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Sushi Trailblazer Cafe Japengo Closing After 30 Years


A longtime local restaurant heads into its final month

First opened in 1990, Cafe Japengo will close this month after nearly three decades at Hyatt Regency La Jolla. The Asian-fusion eatery and sushi bar, helped develop local tastes for creatively-topped sushi rolls with signature creations including the Tootsie Roll and the Pizza Rolls. Japengo will shutter after dinner service on Friday, June 22; word is that it will be replaced by a national fitness chain.

Cauldron Ice Cream and JunShine host grand opening parties

This Saturday, June 9 marks the grand opening for two new local businesses, Convoy’s trendy dessert shop Cauldron Ice Cream and North Park hard organic kombucha brewery JuneShine. Cauldron’s shindig will run from 6 p.m to midnight with DJs, prizes, and giveaways for the first 100 people in line while JuneShine is throwing a block party from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. with live bands, food trucks, and kombucha bars.

Jim Sullivan

Carmel Valley Italian eatery updates name, design, and menu

Dolce at the Highlands, which opened in 2018 at The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, will close on June 18 and relaunch as Amici’s Ristobar on Friday, June 22. Chef Rhoelle Gabriel is refreshing the menu, keeping some Dolce favorites while introducing new shareable options and kid-friendly dishes including Eggplant Parmigiana in a Jar and Veal Milanese.

Bartender and chef wins from the week

Prohibition recently hosted a cocktail competition to kick off Negroni Week, and Noble Experiment’s Andrew Cordero scored first place while Sam Peters from George’s at the Cove and Coin Op Game Room’s Adam Lockridge took second and third. Meanwhile at this year’s California Restaurant Association’s Gold Medallion Awards, Whisknladle Hospitality corporate chef and partner Ryan Johnson was named Chef of the Year. And Zen Modern Asian Bistro’s Ethan Yang (who’s also behind Mein St. Asian Kitchen coming to the Little Italy Food Hall) won the top spot at a noodle contest judged by YouTube star Mike Chen.

Daniele Piazza
Courtesy photo

Ambrogio15 welcomes new chef

Pacific Beach’s modern Milan-inspired pizzeria Ambrogio15 has its first executive chef, Daniele Piazza, a “dough-master” who was most recently the head pizza chef at the historic Trattoria Ballotta in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Piazza will play a major role in continuing to develop the local Italian restaurant’s menu, including adding fresh dishes and innovating new pizza styles, as well as helping to oversee Ambrogio15’s second location in the Little Italy Food Hall.