Uptown News Food Briefs – July 28, 2017

Posted: July 28th, 2017 | Featured, Food & Drink, Uptown Food Briefs | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. | Uptown News Briefs

Novel spins on traditional brunch dishes were recently introduced at The Rail in Hillcrest by two chefs who worked at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas: Chad Brunette and John Hamaker.

Cajun shrimp Benedict at The Rail’s new weekend brunch (Courtesy of Alternative Strategies)

Their brunch service, which is held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, feature doughnuts made with coffee-cured bacon; fig-prosciutto flatbread; Cajun shrimp Benedict with cornbread waffles; and more.

The chefs are in the process of developing a daily lunch menu, due to roll out in the next month or two. 3796 Fifth Ave., 619-298-2233,

A variety of multicultural food and drinks debuts at Hanna’s Gourmet (Photo by Hanna Tesfamichael)

Hanna’s Gourmet in Normal Heights recently obtained a full liquor license and has since introduced a selection of internationally inspired cocktails and small plates.

The new drinks include a rum-based “bashful Havana” with coconut and pureed cherries; a Bangkok pear martini; a Peruvian pisco sour and more.

The list is complemented by dishes such as Turkish lamb kofta; B’stilla Moroccan chicken with dates and almond triangles; and fried mussels brochettes. 2864 Adams Ave., 619-280-5600,

“No borders!” is the theme of this year’s fourth annual Ceviche Showdown, to be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, at Fifty Seven Degrees in Middletown.

The event includes for the first time restaurants from Mexico that will compete against chefs from several local establishments such as Old Town Tequila Factory, Red Card Café, Coasterra, Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant, The Blind Burro and more.

South-of-the-border challengers include Villa Saverios from Tijuana and Finca Altozano from Ensenada.

Attendees can roam the venue freely to sample the ceviches and vote on them. The creations run the gamut from traditional to nouveau. A people’s choice award will be given in addition to “best ceviche” honors decided by a panel of judges.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. 1735 Hancock St., 619-234-5757,

Ceviche from both sides of the border will be spotlighted in an upcoming competition. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Due to open July 27 in Liberty Station is Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant spotlighting Peruvian cuisine and cocktails, as well as wines and beers from several South American regions.

The venture is backed by restaurateur Sami Ladeki of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and executive chef Emmanuel Piqueras, who last worked at Panca in New York City and is an occasional host of “Sabor y Fusion,” a popular cooking show aired throughout Latin America. 2401 Truxton Road, #102, 619-222-3111.

Del Mar’s first craft brewery has arrived with a tasting room, restaurant and views of the San Dieguito Wetlands. Founded by local chef and home brewer Charles Koll, the new Viewpoint Brewing Co. features signature pale ales, IPAs and a saison, in addition to several beers on tap from local, boutique breweries such as Duck Foot, Eppig and Societe.

Set within a 7,000-square-foot space that previously housed a commercial pottery studio, the food offerings include pretzel bao buns, steak frites with coffee stout demi glace, and steelhead trout with roasted tomatoes and soybean puree. Heading the kitchen is Gunnar Planter, who trained under acclaimed chef Martin Woesle at Mille Fleurs. Many of Planter’s recipes incorporate beer from Viewpoint. 2201 San Dieguito Drive, Del Mar, 858-356-9346,

A brewery and restaurant on a scenic perch has opened in Del Mar. (Photo by William Perls)


—Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

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