By Frank Sabatini Jr.
A family-run Italian restaurant with a broad menu spilling into all-American fare has opened in Linda Vista’s busy Presidio strip plaza near the University of San Diego at 5277 Linda Vista Road. This is now the only location for Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant, which previously operated a second kitchen under the same name in Kearny Mesa.
Mingling with numerous pasta dishes and pizzas are things like salad wraps, burgers and boneless chicken wings. There are also torpedo sandwiches, including a pastrami Reuben and Philly cheesesteak. Beer and wine are also in the offing. 5277 Linda Vista Road, 619-293-3333.
This summer marks the arrival of a nonprofit Italian-inspired bakery and breakfast joint in the South Park space that formerly housed Rebecca’s Coffee. The recently announced project is the brainchild of Matteo Cattaneo, founder of nearby Buona Forchetta and Officine Buona Borchetta in Liberty Station.
Profits raised at the still-unnamed eatery will benefit public schools within the San Diego Unified School District. In addition, Cattaneo plans to include a space where kids can learn cooking techniques and participate in a variety of classes offered by the schools. For updates, follow Buona Forchetta on Facebook or Instagram. 3015 Juniper St.
The locally based RMD Group has opened Volcano Rabbit, a Gaslamp Quarter Mexican restaurant and nightclub boasting gourmet tacos and a formidable collection of agave spirits. Among the unique offerings are tequila lockers which, for an annual fee, can be rented by guests choosing to store their booze onsite; plus monthly ultra-luxe tacos that sell for $20 each. The spendy tacos can include fillings such as lobster with caviar and poached quail eggs; sea scallops with crispy yams and bacon pop rocks; and beef cheeks with foie gras and bone marrow butter. 527 Fifth Ave., 619-232-8226, volcanorabbitsd.com.
In addition, RMD has in the pipeline plans to open a restaurant and bar next year in the historic Grand Pacific Hotel (366 Fifth Ave.), which was built in the late 1800s. It will be redeveloped in conjunction with HP Investors and accommodate live music.
Just in time for the colder half of our winter, the pho-centric Shank & Bone opened recently in North Park with an ample bar and community tables for consuming a host of Vietnamese specialties. Ingredient choices for pho include filet mignon, oxtail, meatballs, and lobster. The menu also features bahn mi sandwiches, bun bowls, and of course, beef shank and bone marrow in keeping with its name. 2930 University Ave., 619-458-9085.
The current six-year anniversary of Lucky’s Lunch Counter in the East Village brings a consumer advantage. All of its classic and overstuffed sandwiches are selling for an easy $6 between March 12–16. The sandwiches normally range between $9 and $13. 338 Seventh Ave., 619-255-4782, luckyslunchcounter.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.