In September 2019, Animae, a new venue from Top Chef Brian Malarkey’s restaurant collective, opened in a stunning space in downtown San Diego’s newest luxury condominiums near the waterfront. Animae serves Pan Asian American cuisine created by Executive Chef Joe Magnanelli, formerly of San Diego’s celebrated Urban Kitchen Group. The coal-fired menu utilizes a Josper oven and Japanese robata grill to prepare large format proteins like West Coast Wagyu, while the finest raw seafoods are presented as crudos. Three menu standouts include steelhead trout poke with sea bean, daikon, shiso and plum vinegar; tom yum mushrooms with burrata and leek; and black garlic udon noodles with lobster, chili, choy sum, bisque and espelette. Animae is part of the Puffer Malarkey Collective behind other distinct San Diego restaurants including Herb & Wood, Green Acre and Farmer & the Seahorse.
In September 2019, the InterContinental San Diego hotel debuted its newest food and beverage concept, Layover, located on the hotel’s fourth floor rooftop near the pool area. Layover offers guests and locals alike an outdoor lounge experience with first-class seats to remarkable elevated views of air, sea and the downtown skyline. Guests can dine and drink at the sleek 15-seat bar or lounge comfortably in Adirondack chairs and plush outdoor furnishings surrounding several fire pits. The name “Layover” is a nod to the four airfields, past and present, visible from the venue―the USS Midway flight deck, the US Coast Guard air station, US North Island Naval station and San Diego airport―allowing guests to catch the picturesque sights of aircrafts taking off in the distance.
In September 2019, the casual Argentine eatery Empanada Kitchen opened its second San Diego location in North Park. Known for its golden-brown, handmade baked empanadas, the casual restaurant originated at the North Park Farmer’s Market and opened its first location in February 2018 in downtown San Diego. After less than one year in downtown, Empanada Kitchen was named one of "Yelp's Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. 2019."
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