With a rebuilt Padres team, Opening Day at Petco Park last week took on an extra air of excitement. But anybody keeping score on downtown’s dining scene knows that every day seems like opening day, with new restaurants launching at a faster clip than a Craig Kimbrel pitch.
Happily for fans, the eating and drinking options inside the ballpark are better than ever. Welcome Zenbu’s sushi, The Patio’s ahi tacos and duck and bacon sausage, Firehouse Subs’ Hook & Ladder sandwiches, and Riboli Family Wine Estate’s pinot noir and chardonnay.
Those looking for a pre-game meal should check out this lineup of some places that have opened near Petco in the past year, and a few that have also rebuilt themselves.
THE BLIND BURRO
Just 2 years old, The Blind Burro recently unveiled its new Mexican dim sum offerings, including potato taquitos, chicharrón and lobster scampi tacos. 639 J St., East Village. (619) 795-7880 or theblindburro.com
An all-Italian restaurant and marketplace, Bottega excels at everything from pasta to desserts, while making you feel as if you’re eating at an exciting, big-city hub. 1195 Island Ave., East Village. (619) 255-7800 or bottegaamericano.com
The chic 10-year-old Parisian eatery brought in a new kitchen team to revamp the menu and return to such classic French dishes as steak tartare and oysters. 721 Ninth Ave., East Village. (619) 232-3242 or cafechloe.com
COMÚN KITCHEN and TAVERN
Join chef Chad White’s nightly celebration of San Diego-Baja cross-border cuisine in this hip cantina where he extracts extreme flavors from everything he cooks. 935 J St., East Village. (619) 358-9707 or comunsd.com
The wood-fired grill engineered by chef Antonio Friscia puts a devilishly smoky stamp on menu items ranging from salsa to carne asada torta; churros, however, are heavenly. 527 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. (619) 232-8226 or donchido.com
HALF DOOR BREWING CO.
It was a long time coming, but the charming, brand-new pub-in-a-historic-house is already sporting a reputation as a go-to spot for great grub and brews. 903 Island Ave., East Village. (619) 232-9845 or halfdoorbrewing.com
Chef Christian Graves shines brighter than ever in this completely remodeled space, as he brings a lighter, more playful touch to his seriously seasonality. 616 J St., Gaslamp Quarter. (619) 531-8744 or jsixrestaurant.com
A one-of-a-kind, 28,500-square-foot temporary urban park that features food trucks, a beer garden, and outposts of Meshuggah Shack coffee bar S&M Sausage & Meat. 1102 Market St., East Village. quartyardsd.com
This trendy European deli at Petco’s Park at the Park just debuted its homemade “haute dogs,” including The Murph, with bacon, and the pastrami-based Sultan of Swat. 793 J St., East Village. (619) 255-6507 or godblessrareform.com
The Palm steakhouse has given way to the cavernous, yet clubby, upscale seafood house, which has made stars of the chefs that have helmed its L.A. locations. 615 J St., Gaslamp Quarter. (619) 717-6992 or watergrill.com