Dish has opened along with its nightclub sibling Universal on Hillcrest’s University Avenue. Chef Antonion Friscia’s menu focuses on organic comfort foods including beef pot roast with Madeira gravy, deconstructed matzo ball soup and wiener schnitzel featuring Vande Rose pork. A bar menu with small plates will also be available. A lounge menu is also available with small plates like sliders with truffle aioli, bacon, Gruyere and Kennebec shoestring fries, and organic black rice croquettes with char sui Jidori chicken or tofu, Chino Farm’s pea shoots, ginger and chili. Dish at Universal, 1220 University Ave., San Diego.
Mangu, a Caribbean-inspired restaurant with dishes from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic and décor straight out of Miami’s South Beach, opened April 1. Executive chef David Santiago’s menu features tapas, steaks, fresh seafood and salads, and the bar will offer a variety of signature cocktails. Mangu, 524 Island St., 619-233-3166.
Whisknladle, formerly Fresh(er), has opened after a complete remodel. Owner Arturo Kassel and executive chef/partner Ryan Johnston have combined a menu of gourmet comfort food heavily influenced by the Mediterranean diet with modern-minimalist design. Whisknladle serves lunch and dinner daily and after-hour food on Friday and Saturday nights. Whisknladle, 1044 Wall St. La Jolla, 858-551-7575.
The former Mission Hills Café is being transformed into Olivetta, a Mediterranean café and wine bar. Owners Djani and Sandra Ivanov (of Bella Luna) will serve homemade pasta, wine and desserts. Olivetta, 808 W. Washington Ave.
Also opening a wine bar is Antonio Mastellone of Arrivederci. Mastellone will offer a very selective list at the adjoining space to his long-time Hillcrest restaurant. Arrivederci, 3845 Fourth Ave., 619-299-6282.
Look for Babo Grande from Hillcrest’s Big Daddy’s and former Bronx Pizza employees. Babo Grande will serve pizza by the slice along with beer and wine. Pets welcome. Babo Grande, 1731 University Ave.
The new Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa has opened Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar. Executive chef Steven Patrick’s menu blends local ingredients with “vineyard” cuisine. Dishes include char-grilled lamb loin with roasted red grape sauce and local growers’ vegetable risotto and fresh wild berry salad. Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar, 5480 Grand Pacific Dr., 760-827-2400.
George Riffle (from The Ivy and Blanca) is opening Roseville in Point Loma. The menu will consist of French comfort food with an emphasis on seafood. Roseville, 1125 Rosecrans St. 888-688-7673.
Chef/owner Olivier Bioteau will open The Farm House Café in University Heights some time in February. The small (40 seats), moderately-priced café will serve rustic French food. A longtime personal chef, Bioteau honed his skills at Vignola and Avenue 5 Restaurant & Bar. Farm House Café, 2121 Adams Ave., 619-269-9662.
Bankers Hill has a new sushi spot in Mukashi Sushi & Seafood Market. The restaurant, located on the corner of Nutmeg and Fifth, will serve breakfast seven days a week in addition to offering a full sushi bar. The interior will be decorated in earth tones and feature an exhibition kitchen and fish market. Mukashi Sushi & Seafood Market, 2706 Fifth Ave., 619-298-1329.
Look for The Better Half in Hillcrest, a European bistro that pairs a wide selection of half-bottles of wine. Proprietor Zubin Desai was most recently general manager of Solana Beach’s Blanca. The menu includes dishes such as Russian dumplings pelmeni stuffed with shrimp and crawfish with a saffron-sherry cream sauce; Cabernet-braised beef short ribs with cauliflower-horseradish mash; and quail stuffed with fall fruit and wild mushrooms. All are priced under the $20 level. The Better Half, 127 University Ave., 619-543-9340.
Ritual Tavern is hitting its stride after opening a few months ago. Owners Michael Flores and Staci Wilkens (both from The Linkery) use organic, sustainable ingredients like Niman Ranch meat, Jidori chicken and farm-raised catfish in home-style dishes like shepherds pie, pork tenderloin and fish and chips. Ritual Tavern, 4095 30th St., 619-283-1618.
The Vigilucci’s Restaurant Group has added to the company’s growing list of fine Italian dining with Vigilucci’s Seafood, Steak & Chop House in the La Jolla space formerly occupied by Cendio. The menu will include homemade pasta dishes, a risotto of the day, fresh fish and seafood and the highest grade cuts of beef, lamb, veal and pork chops. Vigilucci’s Seafood, Steak & Chop House, 909 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858-454-9664.
