Friday, April 01, 2005 | Poway locals likely already know of Yanni’s Bistro. I heard about it from pals in the wine business who touted their food and wine list … and they were correct in their recommendation. The restaurant is tucked into the shopping center at the corner of Pomerado Road and Scripps Poway Parkway and has a heated outdoor patio as well as a comfortable interior space with an open kitchen. The cuisine is Greek and Italian and the ingredients are fresh, well-prepared and clean on the palate. Chef and owner Yanni Pihas’ version of spanakopita triangles with fresh spinach and feta cheese (and with just enough phyllo to hold the filling) was perfect with each mouthful. A fresh beet, onion and feta salad held my attention and tasted even better when my visiting friend from Australia and I added a bit of the balsamic dipping sauce that came with the bread. An engaging selection of pastas is available, and there are good Greek dishes, including skewers of lamb, chicken, shrimp or beef that come with rice and tzatziki, the yogurt sauce. Open for lunch and dinner. Yanni’s Bistro, 12205 Scripps Poway Parkway, in Poway. (858) 527-0011.

“High atop Del Mar Plaza” with a view of the ocean is Pacifica Del Mar, where a five-course Cakebread winemaker dinner will be held April 6. If Cakebread isn’t a favorite, perhaps Ferrari Carrano is, and their dinner is May 18. Both events will be held in the Private Reserve Room and cost $75 plus tax and tip. Also, the restaurant has a new takeout diner offering with easy pick-up at the south entrance of Del Mar Plaza. The new service is called “Dine In Tonight!” and features the best of Pacifica Del Mar’s award winning dishes by Executive Chef Chris Idso. Pacifica Del Mar, 1555 Camino del Mar, in Del Mar. Call (858) 792-0476 or visit www.pacificadelmar.com to learn more.

If you love cookbooks and like to peruse used bookstores for gems, check out Barbara Gelink’s Cookbooks and Paperbacks Store in Kensington. It’s just around the corner from Just Fabulous Kensington, the dessert shop mentioned in this column March 25. Gelink has books from 99 cents to hardback first editions at $35 and up. She has hard-to-find community and Junior League cookbooks, and I found a couple of early James Beard cookbooks that appeared as Maco magazines in the 1950’s. You can also join the Cookbook Collector’s Club that meets monthly. Open noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Barbara Gelink’s Cookbooks and Paperbacks Store, 4108 Adams Ave., in Kensington. (619) 284-8224.

A favorite place of mine is the takeout side of Jasmine Seafood Restaurant. When I’m in the mood for a quick Chinese lunch but I don’t want to sit in the dining room, I go next door for dim sum, noodles, pork buns or any of their daily specials. Here’s a tip: You can get a whole or half roasted duck or soy chicken as an alternative to the usual supermarket roasted chicken. They will cut it into small bite-size pieces (for easy eating with chopsticks) or you can keep it whole. The takeout entrance faces the parking lot and the Korean market, and is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jasmine Seafood Restaurant Takeout, 4609 Convoy, in Kearney Mesa. (858) 268-0888. www.jasmineseafoodrestaurant.com.

Marcie Rothman loves good food – no matter where it’s cooked – at home, a hole in the wall or a white tablecloth restaurant. Known as The $5 Chef on radio, television and in her two cookbooks, Marcie travels far and near with an eye on what’s current in food. You can find her at www.5dollarchef.com.

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