By Frank Sabatini Jr.
Congratulations to False Idol, the elaborately decorated Tiki bar hidden within Little Italy’s Craft and Commerce. The establishment recently made Food Network’s list of top 10 Tiki bars in America, ranking in no particular order with such prestigious counterparts as Last Rites in San Francisco, The Polynesian in New York and Lost Lake in Chicago.
False Idol was cited in part for its vintage design by renowned Tiki artist Bosko Hmjak and for its ambitious collection of more than 350 rare and vintage rums. 675 W. Beech St., www.falseidoltiki.com.
The long-awaited Gaslamp Quarter location of Tacos El Gordo appears to be materializing and is expected to open by late April or early May, according to an employee at one of the company’s South Bay outposts. The family-owned Tijuana-based taco shop was founded in 1972 and has locations in Chula Vista and Las Vegas.
Lauded for their handmade tortillas and sweet-savory adobada pork, the taco fillings extend also to beef-pork chorizo, beef head (cabeza), grilled beef with cactus and more. There are also tostadas, sopes, quesadillas and loaded fries. 511 F St., 619-424-7465, www.tacoselgordobc.com.
In honor of more than a dozen wineries operating within our area, San Diego Urban Wineries will hold its annual “Sip the City” tasting from 5:30 to 8 p.m., May 31, at The Headquarters at Seaport District. Guests can savor unlimited wine samples and light snacks to live music while supporting local winemakers as they kick off their two-day festival (June 1-2) following the event.
Participating wineries include Mission Cellars, Negociant Winery, Charlie & Echo, Gianni Buonomo and more. Tickets range from $29 to $59. 789 W. Harbor Drive, www.sdurbanwineries.com.
The Downtown-based Achilles Coffee Roasters is set to branch out from its two existing locations (703 Ash St. and 800 B St.) with an additional shop in East Village this August. The roastery joins a short list of incoming tenants to Park 12-The Collection, a luxury apartment and retail project slated for completion this spring. It will offer breakfast and lunch, later hours and indoor-outdoor seating.
Achilles is locally owned and sources its beans globally from small farms and co-ops. It has become known for its large selection of pour-over coffees and hearty breakfast sandwiches. 619-738-8652, www.achillescoffeeroasters.com.
To those heading up to Del Mar later this month for the annual San Diego County Fair (May 31 through July 4), prepare for a barrage of sinful foods that are new to the vast lineup.
Themed this year after L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” fairgoers will encounter everything from “yellow brick” smoothies and “ruby red” lemonade to “flying monkey” caramel corn and “scarecrow” hot dogs.
Among the more outrageous items are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos baked potatoes, fried bacon plantains and “blizzard of Oz” frozen hot chocolate. In all, more than 120 food and beverage vendors will blanket the grounds. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., 858-755-1161, www.sdfair.com.
A hummus bar offering extensive choices will take center stage in celebration of National Hummus Day on May 13 at Meze Greek Fusion. The selection will feature the restaurant’s newest flavor combination — roasted tomato and basil. Other hummus offerings include traditional and cilantro-jalapeno along with baba ghanoush, made with grilled eggplant, tahini, garlic and lemon juice. The hummus bar costs $15 and is available exclusively only for the “holiday.” 345 Sixth Ave., 619-550-1600, www.gaslampmeze.com.
A whopping 10,000 pounds of crawfish will be shipped in from Louisiana for the Gator by the Bay music and food festival. The annual event will be held May 9-12 near Downtown San Diego, at Spanish Landing Park. It will feature a French Quarter food court, cooking demonstrations, a marketplace, dancing and live musical performances covering multiple genres. Tickets range from $20 to $200, depending on the package and number of days attending. 3900 N. Harbor Drive, 619-234-8612, www.gatorbythebay.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.