Point Loma’s Naval Training Center has been transformed into the new Liberty Station. Local restaurants who’ve opened locations here include Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, Wine Steals and Spices Bay Thai Kitchen. Soon the Corvette Diner Bar & Grill will move to Liberty Station from its long-time Hillcrest location. Liberty Station, 2401 Truxton Rd., San Diego.
Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature restaurant Nobu opened a San Diego outpost inside the new Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. The restaurant features tasteful minimalist décor, a traditional sushi bar, an intimate cocktail lounge and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the historic Gaslamp Quarter. The menu combines traditional Japanese cuisine with Matsuhisa’s bold innovations and includes his signature dish, black cod with miso. Nobu, 207 Fifth Ave., San Diego, 866-751-ROCK.
La Jolla favorite Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza has joined the ranks at The Marketplace at Liberty Station in Point Loma. In addition to the regular menu of fresh, moderately-priced pizzas, pastas and salads, the new location debuted artisan thin crust pizzas with upscale cheeses like truffle oil brie, smoked rofumo, Kashcaval sheep milk cheese, Dorothea aged goat cheese and Shaft blue cheese. Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, 2401 Truxton Suite 102, 619-222-3111.
Loews Coronado Bay Resort has transformed its Azzura Point restaurant into the Mistral. The new restaurant highlights sustainable, locally-grown and organic foods such as the strawberries, artichokes, broccoli, lavender and herbs that are grown in the 3,800 square foot on-site garden. To keep the green theme going, Mistral offers free valet parking to diners with hybrid cars.
Jade Theater, a progressive Asian restaurant and lounge, has announced James Montejano will be its executive chef and Jason Seibert (of Café Cerise) will consult on the menu. The building (or “theater”) will consist of three levels totaling 14,000 square feet. The whimsical “Tease Me,” “Taste Me,” “Eat Me” and “Treat Me” menus will twist classic recipes from several Asian countries. A chef’s table will be available for adventurous diners willing to put themselves at the mercy of the chef. Jade Theater, 701 C St., 619-814-5125.
Fresh(er) Restaurant in La Jolla was originally scheduled to re-open as Whisknladle in December, but delays have pushed the opening back until the first quarter 2008. Fresh[er] will remain open through the end of 2007 and close its doors January 1 to begin remodeling. Fresh(er)/Whisknladle Restaurant, 1044 Wall St., La Jolla, 858-551-7575.
Later this month, look for EXY, a modern Greek restaurant and lounge. Executive chef Carter Shuffler, formerly of San Francisco’s Clift hotel, will bring updated Greek classics to this ‘chic Greek’ establishment in the Gaslamp.
Organic To Go, the nation’s first fast casual chain to be certified as an organic retailer, opened September 24. The Seattle-based company has plans to open as many as eight more locations in Southern California over the next year. The Sixth Avenue restaurant serves breakfasts, salads, sandwiches and wraps, as well as many hot appetizers and entrees. Organic To Go, 1143 Sixth Ave., 800-304-4550, www.organictogo.com.
The Better Half is expected to open in Hillcrest in the former Russo’s site some time in November. This American/French bistro is the brainchild of former Blanca general manager Zubin Desai. The Better Half, 127 University Ave., 619-543-9340.
Down the same block, Seasons 142 will open in the old Brazil By The Hill location. Seasons 142, 142 University Ave., 619-692-1919.
Hillcrest’s Arrivederci has expansion plans–expect them to open a second location on 30th Street near Caffe Calabria. At the intersection of University & 30th St.
Continuing to bolster the North Park restaurant explosion, Urban Solace has opened on 30th, next to The Pink Elephant and George’s Camera Exchange. The remodel features a show-stopping New Orleans façade and contemporary Southern dishes. Urban Solace, 3823 30th St., 619-295-6464.
The Westin San Diego and former Top Chef contestant Frankie “The Bull” Terzoli have opened Esquires at Columbia and C. Will it be the next power lunch location? Esquires, 400 West Broadway, San Diego, 619-239-4500.
The long-awaited Jade Theater will open in December. Fans of Café Cerise’s Jason Siebert will be disappointed to hear he is no longer executive chef, but thankfully he remains as a consultant on the menu. Chef James Montejano (formerly of Black & Blue Steakhouse, Café Japengo and Pamplemousse Grille) worked with Siebert to create a playful “Tease Me, Taste Me, Eat Me and Treat Me” menu that features eclectic versions of Asian classics. Jade Theater is a 14,000 square foot, tri-level design by Takumi Zin in collaboration with OCIO Design Group. An underground Buddha Lounge will open later in 2008. Visit www.jadetheater.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Jade Theater, 701 C St., San Diego.
