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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,

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 or email [email protected] 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,

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,

Royal India Restaurant and Lounge

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.


Hillcrest is getting ready for Universal, the latest restaurant/lounge from EnDev LLC, known locally for Stingaree and Side Bar. The new spot is set to open in late summer and will cater to uptown business diners with a menu emphasizing small plates. Universal, 1220 University Ave., Hillcrest.

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,

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,

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.

Nobu San Diego

A 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,

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,

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.

Jack's La Jolla Will Open in October
The much anticipated opening of Jack’s La Jolla, originally scheduled for June, has been pushed back to the end of October 2005. This multi-venue project will include a fine dining room, a coffee shop, a casual dining room and a wine lounge. Tony DiSalvo, former executive chef at famed NYC restaurant Jean-Georges, will man the helm for owner Bill Berkeley. Jack’s La Jolla will be located on the corner of Wall Street and Girard Avenue; the fine dining menu will feature local seasonal produce. For those who cannot wait, Jack’s casual venue known as the Courtyard Grille is now open for dinner, as is the wine bar. Jack’s is located at 7863 Girard Ave. For reservations, call 858-456-8111.

Check 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.

Look for Hotel Solamar on the corner of Sixth and J in April 2005. Its restaurant, J Six, will serve California cuisine with Pacific Rim accents. Deborah Schneider, formerly of the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, will serve as executive chef.

Confidential (part restaurant-part lounge) has opened in the Gaslamp Quarter with a number of partners, including reality TV celebrity Andrew Firestone. Chris Walsh, formerly of the much-missed Café W, will take the kitchen’s helm, offering a tapas-heavy international menu.

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.

[email protected] 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. [email protected], 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.

Meejanah, a small Lebanese café specializing in takeout, has opened for business at 3952 Fourth Ave., Mission Hills, 619-299-2525.

The long-esteemed East Coast restaurant The Palm opened a San Diego outpost in December. Serving prime-aged steaks, Nova Scotia lobster and classic Italian cuisine in NYC since 1926, The Palm wants to bring a little of its East Coast vibe to our own East Village. For more information see

After over a month, Emerald Restaurant in Kearny Mesa has re-opened. Although a minor fire caused the closure, owner Susan Lew made some upgrades and invites San Diegans to see the new and improved look.

The Dining Room at Jack’s opened in La Jolla. The restaurant features two dining rooms and a bar overlooking a center courtyard. Enjoy the American cuisine like sautéed Sonoma foie gras and Muscovy duck breast Sunday-Thursday 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. The Dining Room at Jack’s, 7863 Girard Ave., La Jolla, 858-456-8111.

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 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

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

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

Addison, the fine dining venue of the new Grand Del Mar hotel, opened on September 2. Named for Addison Mizner, prominent architect and artist of circa 1920s Florida, this sumptuous restaurant overlooks the golf fairways and features pieces of Addison’s artwork, vintage photos and other memorabilia from the time period. Addison at The Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, 858-314-1900,


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,

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,

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.

News Bytes

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.

Tea Time
Enjoy two- and three-course afternoon tea service at The Grand Del Mar, complete with Bernardaud china and Italian linens. Offerings include tea sandwiches (egg salad and bacon; smoked chicken salad; smoked salmon and dill), balsamic mushroom tarts, scones (one traditional and one seasonally inspired flavor) and pastries, such as fruit tarts, orange madeleines, cherry bombs and éclairs. The menu also includes a selection of wines, including Billecart-Salmon, Rosé, Brut, Mareuil-sur-Ay; Dow’s Tawny 20 Yr. Port; and sherry and dessert wines such as A. Margaine, ‘Demi-Sec,’ Villers Marmery. Afternoon tea is served Friday-Sunday, from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Tea service starts at $28 for two courses and $36 for three courses. For reservations, please call 858-314-1988. In the Library (adjacent to the Lobby Lounge), The Grand Del Mar, 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego.

Monthly Tasting Menu at Quarter Kitchen
Damon Gordon’s Quarter Kitchen in the Ivy Hotel will now offer a monthly tasting menu Sundays through Wednesdays. Themes will change each month, but the menu will always showcase locally-grown ingredients. February’s meals will focus on Crow’s Pass Farm. Menu highlights include baby beet salad with candied kumquats, farmer’s goat cheese and aged balsamic vinegar; milk-fed veal tenderloin with sautéed greens, tomato confit and coffee jus; and macerated strawberries with fromage blanc. The special three-course meals will cost $45 per person, $70 with wine pairings by wine director Jared Seitzer. Quarter Kitchen at The Ivy, 600 F St., 619-814-1000.

