The New Zealand-inspired Dunedin New Zealand Eats in North Park recently launched weekday breakfast service, available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., as an extension to its successful weekend brunch offered within the same time frame. Many of the dishes carryover from the brunch menu, such as the baked pancake paired with apples and fried habanero chicken, and a hearty croque madame-style béchamel bread pudding with Gruyere cheese, ham, eggs, potatoes and roasted tomatoes. There’s also a traditional Kiwi breakfast featuring eggs, sausage, baked beans and potatoes. 3501 30th St., 619-255-8566, dnp-sd.com.
Napizza in The HUB Hillcrest Market has closed but will restructure under the same ownership as a sit-down modern Italian restaurant called Casa Maestoso. Co-founder Christopher Antinucci said he partnered with a “high-end chef from Rome” for the project, which is slated to debut in March.
Napizza has existing locations in Little Italy, the 4S Commons Town Center, and Encinitas. Another will open in December in University Town Center.
“All of our other stores are healthy, but the Hillcrest location wasn’t making much money. It was way too big for our concept,” he added. “We have high hopes for the new concept and banners will start going up soon.” 1040 University Ave., na-pizza.com.
’Tis the season when pumpkin spice finds its way into countless food products. For those who prefer the holiday flavoring used sanely — in let’s say gelato instead of popcorn, salad dressing and other unlikely edibles — Pappalecco will roll out pumpkin-walnut Nutella gelato at all five of its locations during the month of November.
Sold in scoops, customers can indulge in the gelato in either a cup, cone or over a shot of hot espresso. It’s also available to-go in pints and quarts. Pappalecco offers Tuscan-inspired savories, coffee drinks and wine, and operates in Hillcrest, Kensington, Little Italy, Del Mar and Cardiff. pappalecco.com.
Vom Fass in The HUB Hillcrest Market is throwing an all-day fall party from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11. The customer-appreciation event will feature complimentary salads, appetizers, mulled-spiced wine and cocktails, as well as raffles. 1050 University Ave., Suite E103, 619-534-5034, vomfasshillcrest.com.
Local chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, an upcoming contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef” (season 15), has teamed up with San Diego-based Rise & Shine Restaurant Group (Fig Tree Café and Breakfast Republic) to launch El Jardin, a modern Mexican restaurant in Liberty Station. The project is scheduled to open early next year.
Wilkins will serve as the restaurant’s executive chef while capturing the flavors and ingredients she came to know from spending time with her family in Tijuana and Guadalajara. She was chef de cuisine at the former Bracero in Little Italy and previously competed in season two of “Top Chef Mexico.” 2865 Sims Road, riseandshinerg.com.
Chef Mitsu Aihara, formerly of Sushi Ota, is applying modern spins on sushi, sashimi and Japanese tapas at the new Himitsu in La Jolla, which is open only for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The 30-seat restaurant was launched by the owners of The Taco Stand and Mexico City restaurateur Edo Kobayashi. It also offers an omakase menu that changes nightly. 1030 Torrey Pines Road, 858-263-4463, himitsusd.com.