The Restaurant at the Pearl, a combination eatery, bar and lounge opened September 29. The restaurant features metropolitan-minded California cuisine with global influences and is located inside The Pearl Hotel, which is owned by L.W.P. Group, the creators of downtown’s Onyx Room and Thin Room. The executive chef is Corey Heath, a 20-year restaurant veteran. He comes to San Diego via The Dock and Riverwalk Restaurants in Naples, Florida. Francesco Bounthee, a native of Argentina is chef de cuisine. The Restaurant at the Pearl, 1410 Rosecrans St., San Diego CA 92102, 877-PEARL-SD, www.thepearlsd.com.
The Pacific Beach coffee house Zanzibar Cafe has opened a downtown wine bar location on G Street near Seventh. Zanzibar Café and Wine Bar, 707 G St., San Diego, 619-230-0125.
Savory Casual Fare’s Pascal Vignau has officially opened ECR Grille in Carlsbad. ECR is a casual, quick-service spot serving breakfast and lunch only; the entire menu is offered to go. Don’t miss the “built-4-you” burgers paired with house-made condiments. ECR Grille, La Costa Towne Center, 7750 El Camino Real, 760-436-6400.
In mid-November, George Katakalidis (Daphne’s Greek Café) will open EXY Chic Greek Restaurant and Lounge in the former LG’s Steakhouse space at F and Sixth.
Construction is underway on Victor Jimenez’s new place, Cowboy Star. Look for this “fine dining meets Old West romance” restaurant and butcher shop to open on Tenth Avenue between Market and G.
Dean Loring (Cody’s An American Place) and Mike Gilligan opened Burger Lounge on Wall Street. The pair was slated to open a Kensington outpost in September, but construction on the former Extraordinary Desserts space has been delayed. Kensington residents and other locals are eager to try the menu that features grass-fed, organic beef and hand-cut fries.
Located close to the Del Mar Racetrack, Pearl Sushi Restaurant & Champagne Lounge is poised to become the new sushi hotspot. Chef Makoto Okuwa, formerly of Morimoto in New York City, promises world-class sushi, sashimi and Asian fusion cuisine. Pearl Sushi Restaurant & Champagne Lounge, 2010 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858-259-0176.
The Green Tomato in Kensington was purchased by Philippe Beltran. The spot has reopened as Bleu Boheme (4090 Adams Ave., San Diego) and serves French bistro fare such as escargot, coq au vin and mussels with frites.
The owners of Carlsbad West Steak Seafood & Spirits have opened nearby Bistro West, a casual dining restaurant serving hearty meals and comfort foods prepared in a spacious exhibition kitchen. Executive chef Eugenio Martignago, who graduated from culinary school in Venice, Italy, most recently cooked at Nick’s Fishmarket in Honolulu. Bistro West, 4960 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, 760-930-800.
400 West has opened in the new Westin San Diego, formerly known as the Wyndham San Diego Emerald Plaza. Serving American cuisine with an Italian slant, this upscale hotel eatery is helmed by chef Anthony Lucido. 400 West, The Westin San Diego, 400 W. Broadway, San Diego, 619-239-4500.
The corner of Upas and 30th continues to be a hot spot with the addition of Alexander’s, which joins popular Zensei sushi and The Linkery. Owner Alexander Walter hails from the Old Venice family in Point Loma. His sophisticated interpretation of a neighborhood eatery has great aplomb. Like Old Venice, the menu has a casual European bent (think Greek salads, pasta and pizza) and the ambiance is romantic (loads of lit candles). Alexander’s, 3391 30th St., San Diego, 619-281-2539.
Jayne’s Gastropub has opened in Normal Heights, next to the hip Air Conditioning lounge. Come here to enjoy owner Jayne Battle and chef Kristin Hutter’s French onion soup, steak frites and sea bass fish and chips. Both are alums from Amiko Gubbins’ Parallel 33. Jayne’s Gastropub, 4677 30th St., San Diego, 619-563-1011.
Bar West, an upscale Pacific Beach watering hole, has been opened by the team that brought downtown San Diego Stingaree and Side Bar. Larry Abrams (formerly of Thee Bungalow) serves as executive chef, offering a menu of California comfort food. Only steps away from the beach, Bar West features on-sand picnic basket delivery. Bar West, 959 Hornblend Ave. San Diego, 619-544-1847, www.barwestsd.com.
