HomeEntertainmentThe Dish: Kinme Omakase in Bankers Hill leads this week's list of...

The Dish: Kinme Omakase in Bankers Hill leads this week’s list of new restaurant openings and local dining news


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Kinme Omakase, a 10-seat Japanese sushi restaurant, will open March 15 in Bankers Hill.

Kinme is the passion project of Shihomi Borillo and executive chef Nao Ichimura, whose first restaurant project together was Azuki Sushi Lounge, two blocks to the south.

Kinme will serve a 10-course omakase meal priced at $175. Inspired by the Kaiseki and Edomae sushi traditions, the restaurant combines old-world traditions with new techniques and a devotion to sourcing its fish from Japan’s Toyosu fish market in Tokyo as well as local purveyors within a 90-mile radius.

The menu at Kinme will be changed monthly and seasonally. Some of the regular dishes will include oyster with sturgeon caviar and blood orange pearls, sashimi, chawanmushi, nigiri, soup, dessert and matcha tea service.

Kinme occupies the 900-square-foot space that was formerly Hachi Ramen at 2505 Fifth Ave. It will offer seatings at 5 and 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. kinmeomakase.com

Mr. Moto to open Convoy location

Cheese pizza from Mr. Moto Pizza House in La Jolla.


Mr. Moto Pizza House, the locally born New York-style pizzeria chain, will open its eighth San Diego County location this month at 4646 Convoy St., Suite 114, in Kearny Mesa.

Launched in 2015 in Pacific Beach by Gibran Fernandez, the chain has grown to include outlets in Seaport Village, North Park, Little Italy, Point Loma, Mission Valley, and Encinitas.

Mr. Moto sells slices and whole pies for takeout and delivery. Its specialty pies include the Furious Diablo, topped with garlic chicken, buffalo sauce and a garlic paste base, and the Mamma Mia, with spinach, pepperoni, bacon and Gorgonzola cheese. mrmotopizza.com

Stella Jean’s debuts in P.B.

Stella Jean's Earl Grey Citrus Tea Cake ice cream.

Stella Jean’s Earl Grey Citrus Tea Cake ice cream.

(Courtesy photo)

Stella Jean’s Ice Cream, founded in University Heights in 2018, opened its fourth outlet last weekend at 829 Garnet Ave. in Pacific Beach. The scoop shop’s 7-year-old sister brand, Pop Pie Co., will soon move into the P.B. location as well.

Both businesses are owned by partners Steven Torres and chef Gan Suebsarakham. Stella Jean’s is a small-batch, premium ice cream brand that’s known for its unique flavors like ube and pandesal, mango sticky rice, melon basil ice box pie and tiramisu crunch. Pop Pie makes miniature sweet and savory pies, salads and coffee.

The P.B. space joins side-by-side Stella Jean’s-Pop Pie shops in University Heights, Point Loma and Costa Mesa. A fifth location is planned in South Park later this year. stellajeans.com, poppieco.com

Dave’s Hot Chicken in Oceanside

Dave's Hot Chicken fingers and sandwiches.

Dave’s Hot Chicken fingers and sandwiches.

(Courtesy of Dave’s Hot Chicken)

Dave’s Hot Chicken, a 6-year-old Los Angeles-born spicy fried chicken restaurant chain, will open its fourth San Diego County location Friday, March 10, in Oceanside.

Dave’s is known for its limited menu of fried chicken tenders and sandwiches and a couple of sides. Diners can choose between seven preferred heat levels, from “no spice” to “reaper.”

The new location, at 4201 Oceanside Blvd., is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. daveshotchicken.com

A dish from Ambrogio by Acquerello's spring menu.

A dish from Ambrogio by Acquerello’s spring menu.

(Courtesy of Ambrogio by Acquerello)

Ambrogio by Acquerello unveils spring menu: This new Italian gastronomy restaurant co-owned by San Diego’s Milano Five restaurant group (Ambrogio15 pizzerias) and Michelin-starred Acquerello near Milan, has rolled out a new menu. The gourmet, prix fixe restaurant serves an eight-course tasting menu called Dancing With the Stars for $159, or a vegetarian alternative called A Walk in the Garden that’s $139. The menu features dishes created by the Acquerello chef team that have been adapted to celebrate California’s seafood, produce and other ingredients. Some of the new dishes include sea bass with Taggiasca olives and basil; an omelet surprise; linguine with 24-month-aged Parmesan and mint; lamb with pistachio and eggplant; and black cod with toasted polenta and milk. 7556 Fay Ave., La Jolla. (858) 412-3432 ambrogiobyacquerello.com

An aperitivo on the new menu at Ambrogio by Acquerello in La Jolla.

