Chew on this month’s new restaurant openings, including Banzai Bar, Wheat & Water, Dog Haus Biergarten and more.
OPEN: Banzai Bar
From the owners of The Waterfront Bar & Grill comes Banzai Bar in the Midway District. As the name suggests, Banzai is bringing a touch of Asian culture to the mix with a menu that spotlights bánh mì sliders next to poke bowls and spicy garlic edamame. A creative cocktail menu and 16 rotating taps of beer round out the alcohol offerings. Because of its close proximity to Valley View Casino Center, Banzai Bar is also now an official team bar of the San Diego Gulls hockey team.
3048 Midway Drive, Midway District. banzaibar.com
Executive Chef Sean McCart is leading the kitchen at the new Pacific Beach restaurant named Pueblo, located just two blocks away from the ocean. As the former sous chef of Juniper & Ivy, Chef McCart created a menu to showcase traditional dishes from Baja, such as scallops, steak tartare, a beef cheek taco plate and salsas with just the right amount of spice. Both an indoor and outdoor rooftop bar pour beer and wine, plus signature tequila and agave-based cocktails.
877 Hornblend St., Pacific Beach. pueblopb.com
OPEN: Wheat & Water
Bird Rock has a new wood-fired pizza joint dubbed Wheat & Water. Executive Chef Colten Lemmer helms the kitchen, rolling out white and red pies baked in a white oak-fueled fire at 700 degrees. Options include the pork and potato gratin, prosciutto pie, carne asada and a simple margherita pizza. Wheat & Water also features shared plates such as beef cheek pierogis, chicken mousse sausages and charcuterie boards.
5737 La Jolla Blvd., Bird Rock. wheatandwater.com
OPEN: 101 Proof
There’s a new speakeasy inside Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank in Oceanside. 101 Proof is a small hidden bar — 600 square feet to be exact — with whiskey at the forefront. Some of the cocktails also highlight gin and rum, and food options are available until 10 p.m. A membership program offers special release bottles and exclusive invitations to private tasting events.
2002 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside. 101proofoceanside.com
OPEN: Dog Haus Biergarten
Dog Haus Biergarten is now serving gourmet hot dogs, sausages and burgers in East Village, on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Broadway. This chain concept is adored for its all-beef skinless dogs served on grilled Hawaiian rolls, as well as juicy burgers and sausages with sides including chili cheese fries and tater tots. Thirty craft beers on tap round out the offerings, all to be enjoyed indoors or on the outdoor patio.
969 Ninth Ave., East Village. doghaus.com
OPEN: Bar by Red Door
The Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge shuttered this year, sadly, but the space has been revived as Bar by Red Door. Keeping with The Red Door restaurant’s extremely farm-fresh menu, the bar side of things will mix up farm-to-table cocktails with ingredients sourced from their own garden. Small plates by Executive Chef Miguel Valdez will also be available, such as Baja shrimp and bone marrow or vegan nachos.
729 W. Washington St., Mission Hills. barbyreddoorsd.com
COMING SOON: Lionfish and Oxford Social Club
Slated to open in December, Lionfish and Oxford Social Club in The Pendry Hotel will bring an elevated dining experience to downtown San Diego. Lionfish, focused on modern coastal cuisine, seafood and prime meats in a two-story dining room, is steered by Chef Jose “JoJo” Ruiz, most recently the Chef de Cuisine at Ironside Fish & Oyster. Oxford Social Club will welcome guests to enjoy a late-night nightlife experience with cocktails and music in a more intimate setting.
435 Fifth Ave. and 550 J St., downtown. pendryhotels.com