Pizzeria Venti came and went-y.
After spending thousands of dollars to remodel a long-closed bar on Coast Highway, the owners of a new Italian eatery called Pizzeria Venti pulled the plug after only three months of operation.
Located next to the Sunshine Brooks Theater near Pier View Way, the now closed café leaves yet another empty storefront on a prominent downtown block.
But there is good news on the Oceanside restaurant front. It is the opening of a restaurant within a restaurant in South Oceanside. Bull Taco, which specializes in what it calls “inauthentic Mexican food,” now houses a new sushi café as well.
Davin Waite, who was one of the founders of the Fish Joint and who has also worked at Café Japango, is the driving force behind The Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub. (He created the unusual name, he says, because “I like the head scratch factor”).
Waite says he relies on fresh not frozen fish. “If we run out, we run out. I want nothing but fresh, quality fish. I want to move away from the (sushi) roll and focus more on the fish.”
He says his exposure to Italian, French and Japanese cuisine influences his creations including chardonnay-cured salmon flown in from Scotland served with a caper tapenade, or sustainable striped bass with sweet lime soy glaze.
“Creativity wasn’t always smiled upon especially by the strict Japanese traditional chefs. I want to branch out and try new things. Everything is handmade, in house. It used to be that sushi was a rich man’s thing. I want to create something that feels like a neighborhood pub.”
Waite says he couldn’t be happier in South Oceanside. “This has a real neighborhood feel. I love it that the Privateer, and the Panca (Peruvian Rotisserie) are nearby. We support each other. I’m just amazed at how good the food is in South Oceanside.”
Bull Taco and the Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub are near the corner of Cassidy Street and Coast Highway. The Seabasstropub is open 4 to 10 p.m. every day but Monday.
KUDE Chupacabra king returns
In the photo you see a 27-year-old Art Bell in 1972. He was interviewing Maureen McCormick, the then 16-year-old actress who played Marcia Brady in the Brady Bunch. Bell was a DJ at Oceanside’s Top 40 station KUDE AM 1320, and McCormick was dropping by to chat up her appearance at JC Penney’s in Carlsbad. She was promoting her new record, which never went anywhere.
According to Bob Hudson, who worked at KUDE as a DJ and newsman at the time (and who took the photos), this was the last full-time DJ gig for Bell before he launched a hugely successful career as a talk show host.
Bell went on to host the syndicated Coast-To-Coast AM, the offbeat overnight gabfest that became the home for long-winded discussions about space aliens, chupacabras and conspiracy theories about secret societies and why there is AIDS.
Bell retired from Coast-To-Coast about 10 years ago, handing his headphones over to George Noory.
But it was just announced that Bell is coming back with his own nightly talk show again that will actually compete with Coast-To-Coast. Beginning Sept. 16, Art Bell’s Dark Matter will air from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the satellite-carried Sirius XM. Art Bell’s Dark Matter will originate from his home in Pahrump, Nev.
Longtimers know that the studios for KUDE (and its sister station, “beautiful music” station KJFM 102.1 FM) were located on Oceanside Boulevard, near Foussat Road. The towers are still there, broadcasting a signal from KKSM, Palomar College’s student-manned station.
I see Bob Hudson every now and then at the Thursday night Farmers Market downtown.
KJFM is now KPRI, and its studios are in San Diego.
It seemed like the U-T report did a good job when it exposed the fact that OUSD superintendent Larry Perondi’s decision to spend more than $100,000 of federal grant money that was supposed to be used on low income students on a junket that took district staffers on a four junket to a Washington D.C. retreat.
But why did it only go so far. Who exactly went on this trip? Did spouses attend? Did uncertified (student teachers) employees attend? These questions should have been asked, and I trust the truth will eventually come out.
Speaking of the U-T, it seems like the Oceanside coverage has decreased since the paper fired Oceanside reporter Ray Huard.
It seemed like he had one or two Oceanside stories every day. But his replacement now must cover both Oceanside and Vista. It seems like we get one every other day or so. But it could be worse. Consider Del Mar. The U-T wrote about DUI arrests on the first day of the races on July 18. There was not one Del Mar story between that story on July 18 and Aug. 1. That means according to Doug Manchester nothing newsworthy happened in Del Mar for two whole weeks!
Imagine my surprise by seeing a bumper sticker about the 2014 city council race in July 2013. There it was, in the Stater Brothers parking lot. A blue and white sticker that said “Dump Kern & Felien.” I approached the man whose late model red pickup displayed the sticker. I asked him who was behind them. He said it was a local mobile home owners association but he could not remember its name.
Does this mean anything? It may suggest that there is still an organized and motivated group of mobile home owners who are still stinging from Kern and Felien’s desire to do away with mobile home rent control. If voting trends follow last year when Wood beat Kern by almost two-to-one, it could be trouble for the two as they seek to get re-elected.