Foodie Flashes: Oct. 27 – Nov. 9, 2017

Posted: October 27th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Foodie Flashes | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Foodie Flashes

The New Zealand-inspired Dunedin in North Park recently launched weekday breakfast service, available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., as an extension to its successful weekend brunch offered within the same time frame.

Many of the dishes carryover from the brunch menu, such as the baked pancake paired with apples and fried habanero chicken, and a hearty croque madame-style béchamel bread pudding with Gruyere cheese, ham, eggs, potatoes and roasted tomatoes. There’s also a traditional Kiwi breakfast featuring eggs, sausage, baked beans and potatoes. 3501 30th St., 619-255-8566,

Apples and spicy fried chicken over a Dutch-style pancake for breakfast at Dunedin (Courtesy Ellis Consulting)


Local chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, an upcoming contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef” (season 15), has teamed up with San Diego-based Rise & Shine Restaurant Group (Fig Tree Café and Breakfast Republic) to launch El Jardin, a modern Mexican restaurant in Liberty Station. The project is scheduled to open early next year.

“Top Chef” contestant Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins will helm the kitchen of a modern Mexican restaurant in Point Loma. (Photo by Jim Sullivan)

Wilkins will serve as the restaurant’s executive chef while capturing the flavors and ingredients she came to know from spending time with her family in Tijuana and Guadalajara. She was chef de cuisine at the former Bracero in Little Italy and previously competed in season two of “Top Chef Mexico.” 2865 Sims Road,


Chef Mitsu Aihara, formerly of Sushi Ota, is applying modern spins on sushi, sashimi and Japanese tapas at the new Himitsu in La Jolla, which is open only for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The new Himitsu in La Jolla offers modern-day and traditional Japanese fare. (Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

The 30-seat restaurant was launched by the owners of The Taco Stand and Mexico City restaurateur Edo Kobayashi. It also offers an omakase menu that changes nightly. 1030 Torrey Pines Road, 858-263-4463,


’Tis the season when pumpkin spice finds its way into countless food products. For those who prefer the holiday flavoring used sanely — in let’s say gelato instead of popcorn, salad dressing and other unlikely edibles — Pappalecco will roll out pumpkin-walnut Nutella gelato at all five of its locations during the month of November.

Pumpkin meets gelato at a local chain of Tuscan-style cafes. (Courtesy Pappalecco)

Sold in scoops, customers can indulge in the gelato in either a cup, cone or over a shot of hot espresso. It’s also available to-go in pints and quarts. Pappalecco offers Tuscan-inspired savories, coffee drinks and wine, and operates in Hillcrest, Kensington, Little Italy, Del Mar and Cardiff.


After a six-month closure, the long-established Trattoria Fantastica in Little Italy re-emerges by the end of October as Nonna to the tune of Italian classics such as chicken Parmesan, pasta Bolognese and spaghetti and meatballs. Owned by the Busalacchi family, which earlier this year closed A Modo Mio in Hillcrest, the reinvented indoor-outdoor restaurant connects to a café in an adjoining space previously occupied by Café Zucchero. 1735 India St.


Vom Fass in The HUB Hillcrest is throwing an all-day fall party from noon to 8 p.m., Nov. 11. The customer-appreciation event will feature complimentary salads, appetizers, mulled-spiced wine and cocktails, as well as raffles. 1050 University Ave., Suite E103, 619-534-5034,

— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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