By Frank Sabatini Jr.
If you recently questioned seeing online IHop spelled IHob, with a “b” at the end, you saw right. The 60-year-old mega chain, known officially as International House of Pancakes, has flipped the last letter of its acronym to signify “burgers” for a national, summer promotion of a few new Angus creations.
“They’re thicker, juicier and more fulfilling,” said an employee at the Mission Valley location, referring to the recently introduced cowboy BBQ, mushroom-Swiss and jalapeno “kick” burgers. Customer feedback, she added, will determine if they’ll stick around beyond September, although it’s highly unlikely the company will actually re-register its name to International House of Burgers. 2169 Fenton Parkway, 619-640-3711, ihop.com.
The North Park location of Carnitas Snack Shack will hand out rainbow tattoos and donate 20 percent of its food sales to the Hillcrest Youth Center, from July 13–15. It is the second year in the row that the pork-centric eatery has conducted the LGBT benefit. Customers must say the code word “pride” when ordering. 2632 University Ave., 619-294-7675, carnitassnackshack.com.
Beerfish in North Park toasts its two-year anniversary with a special limited-edition beer crafted by brewers Greg Hoover of Fall Brewing Company and Pat McIlhenney of Alpine Beer Company. Described as a “hazy” IPA and named “Fish On,” it will be available on draft starting at 1 p.m., June 30, until supplies last. The beer can also be purchased in canned form at Fall Brewing. 2933 Adams Ave., 619-363-2337, eatbeerfish.com. Fall Brewing is located at 4542 30th St., 619-501-0903,
East County’s eminent Italian restaurant, Giardino Neighborhood Cucina in Lemon Grove, has begun serving pasta dishes tableside from a giant Parmesan cheese wheel on Monday nights. Look for a rotating repertoire of classics such as fettuccine alfredo and cacio e pepe (cheese and black pepper). The hip and warmly designed restaurant is owned by chef Marco Provino of Sicily and his Russian wife, Karina Kravalis, who works the front of the house. 8131 Broadway, 619-825-7112, giardinosd.com.
After nearly 30 years in business, Cafe Japengo in La Jolla has closed. Its last day was June 22. The stylish Asian-fusion restaurant pioneered the way for sushi rolls that were considered daring and dazzling at the time, where ingredients such as mayonnaise, powdered seaweed, slivered lemons, and shiitake mushrooms swirled around raw fish.
Anchored in the Hyatt Regency Aventine complex, the restaurant was operated by Hyatt and its lease expired.
“The restaurant scene in San Diego has changed over the years with a lot more competition and dynamic options. It wasn’t feasible to continue,” said Jayne Aston, director of operations for Hyatt Regency. The space will make way for a national fitness franchise. 8960 University Center Lane.
Salvador Dali once stated that he dreamed of being a chef.
The late Spanish-born artist instead became a renowned surrealist painter, although he published a cookbook in 1973 titled, “Les Diners de Gala.”
Recipes from the book will be presented at a five-course art dinner and wine pairing at 6 p.m., June 23, at the gay-owned Bistro Sixty/San Diego Desserts in the College Area.
Chef-proprietor Mark Leisman’s picks from the collection will include oysters with cava on the half shell; vegetable pie; and a pork and cabbage dish. In addition, about 15 to 20 signed works by Dali will be up for sale through Intrinsic Values Fine Art.
The cost for dinner is $75, which includes wine. Reservations are required. 5987 El Cajon Blvd., 619-287-8186, bistrosixtysd.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press) and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.