An aperitivo on the new menu at Ambrogio by Acquerello in La Jolla.

(Ambrogio by Acquerello)

Islands teams with Jason Momoa: Carlsbad-based Islands Restaurants has introduced a new cocktail made with Melli Vodka, a liquor brand owned by film star Jason Momoa and apparel maker Blaine Halvorson. The Deep Blue Sea cocktail, named in honor of Momoa’s Aquaman film character, is a blue-hued tiki drink that includes Koloa coconut rum, blue-hued Curacao liqueur, pineapple juice and house-made citrus sour. Islands has seven locations in San Diego County. islandsrestaurants.com

Dining and drinking events

Morton’s hosts Justin wine dinner: Morton’s the Steakhouse in the Gaslamp Quarter will host “A Taste of Two Legends” dinner on Saturday, March 11, featuring a five-course meal paired with five Justin Wines varieties. The meal will include a grilled double-cut lamb chop, braised beef cheeks and hot sticky toffee cake. 6:30 p.m. March 11. 285 J St., San Diego. $169. (619) 696-3369, mortons.com

Vegan Depot debuts in Encinitas: Moonlight Marketplace, in conjunction with Vegan Depot, will host its first all-vegan market on Saturday, March 11, in Encinitas, featuring vegan food, organic produce and vegan food products. Moonlight Marketplace is a product of the Los Angeles Silverlake Flea market, and Vegan Depot is a Corona-launched vegan farmers market. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. 459 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas. free. instagram.com/vegandepot_sandiego

St. Baldrick’s Shave-a-Thon: This weekend, Nason’s Beer Hall at the Pendry Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter will host this 14th annual charity event, where fundraisers agree to have their heads shaved at the event for donations to fight childhood cancer. The event will include live music and cocktail sales. Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 11. 570 J St., San Diego. pendry.com

The puerco picante pizza at North Italia.

The puerco picante pizza will be served at the Del Mar and Fashion Valley locations of North Italia March 14 through April 10.

(North Italia)

North Italia celebrates Pi Day: North Italia, with locations in Del Mar and Fashion Valley, will celebrate Pi Day on Tuesday, March 14, with the kickoff of a monthlong celebration of artisan pizzas. Fifteen new pizzas will be sold from Tuesday through April 10, with different pizzas in each region. The two San Diego outlets will be selling the Puerco Picante pizza, which is a smoky twist on a traditional Mexican stew, priced at $18. northitalia.com

Paws on the Patio: Sally’s Fish House & Bar will host a dog-themed event next week featuring pup-themed cocktails, JuneShine kombucha, Second Chance Beer, a dog menu, canine swag items, games and raffles. Proceeds of food and drink sales will benefit local dog resuce organizations. Dogs are welcome. Noon to 4 p.m. March 18. Sally’s Fish House, Manchester Grand Hyatt, 1 Market Place, San Diego. Free. eventbrite.com (search for “Paws on the Patio”)

Boots on the Beach in I.B.: Sea180 Coastal Tavern in Imperial Beach will host a country line-dancing party on March 18 featuring cocktails, chef-prepared bites, a live DJ and line dancing. Food will include tri-tip sliders, jalapeño mac ‘n’ cheese and baked beans, as well as samplings of Skrewball Whiskey, Templeton Rye and Jefferson Bourbon. 6:30 p.m. March 18. 800 Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach. $65. cohnrestaurants.com/sea180

Make Projects Dinner 2023: In honor of Women’s History Month, chef Tara Monsod of Animae restaurant will host the second Make Projects dinner neon March 19. Proceeds will benefit Make Projects, a social enterprise for refugee and immigrant women and youths in San Diego. Five female chefs will join Monsod in preparing a six-course dinner, including Laura Warren of Puffer Malarkey restaurants, Cesarina Mezzoni of Cesarina restaurant in Point Loma, Marissa Williams of Herb & Sea in Little Italy, Rasika Venkatesa of Michelin-starred Mourad SF, and Melissa Miranda of Musang in Seattle. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 19. 969 Pacific Highway, San Diego. $295 (proceeds will benefit Make Projects). animaesd.com

Carruth Cellars Barrel Tasting Party: The Solana Beach urban winery will host its 13th tasting event, where guests can sample 10 wine varietals directly from the barrel. Neapolitan pizza will also be served. Ticket holders can also preorder discounted fall 2023 wines before they are bottled. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 25; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 26. 118 S. Cedros Ave., Suite C, Solana Beach. $70. carruthcellars.com

Kragen writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at pam.kragen@sduniontribune.com.

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