By Frank Sabatini Jr.
Customer reception over Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro’s first-ever male belly dancer “has exceeded all my expectations,” said owner Moumen Nouri, who discovered the professionally trained dancer through a private event.
Known as León, he performs two 20-minute sets beginning at 8:30 p.m. every Saturday.
“He creates an amazing ambiance all over the restaurant,” Nouri added.
Full bottle service at the subterranean bistro was also recently introduced. It allows customers to purchase bottles of vodka, whiskey, gin and tequila (starting at $80) with mixers and garnishes included. 3940 Fourth Ave., 619-295-5560, kouskousrestaurant.com.
Food that is “prepared and cooked as though you were in the Mediterranean” is coming to Mission Valley, in the space previously occupied by Fuddruckers inside the Westfield Mission Valley shopping center.
The eatery, Panini Kabob Grill, is slated to open by late February with a menu of wraps and panini sandwiches using fresh-baked breads, grass-fed and hormone-free meats, European-imported cheeses, and organic eggs. The offerings extend to soups, salads and appetizers such as caprese and hummus trios, and with the availability of beer and wine.
Founded in 1995 in Corona Del Mar, the company used to be known as Panini Cafe prior to adding kabobs to its menu. There are currently 20 locations, all in California, including those in Del Mar and Carlsbad. Another is planned next year for Westfield UTC as well. The Mission Valley location will be at 891 Camino De La Reina. paninikabobgrill.com.
South Park is abuzz over the prospective opening of Matteo, a nonprofit eatery that will serve American-style breakfasts and sell imported Italian staples. The venture will also feature baked goods by general manager and head baker, Joanne Sherif, who owned Cardamom Cafe & Bakery in North Park.
Matteo is the brainchild of Matteo Cattaneo, who also owns a local trio of Buona Forchetta restaurants. His namesake project is expected to open early next year. 3015 Juniper St., buonaforchetta.com.
French-trained pastry chef Melanie Dunn will move her boutique-size bakery in Hillcrest to larger digs in North Park next year. Known as Patisserie Melanie, the business will resettle into a 1,500-square-foot space replete with multiple seating areas and an outdoor patio.
Dunn has been working from a home-based shop at 3788 Park Blvd. since 2008, selling fine pastries and croissants made in small batches. The move into North Park at 3750 30th St. will afford her a full commercial kitchen and an expanded inventory, while providing customers with a full cafe experience. She will continue operating in Hillcrest until making the transition sometime in the summer. patisseriemelanie.com.
Casa Guadalajara in Old Town returns to its annual holiday tradition with the unique offering of turkey mole tamales. Sold in pairs for $16.95, the poultry inside is mixed with raisins, chopped pecans and apples. Mole sauce and sesame seeds go on top. They’re available until Dec. 31 at all Bazaar del Mundo Restaurants, which includes the other “casa”-themed restaurants in La Mesa, Del Mar and Carlsbad. 4105 Taylor St., 619-295-5111, www.casaguadalajara.com.
— Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.