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

Fall Menu Preview + Theater Special
Bankers’ Hill hot spot Avenue 5 Restaurant & Bar is shifting gears for fall. Chef Colin M recently has unveiled his new Fall/Winter menu, and it features richer and heartier seasonal vegetables such as sweet potatoes, salsify, wild mushrooms and turnips. Theater-goers will also enjoy a prix fixe three-course meal with complimentary glass of Champagne for $40 when they present their tickets. Avenue 5 Restaurant & Bar, 2760 Fifth Ave. San Diego, 619-542-0394.

Have a Safe Holiday
The Marine Room offers a designated driver program in an effort to support safe holiday driving. Diners can notify their server that they are the designated driver and they will be receive complimentary non-alcoholic beverages for the evening. The Marine Room, 2000 Spindrift Way, La Jolla, 858-459-7222.

Be a Gourmet for a Day
The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club presents their new "Gourmet for a Day" package. Stay overnight at this exclusive oceanfront retreat, enjoy a one-hour cooking experience in The Marine Room kitchen and dine on a five-course tasting menu for two created by chef Bernard Guillas. Prices start at $489. The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, 2000 Spindrift Dr., La Jolla, 866-782-8251.

New Look for George's
George’s California Modern will close its Ocean Terrace through December 22 for major renovations that include all new décor, an upgraded kitchen and a 12-seat, ocean-view bar for cocktails and bar food. George’s California Modern, 1250 Prospect St., 858-454-4244.

Local Lobster
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?
This October, eight top chefs from around the country will compete to join the ranks of Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Bobby Flay and Masaharu Morimoto in the Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, a new reality show that will award one chef with the coveted culinary title: Iron Chef. The series kicks-off on Sunday, October 7th at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Among the contestants battling for the honor will be local chef Gavin Kaysen of El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. The winner will be revealed during the series’ finale on Sunday, November 11th, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will begin their reign as Iron Chef with the premiere of the new season of Iron Chef America on Sunday, November 18.

Local Celebrity
Executive chef Brian Malarkey of The Oceanaire Seafood Room continues to battle contestants from around the country on Bravo TV’s Top Chef 3. Various viewing parties have been organized around the county. To join in the fun, contact Lauren Tait at [email protected].

Arterra’s New Hot Spot
There’s a hot new summer patio open for service at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar’s Arterra. Chef Brian Pekarcik has crafted a special appetizer menu for this dining area and has also added some classy new cocktails. Arterra at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, 858-369-6032.

Getting on Track
Addison at The Grand Del Mar is introducing a new summer cocktail and snack menu just in time for race season at the nearby Del Mar Track. Chef William Bradley and sommelier Jesse Rodriguez have teamed up to create tantalizing food and beverage items such as a blackberry papaya margarita, a blueberry Thai basil martini or mojitos in four refreshing flavors: honeydew melon, kiwi, tangerine kumquat and blueberry lavender. To accompany the drinks, select some savory dishes such as scallop brochettes, braised short rib risotto or smoked salmon rillettes. Addison, The Grand Del Mar, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, 858-314-1900.

Hometown "Top Chef" Contestant
The Oceanaire Seafood Room’s executive chef Brian Malarkey will appear as a contestant on Bravo’s next installment of "Top Chef." The third season of this popular culinary competition will start June 6.
Also on TV: chef Melissa Mayer of The Guild competed on the Food Network’s "Food Challenge." Her assignment? To create an original take on macaroni and cheese. The episode will air at 10 p.m. on Sunday, September 9, on the Food Network.

High Tide
Chef Bernard Guillas is debuting The Marine Room’s new spring menu, including such innovative dishes as diver scallops topped with Spanish trout pearls and paired with a Kona kampachi-topped avocado timbale and house-made Buddha’s hand sake; Kobe beef carpaccio accented with Togarashi plum and served with tiny, intense cocoa nibs, watercress and tropical guava paste; and wattle seed-crusted ostrich filets with silky Kabocha squash tian, brandy-soaked cherries and ice wine jus. Experience true surfside dining during La Jolla’s dramatic high tide season. High tides dates are as follows: May: 15, 16, 17; June: 12, 13, 14; July: 12, 13, 14; August: 10, 11. The Marine Room, 2000 Spindrift Way, La Jolla, 858-459-7222.

