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inspired by ancient methods, spices & botanicals - ARTIFACT at Mingei, San Diego, CA

ARTIFACT at Mingei

4.8
4.8
681 Reviews
$31 to $50
International
ARTIFACT is a full-service restaurant featuring craft cooking inspired by ancient methods, spices and botanicals located inside the beautiful Mingei Museum at Balboa Park . Offering indoor, outdoor courtyard, and bar seating for lunch Tuesday-Saturday.

Crafted by Tim Kolanko, Executive Chef, Urban Kitchen Group, and Jeff Armstrong, ARTIFACT’s Chef de Cuisine, will be a nod to Mingei’s changing international exhibitions in an environment filled with functional, innovative art and design by Jennifer Luce, Founder and Principal of LUCE et studio, who led the design and renovation project.
ARTIFACT and CRAFT CAFE at Mingei-the latest additions to restaurateur Tracy Borkum and Executive Chef Tim Kolanko’s CUCINA family of restaurants. An Urban Kitchen Group Concept. CUCINA urbana, enoteca, sorella, UKG Catering, Urban Kitchen at The Ready Shell at Jacobs Park
Follow the journey on social media @Dine.Mingei

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 16 times today
Experiences are available.

Order delivery or takeout

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    International, Asian, Mediterranean
  • Hours of operation
    Lunch Tue–Sun 11:30 am–2:30 pm
  • Phone number
    (619) 704-7523
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Executive chef
    Tim Kolanko + Jeff Armstrong
  • Catering
    Whether an intimate dinner party, wedding, company meeting, birthday bash or holiday celebration, Urban Kitchen Catering offers complete full service catering – from menus to tabletop design, all tailored to meet your every need. https://www.urbankitchengroup.com/catering/<br />
  • Private party facilities
    Located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Balboa Park, Mingei International Museum celebrates human creativity through folk art, craft and design. Its newly transformed building, designed by architect Jennifer Luce of LUCE et studio, provides both outdoor and indoor spaces, adaptable for large or small-scale events.mingei.org/visit/event-rentals
  • Neighborhood
    Downtown
  • Parking details
    None
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Experiences

  • Articact at Night - CANTONESE

    $89.00 per person

    Mar 21, 2024 only
    Enjoy a chef curated prix fixe menu featuring Cantonese cuisine.

What 681 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.8
4.8 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.9Service
  • 4.7Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • San Diego

    Innovative

  • San Diego

    Innovative

681 Reviews
  1. Kathy

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We enjoyed our food immensely. Service was superior. For a group of 5 difficult to carry conversation across the table. Overall a great dining experience.

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  2. ErinY

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I hate to leave such a positive review. The food was fantastic, the cocktails were delightful, and the ease of dining there is not something I want to share with anyone! I guess I can't stay greedy though, and hope I get to come back with ease before it gets too popular. Dining in Balboa Park was such a wonderful experience outside our bubble.

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  3. DavidG

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always a favorite of ours whether it be for a lovely lunch or one of the amazing experiences.

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  4. JohnW

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Beautiful outside in the evening. Food was wonderful and creative and yet leveraging German traditional food concepts. Staff are always amazing. Love this place! One suggestion is to explain the creative approach by the chef when welcoming the guests. This sets the expectations that the chef intends to leverage his experience and techniques in each dish.

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  5. SharonS

    San Diego

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The food is creative and the flavors unique and delicious! The pear and beet salad is without question the best I have ever had. The lamb burger is tender, juicy and the toppings were the perfect compliment to the lamb. We had a beautiful Sauvignon Blank from Russian River recommended by our outstanding server. I am so sorry I can't remember her name because she deserves to be recognized.

    Is this helpful?

  6. SherylC

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Diverse menu, attentive service and good food.I would highly recommend

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  7. AnneP

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    One of the best dinners we have had in San Diego, and we have lived here for 30+ years.

    Is this helpful?

  8. hannamanna

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Artifacts was a wonderful dining experience! The feeling is calm and open…I felt I could breath! We sat at the counter but the patio (outdoor seating) has heaters and is a bit quiet so we would try that as well at our next visit. The menu is beautifully limited meaning that you don’t have to spend so long deciding what is what. The plates are smallish but a good value and so flavorful! So we could pick several plates and really enjoy the chefs creativity and skill. The staff is par excellance! We will make this a regular rotation on our date night selections. We highly recommend Artifacts! Lisa in Midtown

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  9. JaneB

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The beet and pear salad was fabulous! The warm goat cheese in this delectable creation was sooo good, creamy and just the perfect amount of tangy.

