Archive for June, 2008
Jack’s La Jolla redid their upscale dining room to an Italian venture called Viaggio. The menu features chef Tony DiSalvo’s homemade pastas and much more. Haven’t tried it, as it apparently just opened with little fanfare.
La Jolla based Burger Lounge comes to Coronado and will open their third location at the end of July in the old Island Wok space at 922 Orange Avenue. If you want an organic beef burger with hand-cut in house fries, this is your place. To top it off, they are now one of a handful of green certified restaurants in San Diego.
The Cohn Restaurant Group, that many say sets the bar in the city for middle-of-the-road food and service aimed at the mass market/convention customer, is expanding. They’ve partnered with Sunroad Harbor Island (a subsidiary of Sunroad Enterprises) who just got the go ahead from the Board of Port Commissioners for a $9 million overhaul of the former Reuben E. Lee floating restaurant, currently at the end of Harbor Island. Located conveniently next to the Cohn owned restaurant, Island Prime, the LEED certified restaurant will be designed by Graham Downes Architecture whose eclectic portfolio includes Nine-Ten, Chive, and the redo of its sister property Laurel. Along with Lesley and David Cohn, chef/partner Deborah Scott will operate the Lee. Expect construction to begin late 2009 and finish about 2011.
While we’re on the subject of the Cohn collection, as Buzz reported in May, David’s supposedly best-kept-secret-that-everyone-knew-about is finally out. Hard Work, Inc. (Cohn Restaurant Group) signed a 10-year lease for The Corvette Diner to relocate to the old Officers Club at the Barnett entrance end of Liberty Station. Renovation is underway on the space. And further up the coast, in the coming-on-oh-so-hip Oceanside, the Cohns will open a steak and seafood place called 333 Pacific in the Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort on Pier View Way and Pacific Street. Expect to see the restaurant open by the end of the year.
The Cohns join others who find Oceanside the newest area ripe for restaurant expansion. Old Town’s popular Harney Sushi just opened their second very contemporary spot on the corner of Mission and Cleveland close to the pier. They have a sake bar, lots of sushi rolls and more. The place was very hip and hopping at their opening just last night.
Jai by Wolfgang Puck (pronounced Jay and it means “heart” in Thai and “good luck dish” in Chinese) opens for dinner in the next few weeks. Located at the La Jolla Playhouse complex, the restaurant is fashioned after Puck’s West Los Angeles eatery Red Seven at the Pacific Design Center. The menu features dishes from Red Seven’s former executive chef, Yoshinori Kojima who will oversee Jai.
Had a chance to visit Mukashi with friends…very fresh sushi and other dishes. It’s a comfortable room with a wall water feature, nice sushi bar, chopsticks and black paper napkins. But…what’s the deal with a huge tv screen on the back wall of the sushi bar? Rather than enjoy the sushi chef, the eye from any part of the room can’t help but notice the sports (no sound) on tv. Has the ubiquitous tv become the new necessary “art” for a restaurant? A distraction to say the least, since not every restaurant bar needs to be a sports bar.
In the corner spot on Third and University that was Italian, then morphed to a Brazilian sports bar, then became a seasonal venture, soon goes Hawaiian as Hula’s Beach Bar & Grill moves in. And no, it is not part of the TS Restaurant Group that owns Jake’s in Del Mar and Hula Grill in Hawaii.
Gemelli Italian Grill on Laurel at Fifth Avenue closed about a month ago. Sad, since the area is picking up steam with new and familiar places all around it: Avenue 5, Mukashi, Laurel, Modus, Extraordinary Desserts and others.