The Dish: Temaki Bar, Botanica, Louisiana Charlie’s and more top restaurant openings this week

Temaki Bar: Handroll, Sushi, Sake opens today in Encinitas. It’s a new concept from Las Vegas-based Clique Hospitality, which also recently opened a second Temaki Bar at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.

The menu at the 45-seat restaurant and bar is overseen by the Clique’s executive chef, JoJo Ruiz. Most of the seating surrounds the central sushi bar, where chefs prepare dishes in the traditional temaki style, which are cooked to order in front of the customer and designed to be eaten immediately while the fish is still cold and the rice is still hot.

Some of Clique’s other San Diego properties are Lionfish Coastal Kitchen, Serea Coastal Kitchen, and Joya Kitchen. Open Tuesday through Sunday, Temaki Bar is at 575 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas. Visit

The Meditative Rose cocktail at the Botanica cocktail bar in North Park.

(Courtesy of Megan Jane Burgess)

Botanica opens at North Park

Botanica, a 48-seat speakeasy-style cocktail bar, opened Oct. 27 in the Art Produce building in North Park.

Owned by San Diego’s Be Saha Hospitality Group, Botanica offers a cocktail program centered around juniper, a distilled botanical alcohol born in the Netherlands with a history dating back to the 16th century. Beverage Director Marina Ferreira of RoseWater Cocktail Co. has created a cocktail menu inspired by herbs grown in a garden shared by Botanica, with ingredients such as rose, sandalwood, passion fruit, grappa to chamomile and more. The Botanica’s small-bite menu, created by Executive Chef Tiffany Tran, includes paella-inspired croquettes, Wagyu oyster tartare, three-way salmon and vegetable crudités.

Botanica is open Wednesday through Monday at 3139 Ave., San Diego. Visit

A selection of dishes at the new Louisiana Charlie's at Seaport Village.

A selection of dishes at the new Louisiana Charlie’s at Seaport Village.

(Courtesy of Louisiana Charlie’s)

Louisiana Charlie’s Beginnings in Seaport Village

Louisiana Charlie’s is the latest restaurant to open in the transforming Seaport Village of the Port of San Diego, which has undergone a massive transformation in recent years.

Founded in Long Beach in 2014 by owners Shanda and Eric Laurent, Louisiana Charlie’s serves mesquite barbecue and Creole and Cajun cuisine. Menu highlights include ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket, fried alligator legs, jambalaya, okra fries, crawfish stew, po’boy sandwiches and seafood porridges.

The restaurant is now open daily in the Carousel District of Seaport Village at 849 W. Harbor Drive, Building 55, San Diego. Visit

The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival returns in full

After two years with a limited schedule, the 18th annual festival returns next week with 13 events from Wednesday through November 13. Highlights include: Louis Latour Mentorship Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Ranch 45 in Solana Beach ($425); Michael Mina and Carl Schroeder dine at Market Restaurant & Bar in Del Mar at 5:30 p.m. Thursday ($550); the National Grand Decant Wine Tasting at Carruth Cellars at Liberty Station at 6 p.m. Nov. 11 ($85); the Grand Tasting, with dozens of vendors serving tasting portions and sips on the Embarcadero Marina Park North from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 12 ($200); and the Grande Fiesta with the Taco TKO contest, live music and a Mexican Spirits Pavilion at Liberty Station from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 13 ($95). Full list of events, venues and tickets at

Sip Fresh opens a UTC point of sale

Sip Fresh, a quick-serve beverage chain, opened its second location in San Diego County last month at the Westfield UTC Center. Sip Fresh serves fruit infused teas, smoothies, lemonades, tropical fruit drinks and Mexican-style horchata and spiced chamoy drinks.

The new location is at 4305 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite 2395, San Diego. Another location is at the Plaza Bonita Center at 30330 Plaza Bonita Road, Suite 1070, National City. Visit

A class on the new omakase tasting menu at Lumi by Akira Back restaurant in San Diego.

A class on the new omakase tasting menu at Lumi by Akira Back restaurant in San Diego.

(Courtesy of Zack Benson)

Lumi by Akira Back, a 2-year-old Gaslamp Quarter modern Japanese restaurant with a menu from star chef Akira Back, has introduced a new $125 8-course omakase menu. This menu is offered from Tuesday to Thursday only.

Dishes include whole local aji (mackerel) fried with salsa criolla, chawan mushi (steamed egg custard) with yuzu mousse, and Peruvian-style scallop ceviche. Optional drink pairings of cocktails or sake are available for $65, and optional extras like Osetra caviar, king crab, and A5 Wagyu beef are available. Lumi is at 366 Fifth Ave., San Diego. Visit

You & Yours unveils coffee liqueur

You & Yours, an East Village-based distillery that sells canned cocktails made from its own homemade gins and vodka, has introduced a new bottled alcohol made from coffee.

