The Dish: Village Kobob, Coco Maya, Carruth Cellars, El Tianguis and more announce restaurant openings


Gaetano Cicciotti, the restaurateur behind Cicciotti Trattorias in Carlsbad and Cardiff and Mexican restaurant Cocina del Rancho in Rancho Santa Fe, recently opened a fourth North County restaurant exploring Mediterranean cuisine.

Cicciotti opened Village Kabob on June 26 in a 2,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by his now-defunct Italian coffeehouse, Café Ground Up, in Carlsbad Village. Cicciotti said he decided to redesign the coffeehouse space last fall as eight other coffee shops opened nearby after the coffee shop opened in 2018. After checking out the market, he came up with the idea for the kabob shop because there weren’t any other Mediterranean restaurants in the area.

Gaetano Cicciotti at the newly opened Village Kabob in Carlsbad.

(Pam Collar/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The menu was created by veteran Lebanese chef Fouad Choker, who makes everything from scratch, including flatbread, hummus, baba ghanoush, tzatziki sauce and shawarma grilled meats. The kitchen is managed by Berkay Jason Çentinkaya and the restaurant is managed by Ilayda Maltaci, both of Turkish descent. House specialties include beef, chicken, and ground beef shawarma, beef, chicken, and shrimp kabobs, falafel, a hummus trio, tabouli, dolma, fattoush salad, and desserts like baklava pastries and muhallebi custard. Entrees range from $14 to $25, with a braised lamb shank for $30.

Village Kabob is located at 550 Grand Ave., Carlsbad. Visit

A chayote salad at Coco Maya in Little Italy.

A chayote salad at Coco Maya in Little Italy.

(Coco Maya)

Coco Maya opens in Little Italy

Coco Maya by Miss B’s, a rooftop restaurant and bar featuring Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, opened in Little Italy earlier this month. Located in the former PrepKitchen space at 1660 India St., Coco Maya is the latest venture from San Diego’s Grind & Prosper Hospitality Group. Coco Maya is a Yucatan-inspired spin-off of the company’s Miss B’s Coconut Club restaurant/bar in Mission Beach.

The restaurant serves a daily brunch menu and dinner after 4pm. Unique dishes include the bokit sandwich, a stuffed fried bread from the French islands of Guadeloupe, and the cochinita pebil, a Mayan dish of slow-roasted suckling pig wrapped in banana leaves and presented in a clay pot that’s sprung at the table. There are also fresh fish dishes, charcoal grilled meats, salads, potato tostones and empanadillas. Visit

The new Carruth Cellars Liberty Station Weingarten.

The new Carruth Cellars Liberty Station Weingarten.

(Carruth Cellar)

Carruth Cellars opens Liberty Station Outlet

Carruth Cellars, a city winery headquartered in Solana Beach, opened its fourth tasting room Monday at Liberty Station in Point Loma.

The new 12,000 square foot indoor/outdoor Weingarten location will take the place of the Company’s other San Diego location in Little Italy, which recently closed after five years due to the expiration of the lease on the property. The new venue joins other Carruth locations in Solana Beach, Carlsbad and Oceanside.

The new location offers wines by the glass and by the bottle, along with a selection of appetizers, paninis, salads, charcuterie platters and desserts to share. There is also a market area selling wines, cheeses, olive oils, tapenades and cured meats. The new location offers 90-minute tastings of five wines. The new location is at 2710 Historic Decatur Road, Barrack 17, San Diego. Visit

Carmel Valley's Addison restaurant received its second Michelin star on September 28, 2021.

Carmel Valley’s Addison restaurant received its second Michelin star on September 28, 2021.

(Photo courtesy)

Wine Spectator honors local restaurants

Wine Spectator recognized 27 San Diego County restaurants this summer as part of its 2022 Restaurant Awards, which honor venues without outstanding wine lists and outstanding service.

Carmel Valley’s two Michelin-starred Addison Restaurant is the only local venue to have won the Wine Spectator’s Grand Winner Award.

Second place in the Best of Award of Excellence is earned by Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Island Prime, Stake Chophouse & Bar, The Marine Room, Nine-Ten, WineSellar & Brasserie, Pony Room in Rancho Santa Fe, and Paon in San Diego Restaurant & wine bar in Karlovy Vary.

And third place in the Award of Excellence was STK San Diego, Fogo de Chão, Morton’s Steakhouse, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Juniper and Ivy, Solare Ristorante, JRDN Restaurant, the Fishery, Seasons 52, Truluck’s, AR Valentien, Avant in Rancho Bernardo , Prime Cut at Jamul Casino, Firenze Trattoria at Encinitas, Barona Oaks Steakhouse at Lakeside, Grove Steakhouse at Alpine and Privateer Coal Fire Pizza at Oceanside.

See for details of the winners.

Taquitos at the El Tianguis taco shop.

Taquitos in El Tianguis, which opened its fourth location in Mission Valley.

(El Tianguis)

New locations warning

Three restaurant chains have announced the opening of new locations in San Diego County in recent days.

El Tianguis, a four-year-old San Diego-based taquito and rolled taco fast food chain better known as “El T,” has opened its fourth location at 7995 Civita Blvd. in the Mission Valley. Visit

Broken Yolk Café, a San Diego-based breakfast restaurant chain, opened its 35th franchise location at Santee Trolley Square, 9846 Mission Gorge Road in Santee on July 5. Visit

Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, a San Francisco chain known for its gourmet Castilian and Go Go Goose sandwiches, opened its fifth San Diego location on July 8 at 9430 Scranton Road, Suite 104, in the Sorrento Court Center . Visit

Sandwiches at Ike's Love & Sandwiches.

Sandwiches at Ike’s Love & Sandwiches.

(Ike’s Love & Sandwiches)

collar writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at [email protected]


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