Dining Out in San Diego – Nov. 13, 2015

Posted: November 13th, 2015 | Dining Out, Featured, Food & Drink | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Tender Greens will open its latest fourth San Diego location on Dec. 7 at the Westfield Mission Valley Mall, a mall spokesman confirmed to Mission Valley News. The restaurant specializes in “slow food done fast” and has locations in Liberty Station, La Jolla and Downtown.

Mission Valley getting its first Tender Greens restaurant (Courtesy of Tender Greens)

Mission Valley getting its first Tender Greens restaurant (Courtesy of Tender Greens)

Expect a core menu of salads, sandwiches and meal plates that use fresh ingredients bought from regional farmers and ranchers. Chefs typically create daily specials utilizing seasonal bounties. 1640 Camino del Rio North,

The 12th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival will be held Nov. 16 – 22. It features a series of chef-hosted meals and wine and cooking classes around town, as well as a lavish “grand tasting,” which will take place from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Nov. 21, at Embarcadero Marina Park North. The outdoor event gives visitors a chance to sample wines from more than 150 wineries and foods from dozens of San Diego’s top chefs and regional gourmet food companies. General admission is $135. Tickets can be purchased at or the gate. 500 Kettner Blvd.

Chef Chad White will be on “Top Chef.” (Courtesy of Comun Kitchen & Tavern)

Chef Chad White will be on “Top Chef.” (Courtesy of Comun Kitchen & Tavern)

Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” reality TV show will feature several familiar faces from San Diego’s restaurant scene. Competing in the new season for the “top chef” title is Chad White, who owns Comun Kitchen & Tavern in East Village and La Justina in Tijuana. He is one of 17 contestants featured this season, which focuses this time on chefs based in various California cities. Also appearing on the show are chefs Javier Plascencia of the new Bracero in Little Italy, and Richard Blais of Juniper & Ivy and The Crack Shack. Blais is a former “Top Chef All Stars” winner who has been serving as a judge for the show for the past few years. The season premieres Dec. 2 and 3.

A former mechanics shop next door to Juniper & Ivy in Little Italy has opened as The Crack Shack. The much-anticipated eatery, co-owned by celebrity chef Richard Blais and entrepreneur Michael Rosen, features a playful menu showcasing free-range non-GMO eggs and the chickens that lay them. Blais and Rosen also run Juniper & Ivy on the same lot. Their latest venture is a 5,000-square-foot space designed with custom-made communal tables, a bocce ball court, a nine-foot-tall chicken statue, and an outdoor dining area. Menu items include pollo asada sandwiches with schmaltz fries, chicken-fried farro with a sunny-side-up egg, and protein bowls filled with grains, smoked chicken breast and soft-boiled eggs. 2266 Kettner Blvd., 619-269-9036.

A bigger version of Stehly Farms Market has opened in Kensington with a full deli and kitchen as well as organic produce from the owners’ 300-acre farm in Valley Center.

Jerome Stehly, and his brother, Noel, also operate another market under the same name at 1231 Morena Blvd. in Bay Park, which they opened two years ago. The Kensington location, however, features an array of prepared salads, sandwiches and entrees, and café-style seating. In addition, customers will find a large selection of artisan cheeses, bottled kombucha drinks, packaged foods, and a machine near the bulk section used for making fresh peanut butter. 4142 Adams Ave., 619-280-7400.

A five-course meal of “autumn cuisine” with European wines to match is on tap at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at The Patio on Goldfinch in Mission Hills. The event, which begins with a “welcome spritzer,” is part of an ongoing series of limited-seating wine dinners at the restaurant. This month’s menu features grilled octopus, braised veal osso buco, pork belly confit and more. The cost is $75, plus tax and gratuity. 4020 Goldfinch St., 619-501-5090.

Replacing the former Top of the Cove is Duke’s La Jolla, a two-level restaurant that opened in early November and brings to the Prospect Street dining scene a fusion of Hawaiian and California cuisine. Launched by TS Restaurants, based in San Diego and Maui, the restaurant is named after the late Duke Kahanamoku, a native Hawaiian and six-time Olympic swimming and water polo medalist who is considered “the father of modern-day surfing.” Amid vintage memorabilia, customers can dine on dishes such as charred snap peas with burnt pineapple vinaigrette, Tahitian-style octopus, Kalbi short ribs, and more. 1216 Prospect St., 858-454-5888.

Du-par’s famous pancakes are coming to the Gaslamp Quarter. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Du-par’s famous pancakes are coming to the Gaslamp Quarter. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

After a lackluster run on Midway Drive in Point Loma, the owner of Du-par’s Restaurant & Bakery has closed the 24/7 eatery in preparation for moving it to the Gaslamp Quarter, directly beneath the second-level Oceanaire Seafood Room. With locations in Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area, the restaurant is famous for its home-style meals, freshly baked pies, and jumbo pancakes accompanied by melted, clarified butter. Biff Naylor, who is the third owner of the company since it was founded in 1938 in Los Angeles, said his new location will open by the end of the year to the tune of breakfast, lunch and dinner served around the clock. 440 J St.

The basics for making sausage will be covered in an intimate hands-on class at 5 p.m. Nov. 22 at The Heart & Trotter Whole Animal Butchery in North Park. Attendees will be shown how to grind, spice and case various sausages before each taking home nearly three pounds of the links they prepare. The class costs $75 and is limited to six students. 2855 El Cajon Blvd., Ste. 1, 619-564-8976.

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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