Siblings Jag and Sam Kambo have opened Royal India Restaurant and Lounge in the Gaslamp. The adjoining lounge will offer an abbreviated small plates menu. Royal India, 329 Market St., San Diego, 619-231-9977.
Chris Walsh (of Confidential and W Café) plans to open Bite California Bistro and Wine Bar at 1417 University Ave. in Hillcrest later this spring. His menu will be heavily influenced by Northern Italian and French bistro foods; the look will be mid-century modern and industrial, accented with yellows, greens and chocolate browns. Bite, 1417 University Ave., San Diego, www.bitesd.com
Currant, an American brasserie, is set to open in the new Sofia Hotel (formerly the Pickwish Hotel) this April. The menu will feature seasonal French dishes with an “American spirit.” Expect high ceilings, old-school elegance, and luxurious fabrics. Chef/owner Jonathan Pflueger is no stranger to San Diego, having once helmed Star of the Sea. More recently, he re-opened the Russian Tea Room in Manhattan, and held the position of executive chef at Montage in Laguna Beach. Currant, The Sofia Hotel, 150 W. Broadway, San Diego.
In late May, Alex Thao of Celadon Thai and Rama opened CHOW in Hillcrest. This urban noodle house will offer familiar pan-Asian dishes like pad thai, ramen and pho, but also feature lesser-knowns such as Thai seafood-tamarind yentafoe. The Rodolfo Ocio-designed space is hip, cool and—best of all—moderately priced. CHOW, 540 University Ave., San Diego, 619-297-8424.
Anthology, a venue that will combine gourmet food and live music, will open in Little Italy in June. Celebrity chef Bradley Ogden (of Lark Creek Inn, One Market, Bradley Ogden’s Las Vegas and Del Mar’s Arterra) is collaborating on the local ingredients-focused menu with chef Jim Phillips (formerly of Solana Beach’s Pamplemousse Grille). Anthology, 1337 India St., San Diego, 619-595-0300, www.anthologysd.com.
James Brennan of EnDev LLC is also working on a spring opening for Bar West. Set apart from the Garnet party scene, it will serve upscale bar food in a relaxed atmosphere. Bar West, 959 Hornblend St., Pacific Beach.
San Diego outpost of NYC’s acclaimed Japanese restaurant Nobu will open at the new Hard Rock Hotel San
Diego in the spring of 2007. Located in downtown, the restaurant
is the latest satellite of chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, best known
for his clean, simple flavors in sushi and sashimi dishes. Other
Nobu locations include Nobu
New York City, Milan, Tokyo, Nobu
Las Vegas, Nobu
Malibu and Nobu
London. Nobu at The Hard Rock Café, 207 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, 619-702-3000, www.hardrockhotelsd.com.
Famed chef Bradley Ogden has joined the Anthology team as consulting chef. He will collaborate with executive chef Jim Phillips (formerly of Pamplemousse Grille and The University Club) to create a New American menu for the spring premiere of this Little Italy concert venue/restaurant. Anthology owner Howard Berkson describes his latest venture as a swank supper club, and a ten-piece house band will be featured when major acts are not in town. Anthology, 1337 India St. San Diego, www.anthologysd.com
Industrial designer Paul Basile has opened The Guild in the East Village. The kitchen of this stylish, modern spot is headed by chef Melissa Mayer, who has compiled a menu of “world fusion” cuisine. The Guild, 1805 Newton, San Diego, 619-564-7584.
Island Prime and Sea Level Lounge, an upscale seafood and steakhouse from the Cohn Family, has debuted on Shelter Island. Deborah Scott (also of Kemo Sabe and Indigo Grill) is a partner and the executive chef. Josh McGinnis of Prego Ristorante has been named chef de cuisine.
Blackhorse Grille is now open. Located on Via del Valle in the space formerly occupied by Prime 10 Steakhouse, Blackhorse Grille is a moderately priced spot specializing in regional and seasonal cuisines. Ryan Johnston, formerly of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, has been named executive chef; Megan Burgess is the General Manager (formerly of another Ladeki outpost, Roppongi). Blackhorse Grille, 3702 Via de la Valle, Del Mar 92014, 858-523-0007.
