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Uptown News Food Briefs – June 16, 2017

Posted: June 16th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Uptown Food Briefs | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Uptown News Food Briefs

New and recreated dishes at Bull & Grain have been introduced in the wake of Chef Daniel Barron’s departure from the Hillcrest restaurant.

Owner Simon Wolujewicz said a new executive chef will be announced “in the next month or two,” and that his kitchen staff has since added to the menu items such as gluten-free eggplant lasagna without pasta and hanger steak with blue cheese-peppercorn sauce.

Bull & Grain’s new pasta-free eggplant lasagna (Photo by Simon Wolujewicz)

Common desserts with boozy twists have also come into play such as tiramisu incorporating whiskey and strawberry cream; chocolate lava cake with fresh mint and mint liqueur; and crème brulee with dark rum.

Also, happy hour now features $6 craft cocktails from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and half-price cocktails from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. 1263 University Ave., 619-546-9122, bullandgrain.com.


French kitchen Café Bleu, which originated in Hillcrest and moved to Mission Hills several years ago, has closed.

The bistro’s owners posted the notice recently on Facebook, stating in part: “It just now happens to be our time to move on to the next adventure. But stay tuned, if the right opportunity presents itself you just might see a Café Bleu opening up near you.” 807 W. Washington St.


After serving Sicilian and Italian cuisine in Hillcrest for more than 30 years, the Busalacchi family has closed A Modo Mio, which opened six years ago at 3707 Fifth Ave., one block down from its original Busalacchi’s restaurant. The latter sprung onto the scene in 1986 and shuttered shortly before A Modo Mio was launched.

In a letter issued by the family, it states the decision to close “didn’t come easily, we felt it was the right thing to do for the continued growth of our family business.”

Three restaurants in the Busalacchi restaurant group remain: Barbusa is its newest and the two others — Trattoria Fantastica and Café Zucchero, all three in Little Italy — are currently under renovation and due to reopen in August or September. barbusa.com.


The loading docks and stock rooms at all locations of Barons Markets, including those in North Park and Point Loma, will soon be utilized for pairings of food from the stores with beers by Mike Hess Brewing Company.

The annual event is a fundraiser for the San Diego Food Bank and will be held company-wide from 6–8 p.m. Wednesday, June 21. Pairings include the “green goddess” spring salad with 8 West Orange Honey Wheat, curry chicken skewers with Grapefruit Solis IPA, and more.

Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased through eventbrite.com under “Barons back room beer pairing.” Guests must be 21 years or older. 3231 University Ave. and 4001 W. Point Loma Blvd., 619-814-5555.


Famous for its spit-roasted pork (al pastor) and spicy shrimp tacos, The Taco Stand will replace Tacos Perla in North Park this summer, marking the company’s fifth location since opening in La Jolla four years ago. The other locations are in Downtown, Encinitas and Miami.

The fast-casual Taco Stand is coming to North Park (Photo by Julian Hakim)

Co-owner Julian Hakim expects the North Park operation to open in August, adding that it will feature the same menu as the other locations. 3000 Upas St., letstaco.com.


A fine-dining “restaurant” with a speakeasy feel is up and running in the back of Ballast Point’s Little Italy tasting room. Known as The Kettle Room, it seats 25 to 30 guests and reservations are required.

Chefs Rocio Fleckenstein and Devin Woodall oversee a four-course menu featuring seasonal appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. Diners can order al a carte or opt for prix fixe meals priced at $55 or $75 with beer or wine pairings.

Pork belly with raspberry pico and black bean puree at The Kettle Room (Photo by Rocio Fleckenstein)

“It’s an elevated dining experience compared to our other locations and we use a lot of our research and development beers for the pairings, which we only brew here,” Fleckenstein said.

The Kettle Room operates from 6–10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 2215 India St., 619-255-7213, ballastpoint.com.


With its growing number of tenants, the time has come for the first annual Taste of Liberty Station, which will spotlight nearly two dozen restaurants and beverage vendors doling out samples within the historic compound. Resident art galleries will also be open for attendees to explore. The event, which also features live music and a bubbly garden, will be held from 5–9 p.m. Wednesday, June 21.

Participating restaurants include Fire by the Patio, Slater’s 50/50, Soda & Swine, Dirty Birds, Solare Ristorante, Point Loma Tea, Tender Greens, the newly opened Officine Buona Forchetta and more.

Admission is $30 for all food samples ($40 day of the event) and $15 for entrance into the bubbly garden, which includes three tastings of sparkling wines for guests 21 years and older. Advance tickets can be purchased through the website: libertystation.com/events. 2851 Dewey Road.

—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.rr.com.

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