By Frank Sabatini Jr.
The debut of Layover on Sept. 7 on the fourth-floor deck of the InterContinental San Diego hotel gives way to a 15-seat all-white bar, a lounge area furnished with Adirondack chairs, and views of three airfields that are located at North Island Naval Air Station, the USS Midway, and San Diego International Airport.
The food menu is headed by executive chef Amy DiBiase and includes items such as duck steamed buns and local flounder ceviche. Brisk drinks are in the offing, such as slushy versions of classic cocktails and a variety of trendy concoctions sold in cans. Visitors will also find a diverse selection of beer and wine.
Layover is from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. 901 Bayfront Court, 619-501-9400, intercontinentalsandiego.com.
As part of its ongoing chef-collaboration series that benefits No Kid Hungry, Dog Haus Biergarten in the East Village is shining the spotlight on “Bubu’s hot chicken grilled cheese” sandwich throughout the month of September. It was created by chef and TV personality Eric Greenspan of the Los Angeles-based Bubu’s Birds and Burgers.
The construct features a fried chicken breast dunked in chili oil and sprinkled with “angry dust.” It’s topped with American cheese, plus cheese sauce, coleslaw, and pickles — and tucked in four conjoined King’s Hawaiian buns. Priced at $10.99, Dog Haus will give $1 from every purchase of the sandwich to the effort of ending childhood hunger. 969 Ninth Ave., 619-501-6668, doghaus.com.
Downtown’s acclaimed Lola 55 will hold a first-anniversary fiesta at HUB at the Idea1 building (1290 F St.) from 5 to 9 p.m., Sept. 9. A gaggle of well-known local chefs will jump into the celebration by preparing dishes for attendees, who will enjoy all-you-can-eat tacos covered by the $15 admission price.
The fast-casual Mexican restaurant, which garnered Bib Gourmand distinction from California’s Michelin Guide, is lauded for its unique tacos made with high-quality and unconventional ingredients. Lola’s head chef, Drew Bent, has received numerous accolades over the past year by food critics and fellow chefs for developing the menu.
He will be joined at the event by Brad Wise of the Trust Restaurant Group; Davin Waite of Wrench & Rodent, Whet Noodle and The Plot; Willy Eck of Mission Avenue Bar & Grill; and others. Tickets can be purchased through eventbrite.com under “Lola 55 first anniversary fiesta.” 1290 F St., 619-542-9155, lola55.com.
A rooftop beehive at the Marriott Marquis San Diego provides the honey for the new Honey Barrel Whiskey served at the hotel’s Marina Kitchen Restaurant & Bar.
The hotel launched an urban beekeeping program in 2015 and has since been exploring ways to use the honey in food and beverage offerings. The whiskey appears to be a winner.
It was crafted in partnership with local San Diego distillery, Malahat Spirits. It involved coating the inside of bourbon barrels with the honey, and then allowing the whiskey to age in them for six months. The tasting notes list hints of vanilla, caramel and honey. Served only in Marina Kitchen, supplies are limited, so order it while you can. 333 W. Harbor Drive, 619-234-1500, marriott.com/hotel-restaurants.
A vegan cafe with limited hours (for now) has opened in the East Village to the tune of sweet and savory waffle sandwiches and a variety of “waffle dogs” involving different types of meatless sausages swaddled in waffles and served on handy sticks.
“We’re the only 100% plant-based option in Downtown San Diego,” said Todd Anderson, who launched Spoiled Vegans Cafe in late August with his girlfriend, Samantha Aaron. The business operates as a pop-up from inside the Red Hat Coffee Tap Room.
“About 30 to 40% of our customers so far have been non-vegans and we’ve seen a lot of them return,” he added.
Spoiled Vegans is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. Anderson hopes to start serving customers daily by the end of the month. 440 16th St., 760-972-7342, spoiledveganscafe.com.
The Tokyo tradition of dipping noodles into soups and broths has splashed into a Downtown address that previously housed a few different ramen houses. Enter the recently opened Artisan Noodle Tatsuki, which specializes in thick dipping noodles (tsukemen) and ultra-rich broths made on site. The intimate restaurant is the first solo project for chef Daiki Tanaka, who trained at the acclaimed Tsujita ramen shop in Los Angeles.
What promises to be a “playful approach to Italian cuisine” is due to materialize in a couple of months with the arrival of Semola to the Little Italy Food Hall.
The artisan express-pasta concept will pair various cuts of scratch-made noodles to different sauces, ragus and pestos. Most of the dishes will be priced at $10 or less.
The business was conceived by the team behind Ambrosia15, which also has a stall in the food hall. It replaces Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop. 550 W. Date St., 619-269-7187, grainandgritcollective.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.