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New to San Diego: Fall/Winter 2016

Tajima San Diego

Tajima {3015 Adams Avenue}
San Diego’s favorite ramen shop, Tajima, is opening its seventh location in North Park this fall. Diners can expect a menu that mirrors the menu at the Hillcrest and East Village outposts. Chef Sam Morikizono will share his specialty ramen bowls, classic Japanese dishes, and a selection of beer, wine, and sake. Expect favorites like Kimchee Fried Rice Bowls, Kakuni Buns, and several varieties of ramen, along with a slew of new items. The décor, crafted by BASILE design (who worked on the East Village location), takes its cues from the exterior design and features Japanese Art Deco style, adding a hip feel to the revamped restaurant. Now, residents the city over won’t have to venture far to sate their ramen cravings. tajimasandiego.com

Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen {2137 Pacific Highway, San Diego; 619.819.0090}
Chef Giselle Wellman, a San Diego native, has spent most of the last decade honing her skills shoulder to shoulder with some of the nation’s top chefs: Thomas Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Mario Batali. Now, the “Top Chef” star has returned to her home town to open Pacific Standard, offering a menu of coastal-inspired, rustic yet refined cuisine. Her all-female kitchen will be turning out dishes that pay homage to Little Italy’s history as a fishing village, while staying committed to sourcing from local purveyors. Menu items like Smoked Trout Rillettes, Steak Frites, and Cassoulet hearken back to nostalgic favorites, while still enjoying modern flair. The bar program, developed by industry vet Dino Balocchi and sommelier Hayden Felice, features cleverly curated cocktails, a concise but intentional wine list, and a dozen craft beers. The restaurant occupies the neighborhood’s landmark Art-Deco building with picturesque bay and harbor views from two outdoor decks, not to mention a 20-foot fire pit ideal for outdoor lounging. Inside, hints of coastal life abound; hand-blown light fixtures, white marble countertops, coastal-inspired art, and large communal tables round out the space. This stop on the Pacific Highway offers the unforgettable. pacificstandardrestaurant.com

Decoy Dockside Dining

Decoy Dockside Dining {1035 La Bonita Drive, San Marcos; 760.653.3230}
San Diego’s North County is home to a sprawling resort on the shores of Lake San Marcos—the Lakeshore Hotel & Resort. Behind the multi-million-dollar redevelopment are the team known for notable properties Eat.Drink.Sleep., Tower23 Hotel, and restaurants JRDN, Draft, Cannonball, and Belmont Park. Decoy, the group’s latest creation, is a luxury lodge-inspired space with expansive views of the lake over two levels. The upper level, serving dinner and weekend brunch, is outfitted with cozy fireplaces, natural textures, and rich textiles with steel and bronze accents. The upper deck offers spectacular lakeside views from every table, while Dock Bar on the lower level patio is a more casual venue with a pizza oven (try the Perfect Pear with pear, Gorgonzola, caramelized onions, lemon zest, and grilled kale). The main dining room of the eatery focuses on New American cuisine created by acclaimed rising star Chef Danilo “DJ” Tangalin, who was tapped from JRDN to helm the kitchen. Featuring a wood-fired oven, the menu will center around fresh seafood and game, showcasing dishes like Braised Rabbit Sugo with gnocchetti, roasted carrot, Parmesan, and fried sage; and the Mary’s 1/2 Chicken with grilled rapini, kohlrabi, celeriac gratin, and pomegranate jus. The Dock Bar (which offers an all-day menu) focuses on elevated pub fare, including shareable appetizers, pizza, and items like their Dockside Bar Messy Burger with a bison patty, boar bacon jam, Asiago cheese, farm egg, caramelized onions, butter lettuce, and sundried tomato äioli. San Diego’s most luxe resort just got even more tempting, so make your reservations now.
lakehousehotelandresort.com/decoy

Como Ceviche! {317 10th Avenue, San Diego; 619.343.1191}
San Diego’s East Village welcomed the fast-casual ceviche purveyor Como Ceviche! in late September, 2016, bringing with it a range of ceviche dishes inspired by typical preparations from Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador. Helmed by Johan Engman (Fig Tree Cafes and Breakfast Republic) and William Lopez (the face of Alternative Strategies, a successful restaurant marketing group), Como Ceviche! offers both dine-in and take-away options. Best of all, their impressive variations on South America’s favorite raw dish are prepared with locally sourced, responsibly caught, fresh seafood blended with flavorful additions. Engman and Lopez were inspired by their globe-trotting adventures, deciding that San Diego needed an outlet for the unique and authentic variations of ceviche they ate on their travels. We’re hooked! comoceviche.com

Red Card Cafe

Red Card Café {4140 Morena Boulevard, San Diego; 858.291.8030}
Landing on the San Diego dining scene in mid-August, Red Card brings a unique take on global street food to Bay Park. Housed in what was once a catering kitchen, Red Card Café has creatively repurposed the industrial space. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating options, Paris-born Caroline Sternberg’s inaugural restaurant venture features vintage photos of soccer matches, plush booths and high-top seating, and a large back room with a communal table crafted from reclaimed barn wood. Chef Drew Lopez (Brian Malarkey’s Green Acre, Sausage and Meat, and Lei Lounge) was tapped to create a menu of international classics, including Argentine Beef Empanadas, Peruvian Salchipapas, Polish Potato Pierogi, French Canadian Duck Poutine, and Chinese Char Siu Pork Bao Buns. Red Card Café serves brunch on the weekends with a special menu, and also features a tap selection of more than a dozen craft beers. When you want to globe trot with your taste buds, this is the place to do it. redcardcafe.com

Pokirrito

Pokirrito/RakiRaki Ramen {2254 India Street, San Diego; 619.240.8511}
RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen and sister restaurant Pokirrito have a new outpost on India Street in Little Italy where diners will find the same beloved dishes from the original Convoy Street location. The two coexist under the same roof, offering guests the unique opportunity to choose a meal from either side. The fast-casual concept, designed by popular local designer Yale Jallos, features a sleek industrial-chic feel, open seating, communal tables, and an ourdoor patio. Floor-to-ceiling windows add natural light to the space, and a huge mural of Chef/Owner Junya Wantabe dominates the space. At the new Little Italy location, RakiRaki has added Japanese coal-fired yakitori to the menu (in addition to their award-winning menu of traditional ramen, ramen burgers, Japanese bites, rice bowls, and sushi). At Pokirrito, order from their poké-inspired menu of sushi burritos, poké bowls, and yakitori boxes. If you’re craving expertly crafted ramen or poké, this duo of restaurants is your go-to. rakirakiramen.com pokirritosd.com

STK {600 F Street, San Diego}
With outposts in such glamorous destinations like New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, London, and Ibiza, STK has finally arrived in San Diego. Taking up residence in the Andaz Hotel, it delivers a modern twist on the steakhouse, decorating its space with contemporary art and adding a chic lounge element. Its snazzy environs make the perfect place for the social side of things; to boot, STK hosts a full-time DJ to create an infectious, high-energy vibe. With a booming bar scene, it blends high-end restaurant and cool club. The menu, meanwhile, riffs on dishes that are classic American offerings in any steakhouse—raw options, Lil’ BRGs made with Wagyu beef, Lobster Mac and Cheese, and, of course, the highest quality steaks in varying cuts and portions. Bonus: If you’re staying at the Andaz, STK provides room service. When you can’t choose between a night out clubbing and a hearty steak dinner, you don’t have to. STK has you covered. togrp.com/stk-san-diego-coming-soon/