Home » FOOD AND DINING » Openings: Summer 2015

Openings: Summer 2015

By Monica Parpal and Maya Silver | Editors

Cannonball

Cannonball

Cannonball {3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach; 858.228.9304}

Views of the Pacific and sushi in the sun? It doesn’t get better than that, San Diego, which is why you should make your way to the sand-side destination, Cannonball, right now. Created by Eat.Drink.Sleep hospitality company—the very same group that brought us Draft South Mission Beach and Tower23—Cannonball hangs its kasa on shared plates like Chicken Wings in teriyaki sauce, Plancha Skewers featuring lemongrass chicken, and Salmon Tataki, courtesy of Executive Chef Brad Wise. Sushi Chef Hugo Arreguin oversees the “sushi cube,” a glass-enclosed 46-seat sushi bar that affords diners front row seats to the slicing and dicing action. Don’t miss the Lobster Roll (spicy lobster, yamagobo, avocado, jalapeño, panko, eel sauce, and spicy mayo), and the playfully named Belly Flop (spicy ahi poke, crab, yamagobo, cucumber, crispy shallots, and ponzu). The expansive second-story space also features cozy fire pit seating. cannonballsd.com

Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

Café Gratitude {1980 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy}

With stops in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Kansas City, is it any wonder that the vegan phenom Café Gratitude is landing in San Diego? Little Italy to be specific—in a new mixed-use development overlooking the bay. The mission at this location is the same as it is at the other three: craft organic, vegan meals through sustainable and seasonal sourcing. Three squares a day will be available on the menu, featuring grab-and-go breakfast pastries, inventive creations like sprout and beer sushi, raw tacos, macrobiotic bowls, freshly pressed juices, and exquisite desserts. The 100-percent vegan, plant-based fare “honors the earth and ourselves.” As for the ambience, LA interior designer Wendy Haworth continues the theme of the other locations with an homage to “The Abounding River” training manual—a guide, much like the Café, for practicing gratitude in everyday life. You can bet you’ll leave here feeling happy and healthy. cafegratitude.com

Holsem Coffee {911 University Avenue, North Park; 619.546.8542}

The best part of waking up … is Holsem in your cup. That’s right, we went there. Coffee might be everywhere, but not like this—a holy trinity of pure ingredients, invention, and design. Both roaster and coffee parlor, Holsem is the vision of Owner/Founder Salpi Sleiman, who wanted to create a coffee house enveloping everything from bean sourcing to latte art. It’s that holistic approach that lands the best coffee in Holsem’s cups, including a selection of 18 non-alcoholic coffee “cocktails”—blended beverages made with house brews, all-natural nut milks, malts, fruit purées, and syrups. To boot, six house roasts give aficionados a full spread of flavors—from light and winey to dark and chocolatey. As part of the experience of enjoying Holsem’s brew, the coffeehouse interior blends the esoteric with the quaint—oxidized maple wood, Calcutta marble, Charles Eames modern chairs, and local artwork play off each other to create a space wholly unique. Intrigued? Drop by for a cup of java and linger with a book—the smiles and laughs are complimentary. holsemcoffee.com

Blush Ice Bar + East-West Kitchen

Blush Ice Bar + East-West Kitchen

Blush Ice Bar + East-West Kitchen {555 Market Street, Gaslamp Quarter}

Culling the best of the East (Asian fusion) and the West (traditional American), Blush is poised to shatter expectations in downtown SD this summer. Inspired by the Blush cocktail featuring fruit-forward frosted ice, Blush Ice Bar is the creation of Co-Owners Taylor Kim and Russ Fukushima. At the helm in the kitchen will be Chef Daniel Barron (formerly of La Valencia), while the rest of the 7,500-square-foot, metal and white marble-accented space will serve as proofing ground for “umami meets steak.” What does their version of East-meets-West look like? Sushi Tacos, Pigs Ranch Ribs with maple-hoisin sauce, and a burger you have to experience to appreciate. A killer happy hour is promised, featuring $1 oysters at the cold bar and competitive drink specials sure to draw a crowd.

Rustic Root

Rustic Root

Rustic Root {535 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter; 619.702.5595}

Chef/Partner Antonio Friscia is the mastermind behind this new Gaslamp go-to, which is a fitting homage to rustic American classics. Friscia’s three decades of experience in the kitchen, much of it rooted in Italian cuisine, combine with a personal love of Asian and American flavors to yield a one-of-a-kind menus. To wit: Bourbon Chicken Liver Pâté, Lobster Pappardelle, Carnitas Bao Sliders, and the bacon jam-topped RR Burger. As one might imagine, the kitchen is also committed to using seasonal and local ingredients whenever possible—each of which is showcased simply and without fuss. The cocktails are equally impressive, playing alongside the food menu with twists on timeless drinks like the Cosmo and Mule. It’s all done up for a dining room that’s something out of a science fiction feature—a Sudoku wall on one side, colander lamps above, plays of woods and whites throughout. Upstairs, a 2,500-square-foot rooftop space lures guests with a view, while a quaint downstairs patio gives revelers yet another spot to dock their drinks. rusticroot.com

Barrel Republic {1261 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach; 858.270.9922}

Not surprisingly, Barrel Republic is Pacific Beach’s self-professed “craft beer mecca.” Rooted in the “freedom to pour, compare, and drink among like-minded beer enthusiasts,” BR showcases an incredible range of brews, from the sublimely hoppy to the exquisitely roasty. Forty-four beers fill the taps here, all arranged around a massive barrel. And lest you think they’re all San Diego-centric, rest assured the tap list covers eastern and western U.S. creations, as well as a handful of international ones. Lately, they’ve been pouring a wealth of California and Oregon beers, including ones from Acoustic, Flat Tail, Thorn Street, and Ballast Point. Want to know what’s on rotation right now? Check out the website for up-to-date lists with links to tasting notes offered by Taphunter.com. Thirsty yet? barrelrepublic.com

Civico 1845 {1845 India Street, Little Italy; 619.431.5990}

“Like Mama used to make, with modern flair.” That’s the tagline of this highly anticipated new spot in Little Italy, but it barely scratches the surface of the concept. Brothers Dario and Pietro Gallo are the maestro owners behind the glass, keeping the dining room abuzz night in and night out, while Italian vet Alfonso Pisacane crafts and creates in the kitchen. Expect only scratch-made fare from Pisacane’s hands—pastas, breads, and desserts, not to mention several vegan and vegetarian dishes. An extensive Italian wine list rounds out the experience, best enjoyed first-hand in the light and airy dining room composed of reclaimed materials and kitchen tchotchkes. (Yeah, like Mama’s dining room—if it got a delicious upgrade and lost the shag.) civico1845.com