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Urban Kitchen Group opens Artifact at remodeled Mingei museum in Balboa Park

A dumpling dish at the newly opened Artifact at Mingei restaurant in Balboa Park.
A decorative dumpling dish at the newly opened Artifact at Mingei restaurant in Balboa Park.
(Mingei International Museum)

Artifact, a full-service restaurant and bar inside the newly remodeled Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, has opened for lunch.

Artifact is operated by the Urban Kitchen Group with a menu created by Urban chef de cuisine Jeff Armstrong and executive chef Tim Kolanko. Artifact is serving a globally inspired menu that reflects the international art and textiles showcased in the exhibitions and collections of the Mingei, which reopened Sept. 3 after a three-year renovation. Artifact’s sleek interior, which includes a 30-foot reclaimed wood bar, was designed by architect Jennifer Luce.

Artifact at Mingei restaurant at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.
(Mingei International Museum)

The menu is divided into six sections with both shareable and single serving items. There’s a selection of snacks, dumplings, salads and bowls, soups, wraps and desserts. Prices range from $13 to $24, and a sampler plate for all four items on the snack menu is $38. Sample items include a rock shrimp gyoza (potsticker) with caraway seed, cultured cram and Georgian herbs, a lamb kibbeh (meatball) wrap with cumin, allspice, cucumber, Kalamata olive and lemon dill yogurt on sangak flatbread; and Basque burnt cheesecake with persimmon ginger jam.

Hours for now are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, with a happy hour service at the bar from 3 to 5 p.m. on those days. A supper club-style dinner service will be introduced after the holiday season. Artifact at the Mingei is at 1439 El Prado San Diego. Visit artifactatmingei.com.

Pam Kragen writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at pam.kragen@sduniontribune.com.


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