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Hot News: What's New in San Diego Dining, Brews and Everything in Between

Hot News: What's New in San Diego Dining, Brews and Everything in Between

Restaurant Openings

In spring 2014, Land and Water Co. opened in the historic Twin Inn building in Carlsbad offering a sustainable, GMO-free and gluten-free menu with a progressive take on traditional Japanese cuisine with French and Hawaiian influences. The 258-seat restaurant is still in building stages and plans to add a beer and cigar grotto and an underground speakeasy inspired by the ‘20s.

In October 2014, the East Village welcomed a new healthy concept to the neighborhood, Sol Cal Café. Owned by former NFL player Jacob Bell and Food Network chef Anne Thornton, the vegan market café and juice bar specializes in organic juices, coffee and teas, grab-n-go salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups and gelato. The menu includes GMO-free, 100 percent certified organic, dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan ingredients. Sol Cal Café also features an on-site naturopathic doctor’s office offering holistic healing treatments.

In October 2014, Parq opened in downtown San Diego in a 38,000 sq. ft. space split into a restaurant and nightclub. The restaurant occupies 5,000 sq. ft. of the space and serves farm-to-table “progressive American” food under the direction of Chef Errol LeBlanc, winner of Food Network’s “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell.” The interior design features indoor trees with twinkling flowers, high ceilings and an alternating black and white striped restroom.

In October 2014, Iron Pig Alehouseopened in the lovely seaside Pacific Beach neighborhood. Located in a renovated warehouse that dates back to 1945, the American barbeque house offers a modern approach to traditional barbecue with smoked meats including chicken, ribs and pork chops. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Iron Pig Alehouse also offers forty beers on draft with an emphasis on local craft beer.

In November 2014, Sirena Gourmet Seafood opened in Little Italy, featuring Latin American inspired seafood dishes. The menu includes appetizers, a “nikkei and raw bar” with Latin oysters, ceviche, aguachile and seafood rolls and entrees like salmon and ahi, grilled octopus and braised scallops. The wine list includes wines from around the world and the beer list features brews from San Diego’s local craft breweries.

In November 2014, San Diego welcomed two new Texas-based concepts. Halcyon and Stella Public Houseopened in the emerging East Village, sharing the same 3,000 sq. ft. indoor-outdoor space. During the daytime, Halcyon, a modern coffeehouse and cocktail lounge, will serve breakfast, lunch, snacks and desserts. After 5 p.m., the “farm to pizza” concept, Stella Public House, will take over, offering Neapolitan-style pies, craft beer and wines.

In November 2014, local restaurant group Blue Bridge Hospitality opened Stake Chophouse & Bar in Coronado. Open only for dinner, the steakhouse’s menu features meats like American Wagyu and Japanese Kobe beef, a variety of seafood dishes and a 1,500-bottle wine selection. The 4,600 sq. ft., second-story space adorned with wood sculptures and back-lit onyx paneling includes a terrace that overlooks the village of Coronado.

In November 2014, S&M Sausage & Meat opened, serving exotic sausages, a variety of house-made bacon and game meats in the charming University Heights neighborhood. The menu is divided into several sections spanning from sandwiches and sausage rolls with house-made toppings to small bites and big bites. Patrons can enjoy a full bar featuring twelve taps of unique craft brews and a specialty cocktail menu. In addition to being a full-service restaurant, S&M sells bacon, charcuterie and uncooked sausages to take home.

Slated for completion in late 2014, Karina’s Mexican Seafood restaurant will open a new location in downtown San Diego. The restaurant is owned and operated by Karina’s Group, which has seven other dining establishments throughout San Diego, including three other Karina’s Mexican Seafood sites. The new restaurant will feature 5,000 sq. ft. of space for diners, including an expansive bar and lounge, private dining room, and seating for large or small groups. The menu will feature coastal and regional dishes like seafood cocktails, tacos, a variety of ceviche plates and grilled platters. Design details include modern rustic elements with colorful accents.

