By Frank Sabatini Jr.
The beloved Babycakes is returning to Hillcrest via an outlet concept inside Fiji Yogurt at the HUB Hillcrest Market.
Babycakes co-owner Christopher Stavros told Gay San Diego the partnership will materialize “sometime in June” with a display case of Babycakes’ signature cupcakes and other treats such as brownies, cookies and their famous crème brulee cheesecake. The shared location will also serve as a pickup point for pre-ordered cakes.
Babycakes formerly operated for several years on nearby Fifth Avenue with a bar and restaurant component attached to it. It left that location a year ago and moved to a space with a larger kitchen in Paradise Hills to focus more on its bakery concept. The company also has an outpost in Imperial Beach.
While the return of Babycakes to Uptown is all about the confections, Stavros added there could be other partnerships with local coffeehouses and businesses on the horizon.
“We’re just being creative for right now. And at some point, we hope to eventually have our own spot again in Hillcrest.” 1010 University Ave., 619-296-4173, babycakessandiego.com.
The very intimate Soichi Sushi opened April 20 in University Heights, in the space previously occupied by Circa Restaurant. Owned by chef Soichi Kadoya and his wife, Raechel, the highly trained Kadoya worked at Sushi Tadokoro in Old Town and began cooking Japanese food since he was a teenager.
Soichi Sushi doesn’t serve sushi rolls. It instead specializes in traditional sashimi and “delicacy-type foods,” Raechel told us. Such items are listed on the menu, while others are served in two-hour omakase-style sessions at a 10-seat bar. For the latter, reservations are recommended.
Aside from the bar, there is an eight-seat community table, which can be reserved for parties of five or more.
Raechel also noted that although the menu doesn’t list vegan or vegetarian options, her husband caters well to non-meat customers upon request. 2121 Adams Ave., 619-677-2220, soichisushi.com.
The 10th annual Eat.Drink.Read. celebration will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m., May 2, in Balboa Park’s Air & Space Museum. The event is presented by the San Diego Council on Literacy and brings together our city’s culinary and literature communities to generate funds in support of literacy programs throughout the region.
Participating chefs dole out samples of dishes inspired by their favorite books.
“The chefs love the event. It gives them a chance to be creative and allows them to connect with their favorite authors,” said Jose Cruz, CEO of the council.
About 16 restaurants and culinary businesses are sending their chefs to take part. Some of the foods to look for include apple-cured pork belly from Waypoint Public (based on “The Giving Tree”); chocolate flan from Casa Guadalajara (based on “Grandma’s Chocolate”); and an autism puzzle piece tostata from Galaxy Taco (based on “The Three Brotherteers”).
Admission is $75 per person, which includes free run of the museum and all you can eat and drink, including wine and specialty cocktails. Tickets are available at the door or can be purchased in advance through the website. 2001 Pan American Plaza, 619-574-1641, literacysandiego.org.
In approaching its three-year anniversary next month, Cucina Sorella in Kensington has rolled out an entirely new menu that includes the introduction of pizza — deep-dish to be exact.
Operated under the umbrella of Urban Kitchen Group, the company’s new executive chef, Tim Kolanko re-authored the menu in conjunction with sous chef Tara Mae. They came up with a slate of small and large plates that include carrot arancini, Sicilian-style meatballs, and hard-to-find chicken fra Diavolo.
The deep-dish pizzas are available in a few varieties, and the restaurant’s use of house-made pasta remains in place. 4055 Adams Ave., 619-281-4014, cucinasorella.com.
Renowned chef Giuseppe Ciuffa, who operated the former Sculpture Court Cafe in Balboa Park and currently owns Caroline’s Seaside Cafe on the campus of UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is making his encore in the heart of La Jolla Village with a new restaurant.
Candor is due to open sometime in May in the exact address where Ciuffa opened his first San Diego restaurant in the late ’90s, called Come On In Cafe. Also an accomplished caterer, the Italian-born chef promises an intimate space that will seat only 35 guests inside and about 15 to 20 on the enclosed patio. Wooden floors and exposed whitewashed beams will impart a rustic feel.
As the restaurant’s name denotes, guests can expect “honest, straight-forward” cuisine such as fisherman’s stew, fresh pasta dishes, grilled pork, chicken a la plancha, and more. And the weekend brunch will usher in a revival of Come On In Cafe’s favorites like lemon souffle pancakes and lobster BLTs. 1030 Torrey Pines Road, Suite B, dinecandor.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.