By Frank Sabatini Jr. | GSD Reporter
The owner of Kensington Café, Lauren Passero, has just opened The Haven Pizzeria, a full-service eatery located a couple blocks from the café. A giant interior painting created by her husband Kelsey Brookes sets the stage for traditional pizzas as well as others showing off unique ingredients like Brussels sprouts, seasonal fresh onion mix and hazelnut pesto. The crust used for the pies is a hybrid, falling in between Neapolitan and traditional back-East style. 4051 Adams Ave., 619-281-1904.
In what is the first partnership established between Whole Foods markets in San Diego and a local restaurant, the company has teamed up with the owners and chef of Alchemy in South Park to bring a new line of “street foods” into the stores. Chef Ricardo Heredia has created items such as quinoa hush puppies, vegan kimchee and chimichurri, which start rolling over the next few months in the prepared foods sections at Whole Foods in Hillcrest, La Jolla, Encinitas and Del Mar.
In addition to the long-established Heaven Sent Desserts, North Park has given way to another house of confections, Swoon Dessert Bar. The café features seating at a bar that allows you to interact with the pastry team as they plate some highly detailed desserts such as stout mousse with Marshmallow cream and graham crackers; sweet pea gelato with bacon shortbread; and sous vide cheesecake with rhubarb compote. Menus change weekly and usually include a few savory items. Dessert “flights” are also available. 3139 University Ave., 619-528-0875.
Chef Karl Prohaska of the Handlery Hotel and Resort in Mission Valley is “bringing the South to your mouth” in his second annual Country Boil, scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. April 21 in the hotel’s garden area. Open to 250 attendees, Prohaska will prepare crawfish, shrimp, Andouille sausage and veggies in a traditional spiced broth. Belgian-style beers from Societe Brewing and live music will also be in the offing. Tickets are $25, which includes food and the first beer. Reservation are required and can be made online at countryboil.bpt.me. 950 Hotel Circle North, 619-298-0511.
Get your $4 tapas at Café 21’s new happy hour, which showcases 21 different shareable plates such as lemon beef skewers and potato pancake with lamb. The deals are offered from 3 to 6 p.m. daily and also include locally crafted beers for $3 and a variety of fruity house-made sangrias for $4 a glass. The café, which specializes in modern Azerbaijani cuisine, has two locations: 2736 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights (619-640-2121) and 750 Fifth Ave. in the Gaslamp District (619-795-0721).
The iconic 40-year-old Tom Ham’s Lighthouse on San Diego Bay is completing a $3.5 million makeover with a new deck, bar and cocktail lounge and bigger windows that will fully capture the downtown skyline. The restaurant is scheduled to reopen later next month. 2150 Harbor Island Drive, 619-291-9110.
Making a purchase at Fiji Yogurt in Hillcrest just got easier – and greener. The store recently installed in a new checkout system that integrates an iPad with an intricately designed bamboo register manufactured by Happy Owl Studios. Customers can now choose to have their receipts issued via text message or email. In addition to saving on paper, the system eliminates the need for pens when customers sign off on the iPad with their fingers. And if you’re the type always fishing through wallet clutter to find your credit card, the system also allows for a one-time sign up so that you can place subsequent orders using only your name. 1010 University Ave., 619-297-0850.