11545 Sorrento Valley Road #305, Sorrento Valley
7556 Fay Avenue, La Jolla
I remember it like it was yesterday, sitting on the tiny patio of the first Prepkitchen (7556 Fay Avenue, La Jolla), my calves burning, the soles of my feet a mess. Back then, I would run several miles a day, adding extra miles on days I dined at a restaurant for a writing assignment. Often, such visits include a degree of overeating as a means to taste as many dishes as possible. I later learned I suffer from severe plantar fasciitis, a painful condition that makes running close to impossible. Turns out, that was the cause of the intense pain I was experiencing that night. But despite all the burning and aching, I remember feeling very happy thanks to that La Jolla restaurant’s warming and deliciously simple fare.
I think back to that meal often, especially when my plantar fasciitis flares up, which unfortunately is very often. It was the night I realized I’d have to give up running (my podiatrist has since seconded that). Even so, that bitter memory is rendered surprisingly sweet when I recall the plump chicken, tasty pasta, and porchetta that canceled out the horrific aftermath of my last jaunt. Quality like that has led to the Prepkitchen model to be successfully replicated in both Del Mar and Little Italy, and last week, the original location celebrated its fifth year in business. True to the eatery’s from-scratch authenticity, its founders enlisted the services of a local brewery to craft a commemorative beer — Kitchen Sixer IPA.
Simon Lacey, owner and brewmaster at New English Brewing Company, volunteered to produce a crisp beer with pronounced aroma and a clean bitterness that would pair well with the five-year-old resto’s hearty, homey fare. That vision equated to a sturdy 6.5% alcohol-by-volume India pale ale brewed with copious amounts of Golden Promise (remember that malt?) with subtle touches of Vienna, Carapils, and light Crystal malts. Nugget and Centennial hops boost the IBU (bitterness) level to a plenty-respectable 75, while Citra and Mosaic hops added during brewing and during fermentation bring on bright citrus scents. It’s a special beer for a special restaurant’s eclipsing of a special milestone that can currently also be experienced at Prepkitchen Little Italy and parent restaurant, Whisknladle.