La Jolla Will Open in October
out the new Gemelli Italian Grill on the corner
of Fifth and Laurel in Hillcrest. The Sicilian-inspired menu
offers panini and salads, as well as steaks and pasta. A solo
venture of long-time San Diego restaurateur Vince Busalacchi,
Gemmelli Italian Grill is open daily for lunch and dinner. Call
619-234-1050 for information.
Trophy’s, the popular sports bar restaurant chain, has opened its sixth outpost at Sixth Ave. and K, conveniently near Petco Park.
Café Chloe, a European-style eatery, is now open. The team of Alison McGrath, John Clute and Tammy Ratliffe bring over 40 years of restaurant experience to this stylish-yet-cozy downtown spot. The menu includes bistro favorites such as steak frites and pot de crème. Café Chloe, 721 Ninth Ave., 619-232-3242.
Soleil@K from the cb5 Restaurant Group (also of Rice at the W San Diego and China Doll) is now welcoming guests in the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp. Executive chef Stephen Clickner, formerly of Rice, defines his cuisine as contemporary California meets Mediterranean. Soleil@K, 660 K St., 619-446-6088.
Sonoma Valley Market brings upscale gourmet fare to downtown Carlsbad. With over 2,600 food items from the finest producers in the country (including cakes from Extraordinary Desserts, pictured) chocolates from Jacques Torres, cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery and fennel-pollen-based spices from Chef Bernard Guillas), the market promises to fill the North County’s need for adventurous ingredients. Sonoma Valley Market, Village Faire Shopping Center, 300 Carlsbad Village Dr., Ste. 107, 760-720-7700.
a small Lebanese café specializing in takeout, has opened
for business at 3952 Fourth Ave., Mission Hills, 619-299-2525.
Pacific Beach’s newest destination is JRDN, a contemporary steak and seafood restaurant. Located in the new Tower23 boutique hotel, JRDN offers indoor/outdoor dining in a neo-modern, Graham Downs-designed space. Executive chef Victor Jimenez (formerly of Gringo’s Cantina y Cocina and Thee Bungalow) takes his inspiration from the foods of California, Asia and South America. Call 858-273-JRDN for reservations. Visit www.jrdn.com for more information.
Chopahn, serving authentic Afghan cuisine, is creating a stir in downtown’s Gaslamp. Open since July, it serves traditional favorites such as gulpi challaw (beef and cauliflower cooked with herbs and onions) and challaw badenjan (eggplant, onion and tomato stew). See the full menu at www.chopahnrestaurant.com.
Confidential drew its initial buzz from part-owner Andrew Firestone’s “The Bachelor” fame, but these days chef Chris Walsh’s international menu is getting all the press. Check out this sleek hipster hangout at 901 Fourth Ave. or peruse the menu at www.confidentialsd.com.
Located in a historic warehouse in the once taboo Red Light District, the new 22,000 square foot luxury spot Stingaree includes a street-level restaurant and nightclub connected to a VIP mezzanine via floating staircases, as well as a rooftop bar with reflection pool, private cabanas and a fire pit. The three-level, multi-million dollar project opened November at the corners of Sixth and Island. Chef Antonio Friscia will serve a fusion menu influenced by the Mediterranean and Asia. For a sneak preview, visit www.stingsandiego.com.
The opening of Bondi, an authentic Australian restaurant and bar, has been pushed to sometime in Januar 2007. Construction is underway in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. The menu will highlight seafood and wines from Down Under. Bondi is the collaborative effort of Julian Heppekausen, David Zampatti and Michael Cameron, three Aussies that have relocated to San Diego. They recently announced Chris Behre as excecutive chef. Behre is Australian as well, but has cooked in Shanghai, London and Los Angeles. Bondi, 333 Fifth Ave, no phone yet.
VIDA Gourmet, opened in August, aims to be a one-stop shop for all your healthy, gourmet needs. The restaurant serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner as well as offer take-out, delivery and catering. Executive chef Winston Edwards, formerly of The Lodge at Torrey Pines and the Four Seasons Aviara, serves fresh, seasonal dishes including local spiny lobster cakes, braised short ribs with cocoa bean cassoulet and Sauvignon Blanc peach and pear salad. VIDA Gourmet, 7523 Fay Ave. Ste. A & B, La Jolla, www.vidagourmet.com.
In the Gaslamp Quarter, Orange County restaurateurs Tim and Liza Goodell have opened a second location of their five-year-old Huntington Beach success Red Pearl Kitchen. Both the décor by Liza and the menu from Tim are inspired by old Shanghai and other parts East, with bold contemporary twists. Expect a happening bar scene to suit the lively location. Red Pearl Kitchen, 440 J St., 619-231-1100.
