. Looks great!

S- Huge dank citrus and pine dominate the aroma. Some , sugary malt tries getting through, but cant compete with the incredible hop presence. I can smell this beer from three feet away!

T- Sweet caramel malt followed by an all out assault of bitter grapefruit and resinous pine. My tastebuds are in a full retreat and i can feel the enamel peeling off my teeth! The bite from the 11% ABV is clearly present. Finishes dry with a lingering bitterness.

M- Feel is thick and resinous. Sticky even. Carbonation is about right for a beer of this magnitude, not fizzy and not flat.

D- Takes a slight hit here due to the evidence of the ABV. I'm almost through with my second glass and I'm feeling it already. No worries, drinking this at home, should be no problem finishing this tonight.

Overall an awsome beast of a DIPA! Hope they will brew this more often in the future. If you come across it, don't pass it up. Just make sure someone who's not drinking it is driving! Cheers!

Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kegatron for sharing this growler with me. I really appreciate the opportunity/surprise in getting to try this brew.

Poured from a growler into a snifter this beer appears a lightly hazed color of orange that is not quite amber, not quite reddish but caught somewhere in between. The head initially looks white for the most part but agitating swirls revive the cap making it appear more of a stained yellow color. Spots of patchy lace cling to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is very fruity. You don't even need to get your nose into the glass to start picking up on the bold bouquet that is emitting. First impressions are the scent of fruits like mango, pineapple and grapefruit. Seriously, hops make a beer smell like this? Does this come in the form of an air freshener that I can buy? As it warms, a greater depth to the nose is displayed in the form of yet more hop characteristics. A scent of herbs and a more spicy component comes forward. This is the same beer I was smelling 2 minutes ago? A slight tingle of fusel alcohol is indicated in the nose along with a faint grainy backing. The smell of this brew right out the gate is a 5, as it warms a 4 so I will compromise with a rating of 4.5

The taste here is resinous bitter hops. Unlike the aroma, the grainy contribution is more evident with a toasted quality that provides a nice backing but barely any perceived countering sweetness. The sweetness that is there is somewhat reminiscent of caramel malt but it hardly gets a chance to shine before it gets dominated by the bittering power of these hops. The hops taste spiced with herbs, grass and a somewhat piny flavor. Some of the hoppy bitterness has indications of tasting like fruity rind reminiscent of grapefruit. The alcohol plays a bit of a mystery in this brew, it is there without an exaggerated contribution of flavor or warmth but it acts as a sort of accelerant to the hop flavor.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a moderate, enjoyable level of carbonation. This brew is packed full of complex hop flavoring that lingers in the mouth coupled with toasty grain. It finishes quite spicy and strangely enough does not come across all that resinous like some DIPAs do. I don't know what to think of this brew's drinkability. Could I finish the glass? Heck yeah! Do I want another? Ohhh yeah! But it only takes one serving of this and you will feel euphoric.

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Hop Suey from Pizza Port Solana Beach
93 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.