By Frank Sabatini Jr.
The East Village welcomes its first fast-casual Mexican eatery with the arrival of Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, which has locations in Pacific Beach and Hillcrest. Owner Juan B. Montes De Oca seized the space that formerly housed Toast Enoteca.
“I couldn’t pass it up when it became available,” he said, adding that he wasn’t necessarily planning on opening an additional outlet. “It’s bigger and nicer than our other spots.”
The menu offers the same good eats as the other locations: spicy grilled shrimp tacos, yellow fin ceviche and other preparations of seafood sourced locally and from across the border. 927 J St., 619-564-6007, oscarsmexicanseafood.com.
Leave your sandals, flip flops, shorts and ball caps at home if patronizing Prohibition on Friday and Saturday evenings. The cozy underground speakeasy reopened recently with new cocktails featuring artisan twists on Prohibition-era libations. The establishment enforces the dress code on weekend nights, although casually attired visitors are welcome on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Known for its intimate atmosphere and live music (jazz, soul and blues), the stairs descending to the bar are located behind an old law office door. Hours are 9:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., Wednesday through Saturday. 548 Fifth Ave., prohibitionsd.com.
Hot breakfast dishes have been introduced at Bottega Americano in the East Village. The morning starts include chilaquiles, wraps, pesto-egg scrambles with burrata, and more. They’re available in the restaurant’s marketplace section from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. Baked goods and coffee drinks are also in the offing. 1195 Island Ave., 619-295-7800, bottegaamericano.com.
A baker’s dozen of top culinary talents will take part in a poolside gourmet bake sale to benefit No Kid Hungry, from 10 a.m. – noon, April 17, at LOUNGESix. Admission to the event is $5 per person, and attendees can purchase the baked goods for $5 each. Among those offering their sweet creations are Donna Antaloczy of Ironside Fish & Oyster; Matt Gordon of Urban Solace; Kayli Faucher of The Crack Shack; Jojo Rossi of Whisknladle Hospitality; Christian Graves of Jsix, and more. 616 J St., 619-531-8744; jsixrestaurant.com.
The second annual San Diego Paella & Wine Festival on May 7 will afford guests unlimited samples of food and drink from nearly 50 different paella makers, 40 wineries, 15 tequila vendors, and 10 breweries. Organizers said this year’s festival will feature one of the largest vegan paellas ever made in California, along with many traditional meaty versions.
The event was founded by Armando Rodiel, a Spanish native and paella expert who resides in Chula Vista and makes the saffron-infused rice dish for special events. Participating vendors will dole out samples from noon – 6 p.m. at Waterfront Park. The cost is $60 in advance, and $80 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased online at paellawinefest.com. 1600 Pacific Highway.
The RMD Group will add to its portfolio of Downtown restaurants and nightclubs Salvucci’s Ristorante, slated to open by late spring in the East Village address previously occupied by Comun Kitchen & Tavern. The restaurant will focus on Italian recipes passed down by the proprietors’ family members, particularly from the grandparents (Loreto and Pasqua Salvucci) of partner Michael Georgopoulos. Those dishes include pasta Bolognese, eggplant involtini, osso buco, various pizzas, and more.
Copper tables and old photographs of Italian families will be incorporated into the restaurant’s warm design. RMD also operates Don Chido, Ciro’s Pizzeria, Rustic Root, and Sidebar and Fluxx nightclubs. 935 J St., salvuccissd.com.
Puesto at The Headquarters at Seaport has tasked three other San Diego restaurants to infuse La Nina del Mezcal with various ingredients and offer one of the other restaurants’ mezcals throughout the month of April (or until supplies last).
Look for Puesto’s corn-cumin infusion at Kettner Exchange, which has sent its toasted coconut and pineapple-infused mezcal to The Patio on Goldfinch. The Patio used candied golden beets and chamomile in the spirit, which goes to Madison on Park. And Madison’s cocoa butter-washed mezcal can be found at Puesto. 789 W. Harbor Drive, 619-233-8880, eatpuesto.com.
Eat like it’s 1996 at Blue Point Coastal Cuisine, which celebrates its 20th anniversary through the month of April with three-course meals featuring highlights from the original menu: lobster bisque, lemon-basil fettuccine with shrimp, sesame-crusted salmon, and other choices. The dinners cost $49.95 per person. 565 Fifth Ave., 619-233-6623; bluepointsd.com.