Eat up, San Diego: Local restaurants introduce new menus

The outdoor patio at Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine in the Gaslamp Quarter.
(James Tran)

New food offerings at Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine, International Smoke Del Mar, El Cruce +241, Operacaffe and more


Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine at the Pendry Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter has introduced a new Thursday event that features half-off selected bottles of sake and a secret menu. Executive chef JoJo Ruiz will be offering the new “Sake to me” Thursdays specials beginning at 5 p.m. Thursdays on its outdoor patio at 435 Fifth Ave. in San Diego. Visit

International Smoke Del Mar has launched a new happy hour menu from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays on its patio. Happy hour plates start at $3 and include fresh-baked cornbread, Tokyo-style fried chicken bites, duck fat fries and fried Brussels sprouts, with larger items ranging from Korean-style smoked brisket street tacos to a half-rack of St. Louis ribs range from $10 to $19. Drink deals range from $6 to $9. International Smoke is at One Paseo, 3387 Del Mar Heights Road, Building One, San Diego. Visit

El Cruce + 241, a Baja-inspired restaurant, tap room and wine bar that opened last October in Chula Vista, has introduced brunch service from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. New executive chef Charleen Sandoval’s brunch menu includes enfrijoladas, enchiladas verdes de pato al pastor, birria de Borrego and chilaquiles de chile morita. El Cruce is at 241 Third Ave., Chula Vista. Visit

Operacaffe's new tortelli di granchio entree.
(Courtesy photo)

Operacaffe Italian restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter has revamped its menu with new seafood entrees and baked desserts. New dishes include ravioli aragosta (lobster), tortelli di granchio (crab), mini-tarts and chocolate dipped cookies. Operacaffe, at 835 Fourth Ave. in San Diego, opens at 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays for outdoor dining. Visit

Kragen writes about local restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at