Copper River Salmon at Roppongi          
Chef Stephen Window and sushi chef Shinji Okano announce the arrival of some very special fish. For a limited time only (until approximately mid-June), Roppongi in La Jolla will serve Copper River salmon. Experience this Alaskan specialty as part of a five-course prix fixe dinner. Roppongi, 875 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858-551-5252.

Jazz Evenings
La Jolla’s Tapenade serves up classic food with a touch of jazz on most Thursday nights.
Thursday night happy hour means 50% off all bar menu items. The upcoming schedule features Ali & The Cats (June 7), Debra Abrams (June 14) and Glen Fisher & The Go Mango Invasion (June 21). Tapenade, 7612 Fay Ave., La Jolla, 858-551-7500.

Pekarcik of Arterra

Beard Honors Pekarcik
Arterra chef Brian Pekarcik has been honored with an invitation to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City on June 12. Pekarcik has created a “California Tasting: Three Ways” menu for the event, which showcases his innovative Seasonal California style. Arterra Restaurant and Bar, Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, 858-369-6032.

Sleek and Stylish

After a multi-million dollar make-over, La Jolla’s famed George’s at the Cove has reopened as George’s California Modern. Gone is the dated, dark ‘80s-style décor; in its place is a clean, airy floor plan with sleek lines of metal and glass. Award-winning architect/designer Jennifer Luce has revitalized the space, creating a more modern, casual, yet decidedly elegant design.
George's California Modern, 1250 Prospect St.,
La Jolla, 858-454-4244.

Facelift at Mille Fleurs
Rancho Santa Fe’s Mille Fleurs recently underwent a one-week facelift. Designer David Robinson changed the color scheme and cut out wall sections to give this local favorite a more open and airy feel. Mille Fleurs, 6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, 858-756-3085.

Epazote Restaurant

San Diego's New Steakhouse
The steakhouse concept continues to flourish in San Diego. Del Mar’s Epazote has been transformed into Epazote Ocean View Steak House. Anthony DeLuca of Island Prime and Greystone will serve as executive chef. Epazote, 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858-259-9966.

The Shore Transformed

The Shores Restaurant at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club has been given a much needed facelift. Now dubbed La Jolla’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant, the menu has been reworked by executive chef Bernard Guillas (Augie Saucedo remains chef de cuisine). The Shores Restaurant, 8110 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla, 858-456-0600.

Osuna Acquires Cuvee
Jaime Osuna of Beachgrass Café and Honey’s Coffee Shop has purchased Cuvee from Chuck Samuelson. The menu and décor have remained the same thus far. Cuvee, 2334 Carmel Valley Rd., Del Mar, 858-259-5878.

New Dish at the Whaling Bar
The Whaling Bar at La Valencia Hotel has revealed what is sure to be an instant classic: the Grana Padano pasta flambé. Prepared tableside, it is made with that Italian cheese, fresh pasta, daily oceanic catches and seasonal produce. This new signature dish can be shared as an appetizer or ordered as an entrée and is offered at market price depending on the featured seafood (from $16.50 for an appetizer portion, or $27.50 to $29.50 for entrées).

Major Restaurant Changes
Tracy Borkum’s Urban Kitchen Group (which includes Kensington Grill and Chive, pictured) has taken over the midtown favorite, Laurel Restaurant & Bar. UKG executive chef Fabrice Poigin has revamped the menu.

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.

Tapas Time
La Jolla’s iconic La Valencia Hotel has introduced a new tapas menu. Check out the tempting selections at the hotel’s La Sala lounge, an area favorite that is hopping and picturesque with live music and floor-to-ceiling views of the Pacific Ocean. Items include steamed Carlsbad black mussels in garlic white wine broth; ceviche martini with halibut, shrimp and scallops; lobster paella-stuffed calamari on fire-roasted artichoke hearts; tortilla Espanola with caramelized onions and balsamic reduction; and butternut squash ravioli with Manchego cheese and sage. Prices range from $6 to $12. La Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect Ave., La Jolla, 858-454-0771.