Owned by Brett Miller, the San Diego restaurateur responsible for JRDN and Gringos Cantina, Cendio opened in La Jolla in September 2006. Chefs Diane Stopford and Mark Geyer serve Nuevo Latino cuisine made with fresh California flavors. Cendio, 909 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858-454-9664.
A La Francaise Bakery and Restaurant is officially open at its new location in Normal Heights. Although many were sad to see it leave their long-time Goldfinch address in Mission Hills, the new 2,400-square-foot space is nearly twice the size of the former location. A La Francaise, 3416 Adams Ave., San Diego, 619-294-4425.
Masala Spices of India opened in the former Octopus Garden Sushi restaurant in the Gasplamp Disctrict. Chef Rakesh Popat creates traditional Indian cuisine. Masala Spices of India, 314 Fifth Ave., San Diego, 619-232-5050, www.masalarestaurant.com.
Clay's La Jolla recently opened in the former Elario's space at the Hotel La Jolla. The restaurant features California cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables. Clay’s La Jolla, 7995 La Jolla Shores Dr., La Jolla, 858-551-3620.
Chef Rodrigo Martinez brought Baja-Med cuisine to Southern California with the November 2006 opening of Delirio’s Cocina Mexicana-Fusion. His menu fuses Mexican ingredients with traditional flavors creating items such as a caramelized pear tower with smoked salmon and vanilla-chipotle sauce; and shrimp, apple and almond stuffed chile with a beet raspberry vinaigrette. Delirio’s Cocina Mexicana-Fusion, 5721 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, 858-456-5821.
Carl Schroeder, formerly of Arterra, has purchased Blackhorse Grille with Terryl Gavre; the pair have transformed it into their new concept, MARKET. Chef Schroeder offers farm-fresh cuisine (Chino’s farm is less than one mile away) with clean, bright flavors. MARKET, 3702 Via de la Valle, San Diego, 858-523-0007.
5 for $5
Epazote’s Oceanview Steakhouse & Z Ocean Bar have announced a variety of promotions, including a $25 prix fixe menu. Enjoy five courses for $5 each from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and all night Monday and Tuesday. Their double happy hour will feature five drinks and five appetizers for $5 each every night from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. (and all night Tuesdays). Live jazz will be available in the lounge on Thursdays from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. Epazote’s Oceanview Steakhouse & Z Open Bar, 1555 Camino Del Mar, 858-259-9966.
Monthly Tasting Menu at Quarter Kitchen
Prix Fixe Menus Now Available
San Diego Restaurant Week will return twice this year, first from January 27 to February 1, then again from June 22 to June 27, 2008. Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe menus for $30 or $40 per person. To find out which restaurants are among the 130 who signed up (or to view their menus), go to www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com.
Fall Menu Preview + Theater Special
Have a Safe Holiday
Be a Gourmet for a Day
New Look for George's
Ring in the local lobster season with George's California Modern and chef Trey Foshee. Chef Foshee will prepare a five-course tasting menu featuring spiny lobsters, including lobster ceviche with coconut, lime and ginger as well as Chino Farms corn ravioli with butter-poached lobster. Call the restaurant for reservations or more information. George's California Modern, 1250 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858-454-4244.
The Next Iron Chef?
Arterra’s New Hot Spot
Getting on Track
Hometown "Top Chef" Contestant
Copper River Salmon at Roppongi
Beard Honors Pekarcik
Facelift at Mille Fleurs
Diego's New Steakhouse
Dish at the Whaling Bar
Yen’s Wok On Pearl briefly closed, only to re-open as Fugu’s. Although new owner (and former owner’s nephew) Gyung Lee gave the space a much-needed face lift and added some exciting Japanese listings to the menu, many of the old favorites remain. Fugu’s, 915 Pearl Ave., La Jolla, 858-456-1414.
to Yosemite with Top Chefs
at Rancho Bernardo Inn
at Trattoria Acqua
Miguel Martinez has been named executive chef at The Palm San Diego. Formerly of Ruth’s Chris Steak House and the Hotel Del’s Ocean Terrace, Martinez will now be responsible for all culinary operations in the Gaslamp location. The Palm, 615 J St., 619-702-6500.