Up & At ‘Em is a vodka-based liqueur made with You & Yours grapes, cold brew coffee, orange peel, cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. Retailing for $42, Up & At ‘Em is available now from the You & Yours Tasting Room in East Village and is rolling out to California retail stores this month. The You & Yours Tasting Room is open Wednesday through Sunday at 1495 G St., San Diego. Visit

AAPI pastry chefs plan charity bake sale

Six Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) chefs from San Diego will be hosting a charity bake sale from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on November 13 at The Cowboy Star, 540 Tenth Ave., San Diego. The AAPI Friendly Feast Chefs Bake Sale will benefit Friendly Feast and the Pacific Arts Movement.

Participating chefs are Jamie Decena of Cowboy Star; Faye Rodriguez of Faye Desserts; Justin Gaspar of Tribute Bakehouse; Phillip Esteban of White Rice; Kristianna Zabala of KRZ Kitchen; and Ashley Del Rosario of One Teaspoon of Yum. They will each contribute a bakery item to a pastry box priced at $39. The boxes are now on sale for pre-order at Pick up times will be arranged in advance.

Pendry hosts the Chefsgiving dinner

The Provisional Kitchen at the Pendry Hotel will host a Chefsgiving dinner at 6 p.m. on November 10. Chef Brandon Sloan and several other well-known San Diego chefs will collaborate on the family-style dinner with wine pairings to benefit the San Diego Food Bank. Joining Sloan are Pastry Chef Pendry Tara Cortez, Executive Chef JoJo Ruiz of Lionfish/Serea Coastal Cuisine, Chef Chris Gentile of Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, Executive Chef Tara Luansing of Animae, Executive Chef Davin Waite of Wrench & Rodent, executive chef Carmine Lopez of Wolf in the Woods, Crystal White, owner of Wayfarer Bread and Pastry, and Clément Le Déoré of Desserts by Clément. Tickets are $160 and include a $30 donation to the food bank. Book at

Celebrity Chef Match: Anthony vs. Sasto

Herb & Wood chef Carlos Anthony and ‘Top Chef’ alum Joe Sasto, who appeared on Food Network’s ‘Tournament of Champions’ and ‘Guy’s Grocery Games’ together, will face off in a competition and dinner next week to raise funds for CJ’s Smile and Ronald McDonald House. Chefs will work with random ingredients to prepare the first course that diners deem the winner, followed by a pre-planned three-course dinner with wine pairings. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Herb & Wood, 2210 Kettner Blvd., San Diego. $200.

Taste of university heights

The University Heights Art Association is hosting its 15th annual self-guided tasting event and Art Open studios explore on November 13. A map will guide ticketed visitors to participating restaurants and artist studios that will be open for tours. Tastings take place from noon to 3 p.m. and the Arts are open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free shuttle service is available to mapped locations. The starting point is Kairoa Brewing Co., 4601 Park Blvd., San Diego. $30 in advance or $35 the day of the event. (619) 297-3166 or

The beer garden at the Lodge

The Lodge at Torrey Pines will host a craft beer tasting event featuring top chefs preparing tasting portions to accompany the beers. Participating breweries include AleSmith, Ballast Point, Belching Beaver, Burgeon Beer, Coronado Brewing, Dos Desperados and many more. Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. 1480 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla. $145.

Beyond the cellar

The Lodge at Torrey Pines hosts its second annual wine tasting event with more than a dozen California wineries offering sips of exclusive and reserve vintages. Charcuterie and cheeses will be served and there will be live music. 5 to 7:30 p.m. November 19. 1480 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla. $250.

Whiskey & Wine Festival

Estancia La Jolla hosts its annual celebration of food and spirits from the southern United States. A selection of Southern-style comfort food will be served alongside whiskeys, bourbons and wines from Woodford Reserve, Heaven Hill, Elijah Craig, High West, Wild Turkey, Nelson, Suntory, Jim Beam, Angels Envy and more. 6-9 p.m. November 19. 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla. $150, includes parking in the valley.

Brunch and beers

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosts its annual brunch and beer event as part of the fall racing competition. Craft beers, Bloody Marys, a michelada bar and hot breakfast items will be available for sale. 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. November 19. Seaside Cabana, Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. $35, includes track admission, printed schedule, two drink tickets, and trackside viewing.

Kragen writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email him at [email protected].