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Nashville Hot Chicken Specialist Lands in Carlsbad

Plus more openings and food news

A honey butter fried chicken sandwich.
A honey butter fried chicken sandwich.
Red Chickz

A Los Angeles-based practitioner of Nashville Hot Chicken with an enormous following on TikTok has expanded to San Diego where the first of its three planned locations for the area has arrived at the Shoppes at Carlsbad. Red Chickz was founded in 2018 by Nima Christensen and Shawn Lalehzarian but its Carlsbad outpost will be operated by Mathew and Mark Shlemon, a pair of local brothers who also run Abbey’s Real Texas BBQ and the Philadelphia Sandwich Co. Its grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, December 2, when the first 100 guests will get a free honey butter chicken sandwich with the purchase of any full-priced menu item.

Jazmin and Richard Blais Release New Cookbook

Celeb chef Richard Blais of “Next Level Chef” and “Top Chef All-Stars” fame has written his third cookbook, a collaboration with his wife, Jazmin, called Plant Forward: 100 Bold Recipes for a Mostly Healthy Lifestyle that shows how they tend to cook and eat at home. The couple is hosting a meet-and-greet event on Wednesday, November 29 at California English in Sorrento Mesa where ticketholders will receive a signed copy of the book.

Patisserie Melanie Debuts Dinner Service

Parisian-inspired bakery and cafe Patisserie Melanie, which opened earlier this spring on 30th Street, is serving up a series of three-course pop-ups before officially starting regular dinner service on Wednesday, December 6. Remaining preview dates include Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2, with the full dinner menu spanning savory French bistro classics like coq au vin and boeuf bourguignon as well as traditional desserts including tarte au citron and île flottante, which features light-as-air meringues floating in creme anglaise.

A table set for dinner.
A table set for dinner at Patisserie Melanie.
Kari Austin

Cori Trattoria Pastificio Launches Winter Menu

Just in time for holiday dinners and parties, the cozy Italian restaurant is introducing its latest seasonal menu from the kitchen of accomplished Sicilian chef and owner Accursio Lota that includes savory fritelle with cacio e pepe foam and hearty 18-hour braised shortribs. The menu also features pasta made in-house, from ravioli filled with kabocha squash and mostarda to seafood carbonara with ancient grain spaghettoni, Lota’s dish that won the World Pasta Championship in 2017.

Smashburgers Arrive at Westfield UTC

The second San Diego-area location for the fast-casual Smashburger chain has opened at the Collection at UTC, the newest section of the shopping center that also houses Menya Ultra Ramen and Blue Bottle Coffee. Open daily for lunch and dinner, the new 2,355-square-foot restaurant serves up its signature Angus beef burgers, whose patties are smashed on a hot seasoned grill, as well as grilled and fried chicken sandwiches, and turkey and black bean burgers. Other offerings include salads, sides like crispy Brussels sprouts, and milkshakes, plus beer and wine.