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Food and Drink Blotter: April 2017

Posted: April 7th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Blotter | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Keep an antacid handy if you partake in “Larry’s ludicrous lunker challenge,” at Larry’s Deli in East Village.

Larry’s Deli is challenging customers to eat this 6-pound sandwich (Courtesy Bay Bird, Inc.)

The promotion, which runs indefinitely, dares customers to consume — in one hour or less — a towering sandwich consisting of 16 slices of rye bread layered with 48 ounces of pastrami, 16 slices of Gruyere cheese and house-made cornichon spread.

It’s served with a quartet of sides that participants must also polish off: potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw and deviled eggs pickled in beet juice.

The challenge costs $50.

Those who lick their plates clean are refunded the money and receive a commemorative T-shirt.

323 Seventh Ave., 619-795-7100, hungrylarrys.com.


CH Projects is promising a revival of the classic steakhouse replete with midcentury and art deco design elements in its upcoming Born & Raised, which is slated to open in late May in Little Italy.

The two-level restaurant will occupy 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor space in what used to be the Nelson Photo Supplies building. Prior to that, during the 1930s, it was the site of a drug store and soda fountain.

Design of the Little Italy structure is underway at a cost of $6.5 million with the expertise of Basile Studio.

A snazzy steakhouse in Little Italy is coming soon. (Photo by Basile Studio)

The downstairs dining room will feature curved, leather booths, glass rod light fixtures and tables flaunting brass bases and Italian marble tops. A windowed dry-aging room will be positioned next to an exposed kitchen.

The second floor is designated for outdoor dining, complete with a large bar, copper fireplaces and an herb garden. Menu details are still in the planning.

CH Projects owns a series of restaurants and drinking establishments that include Ironside Fish & Oyster, Underbelly, Neighborhood, Noble Experiment, Craft & Commerce, False Idol and more.

1909 India St., ch-projects.com.


Replacing the short-lived 1919 restaurant and nightclub in the Gaslamp Quarter is El Chingon, a kitchen and bar that carries the tagline in its signage, “Bad Ass Mexican.”

The venture opened with a menu of California-Mexican fare described by a marketing rep as “elevated in presentation and made with higher-quality products than what’s used in local taco shops.”

Prettily presented ceviche at the new El Chingon (Courtesy Marie Daniels PR)

Menu items include carne asada burritos, rolled tacos, tableside guacamole, carnitas and ceviche. Beer, frozen margaritas and trendy cocktails are also in the offing.

The venture was launched by GBOD Hospitality Group, which also runs Meze Greek Fusion a few blocks away at 345 Sixth Ave. In May, the group plans to open Havana 1920 restaurant and nightclub next door to El Chingon, and Saganaki about a month later in Liberty Station.

560 Fifth Ave., 619-227-3009, elchingon.com.


The six-block Maker’s Quarter district in East Village gives way this month to 10 Barrel Brewing Co., which has its roots in Bend, Oregon. The three-level operation will double as a pub with a menu of salads, burgers, sandwiches and Mexican dishes spearheaded by local chef Tommy Fraioli, formerly of Beaumont Eatery in La Jolla.

The establishment is set to open in early to mid-April within a 9,000-square-foot former warehouse. It will feature more than 20 taps of 10 Barrel beers, most of them brewed onsite and some in Oregon. The company operates similar concepts in Portland, Denver and Boise, as well as in Bend.

1501 E St., 10barrel.com.


Mario Cassineri, the executive chef of Downtown’s acclaimed BICE, has co-introduced Officine Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station with Matteo Cattaneo, who owns and operates Buona Forchetta in South Park.

The spin-off focuses on higher-end entrees such as crab gnocchi, veal osso bucco and five-mushroom ravioli, while offering its Neapolitan pizzas in jumbo family sizes and with additional vegan choices. The 2,600-square-foot space greets with bright-red seating positioned around the pizza station and main kitchen, and features two outdoor patios.

2865 Sims Road, 619-548-5770, officinebuonaforchetta.com.


Clam and bone marrow sopes in Coronado (Courtesy Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa)

Known for sourcing its meal ingredients from local farmers and artisan purveyors, Current & Tides in the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa has revamped its entire menu and introduced several new wines from Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe.

Among the new dishes created by chefs Michael Poompan and Aaron Obregon are coconut rice bowls with a choice of seafood, chicken or eggs, plus crispy fish tacos with mango crema, lobster BLTs with aioli on French bread, and sopes topped with clams and bone marrow.

Look also for the latest releases from Monte Xanic, La Lomita and Adobe Guadalupe wineries.

2000 Second St., Coronado, 619-435-3000, marriott.com.


Get your rooftop fix of bloody marys, chilaquiles verde, carnitas Benedict and other early-day edibles during The Nolen’s new “Sunday requirement” brunch held from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. each week.

Customers can also build their own mimosas from a bar featuring various ingredients or imbibe on crafty brunch drinks from the cocktail menu.

453 Sixth Ave., 619-796-6536, thenolenrooftop.com.


Guests and locals lounging in the lobby of the US Grant are now afforded seat-side drink service via the hotel’s new gold-accented Vieux Carre cocktail cart.

The roving vessel currently offers five different made-to-order cocktails created by chef de bar Cory Alberto, with prices ranging from $17 to $21 per drink.

The service is available from 5–7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and in conjunction with live music on the weekends.

326 Broadway, 619-232-3121, usgrant.net.

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.rr.com.

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