By Frank Sabatini Jr.
Get your chili fix — and lots of it — at the eighth annual SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-off, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 3, at 32nd and Thorn streets.
The event ushers in nearly 40 local restaurants competing for top chili honors as they dole out samples to attendees. It also features a beer and wine garden, live music and a kid’s zone. Tickets are $20, which includes five chili tastings in a ceramic bowl guests get to keep.
Presented by McKinley Elementary School and the San Diego Ceramic Connection, proceeds go to art and music programs for McKinley students. sonofestchilicookoff.com
The relocated Ceviche House, which originally launched four years ago at local farmers markets and then opened as a brick-and-mortar eatery in North Park, is now up and running at its new home in Old Town. The space is larger and more stylish in comparison, and with indoor-outdoor seating and signature ceviches inspired from different regions of Mexico.
Chef-partner Juan Carlos Recamier’s expanded menu features fresh oysters with mignonette sauce and several hot dishes such as grilled octopus and steamed or pan-seared local fish. 2415 San Diego Ave., Suite 109, 619-795-2438, cevichehousesd.com
Second Chance Beer Co., which recently opened a tasting lounge in North Park, is supplying the brews for a five-course “chef vs. chef” beer dinner from 6:30–9:30 p.m., Nov. 29, at Urge Common House in San Marcos.
Chefs Eric Lobner of Urge Whiskey Bank in Oceanside and Trevor Chappell of The Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo will each pair a dish to five different Second Chance beers such as Take Two Brown Ale and Seize the Coffee IPA. Guests will vote on their favorites. The price is $75 per person. 255 Redel Road, San Marcos, 760-798-8822, urgegastropub.com.
The annual tradition of turkey mole tacos and other holiday fare has returned to dining rooms throughout San Diego County at Bazaar Del Mundo Restaurants, including Casa Guadalajara in Old Town (4105 Taylor St.). The tamales, available through Jan. 1, are filled with roasted turkey as well as raisins, pecans and apples. They’re topped with rich mole sauce and sesame seeds.
Other restaurants serving them are Casa de Pico (5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa), Casa de Bandini (1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad), and Casa Sol y Mar (12865 El Camino Real, Del Mar).
A new, casual spot for craft beer, creatively sauced chicken wings and other bar fare has opened near Windansea Beach in La Jolla.
Nautilus Tavern replaces the La Jolla Tap and Grill with a refreshed interior, nearly 30 beers on tap and reasonably priced wines. The varied food menu includes marinated beef tips, “grown up” grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, and wings in assorted flavors, such as maple-bacon-bourbon. 6830 La Jolla Blvd., 858-750-2056, nautilustavern.com.
A second San Diego location of True Food Kitchen has opened in La Jolla’s University Town Center, which recently underwent a major makeover to its gardens, plaza areas and retail spaces. The restaurant, which has an established location in Fashion Valley Mall, took over 9,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor space for the new outlet. Eco-friendly design elements include herb-filled garden basins, hardwood floors and chairs made out of recycled soda bottles.
The menu features an array of seasonally driven dishes rooted in the principles of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. True Food currently has 21 locations in several U.S. states. 4303 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite 2100, 858-431-4384, truefoodkitchen.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.