San Diego
2007

Arterra has promoted Jason Maitland to chef de cuisine. He will be joined by executive chef Ciarán Duffy (who will relocate from Charleston, South Carolina's Tristan) in December. The restaurant's former executive chef, Brian Pekarcik, is now at the Steelhead Brasserie and Wine Bar at the Marriott in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Esquires at the Westin San Diego will open in December for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. San Diego native Frank Terzoli, also known as “Frankie the Bull,” is chef/owner.

Gavin Kaysen has left El Bizcocho to become the new executive chef at Café Boulud in New York City.

CLARIFICATION: The menu at Urban Solace (Dateline, October) explores all American cuisines, not just dishes from the South.

Marcie Rothman
Posted 11/20/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Zubin Desai, former general manager and sommelier at Blanca in Solana Beach, has moved to Hillcrest to open his own restaurant, the Better Half, featuring American and French bistro fare. Expect a mid-November opening.

Also in Hillcrest, Seasons 142 has moved into the space that formerly housed Brazil by the Hill.

Arrivederci in Hillcrest will open a second location on 30 th Street in North Park, just steps away from coffee roaster and coffee house Caffe Calabria.

Down the street from Caffe Calabria and Heaven Sent Desserts, Urban Solace is now open for lunch and dinner. The menu features contemporary Southern dishes.

Jonathan Pfleuger's Currant in downtown's Sophia Hotel (formerly Pickwick) has opened, serving American brasserie dishes for lunch and dinner.

Marcie Rothman
Posted 10/24/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Jerome Astolfi, formerly of Jack’s La Jolla and the recently closed Delirios, is the new general manager of Del Mar’s popular Market Restaurant and Bar.

Brian Sinnott is the new chef at 1500 Ocean at the Hotel del Coronado. Sinnott, who jumped from the acclaimed Molly’s at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, does not plan any immediate menu changes. General manager Claude Renner and sommelier Amanda Murray round out the new team.

EXY Chic Greek Restaurant and Lounge will open in the former LG’s Steakhouse site at F and Sixth Avenue in mid-November. Owner George Katakalidis also started the popular casual chain, Daphne’s Greek Cafe.

Construction has begun on Victor Jimenez’s new restaurant Cowboy Star in the East Village on Tenth Avenue.

Well-known Pacific Beach coffee house and casual eatery Zanzibar Cafe has opened its second location downtown on G Street, a few blocks away from the popular Cafe Chloe.

Corby Hagen, a certified sommelier, is the new general manager of Blanca in Solana Beach.

Marcie Rothman
Posted 9/26/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Riko Bartolome, award-winning chef of Asia-Vous in Escondido, has closed the restaurant and is moving to Maui, where he plans to reopen the popular eatery.

Burger Lounge has opened on Wall Street in La Jolla, showcasing an array of burgers and hand-cut fries. Co-owners Dean Loring (of Cody’s La Jolla) and Mike Gilligan plan to open a second outpost in September.

Delirios in the Bird Rock area of La Jolla has closed. Front-of-the-house wizard Jerome Astolfi (ex-Jack’s La Jolla) and chef Aaron La Monica (previously of the Lodge at Torrey Pines, Nine-Ten, and Region) are looking to open their own place.

ECR in the La Costa Town Center on El Camino Real is the latest venture from Savory chef/owner Pascal Vignau. The casual, creative menu includes a variety of burgers served with housemade fries, pickles, ketchup, and barbecue sauce.

Executive chef Judd Canepari has moved from La Jolla’s oceanfront La Valencia Hotel to its sister property Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa ,nestled in the hills of Rancho Santa Fe. The menu features California-Mediterranean cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with brunch on Sundays. Over at La Valencia, sous-chef Vaughan G. Mabee has been promoted to executive chef of Sky Room and the hotel’s other restaurants.

Marcie Rothman
Posted 8/29/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Arterra at the Marriott Del Mar has opened a new outdoor lounge and patio area just off the restaurant’s bar. Executive chef Brian Pekarcik’s casual, seasonal menu includes Kobe beef sliders and other sharable dishes.

