By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Uptown News Food Briefs
What started out on Park Boulevard five years ago as Heat Bar & Kitchen, and then morphed into Pardon My French by a new set of owners, suddenly closed. The announcement came via Facebook on July 16, just hours after husband-and-wife proprietors Eric and Lindsey Fillion posted a promotion about their daily early bird specials.
Pardon My French, an inviting establishment known for its French-inspired food and crafty cocktails, was sold off to the Fillions in 2016 by Sam Khorish and Pasqual Courtin. In earlier days, the space was home to Urban Grind.
“Our time in Hillcrest has been beautiful and inspiring,” the statement read. “While we wish this story ended differently, we will cherish the time we did have. To the next chapter.”
The post didn’t specifically address the reason for closing, and as of press time, our calls to the owners have not been returned. 3797 Park Blvd.
The popular Nishiki Ramen in Kearny Mesa has landed in Hillcrest with a second location featuring its authentic “Tokyo-style” ramen using house-made noodles. The various broths are made from vegetables and natural chicken and pork. Appetizers, share plates, beer, wine and sake are also available. Situated in the 2,100-square-foot space that formerly housed Whistling Duck Tavern, the restaurants are run by acclaimed Japanese chefs Jimmy Kitayama and Mike Furuichi. 1040 University Ave., 619-831-0101, nishikiramen.com.
Bombay in Hillcrest is temporarily closed, according to its website. Established originally in 1988 across the street from its current location on Fifth Avenue, the restaurant is supposedly undergoing a kitchen remodel and will reopen July 31. Although rumor is circulating that the spacious establishment might change hands. Stay tuned for updates. 3960 Fifth Ave., 619-297-7777.
A niche has been filled in west Mission Valley for buying pizza by the slice, not to mention cheesesteaks, stromboli and calzones.
Elmer Rodriguez and his wife, Christina, recently opened Coney’s Pizza in The Presidio shopping plaza at Napa Street and Linda Vista Road. It’s an offshoot to the original Coney’s, which was founded some 15 years ago in Poway and has since moved to 12233 Poway Road. To date, the business has changed hands numerous times.
Rodriguez brings to the table his own recipes for dough, sauces, chicken wings and cheesesteaks, which are made with hand-shaved rib eye and Amoroso rolls. The menu also features hoagies and a few pasta dishes. Prior to purchasing Coney’s, he worked at Bronx Pizza in Hillcrest, Long Island Mike’s in Clairemont and Regents Pizzeria in La Jolla. 5201 Linda Vista Road, #103, 619-294-5755,
Meatloaf tacos, Peruvian ceviche, Maine lobster rolls and roasted porchetta are among the diverse options available at the new Little Italy Food Hall. The six-vendor operation is the first project by San Diego-based hospitality group, Grit & Grain Collective. It is complimented by the 11,000-square-foot Piazza della Famiglia, which features outdoor seating and a large water fountain.
Inside the hall is a central cocktail bar offering spirits, craft beer and wine. It’s surrounded by six “food stations”: Not Not Tacos headed by television personality “Sam the Cooking Guy” Zien: Wicked Maine Lobster, which features clam bake and shrimp baskets in addition to lobster rolls; and Single Fin Kitchen, where Brazilian-American chef Antonio Quindere uses fresh fish and veggies for making Japanese rice bowls known as donburis.
The other vendors are Ambrogio15, a Milan-style pizzeria founded in Pacific Beach; Mein St. Asian Kitchen, where dumplings, crispy wings and boba teas rule the day; and Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop, which sells build-your-own salad boxes as well as a variety of meats and artisan sandwiches. Cooking demos on the property are due to start sometime in August. The schedule is still being finalized. 550 W. Date St., Suite B, 619-269-7187,
Wild, hand-caught swordfish has splashed into tacos and bowls at Rubio’s Coastal Grill. As tacos, which are served in pairs, the grilled fish lands in blue-corn tortillas and is topped with Peruvian-style aji salsa made of chilies, shallots, cilantro, garlic and lime juice. The bowls set the fish atop citrus rice, romaine lettuce, black beans and sliced avocado, and with a drizzle of chipotle sauce. A rarity in taco shops and chains, the meaty, slightly sweet swordfish will be available at most local outlets throughout the summer.
—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.