Danny Bannister has been named executive chef at the recently opened Red Marlin Restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay. Bannister studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and has worked in many prestigious San Diego kitchens, including Laurel Restaurant & Bar, Third Corner, Island Prime and Pamplemousse Grille. The Red Marlin Restaurant serves modern California cuisine with a focus on locally-grown produce. Red Marlin Restaurant, 1441 Quivira Road, 619-221-4868.
Jesse Rodriguez, head sommelier of Addison at The Grand Del Mar Resort, has been promoted to Wine Director for the entire resort, including all-day venue Amaya and gourmet shop Cent’Anni. The new position will include expanding The Grand Del Mar’s overall wine collection, which presently numbers more than 20,000 bottles; 3,000 of those selections range from California cult wines to the classic wines of France, Italy and Spain. Prior to working at The Grand Del Mar, Rodriguez was head sommelier at The French Laundry in the Napa Valley and The Phoenician in Phoenix; he is accredited by the Court of Master Sommeliers and recognized by the Society of Wine Educators. The Grand Del Mar Resort, 5300 Meadows, Del Mar, 858-792-6200.
Now that head chef Brian Pekarcik has left Arterra, Ciarán Duffy (from South Carolina’s Tristan) has been named executive chef and Jason Maitland has been promoted to chef de cuisine. Arterra at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, 858-369-6032.
Brian Pekarcik of Arterra has left for The Steelhead Grille in his hometown of Pittsburgh. His sous chef Jason Maitland has been appointed new executive chef at this Marriott Del Mar site. Arterra at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, 858-369-6032.
Timothy Au, formerly chef de cuisine at A.R. Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, has moved to Molly’s in the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina downtown. We look forward to his simple, deftly prepared dishes at his new post. Molly’s, 333 W. Harbor Dr., San Diego, 619-230-8909.
La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel has announced the appointment of Vaughan Mabee and Thomas Gerard (executive and sous chefs, respectively) for their recently renovated The Sky Room. The Sky Room, 1132 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858-454-0771.
Later this month San Diegans will get the chance to sample chef Jeff Walter’s menu at the new Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. Walters, who comes to Southern California via Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, will oversee all three foodservice operations within the hotel, including Maryjane’s Coffee Shop, Moonstone Lounge and the Sweetwater Saloon. Hard Rock Hotel, 207, Fifth Ave., San Diego, 619-702-3000, www.hardrockhotelsd.com.
Jason McLeod has been appointed as executive chef of hotel dining for the Grand Del Mar Resort. His pastry chef will be Thierry Delourneaux. Duties for both will include operations in the Mediterranean bistro Amaya, the Clubhouse grill and the lobby lounge. Chef William Bradley remains at the helm inside Addison, the hotel’s fine dining venue. The Grand Del Mar Resort, 5300 Meadows, Del Mar, 858-792-6200.
Timothy "Jay" Payne recently joined Café Japengo as executive chef of hot food preparation. He joins longtime executive sushi chef Jerry Warner, a member of the original Café Japengo opening staff. Payne, a San Diego native, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has over ten years of food and beverage experience.
Solana Beach’s Blanca has appointed Corby Hagan as General Manager and Sommelier. Mr. Hagan is a certified sommelier (from the Court of Master Sommeliers). He comes to the San Diego area from Bouchée restaurant in Carmel by the Sea. Blanca, 437 S. Highway 101, Solana Beach, 858-792-0072.
Market Bar + Restaurant has named Jerome Astolfi as General Manager. Astolfi recently closed his personal venture, Delirios; before that he worked at Jack’s La Jolla.
La Valencia executive chef Judd Canepari has moved east to Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe. Sous-chef Vaughan Mabee was promoted to executive chef at La Valencia’s restaurants, including the Sky Room.
Nathan Coulon of Modus Supper Club (and of the Belgian Lion Coulons) has left his partnership with Scotty Johnson. No word yet on where Coulon will cook next; for now, he and his wife Kayo (also a former partner in the venture) are traveling. Johnson and his wife Ariana will continue to operate Modus.
Chef James Montejano (most recently at Café Japengo, but also of Pamplemousse Grille) has been chosen to head the culinary team at Black&Blue at Valley View Casino in Valley Center. Black&Blue will focus on steaks and seafood. Black&Blue, Valley View Casino, 16300 Nyemii Pass Rd., Valley Center, 866-VIEW-WIN.
Philippe Beltran is no longer a partner in the trendy South Park eatery Vagabond. Jerome Gombert remains and has no plans to change the menu at this stage.
