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Food and Drink Blotter: February 2018

Posted: February 2nd, 2018 | Featured, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Blotter | No Comments

Downtown’s modern American brewpub, The Bell Marker, opened recently in an 8,000-square-foot space flaunting custom-built sconces, brass lighting fixtures and maple wood booths. The venture is named after the mission bell markers found along the historic El Camino Real trail.

The onsite brewing operation is led by San Diego native Noah Regnery, whose beer-making skills earned him numerous awards while working at Pizza Port Brewing Company. Signature roll outs so far include a cream ale, Hefeweizen, brown ale, pale ale and an IPA, with the remainder of the tap system reserved for rotating selections of guest beers.

A brewpub with a full cocktail bar and restaurant has opened on Broadway. (Courtesy The Bell Marker)

The Bell Marker also features an ambitious cocktail program and a food menu, offering everything from ricotta fritters and mushroom pate to steamed clams, cassoulet and a variety of inventive pizzas, such as the “salad pie” topped with marinara sauce and chopped salad. It opens daily at 5 p.m., although we’re told that lunch service will begin sometime in February. 602 Broadway, 619-756-7599, thebellmarker.com.

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MG Beyer Seafood is up and running in the East Village after operating as a food truck for the past 10 years. Known for its sprightly ceviches, smoked tuna tacos and seafood cocktails, the sit-down eatery also sells beer, which is used in a few different types of micheladas. 317 Tenth Ave., 619-236-8156.

(Facebook)

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A craft beer gastropub serving suds from San Diego breweries, as well as “elevated bar fare,” has opened in the lobby level of the Manchester Grand Hyatt’s Seaport Tower.

Known as Brew30 California Taps, the redesigned space replaces Redfield’s Sports Bar and features 30 taps, most of them dedicated to local breweries and with two reserved for barrel-aged cocktails from Cutwater Spirits. The food menu focuses on a variety of burgers, including the trendy, meatless “Impossible Burger,” which has impressed food critics throughout the U.S. with its convincing flavor and texture. 1 Market Place, 619-232-1234, brew30.com.

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The hot, new Havana 1920 in the Gaslamp Quarter recently launched lunch service with a menu that captures many of its popular dinner dishes. Look for Cuban croquettes and empanadas with various fillings; papas rellenas with ground beef and peppers; twice-fried green plantains with royale sauce; and authentic Cubano sandwiches made with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. 548 Fifth Ave., 619-501-1919, havana1920.com.

The savory Cubano at Havana 1920 (Courtesy Wicked Creative)

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It’s a deal that we thought was too good to be true. On the 21st of every month, from 4 to 6 p.m., Cafe 21 — located in the Gaslamp Quarter and University Heights — sells its house-made sangrias for only 21 cents a glass. They come in a variety of flavors such as persimmon, apple cider, blueberry-guava and more.

Sangrias on the cheap at a popular Gaslamp Quarter restaurant (Courtesy Cafe 21)

The restaurant at both locations opens at 8 a.m. daily and is lauded for its crafty cuisine, which includes dishes such as cast-iron omelets, sweet and savory crepes, hot sandwiches, flatbreads and kabobs.
802 Fifth Ave., 619-795-0721 and 2736 Adams Ave., 619-640-2121;
cafe-21.com.

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Husband and wife restaurateurs, James and Jenny Pyo, have soft opened Harumama in Little Italy. The couple also operates Pokewan in Carmel Valley and Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar in Carlsbad.

Steamed “character” buns at a new, upcoming Asian restaurant (Courtesy Katalyst Public Relations)

Their latest project offers playful takes on Chinese, Korean and Japanese fare, complemented by wine, sake and Asian beers. Look for unique selections of ramen as well as steamed buns crafted into cartoon-like characters of chickens and pigs. 1901 Columbia St., 619-269-7122, harumamasd.com.

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

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