A new food-lovers paradise coming to the heart of Little Italy has announced its full lineup of locally-driven restaurants that will be featured when the concept opens this summer.
The Little Italy Food Hall (LIFH) is described as a social dining space set to open next to the 11,000-square-foot Piazza della Famiglia on West Date Street between India and Columbia streets. The Maritime-themed food hall will boast six locally-driven food stations, a mobile outdoor cooking station and a full bar with local craft beer and cocktails.
Patrons will be able to walk through the hall and order their food fresh. The menu items, ranging from Milan-inspired pizza to Asian comfort food and "eclectic" tacos, will be prepared right in front of guests at each of the six LIFH stations.
According to Grain & Grit Collective, the group managing the food hall, all vendors will offer casual, counter-style service and patrons will be able to eat inside the hall or on the large piazza.
Here's a closer look at the complete list of offerings at the Little Italy Food Hall coming this summer:
Mein St. Asian Kitchen
This culinary concept, created by the brains behind Zen Modern Asian Bistro in Carmel Mountain, is one of two Asian-cuisine vendors to be recently added to the LIFH family.
Mein St. Asian Kitchen will feature offerings described as Asian-style comfort food. Guests can expect stuffed dumplings, juicy wings and the ever-so-popular boba milk teas to grace the menu.
Single Fin Kitchen
Classic Japanese dishes -- like Donburi, a rice dish topped with seafood and vegetables -- will get a new spin at Single Fin Kitchen thanks to Executive Chef Antonio Quindere.
Chef Quindere says he will use locally-sourced ingredients to bring his simple, yet flavorful dishes to life at this station.
Quindere spent time in Japan where he learned to appreciate the simplicity of the Donburi dish and has worked alongside culinary masters in the U.S., like celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Michelin-starred chef Jeff Ramsey.
Not Not Tacos
San Diego-based television cooking personality "Sam the Cooking Guy" is behind this taco-centric spot coming to LIFH. Sam Zien's taco station will be the area's flagship project, with Zien serving as an ambassador of sorts.
Zein described Not Not Tacos' featured items to be full of flavor and made of "genre-bending" ingredients not typically found in tacos, like meatloaf, salmon and pastrami.
He said he'll leave it up to customers to decide if the dishes qualify as tacos or not: "Well, they’re not nottacos."
What's a food hall in Little Italy without Italian food? Luckily, Ambrogio15 will give LIFH customers their fix of pizza, cold cuts and other Italian specialties.
The Milan-styled pizzeria's staple menu item will be their paper-thin crust pies -- from a Margherita pizza that uses fresh basil and soft mozzarella cheese to a "Hannibal Lecter" pizza topped with 24-month aged parmesan, porchetta and grilled red pepper.
Guests who can't wait until the summer for a taste of Ambrogio15's pies can visit their flagship location in Pacific Beach.
Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop
Patrons of LIFH can take a bite of artisanal sandwiches made from meats roasted throughout the day when Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop opens this summer.
Rotisserie chicken, roast beef and other cuts will be cooked to a moist perfection before being served alongside roasted potatoes and vegetables. Guests will also be able to craft their own salads, choosing from an array of farm-fresh veggies and herbs.
Wicked Main Lobster
Two brothers from the New England shoreline are bringing a slice of Maine to Little Italy this summer. Wicked Maine Lobster will feature seafood-centric bites popular on the East Coast at their LIFH station -- like creamy Maine lobster rolls, mac & cheese peppered with fresh lobster and hearty clam chowder bowls.
The restaurant is newer to San Diego but Wicked Main Lobster has already become a popular spot at Liberty Public Market and the farmer's markets the eatery frequents.
The Bar at Little Italy Food Hall
Patrons will need wine, beer and cocktails to go with the array of offerings at LIFH. The Bar will highlight some of the vast supply of craft brews San Diego has to offer, red and white wines from around the world, and an assortment of Italian-inspired craft cocktails. The concoctions will feature innovative flavors that are meant pair with the bites offered at the food hall.
The Bar at Little Italy Food Hall aims to be a staple of the neighborhood's already thriving bar scene, according to Grit & Grain Collective.
Outdoor Chefs Station
With an outdoor patio perfect for San Diego sunshine, LIFH will capitalize on San Diego's sunshine with frequent outdoor cooking demonstrations, according to Grit & Grain Collective. Chefs like "Sam the Cooking Guy," and likely others from LIFH lineup of vendors, will host pop-up cooking demos where guests can learn how to sample (and likely sample) signature creations.
No opening date has been set yet for the Little Italy Food Hall, but foodies can keep an eye on Grit & Grain Collective's website for updates.