Even after it got a makeover on Gordon Ramsey's awkward Hotel Hell, there wasn't an "eat here" vibe coming from Merk, the restaurant attached to the Keating Hotel in the Gaslamp. Perhaps it's the name. On Sept. 26, the spot became the second location for Brick + Mortar. Its first, in Santa Monica, has earned a solid rep for its happy hour offerings and wine selection.
Popular Gaslamp tapas spot Cafe Sevilla's celebrating its 25th anniversary this month and there are a bunch of events taking place starting this week. On Sunday, Oct. 7, from 6 to 9 p.m., try six Torres wines paired with La Espanola cheeses and meats ($35 per person). From 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, Sevilla's new chef will present six new menu items, each paired with wine ($20 per person). Vote on your fave and the winner will be added to the menu. See Sevilla's website for more events and ticket info. ---
Last October, more than 27 chefs, sommeliers and crafty cocktailers headed to Mexico for the first Baja California Culinary Fest. On Oct. 11 through 14, the fest is back with more than three-dozen superstar chefs from Mexico, Europe and a handful of locals including Javier Plascencia (well, he's semi-local; his dad owns Romesco in Bonita), Chad White (Sea Rocket), Matt Gordon (Urban Solace) and Trey Foshee (George's at the Cove). The fest include cooking demos, dinners, a winery tour, a Tijuana gastro-tour and a stop at the Puerto Nuevo Lobster Festival. Find a full line-up of events is here.It's an event that might have garnered an eye roll if MIHO Gastrotruck wasn't involved. From Oct. 3 through 13, Dos Equis is bringing its "most interesting lunch experience" to San Diego with its Mobile Academy Food Truck. The truck's eclectic menu was dreamed up by the guys over at MIHO-Octopus tostadas (chopped octopus, epazote crema, cotija and house-made tostas), wild prawn samosas topped with fresh mint chutney and paella with wild rabbit, mussels and chorizo. The food, we're told, will be free, but you have to find the truck via Twitter, @DosEquis.