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SD Food News: May 1–5

The latest in food and drink happenings around town this week
Stella Jean's Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Stella Jean’s Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

The Mains

The Scoop on Kensington’s New Stella Jean’s Ice Cream Location

A few minutes into my conversation with Steven Torres, the co-founder of Stella Jean’s and Pop Pie Co., I’m ready to set my GPS and drive more than 30 miles for ice cream. With flavors like ube and pandesal toffee and guava cream cheese—stuff I can’t find at my local Thrifty’s—the treat is worth the trip.

Stella Jean’s officially opened up their fourth San Diego location in Kensington last Friday in the former Moosie’s Ice Cream spot. The new space offers a full coffee bar with beans from Portland’s Heart Roasters (hello, affogatos!), and Kensington is the only location with a selection of Bobo’s cookies. Choose from six cookie flavors, two of which will roll in and out depending on the season. Some options include traditional flavors like oatmeal golden raisin, plus more creative tastes like miso snickerdoodle and blueberry pancake.

Order a single cookie open-faced with a scoop, or make a full dessert sandwich using their recommended cookie-ice cream pairings. Take your sweets on the road or enjoy them on the shop’s new outdoor patio. Torres and his team are on their way to launching two more locations in South Park and Carlsbad soon.

Wildflour Rendering.jpeg

Wildflour Rendering.jpeg

The Chef Behind White Rice Brings a California Deli to Liberty Station

Long before he launched White Rice in Liberty Station and Normal Heights, chef Philip Esteban had a vision for a restaurant he wanted to open one day. The idea was sparked by his time living in New York, where stops at local bodegas for a post-work sandwich became a special part of his routine. “I wrote eight business plans. This concept was the original one that I wanted to do back in 2013,” Philip recalls. Now, after a decade, his dream comes to life this summer.

Philip is opening Wildflour in Liberty Station—it’s his “take on a California deli,” he says, that will serve food and drinks from morning til night. For the breakfast crowd, the storefront will serve coffee from Provecho! Coffee Co. Later, the bar will shake up cocktails while the deli counter offers sandwiches and small plates with a focus on seafood like cured and smoked fish, which he’ll source from local fishermen at spots such as the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.

Some of Philip’s creations include his oceanic spin on the traditionally pork-focused Nduja toast. His version uses cured and aged tuna with the same traditional Nduja seasonings and peppers, topped with lemon and sea salt on levain bread from Pacific Beach’s Hommage Bakehouse. There’s also the opah—or sunfish—“pastrami” with pepper jelly on toast and Philip’s rendition of a katsu dish using local rockfish with fried capers and a remoulade alongside an arugula-onion salad.

The 2,400-square-foot indoor space will also have a large outdoor patio and a shared courtyard with neighbor Carruth Cellars. Wildflour is expected to open in early-to-late July. In the meantime, you can find some of Philips’s Wildflour dishes at Longplay HiFi, where he’s the current chef-in-residence.

City Tacos.jpeg

City Tacos.jpeg

Quick Bites

City Tacos celebrates its ninth anniversary with a new addition to the menu. Their featured taco this month is the Aztec Cauliflower, filled with achiote-rubbed cauliflower in a pineapple tepache alongside guacamole, white sesame seeds, black beans, and cilantro.

Puesto’s Headquarters in Seaport Village is expanding into the available space next door to add a new bar area—their fresh “home for cocktail innovation.” Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Marisi in La Jolla hosts their second dinner series event on Thursday, May 4. For a steep $1,000 a person, you can sit down for a six-course tasting menu paired with Buffalo Trace, Weller, and Pappy Van Winkle reserve whiskeys up to 23 years old.

The Cottage La Jolla offers a pop-up dinner on Friday, May 19, in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, with some of the proceeds benefiting the San Diego Asian Pacific Islander Coalition. The eight-course, prix-fixe meal will feature dishes inspired by Executive Chef Paolo Chan’s Polynesian roots and his travel experience, including items like grilled adobo musubi and seaweed pesto udon with seared ahi.


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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