By Frank Sabatini Jr.
The long-established Saffron Thai in Mission Hills is branching into La Jolla by late June in place of a former Chipotle Mexican Grill. The new digs will be significantly larger and feature the restaurant’s famous salad rolls, grilled chicken and stir-fried noodles along with additions such as Thai tacos and curry wraps.
The expansion comes just over a year after Saffron founder Su-Mei Yu partnered with local hospitality firm, Karina’s Group, which operates Karina’s Mexican Seafood, Savoie Italian Eatery and Karina’s Ceviches & More. 1055 Torrey Pines Road, saffronsandiego.com.
Culinary vendors for this year’s San Diego County Fair (June 1 through July 4) have been asked to create “unicorn food” to tie in to this year’s fair theme: “How
Sweet It Is.”
According to the fair’s public information officer, Annie Pierce, dishes on tap so far include rainbow grilled-cheese sandwiches; unicorn cotton candy ice cream sandwiches; and unicorn “crack” fries with caramel drizzle, sea salt, Fruity Pebbles and Pop Rocks. Also in the pipeline are unicorn beef sundaes and unicorn burgers. Their specs, however, remain a mystery.
Pierce adds that fair-goers can expect all of the outrageous, fried foods as well, although a list of those items won’t be finalized until sometime next month. The annual fair is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858-755-1161, sdfair.com.
Take a break from pingpong, cornhole and other recreational activities with meats grilled by Chef Hanis Cavin during his Carnitas Snack Shack game day.
The event will be held from 3 to 7 p.m., April 21, at the North Park location. It will feature a host of games in the eatery’s back patio, where Cavin will cook from an outdoor grill and smoker. Customers can place their food orders at a nearby table rather than the walk-up window. The meals will feature a main protein plus a couple of side dishes for an average price of $10. Wine and craft beer will also be available. 2632 University Ave., 619-294-7675, carnitassnackshack.com.
The San Diego LGBT Community Center’s 12th annual Dining Out for Life is April 26. Restaurants, bars and coffeehouses taking part donate between 25 and 100 percent of their day’s profits to The Center’s HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs.
This year’s participants — about 75 in total — stretch from Downtown to Oceanside. They include: Cowboy Star (lunch and dinner); Hundred Proof (any meal); The Mission (breakfast and lunch); Babycakes (breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and cocktails); Gossip Grill (any meal); Blind Lady Alehouse (dinner); The Wine Pub (dinner); Kensington Cafe (breakfast, lunch and dinner); Hello Betty Fish House (lunch, dinner and cocktails); Burger Lounge in Hillcrest, Kensington and La Jolla (lunch and dinner); and more. diningoutforlife.com.
Joining the crop of vegan establishments that have sprouted up in San Diego over the last several months, such as Anthem in North Park, O.B. Garden Cafe in Ocean Beach, Starry Lane Bakery in Hillcrest, and Donna Jean in Bankers Hill, is Soulshine in Mission Beach.
The newcomer offers plant-based takes on Indian, Asian, Mediterranean and American dishes. Heading the kitchen is Mike Feil, an Alpine native who attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked at restaurants in San Francisco, Idaho and Maui. He was also a chef at Casa de Luz in North Park and Trilogy in La Jolla.
The restaurant was launched recently by Amalia Huffman. She also owns the nearby Barefoot Bakery (3852 Mission Blvd.), which sells vegan, organic and gluten-free items such as scones, muffins and biscuits. Beginning in about a month, her bakery will also sell cakes by advance order. 3864 Mission Blvd., 858-886-7252, soulshinemb.com.
With fresh exterior signage in place, Beerfish in North Park recently debuted weekend brunch, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. Chef Lety Gonzalez marks the occasion with dishes such as lobster breakfast burritos, multiple versions of eggs Benedict, and cornmeal biscuits with Old Bay-spiced gravy. The regular lunch-dinner menu is available on those days starting at noon. 2933 Adams Ave., 619-263-2337, eatbeerfish.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.