By Frank Sabatini Jr.
In celebration of its six-month anniversary, Royal Stone Bistro in Bankers Hill is kicking off a series of “pop-up” specials and commemorative entrees, beginning Sept. 15 when dinner guests 21 years and older will receive a complimentary glass of wine. Other promotions, yet to be announced, continue daily until culminating with a six-course dinner paired with Central Coast wines, from 5–7 p.m. Sept. 18. The cost is $85 per person. 3401 First Ave., 619-738-8550, royalstonebistro.com.
Chef Daniel Barron has been hired to helm the kitchen at Bull & Grain, a cocktail-centric restaurant scheduled to open Sept. 19 in the Hillcrest space previously occupied by Tabletop Commons. In addition to gaining kitchen experience at notable restaurants in New York, Beverly Hills and Nashville, he has worked locally at Blue Point Coastal Cuisine, La Valencia Hotel and Blush Ice Bar + East-West Kitchen. Owner Simon Wolujewicz remains tight-lipped about the upcoming menu, except to say in a news release that Barron will “continue to push the palette of progressive-American cuisine.” 1263 University Ave., bullandgrain.com.
A brewery and tasting room specializing in gut-nourishing kombucha has opened in Middletown under the name, Bootstrap Kombucha. Owners James Farnworth and Susan McMillion ferment the fizzy, probiotic teas in small batches. They sell them in flavors such as apple-ginger, cherry, blueberry and beet. The drinks are non-alcoholic and they’re made with organic ingredients. 4085 Pacific Highway, Suite 105 B, 858-746-9960, bootstrapkombucha.com.
The ramen craze perseveres with a seventh location of Tajima, which is due to open by early October in North Park. Acclaimed local designer Paul Basile is giving the 1,500-square-foot space a “Japanese-Deco” look to match its exterior. The menu will mirror those at Tajima’s Hillcrest and East Village locations, offering the coveted ramen noodles made with several types of flour as well as fresh pork dumplings, Napa cabbage kimchi, assorted rice bowls and more. 3015 Adams Ave., tajimasandiego.com.
Casting call: Katie Hance of Levity Entertainment Group in Los Angeles is looking for chefs in Southern California who specialize in dishes involving burgers, bacon, cheese, or carnival-style foods to compete in the Food Network series, “Guy’s Grocery’s Games.” She is also reaching out to dads who would like to compete with their sons or daughters (18 years or older) for a special Father’s Day episode. For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Civico 1845 in Little Italy is donating all proceeds from the sale of a particular pasta dish to the Protezione Civile disaster relief agency to help victims recover from the devastating earthquake that recently struck Amatrice, Italy. The dish, pasta alla Amatriciana, is a simple construct of spaghetti, tomato sauce, guanciale (cured pork) and Pecorino Romano cheese. Available for lunch and dinner, it sells for $16 and will be available until Sept. 12. 1845 India St., 619-880-3761, civico1845.com.
In the wake of a $12 million renovation of Hyatt Regency La Jolla comes DRIFT eat + drink, due to open by late September as a replacement to the hotel’s former main restaurant, Michael’s. The new concept will offer indoor-outdoor seating and all-day menus highlighting regional and Baja cuisine in the complete absence of fried foods. Options will extend also to dishes that are gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan, in addition to craft beers and cocktails. 3777 La Jolla Village Drive, 858-552-1234, lajolla.regency.hyatt.com.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at email@example.com.