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  10. DomC

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    For a first timer the entrance was a little confusing, no problem. Wasn’t aware the bar was first come first serve but made a reservation for one and they whipped up a spot for me. I came prepared and knew what I wanted to order from top to bottom. Drink was good, rock shrimp gyoza was also ok; lose the crispiness in the broth but still good. The half suya chicken was 10/10 I cleaned the plate. Not terrible price for a solo date would come again! DJ was playing great records as well which gave the ambience a 5/5 stars.

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  11. MikeP

    Salt Lake City

    16 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    An incredible concept for a restaurant, perfectly executed. We got to taste spices and flavor combinations from all over the world, many of which we hadn’t experienced before. And the service was really top-notch.

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  12. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful dinner. Something a little different and definitely delicious

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  13. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Totally amazing experience, the ambiance was amazing eating inside of an art museum with a 3 course meal with multiple choices from the chef were delightful. A lot of thought went into the meal, and left honestly satiated and satisfied. I do hope they get their Michelin star as it is justified and deserved. It’s definitely going to be one of my new go to spots in San Diego, recommend taking people you care about and want to share new food experiences with!

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  14. david

    San Diego

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Very pleasant…great service and food was excellent . Waitress, Olivia, was excellent n provided great service…atmosphere was nice n all in all a very nice evening…kudos to the whole staff.

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  15. RobertM

    Minneapolis

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Nice atmosphere for lunch with great food and service.

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  16. AlexisP

    Cambodia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    5 stars all around, great service, amazing food and wonderful ambiance

    Is this helpful?

  17. Jane50

    San Diego

    33 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I love this restaurant. Great, creative, unusual food, and always excellent, friendly service. And I LOVE the atmosphere.

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  18. WilliamF

    San Diego

    30 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This is always a special place for us to go for lunch with out of town visitors. We get to show off one of the nicest spots in San Diego.

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  19. Jcancook

    San Diego

    25 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    I wrote a glowing review of Artifact on November 26 of last year and the meal was prepared by the sous chef because the main chef was out. whoever cooked this time was awful. The rock shrimp dumpling appetizer was super salty and my friend thought hers was uncooked. The string beam appetizer was ok but nothing to write home about. The short rib noodles dish was the worst I've had. The short rib was salty and tough. They underserve the noodles again. Dudes, the noodles is the starch not a side dish so give a little more please. The lychee tea was tasteless. I think she enjoyed the coffee. To add insult to injury. I used the gift card I purchased last year and the crew didn't know how to use it so the check out took a long time. They were very nice but clearly untrained for this type of transaction. Overall a huge disappointment. I've been coming to Artifact almost monthly and often recommend it to my friends. I think I'll wait a bit before I return, maybe the sous chef can be promoted and do the cooking.

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  20. JeanD

    Chicago

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    A great galentines celebration with a wonderful host and server. Thank you!

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  21. JohnW

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We have been here so many times and just love the quality, service and fresh seasonal food. It doesn’t hurt that it’s located in a beautiful museum with lovely design.

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  22. StevenG

    San Diego

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Hostess seemed unsure of herself and a little inexperienced. We ate at the bar. Loved the massive slab of wood for a countertop, actually preferred sitting at the bar over having a table! The beet and Asian pear salad was a star and the Austrian Pinot Noir was a real winner. Our bartender/server was very busy but took great care of us and was very friendly. Great service. I will return!

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  23. Merci

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Ambience was great dining in the museum. Were able to get seated a few minutes prior to our time. Unfortunately, the kitchen was overwhelmed with orders and short on staff making our wait time for food excessive to what we had planned. That spoiled the experience. Yes, I would come back and try it again.

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  24. Marilyn

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Super cool atmosphere and excellent food. Good cocktails and dessert too!

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  25. MaryB

    San Diego

    16 reviews

    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We did not realize this place offered dinner. We needed a place close to the Globe in case of rain and this fit the bill. The food was absolutely delicious! Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and attentive. Although I love the Mingei and seeing some of the displays coming in, the restaurant area is not the coziest. It was a busy Friday night, but it was not so loud that we could not carry on a conversation, in spite of the hard surfaces of the space. It’s great to have another indoor dining option in the park. I’m sure we’ll be back.

