San Diego has seen a lot of changes this summer. Delicious changes. Re-openings, renovations, and Latin cuisine were a few of the themes this year. To catch up on what’s been going on and where you should go now, read on.
Remember Borders? That behemoth of a bookstore downtown? A new resident has moved in, and its name is Fogo de Chão, a Brazilian steakhouse. This two-story restaurant is an international chain and just opened its first San Diego location. Here you’ll find 16 cuts of meat carved tableside by authentic gaucho chefs, a gourmet salad bar, and an award-winning 200+ label wine list.
A burger, a beer, and a game. That’s what you come here for. Located right on Petco Park field, Southpaw just took over the old El Vitral space. To be completely accurate, Southpaw is serving up more than just burgers and beer (although they are pretty spectacular) fresh cocktails, lobster rolls, charcuterie plates and a to-die-for bread pudding are also on the menu and definitely worth checking out. More laid-back than its predecessor, Southpaw is the perfect place to play some pool, catch a game or some happy hour.
A former Playboy Playmate owns this bar. Yes, you read that right. And she’s done an incredible job. Nicole Dahm Kelly has transformed what was once the old Cremolose location in downtown, into a country-style, cowboy-lovin’, hard-rockin’ kind of bar. With the only beer-pong table (that I know of) in the city, it also has a free pool table, shuffle board and saddle-up bar stools. Not to mention, incredible food like their hand crafted pizzas, chicken wings, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.
The first Gin Club in So Cal is right here in San Diego, and it has a Spanish flair. Located in downtown La Jolla, Iberico specializes in authentic Spanish food. Find a variety of Tapas, like the Rabas Fritas (fried calamari with house-made aioli) Patatas Bravas (spicy Spanish potatoes with aioli) and the Rabo de toro (red wine braised OX tail) wash it all down with one of their many, specialty gin cocktails.
The Asian Cowboy thing just wasn’t working. So Chef Brian Malarky threw out Burlap and replaced it with Searsucker. Already wildly successful in the downtown area, this is his second installment of the fabric-themed, American food restaurant, now in Del Mar. Serving up the same menu items that made the original location famous, don’t miss the infamous crab cake and of course, the same fun ambiance.
Oh Tom, it’s been a while. After a long shut-down for renovations, this iconic San Diego restaurant finally re-opened its doors this summer, and boy, was it worth the wait. Adding a beautiful outdoor balcony and patio, light streams into the dining room with outstanding views of the bay below. An art piece was installed out front, which serves as the focal point for weddings. Fresh seafood and cocktails still abound, and the ambiance is just as romantic as before.
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