Pastry chef Jack Fisher, formerly of Nine-Ten, Region and Addison, will now spend his time crafting clean-flavored, intensely creative desserts for Jack’s La Jolla. He will also launch a line of gourmet chocolates with Jack’s executive chef Tony DiSalvo. Jack’s La Jolla, 7863 Girard Ave., La Jolla, 858-456-8111.
Hans Cavin, most recently of Pacific Coast Grill, has moved to Tracy Borkum’s Kensington Grill. His new menu there will feature rustic, eclectic foods. Kensington Grill, 4055 Adams Ave., San Diego, 619- 281-4014.
Pacific Coast Grill’s sous chef Jason Miller has been promoted to chef de cuisine, while Izzy Balderas (of sister restaurant Wild Note Café) will serve as executive chef. Pacific Coast Grill, 437 S. Highway 101, Solana Beach, 858-794-4632.
Scott Diehl has moved to the new BlueFire Grill in La Costa Resort and Spa. Previously at the now-defunct Prime 10 in Del Mar, Diehl now heads up the Bluefire lunch, dinner and brunch buffet teams. Call 800-854-5000 for reservations.
local pastry chef Jack Fisher has announced his return to La Jolla's Nine-Ten restaurant. Fisher served as Nine-Ten's pastry chef from February
2002 until he left in October 2003 to open Region,
a new restaurant in San Diego. He will return to work alongside
chef Jason Knibb, crafting the award-winning restaurant's pastry,
dessert and cheese creations. Nine-Ten, The Grande Colonial La Jolla,
910 Prospect St., La Jolla, CA 92037, 858-964-5400.
Schroeder has left the Arterra at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar to open his own restaurant. Rumor
has it that he has purchased the Blackhorse Grille from Sammi Ladecki
and plans to transform the space and menu in September 2006. Former
sous chef Brian Pekarcik (also of Gary Danko in
San Francisco and Mille Fleurs of Rancho Santa Fe) has replaced
Carl Schroeder as executive chef. He will continue to collaborate
with consulting chef Bradley Ogden while also adding
his own flavors to the farm-fresh menu. Arterra, 11966 El Camino
Real, Carmel Valley, 858-369-6032.
Davis, former head of catering for Pamplemousse
Grille, has been named executive chef at Dobson’s in downtown
San Diego. Dobson’s, 956 Broadway Cir., San Diego, 619-231-6771, www.dobsonsrestaurant.com.
ClosingsDMood Restaurant & Lounge, the cozy Mediterranean restaurant in University Heights, has closed its doors. Bistro D’Asia and Sushi Bar of Coronado will open a new location on this site soon.
Cantina Panaderia in Pacific Beach has been renamed by owner Isabel Cruz. The new moniker is Isabel’s Cantina to better reflect her latest book, “ Isabel’s Cantina: Bold Latin Flavors From the New California Kitchen.”
Rumor has it that Lesley Cohn may move Corvette Diner Bar & Grill from its central Hillcrest location to a 5,000 square foot space in Liberty Station. No deals have been signed as of yet, but developers Corky McMillan Companies say it is in the works. Limited parking and strong restaurant competition are cited as reasons for the potential move.
Beryl Byrd’s Kensington dessert café Just Fabulous has closed its doors. A burger place is rumored to be on the way.
Local favorite Café Cerise sadly has shut its doors. Chef Jason Siebert is in line to be executive chef of Jade, a pan-Asian restaurant set to open downtown in June.
Chef Michael Stebner’s locally-focused restaurant Region has closed.
Sadly, the long-popular Top O’ The Cove in La Jolla is closing. New owners EnDev LLC anticipate a lengthy renovation—perhaps as long as two years—before eventually opening a combination restaurant and nightclub aiming for a young crowd.
The fine dining room at George’s at the Cove in La Jolla will be temporarily closed for several months to undergo a multi-million dollar complete makeover. The Ocean View Terrace and the Pacific View Bar remain open. Georges at the Cove, 1250 Prospect Ave., La Jolla, 858-454-4244.
Premier seafood restaurant Star of the Sea closed June 19 for remodeling. It will reopen this fall under the new name Ghio’s Seafood and Steaks. The venue will be a bit more casual than before and feature more meat than fish. Star of the Sea, 1360 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, 619-232-7408, www.starofthesea.com.
at the Cove will close in January 2007 and reopen in
mid-February after a $2.5 million remodel as Georges California
Modern. Chef Trey Foshee will remain at the helm and continue
to use local farm products. www.georgesatthecove.com.
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