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  26. Jane50

    San Diego

    32 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on January 30, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food. Crispy tofu was so good. And that cheesecake! Omg

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  27. BrendaR

    San Diego

    18 reviews

    5.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Yet another wonderful meal, throughly explained. Delicious sauces, tender meats, outstanding dessert.

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  28. Leslie

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Beautiful meal with excellent service. Absolutely worth the cost.

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  29. SharonS

    San Diego

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on January 26, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Beautiful venue inside and out. The menu was inspired and the execution delicious!

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  30. Docbeccy

    San Diego

    52 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    52 reviews

    Dined on January 26, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 2
    Interesting special, regional menu from Italy. Each course was very tasty and inventive. The beef rib was too large for a tasting style menu and until that course I was not overly full. The beef tipped me over the top and by then I just wanted it to end. I think we’ll be back for the regular dinner menu. The service was terrific with a wonderful, knowledgeable and personal server. The noise level was too high and could have been better if the tables weren’t so painfully close in a space that has much more room to accommodate the few tables they have.

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  31. ATWeetsy

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 26, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    JUST LOVE THIS WORLDLY KITCHEN AND ITS CREW. EVERYONE SHOULD TASTE THE CUISINE.

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  32. LynneC

    Washington DC

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on January 26, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Loved sitting at the bar ( accommodations for ADA) & hearing about each dish as it was presented. Every course shined with originality & flavor. The final couse, a large bone-in beef rib with savory flavor, is not pictured. Staff was friendly and professional. Can’t wait for the next experience!

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  33. MichelleA

    Montreal

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 20, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Wonderful food and service! Would definitely return.

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  34. Janisl

    San Diego

    78 reviews

    4.0

    78 reviews

    Dined on January 14, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 1
    Positively food and services were great. However they keep the outside patio dining door open and it is cold. On numerous requests they said that they need to keep the door opened to serve outdoor clients. It’s just not right that indoor clients have to sit in cold inside.

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  35. gardengal

    San Diego

    86 reviews

    5.0

    86 reviews

    Dined on January 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My vegan friend chose Artifact for her birthday lunch. We both had the tofu/ trumpet mushroom/ greens dish and we both liked it very much for the combined flavors and textures. The green beans as a starter were outstanding and I am not a green bean aficionado :) A complimentary birthday dessert of coconut sorbet was another astonishment. How do you get so much coconut flavor and creamy texture into a sorbet? Not a sorbet person, but I would go back to have this one LOL

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  36. robinr

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The menu has an excellent variety of regional dishes. Wonderful tastes, beautifully presented on lovely dishware and terrific staff.

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  37. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Best restaurant in SD. Hands down, food is phenomenal 

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  38. PeterR

    San Diego

    44 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    44 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We were there for dinner. This was eye-opening elevated cuisine, well-served and different from the usual fare. It's not a standard setting, more like a loosely demarcated space within a common museum entry area. Nevertheless, the feel/visuals are good enough, and the food is outstanding.

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  39. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Excellent food and the presentations were outstanding. We loved the different cultural fusions in all the dishes they provided. The spiced sangria and the Tokyo cocktail are so tasty. We had the west African style chicken with curry. So delicious!

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  40. EricH

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 5, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I had the braised duck tacos and the basque cheesecake. The food was very tasty, and the server was very prompt. I would go back!

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Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
  • Physical distancing

    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking

FAQs

ARTIFACT at Mingei offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 704-7523.

ARTIFACT at Mingei is rated 4.8 stars by 681 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 16 times today
Experiences are available.

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for ARTIFACT at Mingei

1493 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Additional information

  • Neighborhood
    Downtown
  • Hours of operation
    Lunch Tue–Sun 11:30 am–2:30 pm
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    International, Asian, Mediterranean
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    None
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Executive chef
    Tim Kolanko + Jeff Armstrong
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (619) 704-7523
  • Catering
    Whether an intimate dinner party, wedding, company meeting, birthday bash or holiday celebration, Urban Kitchen Catering offers complete full service catering – from menus to tabletop design, all tailored to meet your every need. https://www.urbankitchengroup.com/catering/<br />
  • Private party facilities
    Located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Balboa Park, Mingei International Museum celebrates human creativity through folk art, craft and design. Its newly transformed building, designed by architect Jennifer Luce of LUCE et studio, provides both outdoor and indoor spaces, adaptable for large or small-scale events.mingei.org/visit/event-rentals
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