Jan. 26 2011 10:46 AM

This week's food news includes openings, changes and an update on Crazee Burger Old Town's status

Gabriel Morales, Mistral’s new executive chef
Bayu's Authentic Ethiopian Cuisine (530 University Ave.) recently opened in Hillcrest. I'm always hesitant to try a place that touts itself as authentic, but I also rarely balk at food that doesn't involve white bread and Buddig ham—and the place has been getting good reviews—so count me in. (Oh, and speaking of Ethiopian food, check out this week's review.)

Hillcrest's long-time Terra Restaurant, wedged in the Trader Joe's shopping center for the last 13 years, will close in late March and reopen in La Mesa (7091 El Cajon Blvd.) the first or second week in April. It'll still do the farm-to-table thing, but in a less-stodgy setting and under the name Terra American Eatery. Full disclosure: Terra has hired me to do PR now and again during the past few years. I, for one, can't wait for parking that doesn't include fear of a rogue shopping cart hitting my car.

Readers are asking when Crazee Burger's Old Town location will open. Frustrated owner Wolfgang Peter Schlicht, who's been paying rent on it for months (Crazee Burger's original location is in North Park), cites an overabundance of red tape in securing his beer-and-wine license from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and says he submitted his application last June 16. Jennifer Hill of ABC, however, says Schlicht submitted his application on Aug. 16 and that three protests have been filed against the license. Long story short, the parties will have to work it out before the new Crazee surfaces and, if they can't come to an agreement and ABC finds the protests to be valid, the case will automatically go before a judge, and it could be a year before it gets sorted out. Rootbeer goes well with burgers, right? Update: The original version of this story said that Schlicht would have to take his case to a judge.

Guadalajara-boGabriel Morales recently replaced French master chef Marc Ehrler at Mistral, the ritzy coastal / French joint in Loews Coronado Bay. Morales, who's helmed several L.A. establishments and cooked for presidents and celebs, joins chef de cuisine Patrick Ponsaty (also co-owner of Golden Hill's Café Madeleine) in the kitch.

North Park's getting its Wang on as it becomes the second location for Wang's in the Desert, Palm Springs' colorful Pan-Asian resto. The site? 3029 University Ave., the gi-normous historic JCPenney building that was last seen as Big Lots. There have been setbacks along the way, but the project—part of North Park's redevelopment area—is back on track. Elizabeth Studebaker, executive director of North Park Main Street, says it could be October before Wang's opens. In any case, my prayers for 12,000 square feet of dim sum have been answered. wangsinthedesert.com

Got food news? Write to brookl@sdcitybeat.com.


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