Comic Con is known for its masked, spandex-clad, fans — not its cuisine. In fact, “bring your own lunch” tops most Comic Con survival guides. But, when the annual event once again opened its doors at the San Diego Convention Center yesterday, it seemed that some had traded their tights for toques — supplying alternatives to corndogs and Coke, while maintaining the Con's, well, cheesy flavor.

The official Tru Blood Beverage (it's real, and supposedly it's “All flavor. No bite.”) will be flowing at a number of happy hours hosted by the HBO vampire drama, True Blood. From 7-9 PM today, Rock Bottom and Prohibition will play house to the True Blood happy hour with complimentary food and drinks. And From 7-10 PM on Saturday (7/25) the happy hour will be at Bondi Bar. Take note: “HBO reminds vampires to drink responsibly.”

Then discover Garume, a sub-genre of Manga (Japanese print-cartoons) by and about gourmets. The diverse genre includes everything from comics about gay bakers to the true story of Cup of Noodle, to step-by-step tutorials on how to make popular Japanese dishes. Peter Rowe of the San Diego Union-Tribune gives an excellent introduction to the genre in his article, “Comic Cooks.

Credit: Project X Challengers: Cup Noodle by Tadashi Katoh

Credit: Project X Challengers: Cup Noodle by Tadashi Katoh

And if after a long day of schlepping a lightsaber, the Convention Center's $5 hot dogs aren't sounding appealing, check out the Palm Restaurant on J Street, where, thanks to Marvel Comics and a number of artists, a mural of Marvel characters has been growing on the restaurant wall for the past 4 years. Today, Steve Epting (Captain America), and the team of Michael Ryan & Christina Strain (Runaways) added characters to Spiderman and the Hulk, already adorning the wall.

Rock Bottom 401 G St., San Diego, CA (619) 231-7000

Prohibition 548 5th Ave., San Diego, CA (619) 846-5157

Bondi Bar 333 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA (619) 342-0212

Palm Restaurant, 615 J St., San Diego, California (619) 702-6500

LA Weekly