The former Sportsman Lodge Motel in Point Loma is now home to the Pearl Hotel. The restaurant is under the direction of chef Corey Heath, who previously worked with Michel Richard.

David Warner is the new executive chef at Jordan, the restaurant at the hotel Tower 23 in Pacific Beach. He succeeds opening exec Victor Jimenez, who has moved on.

Oenophiles have two new venues to choose from, both in Liberty Station (the new name for the sprawling Naval Training Center). Mellow, at the Harbor Boulevard entrance, has cozy seating, cheese plates, panini, desserts, and a large selection of wines by the glass. At the Barnett entrance, Wine Steals features large pizzas, salads, and cheese boards available to go with wines by the glass or bottle.

Monsoon Group, owners of Masala, Blue Ginger, and Monsoon in the Gaslamp, and Bombay in Hillcrest, catches the Mexican wave with Casa de Madera, across the street from Bombay on Fifth Avenue.

Marcie Rothman
Posted 8/1/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Quarter Kitchen in the hip new Ivy Hotel features a chic, upscale dining room and a presentation kitchen where you can sit and watch all the cooking action. Chef Damon Gordon previously worked in New York City with both Alain Ducasse and Jeffrey Chodorow.

Chef Jason Shaeffer has quietly moved on from 1500 Ocean at the Hotel Del Coronado. No word yet on his next gig—or his replacement.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa has replaced its Azzura Point restaurant with Mistral, featuring Mediterranean-inspired dishes based on sustainably grown local ingredients (many of which come from the hotel’s 3,800-square-foot herb garden) created by chef Martin T. Batis.

Alex Thao has expanded his network of Thai restaurants (Celadon, Rama, and 30-Two) with the recent opening of Chow Noodle House located in the original Celadon location on University Avenue in Hillcrest. The new place offers an array of Pacific Rim noodle, rice, and soup dishes. Even better: Almost everything on the menu is under $9.

Chris Walsh, most recently of the Gaslamp’s Confidential, has returned to Hillcrest, where he just opened Bite California Bistro and Wine Bar.

La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel is reopening its dining room jewel, the Sky Room, a small, intimate venue with views of the ocean. The completely redecorated space features a small bar area and more contemporary decor. Executive chef Judd Canepari and sous-chef Vaughan Mabee have updated the high-end menu and sommelier Dustin Jones has enhanced the restaurant’s extensive wine list.

The newest addition to the Bankers Hill restaurant scene, Avenue 5 Restaurant & Bar, is scheduled to open on Fifth Avenue in mid-August. Its well-traveled chef, Colin MacLaggan, honed his skills abroad with the Conran Restaurant Group and most recently here in San Diego at Arterra, Mille Fleurs, and Bertrand at Mister A’s.

The Gaslamp branch of LG's Prime Steakhouse has closed.

Marcie Rothman
Posted 6/20/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

One lump or two? Whittard of Chelsea, one of England's foremost tea retailers, has opened its first United States boutique in Horton Plaza.

Ed Moore (Nick’s at the Beach and Third Corner) has opened Nick's at the Pier in Pacific Beach.

Philippe Beltran has found a new home after leaving Vagabond. He has taken over the former Green Tomato spot in Kensington to open the presumably French-inspired Bleu Boheme.

Walter Manikowski (formerly of Vinifera in Milwaukee and the former Sea Lodge Hotel in La Jolla, California) is the new executive chef at Dussini's Mediterranean Bistro in the Gaslamp.

Valley View Casino’s Black & Blue steakhouse has a new chef. James Montejano previously cooked at local spots Café Japengo and Pamplemousse and at San Francisco’s Aqua

Amiko Gubbins is leaving Parallel 33 after seven and a half years. The new chef is Coronado native Benjamin Moore, who previously worked at Hollywood’s Social.

Pamela Wischkaemper
Posted 6/6/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Pascal Vignau, owner of Savory in Encinitas, has taken over the former Red Dahlia space in Carlsbad. The new name will be ECR—code for El Camino Real. It will be open for breakfast and lunch only with room for private parties in the evening.

