From car parts to Japanese rolls, the former auto-repair garage located on the lot of The Gym in Pacific Beach has turned into Umo Sushi.
Owner Jon Russo and chef Leo Rodriguez, who last worked at Hane Sushi in Bankers Hill, have created a concise selection of nigiri and sushi rolls named playfully after the restaurant’s proximity to the gym. They include the “619 muscle,” “Mr. Clean” and “sexy strong.”
Russo said the redo of the space involved “a full scrub, de-greasing and repainting” for achieving its current lounge feel. 2951 Garnet Ave., 619-772-3093.
BAY HILL TAVERN
What used to be Blackthorn Irish Pub in Bay Park is now Bay Hill Tavern. The establishment has ownership ties to Second Nature in Pacific Beach and Working Class in North Park. It offers hearty grub, craft beef, and kicky cocktails. Among the top food sellers are one-pound orders of chicken wings, pastrami Reubens, Kauai chicken pizza with whiskey barbecue sauce, and an ice cream sundae with jalapeno-chocolate drizzle. 3010 Clairemont Drive. For more information, call 619-326-8828 or visit bayhilltavernsd.com.
Condé Nast Traveler recently directed its focus on San Diego’s dining scene by citing “25 best restaurants” in the county, from Oceanside and down into our urban core. Establishments in Ocean Beach and La Jolla made the list – Little Lion Cafe and Wayfarer Bread & Pastry, respectively.
The former was called out for using fresh California ingredients, particularly in its breakfast-brunch fare. The bistro’s congenial staff and cozy atmosphere were also noted. (1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., 619-756-6921, thelittlelioncafe.com.)
Wayfarer received praise for having “the best sourdough loaves and pastries in town.” Not mentioned in the article is the bakery’s recent reintroduction of pizza night, a popular draw that takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday. (5525 La Jolla Blvd., 858-454-1924, wayfarerbread.com.)
All may not be lost when Newport Pizza and Ale House in Ocean Beach closes on Oct. 27.
General manager Megan Schuster tells us, “It’s looking very good that we’ll be moving to another nearby property on Newport Avenue. We’re just waiting to work out the details for signing a lease.”
The establishment has been around since 1984, starting originally as a pizzeria before becoming a serious beer bar as well. Its current landlord, Schuster added, “did not want to renew our lease.” Stay tuned for updates. 5050 Newport Ave., 619-224-4540, obpizza.com.
LAGOM BALANCED FOOD
Attention healthy eaters and those taking a break from processed foods: A new cafe specializing in wholesome takes on sinful dishes has emerged in the heart of downtown La Jolla. It’s called Lagom Balanced Food, which replaced Grater Grilled Cheese.
With a bright, homey interior awash in pink, the menu features sweet and savory dishes using “all-natural ingredients and some organic,” according to Joaquin Fernandez, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Karina. The couple also owns four restaurants with a similar concept in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Their menu at Lagom, which is a Swedish word that denotes a balanced lifestyle, features baked goods made on-site, plus breakfast dishes, bowls, Mexican fare and more. Many items are free of gluten, dairy, and sugar. 723 Pearl St., 858-203-7679, lagomfood.us.
CORVETTE DINER HALLOWEEN
Halloween events in San Diego are aplenty, but among the most family-friendly is Corvette Diner’s all-day “monster mash party,” to be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 27. Patrons can expect everything from balloon artists and dress-up contests for kids, adults, and couples, to a “fright night” DJ and $5 arcade cards given to those wearing costumes. (Costume judging will begin at 1:30 p.m.) 2965 Historic Decatur Road, 619-542-1476, dinersd.com.