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SD Food News: June 19–23

The latest in food and drink happenings around town this week
Photo Credit: James Tran
Cucina Carnevale

Cucina Carnevale

The Mains

Couple Transforms a Wedding Gift into a Growing Pizza Business

Like so many of us during the pandemic, Mikey and Sara Carnevale tried to perfect the art of homemade bread and pastas in their newly abundant free time. They even took a stab at from-scratch pizzas, but that quickly fizzled out (blame it on the capabilities of their conventional oven). Six months later, the pair married in Tuscany, where they got a real taste for Italian pizza-making. As fate would have it, they returned home from their four-month European honeymoon to find an Ooni pizza oven among their stack of wedding gifts—a present they added to their registry on a hopeful whim (the appliance sells for $350-plus). They worked on perfecting their technique and, after a few months of plying friends and family with pizza, they decided to share the love with more people.

In December, they opened up their pizza pop-up business, Cucina Carnevale, and began serving up hot pies at farmers markets in Solana Beach and Linda Vista, as well as at Culture Brewing. Now, they’re taking up a chef residency at Vino Carta’s Solana Beach and Little Italy locations. Each week, they will serve their pepperoni and margarita pizzas and a “pie of the week:” an experimental recipe using local ingredients from farmers markets and produce shops.

Vista Natives Open Sci Fi–Inspired Coffee Shop in Their Hometown

When Steel Mill Coffee moved out of downtown Vista at the beginning of May, buddies Louis Elguera and Omar Veytia saw their moment of opportunity. After dreaming up the idea of opening a specialty coffee shop—in Vista, specifically—they dropped everything and got the shop ready within a few weeks. “We both grew up walking up and down these streets,” Omar says. “I never would have imagined having a shop in Vista in the heart of our hometown. It feels very special, but also very natural.” The pair opened the doors to Cosmic Bloom Coffee at the end of last month. Since then, they’ve been serving up what they call innovative and “out-of-this-world” coffee—in line with their sci-fi, space-themed shop.

At Cosmic Bloom, you can grab traditional espresso-based drinks, but owners’ creativity shines most in their coffee immersions: specialty coffee that is steeped, like a tea, and then strained through a paper filter. They also offer signature drinks like their own “root beer” (a blend of espresso, syrup, and Topo Chico) or their spin on an Arnold Palmer, which replaces tea with espresso in the classic lemonade mix. The shop’s rotating supply comes from experimental roasters in Colombia and Indonesia. For example, you might find beans that were fermented in wine barrels for 10 days to produce a sweet, oaky flavor. Others were produced through an anaerobic (i.e. oxygen-free) fermentation process, which creates an especially floral essence.

Crab Hut

Crab Hut

Photo Credit: James Tran

Quick Bites

The Crab Hut celebrates 16 years at their Convoy location on June 20th from 5 to 10 p.m. Their “Sweet 16” party features food specials, a whiskey tasting, and, of course, a birthday cake.

Fans of the FX series The Bear probably spent the whole season craving character Marcus’ meticulously perfected chocolate cake. Culinary director and executive chef Mark Welker of Paradisaea and Dodo Bird Donuts is recreating the cake and selling slices of his take on the dessert on Thursday, June 22, at Dodo Bird in La Jolla to kick off season two of the hit series.

It’s the best kind of event: eating sweets for a good cause. The Scoop San Diego Ice Cream Festival is back with tastings from dozens of local ice cream and gelato shops. Held on Saturday, June 25, the event will raise money for the San Diego Food Bank.

Oceanside Japanese spot Matsu hosts a monthly izakaya-inspired pop-up called Tsuki. Chef and owner William Eick and his team are offering dishes like smoked gyoza, pork with Japanese curry and cabbage, and teriyaki karaage made with burnt-onion mayo and green onion. Their next pop-up is on Tuesday, June 27, from 5 to 11 p.m.

Have breaking-news, exciting scoops, or great stories about San Diego’s food scene? Send your pitches to [email protected].


By Elena Gomez

Elena Gomez is an Emmy-nominated reporter who has spent much of her journalism career working in broadcast news in San Diego and Los Angeles. She joined the San Diego Magazine team as a freelance writer in 2020.

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