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SD Food News: June 5–9

The latest in food and drink happenings around town this week


The Mains

Sicilian Cousins Launch Italian Restaurant in La Mesa

Three years ago, cousins Andrea Carbonaro and Francesco Mancino touched down San Diego from Sicily. The pair dreamed of launching an Italian restaurant of their very own—but first, they decided to pick up some restaurant experience at Farmer’s Table in La Mesa. That neighborhood proved to be the perfect area in which to launch their own spot. Their new venture, Aromi, opened on Parkway Drive a few weeks back.

Named after the Italian word for “flavors,” the restaurant will celebrate the aromi of their native region with housemade pastas and gnocchis, plus Francesco’s signature cacio e pepe, which is prepared tableside within half of a massive pecorino cheese wheel. If you want to keep the show going, they also offer a tableside-made tiramisu (minus the wheel of formaggio, of course). Other choices include the spaghetti pistacchiosi made with a pistachio cream sauce and stracciatella cheese, as well as their Sicilian caponata dish, which involves eggplant, onion, olives, celery, and tomato sauce spread over toast. The sleek, 1,800-square-foot space features a bar area with velvety green and gold chairs, plus a patio out front.

New Bankers Hill Coffee Shop Says “Slow Down”

Grabbing a cup of coffee has never been easier—or faster. Between order-ahead apps to drive-through cafés, the only way we could pump caffeine into our veins more quickly is if we hooked ourselves up to an IV drip. However, an incoming coffee shop in Bankers Hill is trying to flip this quick coffee culture and take us back to the days when folks lingered over their lattes.

Sarah Girdzius and Gia Giambalvo are the co-owners—and married duo—behind Mnemonic Coffee. The shop is expected to open in July at the corner of 5th and Maple Street in downtown. A café was a natural choice for the couple, who met as employees in the coffee industry. “I think the dream of opening up a shop together pretty much happened in the really early days because we came from two sides of the same industry,” Gia recalls. “I was working in customer-facing café management and operations. Sarah was working behind the scenes, sourcing green coffee, running production, doing training, and running wholesale. It was obvious right off the bat that the two of us [combined] have everything you need to run a coffee business.”

Their intimate, 550-square-foot space will encourage customers to perch at the bar and chat with their “bartenders” to learn more about their cup of joe, which will come from a variety of roasters, including James Coffee Co. In addition, Sarah and Gia want their queer-owned coffee shop to feel inclusive and welcoming to everyone. And, while they would love for you to stay awhile, they will also have to-go coffees and non-alcoholic cocktails available—if you really gotta run.

Lucky's at the Beach Tacos

Lucky’s at the Beach Tacos

Courtesy of Good Time Design

Quick Bites

Not booking tickets to Hawai’i this summer? Take a mini vacy at the Catamaran Resort. The hotel is hosting Sunset Luaus on the Bay on Tuesdays and Fridays from June 13 through September 1, offering an all-you-can-eat Hawaiian buffet, hula dancing, music, and mai tais.

San Diego–based conservation group WILDCOAST is raising funds for their ocean conservation and climate action programs at their 11th annual Baja Bash event in Solana Beach on Saturday, June 17. Tickets are $200 per person and include tastes from some of San Diego’s top food people, including executive chef JoJo Ruiz from Lionfish and Temaki and chef Brad Wise from Rare Society.

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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