New in Town

Michelle Leonard |
New And Noteworthy

Fogo de Chão {668 6th Avenue; 619.338.0500}

Meat lovers of the world rejoice! Fogo de Chão’s latest West Coast location resides in the heart of the Gaslamp. Diners are invited to feast on over 30 items at the salad bar consisting of fresh cut vegetables, imported cheeses, cured meats, and Brazilian side dishes. Once seated, the carnivorous game of red light-green light begins with gaucho chefs offering a choice of 16 different fire-roasted meats tableside, ready to be sliced and served. Private and semi-private rooms are available for any occasion from board meetings to birthdays and anything in between.

Veggie Grill {4535 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla; 858.458.0031}

Forget what you know about vegetarian eating. Veggie Grill encourages people to dine on a diverse menu ranging from soups and entrée salads, to hot sandwiches, burgers, and wraps all made with 100-percent plant-based food. Health-conscious, clean eaters can be assured that every item is created without meat, dairy, eggs, cholesterol, animal fat, or trans fat. With nearly 20 locations along the West Coast, the first San Diego site opened up at Westfield UTC Mall and will soon open two more locations in Del Mar and Carlsbad.

Waypoint Public {3794 30th Street}

Bottlecraft Owner Brian Jensen and partners, along with Amanda Baumgarten, formerly of Herringbone, are making headlines with the opening of Waypoint Public. Once known as the iconic spot The Linkery, Waypoint intends to stick with housemade sausages and charcuterie, but that's where their similarities end. The space is expected to shed its dark-coated walls and incorporate a lot more light into the design. As for the menu, expect a beer lover's dream in the form of a 300-bottle craft beer list and a 30-tap system for beer and wine.

CUCINA enoteca {2730 Via de La Valle, Del Mar; 858.704.4500}

Imagine a place of comfort: the warmth of home, a touch of bohemia, and an eclectic blend of objects new and old. The Urban Kitchen Group has brought that idea to reality with CUCINA enoteca. With a location already in Irvine, the group decided to open one in Del Mar. Much like little siblings, CUCINA enoteca’s design and environment mimic that of their sister location CUCINA urbana. Guests will find familiarity in the fresh, organic, sustainable menu with dishes that can be devoured traditionally or family-style. Items such as Ricotta Gnudi or Short Rib Pappardelle can be paired with house-infused liquors, specialty cocktails, artisan beers, or selections from the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Bottles can also be purchased from CUCINA’s Wine Shop to enjoy with dinner, or later on at home.

The Headquarters {789 West Harbor Drive; 760.804.8600}

Once known as the headquarters to the San Diego Police Department, this architectural gem has been reframed as an exciting urban experience. The Headquarters is intended be a tranquil waterfront escape filled with specialty shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Among the eateries, locals will be pleased to see a second location of La Jolla favorite Puesto, as well as a fifth location for Venissimo Cheese. The pièce de resistance, however, will be the arrival of Pizzeria Mozza. The highly-acclaimed restaurant of famed Chefs Mario Batali, Joseph Bastianich, and Nancy Silverton is already known for its creative and authentic Italian menu featuring artisanal salads, pastas, and pizzas. The chefs at Pizzeria Mozza are bringing their new concept Mozza2Go as well, currently available only in Los Angeles location. And for the sun-lovers, take note: visitors can enjoy their dishes outdoors in a private picnic setting.

Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits {2215 India Street}

One of San Diego’s premier breweries comes to Little Italy with Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen. The 9,000-square-foot grounds are a combination restaurant, brewery, and tasting room with a 4,000-square-foot beer garden. The three-barrel brewhouse will concentrate entirely on research, development, and specialty beer production. Taking on the reigns of the kitchen is Colin MacLaggan, formerly of Avenue 5 in Banker’s Hill. MacLaggan intends to break up the menu into sections of “land, sea, and garden.” In addition, he is collaborating with specialty brewer Colby Chandler to develop monthly beer pairing dinners. These elaborate spreads will feature guest chefs and will be enjoyed next to an impressive open kitchen.

The Med Room/Café La Rue {Inside La Valencia Hotel; 1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla; 858.454.0771}

The kitchens at La Valencia have undergone some major changes. The Mediterranean Room, now simply known as The Med Room, is sprucing up the space with a more modern touch. Executive Chef Daniel Barron has crafted an ever-changing menu rooted in New American style with the familiarity of refined plates guests expect. In addition to the thrilling updates at The Med Room, Barron is set to unveil La Valencia’s return of Café La Rue: European village cuisine brought together with the casual style of the California coast. The swanky space is inspired by the post-impressionistic era and the ambience of La Valencia circa 1926. A barrel dome glass canopy hovers over an open central bar, high-gloss terrazzo floors, a glass-enclosed wine vault, and table and banquet seating in a contemporary but intimate space. Guests can also dine alfresco on the sidewalk on Prospect, or in the courtyard under the patio’s towering palm trees.