Food and Drink Blotter: July 2016

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

A handful of eating and drinking venues were announced for the upcoming Pendry San Diego luxury hotel, which is slated to open in the Gaslamp Quarter, at Fifth Avenue and J Street, by late fall. In addition to a gourmet café and beer hall, the property will make way for the seafood-focused Lionfish Coastal Cuisine, plus an upscale lounge called the Oxford Social Club, and the rooftop Pool House, replete with an outdoor bar and views of the Gaslamp. The projects are underway in conjunction with Clique Hospitality, which operates entertainment venues, nightclubs and restaurants within properties throughout Las Vegas. 550 J St., or

Anthony Sinsay

Chef Anthony Sinsay of Jsix (Courtesy the Nth Element)

Anthony Sinsay has moved over from Duke’s La Jolla to fill the executive chef position at Jsix, which was left vacant recently by Christian Graves. Before working at Duke’s, Sinsay earned his chops at Harney Sushi, Burlap, the Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel and Nobu in Las Vegas. So far, his new menu rollouts include Japanese tomato salad with feta, crispy polenta and brined Santa Rosa plums, plus scallop crudo with limes, herbs, pickled onions and browned butter. Additional dishes are still in the works and they’re expected to debut by late July. 616 J St., 619-531-8744,

Look for baseball-themed treats at a couple of Downtown venues as Petco Park prepares to host this year’s MLB All Star Game and events, July 7 – 12. At Bake Sale Bakery (815 F St.), hand-painted baseball cookies will be available for several days starting July 11, at a cost of $2.50 each. The spirit of the sport will also be captured at Donut Bar (631 B St.) with large donuts decorated in various team jerseys. They’ll be priced at about $4 apiece, and the shop will stay open and serve beer until 10 p.m. throughout the week.

Tuna Harbor Dockside Market

San Diego’s bounty of local seafood is discussed weekly at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. (Courtesy Slow Food Urban San Diego)

Learn from seasoned fishermen where our local seafood is caught, what it tastes like and how to cook it, in weekly instructional gatherings held from 9 – 11 a.m. every Saturday at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. Also on hand each week is “Chef Cindy” from Slow Food Urban San Diego, who shares her seafood recipes and occasionally offers cooking demos. 879 West Harbor Drive,

Giselle Wellman, a Bravo “Top Chef” contestant from season 13, is due to open Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen in early to mid-July in the Art Deco structure on Pacific Coast Highway that was formerly home to Fat City Steakhouse.

Wellman, a San Diego native, spent the last eight years working in Los Angeles and New York City alongside renowned chefs such as Thomas Keller, Jean George and Mario Batali.

Giselle Wellman

Acclaimed chef Giselle Wellman returns home to open a restaurant in a landmark building near Downtown (Photo by Jessica Sterling)

The menu at Pacific, she said, will reflect Little Italy’s storied past as a fishing community. It will be complemented by a “playful” selection of craft cocktails, punch bowls and local craft beers. 2137 Pacific Coast Highway,

Touted for its anti-inflammatory properties and other health benefits, turmeric is being celebrated also for its sweet, herbaceous flavor in a couple of Little Italy dining spots.

Bencotto turmeric gnocchi

Turmeric-infused gnocchi at Bencotto Italian Kitchen (Courtesy Chemistry PR)

Used commonly in Indian cuisine, the ancient, bright-yellow spice has made its way into house-made gnocchi and other pasta specials at Bencotto Italian Kitchen (750 W. Fir St.) In addition, hearty measures of the spice are contained in the turmeric lattes at Café Gratitude (1980 Kettner Blvd.), where it’s infused into steamed almond milk with a couple drops of black pepper oil.

—Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at

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