The August episode was memorable, because the chef collapsed from over-stress.
With cameras rolling for "Hotel Hell," a Fox show where Gordon Ramsay revamps dysfunctional businesses, the Merk Bistro chef flops to the floor, saying the pressures of running the red-bricked restaurant inside the Keating Hotel were too great.
Someone took notice. Of those brick walls...Broseph's Restaurant Group. Owners of the Santa Monica-based Brick+Mortar, they saw the architectural bones of the Merk and thought it would fit with their industrial chic, small-plates-and-short-rib-pizzas concept.
On Sept. 26 of this year, a month after "Hotel Hell" featured the Merk drama, the space reopened as San Diego's first Brick+Mortar.
Located at 820 Fifth Ave. in the Gaslamp Quarter, the menu is expected to veer a bit from the Santa Monica offerings. And get more upscale. Salads (see the cantaloupe and green fig salads), shares (crab cakes and mussels), pizzas and mains (filet mignon; fried chicken and waffles).
Right now it's open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
Read Keli Dailey's full story and more on utsandiego.com