Owners Dan and Susan Sbicca, who own the popular Sbicca in Del Mar, have sold Meritage. No word on the fate of the location.

Pamela Wischkaemper
Posted 5/15/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Looks like Bradley Ogden is going to stick around for a while. He's hanging his hat at downtown's Allegro Towers while he develops menus for his new Little Italy consulting project, Anthology. Executive chef is Jim Phillips from Del Mar’s popular Pamplemousse. Meanwhile, Phillips’s replacement is new chef de cuisine Tommy DiMella.

Larry Abrams is the new chef at Bar West in Pacific Beach, owned by the backers of Stingaree and the Witherby.

Philippe Beltran has taken a fast exit from Vagabond in South Park. No news as to his next venture. Partner Jerome Gombert promises not to change the popular neighborhood eatery.

Pamela Wischkaemper
Posted 4/25/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

After beginning his career at Star of the Sea, Jonathan Pflueger returns to San Diego to run the kitchen at Current inside the newly remodeled Sofia Hotel (formerly the Pickwick) downtown.

George's California Modern—the new incarnation of George Hauer’s landmark restaurant in La Jolla—is open for business with a new design and updated menu created by executive chef and co-owner Tres Foshee.

Bird Rock's Delirios has a new chef. Aaron La Monica comes from stints at Nine-Ten, Region, and The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

Melissa Mayer is the chef at the new Guild restaurant in San Diego's East Village.

Another steakhouse joins the region as Del Mar's Epazote becomes Epazote Ocean View Steak House.

Longtime San Diego chef Hanis Cavin has left Pacific Coast Grille in Solana Beach and moved to Kensington Grill. Izzy Balderas has taken over the kitchen at Pacific Coast Grille.

Bruce Logue has left Vivace at the Four Seasons to take some time to travel in Italy. Logue originally came to the Four Seasons from Mario Batali’s Babbo in New York City.

Robert Vigilucci has added another jewel to his North County restaurant crown with the opening of Vigilucci's Osteria in the newly redeveloped Downtown Oceanside.

Ex-Pamplemousse chef Jim Phillips has landed in Little Italy to man the stoves at Anthology, a restaurant and music venue. Bradley Ogden is the consulting chef.

Pamela Wischkaemper
Posted 3/28/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Jumping Jack Fisher has moved again. This time from the brand new Addison in Carmel Valley to Jack's La Jolla, where he will oversee pastry operations for the location’s bakery, two casual eateries, and fine-dining restaurant.

Waters Fine Catering offshoot Waters Fine Foods to Go has opened a second branch in the Cedros Design District of coastal Solana Beach.

Jim Phillips, executive chef of Pamplemousse Grille in Solana Beach, has left his post to move to an undisclosed downtown San Diego location. No replacement has been named.

Pamela Wischkaemper
Posted 2/28/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

The second Blue Coral Seafood has opened in the Hyatt Regency LaJolla at Aventine with Hans-Trevor Gossman as culinary partner. The original restaurant opened this summer up the coast in Newport Beach. Gossman comes from the now defunct Royale Brasserie and the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center.

Damon Gordon is the new chef at the Quarter Kitchen at the Ivy, the posh, new boutique hotel downtown. Gordon comes from Ono in New York.

Chris Walsh has opened Bite in Hillcrest. Walsh comes from trendy downtown club Confidential.

Pamela Wischkaemper
Posted 1/31/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.

Ron Zapardino has sold his landmark Top of the Cove in La Jolla, known as the most romantic table in the city. James Brennan, owner of the hot new Gaslamp bar Stingaree, has purchased the property and plans to tear down the existing building and build a three-story operation.

Also in La Jolla, Amy O'Hara (formerly of Quince in San Francisco) is the new pastry chef at Nine-Ten.

James Foran, who joined forces with Carl Schroeder at Arterra in the Marriott before leaving to teach at a local culinary school, has returned to head up Schroeder's new Del Mar restaurant, Market.

Pamela Wischkaemper
Posted 01/03/07
Have more information about the San Diego restaurant scene? Contact this correspondent.