Food and Drink Blotter for June

Frank Sabatini Jr. | Downtown News

Five restaurants will be moving into the Marina District’s Old Police Headquarters, located on Harbor Drive at Pacific Highway, just adjacent to Seaport Village. The sprawling historic building is now in its final phase of redevelopment by Terramar Retail Centers in Carlsbad. The Spanish-style plaza, built in 1939, will make way for nearly 30 retail shops and the following kitchens: Season’s 52; the Cheesecake Factory; Puesto; Eddie V’s and Pizzeria Mozza. The property is expected to open to the public in late October. 789 W. Harbor Drive.

After sitting empty for nearly a year, the former Red Light District restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter will transform into ViVa Bar + Kitchen later this month. Diners will be greeted with a mosaic of Latin specialties from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Peru, Spain and Mexico. The venture was launched by ASAN Restaurant Concepts, which also operates Café Lulu, Bite m.e. and Toscana Café & Wine Bar, all also located within the Gaslamp. 409 F St.

Devotees of the former Tabule Restaurant will be shocked and amazed when they see the dramatic changes the owners made to the space. Now called The New Yorker, the re-established concept is exceedingly more casual with brick walls, a large bar and colorful artworks. Replacing dishes like salmon Wellington and filet mignon is a menu of New York-style pizzas plus versions to appease West Coast palates. The offerings extend also to Yankee Stadium pretzels, baby back ribs and duck rolls. 535 Fourth Ave., 619-238-0048.

It isn’t only in Old Town where you can find hot tortillas in the making. Veteran tortilla maker Asela Mendoza arrives from the Acapulco area to La Fiesta to give Downtown denizens a taste of the puffy discs straight off the grill. Mendoza prepares the tortillas at the bar from 2 to 8 p.m. daily. The restaurant also recently introduced weekend brunch featuring lobster Benedict, crepes and specialty margaritas. 628 Fifth Ave., 619-232-4242.

Delve into a treasure chest of restaurants at this month’s Taste of Little Italy, which will showcase the latest and greatest dishes from nearly 30 kitchens from 5 to 9 p.m. on June 19. Newcomers to the event include Monello, Queenstown and Isola Pizza. Participating eateries are divided into north and south routes within the neighborhood. The cost is $28 for either route or $42 for the whole shebang. For more information, call 619-615-1092 or visit

Discounts and specials, like free peanuts from Lou and Mickey's, are available throughout this year's baseball season. (Courtesy Lou & Mickey's)

Discounts and specials, like free peanuts from Lou and Mickey’s, are available throughout this year’s baseball season. (Courtesy Lou & Mickey’s)

In the spirit of the San Diego Padres and the fans who dine and drink Downtown on game days, several establishments have begun offering discounts on various menu items and overnight stays now that Petco Park has swung into action.

• Receive a free cheeseburger at the Monkey Paw when you present your same-day ticket stub and purchase a beer. 8056 16th St., 619-358-9901.

• The “stealing home menu” at Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar is available nightly during baseball season, even when the Padres aren’t playing. Customers save about 30 percent on dinner when ordering two courses from the pre-fixed menu for $30. Add another course (an appetizer or dessert) for only $5 extra. 802 Fifth Ave., 619-233-4355.

• Pitchers of Bud Light fly for $10 apiece during the games at Nicky Rotten’s, where things like “garlic breath fries” and “bad ass burgers” rule the day. The Padres’ deal extends also to pints, which sell for $3 a glass. 560 Fifth Ave., 619-702-8068.

• Daytime games held on Sundays equate to a free beverage at Lucky’s Lunch Counter, located a stone’s throw from Petco Park. The purchase of a ballpark-style dog or bratwurst is required. Also, food from Lucky’s is allowed into the stadium. 338 Seventh Ave., 619-255-4782.

• Padres season ticket holders are eligible for membership cards at Donovan’s Steakhouse and Donovan’s Prime Seafood, which affords them a 10 percent discount off their entire bills at all locations. The deal is not valid on pre-fixed menus. 570 K. St., 619-237-9700 and 333 Fifth Ave., 619-906-4850. 

• On home game nights, Katsuya pairs a pint of draft beer with prawn sliders smothered in spicy pineapple coleslaw for $10 a round. 600 F St., 619-814-2000.

• Guests who dine at Lou & Mickey’s before the games will receive a plump bag of fresh roasted peanuts. 224 Fifth Ave., 619-237-4900.

• The new “beer, brats and baseball” package at Omni San Diego Hotel includes a pair of tickets to a game, deluxe overnight accommodations for two, beer and bratwurst at the hotel’s Terrace Bar & Grill and free valet parking. The cost is $289 per night or $299 for field box seats. 675 L St., 619-231-6664.

Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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