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What We’re Craving, Sipping, and Talking About in August

A misshapen late-summer fruit, Japanese sandwiches, and a new members-only club downtown

By Marie Tutko

WWL - Peach

WWL – Peach

Fruit Loop

We’re already at the tail end of summer! One way to capture the flavor of the season before the days start getting shorter is to enjoy some top-notch stone fruit while they’re still ripe for picking. Peaches are a great choice for a summer fruit to sink your teeth into, but have you tried the donut peach? It looks misshapen and flattened compared to the standard oval peach, but don’t worry, it’s just as juicy (and its shape is considered a novelty in the fruit world).

The donut peach is one of 20 different varieties of flat peaches, which all descend from a wild peach found in China, according to research from Specialty Produce. Other fun nicknames for the fruit are “Saturn rings” and “UFO peaches.” While its soft white flesh unfortunately doesn’t taste like a glazed donut, it is pleasantly sweet and bright, and the pit at the core is small and easy to remove.

Look for the fruit at your local farmers’ market and at Specialty Produce, which should carry them this month. Try grilling them for salads, baking them into a dessert, or eating them as is. You can read all about the fruit’s history on the Share Market section of Specialty Produce’s website, and find recipe ideas, like an easy panzanella. How sweet it is!

WWL - Ichiban Sando

WWL – Ichiban Sando

Picnic Perk-Up

Fried chicken sandwiches may have been all the rage this year, but there’s another sandwich that deserves just as much attention: the Japanese sando. A longtime staple in Japanese convenience stores, a sando is typically slices of shokupan (white milk bread) stuffed with egg salad or katsu (a cutlet fried in panko), but they’re nothing like the average grab-and-go sandwich found in American gas stations—the bread is fluffy, and the fillings are crafted in an artful presentation that will make an impression at any picnic. The sando has become more popular here on the West Coast over the past few years, and now San Diego has more places where you can try them. Ichiban Sando opened in Chula Vista this spring, offering varieties of katsu sando that include shrimp, cheese, and tofu, on brioche as well as milk bread. EE Nami Tonkatsu Izakaya has been in Clairemont since last summer; they specialize in the fried pork cutlet preparation (the owner’s family is from Osaka): They have a six-piece pork katsu sando along with an extensive menu of appetizers and sake. As of press time, Kumo should be opening soon in Mira Mesa with a sando with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Feeling fancy? Naegi in Oceanside features one with A5 wagyu on a limited basis, and Huntress in the Gaslamp has one with a beef fillet from Revier Cattle Company topped with a mushroom-sake sauce.

Join the Club

The Reading Club, a new members-only space, is opening at the InterContinental Hotel next month. It’s the latest from CH Projects, and it has anything but a country-club vibe. For a $2,000 to $2,600 annual fee, you get access to private meeting spaces, a library, a bar, a listening room stocked with records, the hotel’s gym and pool, and rooftop views. Two of the club’s strict rules: One, no sharing photos of the interior on social media, and two, laptops must be shut off promptly at 5 p.m. Didn’t score one of the 400 memberships allotted? An adjacent new Italian restaurant, Seneca, will be open to everybody.

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