Roger Nakamura, a second-generation sushi chef who worked for more than a decade at venerable Sushi Ota, has opened Hane Sushi in Bankers Hill (2760 Fifth Ave.), with Mr. Ota's blessing and backing. The new restaurant is much larger and more modern than Sushi Ota, with a separate sake bar and a roomy sushi bar. Though my allegiance is to Sushi Ota, I'm looking forward to having another venue for fresh, thoughtful and traditional Ota-style fish creations.
Mission Brewery is relatively new on the brew scene but has already won two awards at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival and has taps at some of San Diego best's beer destinations including The Linkery, which will feature Mission's beers in a four-course dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 3. The menu, inspired by the brewery's mostly German-style beers includes house-made liverwurst, grass-fed beef liver and onions, spaetzle and a cheesecake made with quark from Petaluma's Spring Hill Cheese. The dinner costs $45 (including beer pairings), and no reservations are needed—just stop by the restaurant (3794 30th St. in North Park) anytime after 5:30 p.m.
Extraordinary Desserts has partnered with L.A.-based chocolatier Valerie Confections on a new line of chocolate bars, some based on the dessert shop's best-selling cakes. Flavors include Gianduia (milk chocolate studded with caramelized organic hazelnuts) and the white-chocolate Linzer bar with raspberries, hazelnuts and almonds. Another bar, created to mark Extraordinary Desserts' 20th anniversary, is a salted-caramel-filled milk chocolate. They're $8.50 each and available at both the Bankers Hill and Little Italy locations. www.extraordinarydesserts.com
You can already find them at the weekly Hillcrest Farmers Market, but Knight Salumi Co. now has four varieties of its locally cured meats at Taste Artisan Cheese & Gourmet Shop (1243 University Ave). Sample them for free at the shop from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31. While you're in the store, pick up some cheese from local Winchester Cheese Company. I like the softly spiced cumin gouda in sandwiches and use the nutty super-aged gouda for grating or eating out of hand, like a parmesan.
On Sunday, Feb. 15, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue will hold a musubi-eating contest at its Mira Mesa location. The winner gets free airfare to Honolulu to compete in the championships for a $1,000 prize. What's musubi? It's a Hawaiian snack with Japanese origins—an oversized block of rice with a meat topping (from chicken and sausage to, yep, Spam). The competition musubi will be topped with corned beef. Enter at any local L&L location or online at www.hawaiianbarbecue.com.
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