Open: Noble Hops Gastropub
The inside of the new Noble Hops Gastropub at 1335 W. Lambert Lane is a giant chalkboard with the names of beers scrawled all over it. It's the only design element that stands out in the minimalist space, which works out nicely, because diners will want to focus on the fine food and drink anyway. Owners and brothers Aric and Josh Mussman—who own both local Vero Amore restaurants—have created a hopping little spot that serves classed-up food and one of the biggest assortments of beer we've seen. The burgers are big and juicy; the shrimp cocktails are beautiful; and there's enough variety to please everyone, even vegetarians. Nice view of the mountains, too; 797-4677; noblehopspub.com.
Café Passe Gets a Makeover
Café Passe at 415 N. Fourth Ave. will start serving alcoholic beverages soon, says owner Sabine Blaese, who's working on a new late-night menu, too. Blaese says visitors can expect imported beers, a brief wine list and a few cocktails after a remodel, which will close the café for about a week beginning Monday, June 6. The café also revamped its patio recently with new lighting and other touches; 624-4411; www.cafepasse.com.
Nicky's Week Returns
RA Sushi holds its annual Nicky's Week fundraiser next week. Stop in at La Encantada (2905 E. Skyline Drive; 615-3970) between Sunday, May 29, and Saturday, June 4, and order among several selected items, and all proceeds will be donated to cancer research through St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The event has raised $700,000 since 2005, and organizers are hoping to raise another $125,000 this year.
Along Ina Road ...
Shoobies Shave Ice is setting up in the old Copper Kettle Popcorn at 3701 W. Ina Road. ... Down the road in the old De Marco's Pizzeria spot 4229 W. Ina Road, Lorenzo Iacopelli has opened his new pizza, pasta and sandwich joint, Bella Vita Pizzeria. ... And just a bit farther down the road, Chinese Box, a fast-food restaurant at 4299 W. Ina Road, is flying a banner announcing it is now a Mandarin Grill location.
If you spot a sweet-looking food truck called Street Delights, flag it down. We'll have more on the truck next week, but you don't want to wait that long to try its award-winning pies and other desserts.