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Sweetfin Poké Pop-Up and More A.M. Intel

Plus Monkey King grand opens, Moto Deli adds hours and Buona Forchetta offers a holiday treat

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Sweetfin Poké pop-up at Aloha Beach Club

Sweetfin Poké, the popular Los Angeles-based eatery that will open its first San Diego location at Westfield UTC is offering a free preview of its “pole-to-bowl” California-style, chef-menu menu at North Park’s Aloha Beach Club. Stop in from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 9 to shop goods from Aloha’s Hawaiian-made collection and sample poke with Sweetfin’s culinary guru and former Top Chef contestant Dakota Weiss. Barçon Cocktail Co. will be pouring island cocktails and beer for those 21 and up, and Aloha co-owners Kahana Kalama and Billy Wickens plan to take over the DJ booth as Sunburnt Reynolds.

Asian-inspired Monkey King relaunches in the Gaslamp

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There are so many new things to discover at Monkey King, the restaurant, bar and lounge named after an illegal lottery house that occupied its downtown space in the 1800s. Brendan Mica, formerly chef de cuisine at The Standard High Line in Manhattan, is the new executive chef and has just released a modern Chinese menu that includes Drunken Lobster Hong Kong style, a whole one-pound lobster served with grilled scallions and red chili sauce, and traditional house made dim sum; the Asian focus also extends to the cocktail list. Monkey King will be an oasis for late night dining, offering food service until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

North County’s Moto Deli expands with dinner and happy hour

Leucadia’s gourmet sandwich spot is now open until 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. New dinner offerings from Moto Deli chef Andrew Halvorsen include Reuben Tots ($10) made with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and housemade 10K island dressing, Chicken Liver Pate ($9) garnished with caramelized onions, cornichon and crostini and the Moto Burger ($9) centered around a 1/3 pound chuck, brisket and short rib patty topped with pickle, lettuce, tomato, onion, aged white cheddar, and secret sauce on a brioche bun. The motorcycle-themed cafe with a heated dog-friendly patio and children’s play area is also now offering happy hour, pouring local craft beer and wine from California and Italy.

Panettone from world-renowned pastry chef now at Buona Forchetta

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The ultimate version of panettone, a traditional Italian Christmas bread, is now available at Buona Forchetta. Made by master pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel of From Roy Bakery, who worked with Thomas Keller, Ferran Adrià of El Bulli, France’s Pierre Hermé, and Iginio Massari, known as the king of panettone, Shvartzapel’s version was described by The New York Times as “paradoxically rich and ethereal at the same time”. The 2.2lb, eight-inch high dessert goes through a 40-hours curing and proofing process using wild yeast; while supplies last, it’s available at Buona Forchetta South Park and Officine BuonaForchetta in Liberty Station at $10 per slice to dine-in.

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