The Palette Dining Room
(part of The Art Institute of California, San Diego) lets you sample the work of talented culinary students. Chef Mark Sullivan announces that they are now open for dinner on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The weekly rotating menu is student-operated and features American regional specialties as well as multicultural fusion. Reservations are required, as seating is limited. The Palette Dining Room, Art Institute of California, 7650 Mission Valley Rd., 858-598-1405.

Marine Room executive chef Bernard Guillas has been named 2004 Chef of the Year by Chicago-based Chef Magazine. Chefs from around the country were nominated by their peers based on the chef's work that distinguishes them in the advancement of the culinary arts, beverage and foodservice community. "I am thrilled to receive this incredible award," stated Guillas. "Not only am I personally proud, but I am especially proud that I represent San Diego as we become a nationally known culinary destination."

Escape to Yosemite with Top Chefs
The Marine Room's Bernard Guillas will lead his Gastronomically Correct Team at the 2005 Yosemite Chefs' Holidays at The Ahwahnee. Joining Chef Guillas are Riko Bartolome from Asia-Vous and Gavin Kaysen of the Rancho Bernardo Inn's El Bizcocho. The San Diego chef weekend will take place January 30-February 1, 2005; the weekend includes a Meet the Chefs reception, a cooking demonstration/tasting by each chef and a gala dinner. For more information or to make reservations for the package call 559-252-4848 or visit

Heading Down South
Tim and Liza Goodell, the dynamic duo behind Meson G on Melrose Avenue and Aubergine in Newport Beach, are opening a second Red Pearl Kitchen in San Diego. The chef of the first Red Pearl Kitchen in Huntington Beach (412 Walnut Ave., 714-969-0224), Binh Truong, will go down to the Gaslamp district to oversee the opening of the new restaurant in the summer. Red Pearl will take its place in a new mixed-use development at the corner of Fifth and J Streets with retail stores on the street level and living quarters above.

New Concept Coming to The Shores
By mid-summer, longtime La Jolla favorite The Shores Restaurant will introduce a new menu concept to go with a décor change taking place while the restaurant remains open. The focus will be on classic steakhouse fare, with each cut of Certified Angus Beef to be accompanied by a trio of sauces; fresh seafood will also be offered. A wine cellar expansion is also in the works. The Shores Restaurant, Sea Lodge Hotel, 8110 Camino del Oro, La Jolla, 858-456-0600.

Promotions at Rancho Bernardo Inn
Rancho Bernardo Inn has now appointed Stanley R. Kaminski to the position of Assistant General Manager of the Inn and Mark Eberwein to Food and Beverage Director. Kaminski last served as Vice President of Food and Beverage for J.C. Resorts. Eberwein moves up from his position as Director of Banquets at the Inn. Rancho Bernardo Inn, 17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr., San Diego.

Changes at Trattoria Acqua
Trattoria Acqua in La Jolla has had a face lift. The oceanfront space, as well as the menu, has been revamped, but most of the local favorites (thankfully) remain in place.

Chef Shuffle

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.

Nationally recognized chef Gavin Kaysenhas left Rancho Bernardo Inn's El Bizcocho. His new post is as executive chef at Café Boulud in New York City.

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,

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.

Bruce Logue of Four Seasons Resort Aviara, North San Diego's Vivace restaurant has taken a hiatus to visit and experience the foods of Italy. No word on when he will return.

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.

Renowned 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.

In August, The Four Seasons Resort Aviara announced Bruce Logue as executive chef of Vivace Restaurant. Logue comes to San Diego after three years at Mario Batali’s famed Manhattan restaurant, Babbo.

Carl 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.

Alessandro Serni
, formerly of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, has joined South Coast Winery Resort & Spa as executive chef. Serni will shift the menu to more wine-friendly foods. Serni replaces Dan Saito, who is moving to the South Coast Winery Café. South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, 34843 Rancho California Rd., Temecula, 951-587-9463.

Michael 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,


North County denizens are sorry to see Riko Bartolome and wife/partner Kim close their much-loved restaurant Asia-Vous Restaurant in Escondido. The couple plan to move to Maui.

DMood 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,

George’s 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.

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