San Diego

Weekend roundup

November 11-14


S.D. Bay Wine + Food Festival: Grand Decant

Nov. 12. Foodies and oenophiles, rejoice! After going dark in 2020 due to the pandemic, the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival is back, celebrating its 17th annual installment. Kicking off the festival weekend, the Grand Decant takes over the Julep event venue for an evening of wine tasting. Top sommeliers, wineries and vintners from California and across the U.S. will be on hand—staged in a walk-around setup and pouring both domestic and international labels. See website for tickets and safety protocols. 6-9 p.m. $75 per person. 1735 Hancock St., Midtown. More Info

S.D. Bay Wine + Food Festival: Grand Tasting

Nov. 13. The signature event of the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival returns. The culinary showcase brings together premier restaurants, chefs, wineries, beer and spirit purveyors, and gourmet food companies along the bayfront at Embarcadero Marina Park North. Featured chefs include Brian Malarkey, Bernard Guillas, Aron Schwartz, Kyungbin Min, Quinnton Austin, Travis Swikard, Josh Mouzakes, Denice Grande and Amy DiBiase. Noon-3 p.m. $150 general admission; $200 early admission (11 a.m.); $300 VIP (11 a.m. entry and access to exclusive tastings and live entertainment). 400 Kettner Blvd., Embarcadero. Tickets

Food + Drink

Rare Society Solana Beach

Now Open. Marking its first foray into North County, Trust Restaurant Group has opened a second location of Rare Society. The steakhouse evokes a nostalgic-glam, Rat Pack-era vibe—featuring polished-walnut tabletops with gold trim, an exhibition kitchen and covered patio. The menu offers premium steak cuts, seafood, Caesar salad and classic desserts; plus specialties such as dry-aged meatballs and roasted bone marrow with chimichurri. To drink: throwback craft cocktails and a wine program spotlighting “great American reds.” W-Su beginning at 5 p.m. 333 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, 858.771.0181.

Uncle Italian

Now Open. The UC San Diego campus welcomes a new family member. Say hello to Uncle Italian (formerly Soda & Swine) by Consortium Holdings. The happenin’ hangout serves Detroit-style pizzas, pastas, salads, beer and boozy slushes. What exactly defines “Detroit style”? Well, it’s a pizza rectangle (not a pie), with a thick, crispy-yet-chewy crust, and (usually) a healthy smattering of tomato sauce. Uncle Italian offers it in several basic varieties, including cheese (upon which you can add toppings), mortadella and mushroom. M-F 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 105 Eucalyptus Grove Lane, La Jolla, 619.629.0676.

New Happy Hour & Bar Menu at Graze by Sam

Now Available. Head to Little Italy Food Hall for a new happy hour offered at the main bar and Graze bar. Enjoy $8 cocktails, $7 glasses of house wine, $6 draft beers and select bites for $5. Graze by Sam has also unveiled a new seasonal cocktail menu. Try the Cold Snap with chocolate liqueur and peppermint schnapps; Basic B with vanilla vodka and pumpkin spice; and Happy Camper (pictured) with Skrewball peanut butter whiskey and chocolate bitters. Open daily (happy hour M-F 3-6 p.m.) 555 W. Date St., Little Italy, 619.269.0335.

Hidden Fish

Open. Consider it a sushi speakeasy (sort of). With just 13 seats, the Convoy District’s intimate dining den is the city’s first traditional omakase sushi bar. Sit back and let the chef decide your meal of strictly nigiri (and maybe a few hand rolls)—featuring rotating catches flown in from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan. Centered on a “timed dining” concept that is popular in Japan and NYC, the 90-minute experience includes 18 pieces of sushi. See website for hours and reservations. $135 per person. 4764 Convoy St., Suite A, Kearny Mesa, 858.210.5056.

Tabu Shabu North Park

Open. The traditional Japanese “hot pot” concept takes a modern turn at this casual-cool haunt. From old-fashioned shabu-shabu—in which thinly sliced veggies and meats such as prime rib and wagyu short rib are boiled in water and served with dipping sauces—to build-your-own ramen bowls, Tabu Shabu is a fun dining experience. Be sure to try the house-made dumplings and black-sesame ice cream for dessert. To drink: sake, beer, wine and jasmine tea. Seating is first come, first served. Open daily (see website for hours). 3647 30th St., North Park, 619.408.0369.

Arts + Culture

Teatro Piñata at The New Children’s Museum

Opens Nov. 11. Educational wonderland The New Children’s Museum debuts an awe-inspiring new installation. Artist and local theater designer David Israel Reynoso, in collaboration with Optika Moderna, takes us “behind the curtain” with Teatro Piñata—the magical backstage world of a caravan theater. The installation comprises a theater-wagon “stage,” a secret ticket-booth tunnel, dressing rooms, a “costume forest,” shadow puppetry and more. Like a piñata, the exhibit aims to inspire and delight those who crack it open. See website for hours and admission. 200 W. Island Ave., downtown, 619.233.8792.

Broadway San Diego’s Hairspray

Upcoming | Nov. 16-21. Kicking off its 44th season, Broadway San Diego returns with its first production since early 2020: Hairspray. The Tony Award-winning musical comedy launches its new North American tour at the Civic Theatre, led by director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. The story follows 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad (Niki Metcalf) in 1960s Baltimore, as she dances her way onto the most popular show on TV. The cast also includes Andrew Levitt (aka Nina West) and Toneisha Harris. See website for safety protocols and tickets. 1100 Third Ave., downtown.

La Jolla Playhouse’s To the Yellow House

Upcoming | Nov. 16-Dec. 12. The second of three Playhouse world premieres this season, To the Yellow House takes us inside the world of iconic painter Vincent Van Gogh, circa February 1886 in Paris (four years before his death in 1890). Van Gogh finds himself broke and struggling, and shows up at his brother’s doorstep in Montmartre. Written by Kimber Lee (pictured) and directed by Neel Keller, it’s an intimate portrait of a tortured artist as he paints, drinks, argues and agonizes. Tickets start at $39. 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, 858.550.1010.

Photo credits: Rare Society by Kimberly Motos. Hairspray by Phil Martin and Jeremy Daniel. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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