Expected to open at the end of 2014 in San Marcos in San Diego’s North County, Inland Tavern will offer a modern coastal, relaxed vibe to diners. The internationally driven menu will feature dishes like truffled egg salad sandwich, Vietnamese meatballs and tempura fish tacos with chili jam and Asian slaw. The bar will feature 20 beers on tap, craft cocktails and a wide wine selection.

Hands-On Learning

Loews Hotel Resort in Coronado is currently featuring a series of cooking demos with the Executive Chef of the resort’s signature restaurant, Mistral. Each class features a different focus and teaches something new, like tricks for planting a vegetable garden, the history of sushi and how to make it at home or tips to grilling ribs. Classes are offered once per month through March and include a cocktail and take-home gift for each participant.

From November 2014 to May 2015, Bice restaurant will offer Son of a Bice Cooking Classes, a series of interactive Italian cooking courses with Executive Chef Mario Cassineri. The classes take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on designated Saturdays and Sundays of each month and feature hands-on training on Italian cooking techniques of popular recipes like lobster bisque, beef Carpaccio, torta pasqualina and chicken roulade stuffed with truffle cheese. The lectures will also include a gourmet Italian cheese pairing demo.

Beginning January 2015, La Valencia Hotel in the coastal village of La Jolla will present the 2015 Signature Dine & Wine Series at THE MED, the resort’s signature restaurant. The monthly event will pair the world’s most prestigious wines and winemakers with the cuisine of MED Executive Chef James Montejano. Each event will offer the opportunity to learn from a guest speaker knowledgeable about the featured label and to enjoy a five course dinner with wine pairing.

Brew News

In October 2014, Ballast Point opened a new tasting room and brewery in Miramar in San Diego’s North County. This brewery marks the company’s fourth and largest location in the city of San Diego. Daily tours are available as well as 78 beers on tap at the main bar, plus 37 taps in the outdoor bar; 12 draft beers are available for growlers fills to go. The new brewery’s 107,000 sq. ft. location includes a retail area and a restaurant expected to start serving a full lunch and dinner menu by 2015.

In November 2014, Solana Beach’s Culture Brewing Co. opened a new tasting room in Ocean Beach. The 1,600 sq. ft. facility’s design mirrors the Solana Beach location with a neutral-driven interior concept and displays of art by local artist. The tasting room offers 18 beers on tap and several different pour sizes ranging from three ounces tasters to pints, as well as to-go growler fills in 32- or 64-ounce quantities.

In November 2014, the local, family owned Cohn Restaurant Group debuted their latest concept in La Jolla, Draft Republic. The beer garden-style space with a sports bar vibe offers a gastro-pub inspired menu with house-made sausages, 36 beers on tap, four house-made keg cocktails, wine and more. Décor includes reclaimed teak wood and tufted leather booths, plus ping pong and billiards tables, shuffle board and foosball, 14 flat screen TVs and a 100 ft. projection screen for entertainment.

Major Culinary and Beer Events

Stone Brewing Co.’s annual beer festival returns Feb. 1-7, 2015. The Calm Before the Storm and Stone Winter Storm tasting events will feature three dozen special bottled brews plus more than four dozen taps pouring special releases, archived vintages, barrel-aged beers and collaborations. The festival will take place at both Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station and Escondido.

From downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter to the beaches of La Jolla and Coronado and beyond, visitors to San Diego can find amazing deals at top restaurants during San Diego Restaurant Week, from Jan. 18-24, 2015. The six-day celebration provides food lovers the opportunity to experience the region’s evolving dining scene for a fraction of the normal cost with special three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for just $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person (beverages, tax and gratuity not included) at more than 180 participating restaurants. Lunch menus are also available for just $10, $15 or $20 per person (beverages, tax and gratuity not included) at participating restaurants. Tickets or special passes are not required; however, reservations are recommended. The full list of participating restaurants and their menus can be found online.

Happiness is calling in San Diego. For more information on San Diego’s offerings, including exciting vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at or call 619-236-1212.


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