The 25 most anticipated new restaurants of 2016


Get your forks and knives ready. New restaurant season starts off with a bang this month. Here’s a look at the 25 most anticipated new restaurants of 2016.

Early 2016

Tasting Room Del Mar : Father-son duo David and Evan Taylor are creating this new concept in downtown Del Mar that combines artisan food with boutique wine and craft beer. Chef Steven Lona, an L.A. transplant, will create a rotating selection of small plates to pair with tastings of wine and beer. There will also be a beer/wine takeout shop. 1335 Camino del Mar.

The Lot, Liberty Station: The second of creator Adolfo Fastlicht’s hybrid entertainment centers, it will include a luxury cinema, indoor/outdoor restaurant, bar and cafe. His first opened Sept. 30 in La Jolla. The second, slated for early 2016, is in NTC’s old Luce Auditorium. Historic Decatur and Roosevelt roads.

Crudo by Pascal Lorange, Carmel Valley: The longtime executive chef of New York-based Fig & Olive restaurants will create a Mediterranean-inspired menu that focuses on raw seafood dishes and reinvents sushi rolls with Italian ingredients. He hopes it will be the first of many. 13490 Pacific Highlands Ranch Parkway.

STK Rebel, downtown: One Group’s Miami-born concept combines a steakhouse and a chic lounge with in-house DJ, featuring somewhat casual menu with items such as bite-size Wagyu beef burgers and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. It replaces the shuttered Katsuya restaurant at the Andaz San Diego hotel. 600 F St.


Pokirrito, Kearny Mesa and Little Italy: The latest concept from Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen founder Junya Watanabe, these choose-your-own-ingredient quick-service eateries combine the poke bowl and burrito concepts. The first opens this month at 4646 Convoy St., No. 101. The second, with an attached Rakiraki Ramen, will open later this winter at 2254 India St.

Plant Power, Ocean Beach: San Diego’s first fast-food vegan restaurant will serve tempeh and black bean burgers, tacos and wraps, fries, salads and juices, which will be served carside a la Sonic. A second location is planned later this year in Encinitas. 2204 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Moto Deli, Encinitas: San Diego entrepreneur Mario Warman and chefs Jason Seibert and Alex Carballo will open this motorcycle-inspired artisan sandwich shop where all the ingredients (bread, condiments and roasted meats) are made in-house daily. Scooter delivery service available. 810 Coast Highway 101.

Tajima Ramen, East Village: The fourth location of chef Sam Morikizono’s popular local ramen chain will open in the former Acme Southern Kitchen space downtown. Tajima serves gourmet ramen and modern Japanese fare with craft beer and soda and cocktails. 901 E St.

Mess Hall at Liberty Public Market, Liberty Station: Chef Tim Kolanko (Stake Chophouse) will helm this “market-to-menu” restaurant serving items sold at the new large-scale multi-vendor artisan market. The menu will alternate between a la carte selections, takeout and prix fixe dinners, as well as pop-up chef dinners, cooking classes and private events. 2820 Historic Decatur Road.

Fireside by the Patio, Liberty Station: The latest from The Patio Group will be an indoor/outdoor eatery with firepits, wood-fired grills and a family-style menu created by chef John Medall. 2855 Perry Road, Building 8.

One Door North, North Park: Located in the old Mosaic wine bar space, this 5,000-square-foot restaurant from chef/owners Fred and Tammy Piehl will offer a more casual, laid-back menu than that of its sister restaurant, The Smoking Goat, which (as the name implies) is right next door. 3422 30th St.

Le Petit Bistrot, La Jolla: Famed French Riviera chef Gérard Chauvet’s 80-seat bistro will serve authentic Parisian cuisine that Chauvet will prepare with his son-in-law and fellow chef Pierre-Olivier Dedieu. Chavet’s daughter, Julie, will manage the terrace restaurant in the La Plaza La Jolla center. 7863 Girard Ave.

Flour & Barley Brick Oven Pizza, downtown: Filling the former Pizzeria Mozza space at The Headquarters at Seaport Village, this Las Vegas-born pizzeria serves wood-fired pies with house-made toppings, pasta, paninis and barrel-aged cocktails. 789 W. Harbor Drive.

Madison Restaurant and Bar, University Heights . Fluxx nightclub owner Jeffrey Fink and Bice chef Mario Cassineri have transformed the former Lei Lounge into a (now open) upscale restaurant/bar with a Mediterranean menu and cocktails created by mixologist Dan Dufek. 4622 Park Blvd.


1919, Gaslamp Quarter: From the owners of Prohibition and Music Box, this two-story sports bar will inhabit the former Nicky Rotten’s space in the Gaslamp. The bar’s name was inspired by the year of the famed Black Sox World Series scandal. An all-day comfort menu and weekend brunch will be served with live music in the upstairs lounge on some nights. 560 Fifth Ave.

Moonshine Beach & Cerveza Jack’s, Pacific Beach: The former Typhoon Saloon/Fred’s Mexican Cafe location is undergoing a $4 million revamp into a new, 20,000-square-foot bar/nightclub/restaurant concept. The food side, Cerveza Jack’s, will open in a “pop-up” form in February, serving wood-fired Mexican fare. It will expand to its full menu when the club side, Moonshine Beach, opens in April, offering live music (indie and reggae) four nights a week on a larger stage. 1165 Garnet Ave.


Herb & Wood, Little Italy: Around March 1, celeb chef Brian Malarkey and business partner Christopher Puffer will open this fine-dining eatery that will specialize in herbaceous and wood-fired meats, seafood and vegetables. The location, next door to Juniper & Ivy, will have a living herb wall and a patio filled with edible plants and flowers. Service will include nightly dinner and weekend brunch. Also planned: Herb & Eatery, a casual cafe and market selling grab-and-go gourmet items. 2210 Kettner Blvd.

Pokewan, Carlsbad Village: This new fast-casual build-your-own-poke-bowl outlet will open in the former Chin’s location. The Chipotle-style eatery is being opened by the owners of Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar, which is right next door. Madison Street at Grand Avenue.


Campfire, Carlsbad: John Resnick (former general manager of Ironside) is developing this 6,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor cocktail bar and rustic eatery serving locally sourced and sustainable seafood, meats and vegetables cooked in open flames. Chef Andrew Bachelier (Addison, Cucina Enoteca) will use wood, charcoal, embers and ash to accent the flavors of his menu. 2725 State St.

Et Voila!, University Heights: Located in the former Fiesta Market space, this 2,500-square-foot restaurant will serve a fusion of classic and modern French fare. It’s the dream project of North Park resident Ludo Mifsud, the former maître d’ at Tapenade, and chef/partner Vincent Viale (also of Tapenade). 3015 Adams Ave.

Summer and beyond

Consortium Holdings’ new concept, Little Italy: The old Nelson Photo Supplies store will be revamped and given a second floor for a new 4,500-square-foot restaurant designed by Basile Studio. Details of the $2.5 million project (developed by the owners of Ironside, Craft & Commerce and Noble Experiment) are still under wraps. 1909 India St.

Red O, La Jolla: In late 2014, celebrity chef Rick Bayless announced plans to open one of his upscale Mexican restaurants in the University Town Centre area sometime in 2016. Since then, details have been scarce. But during a visit to San Diego in November, he confirmed that the project is still on track. 4340 La Jolla Village Drive.

Grand reopenings

Craft & Commerce, Little Italy: Now in the midst of an overhaul that will finish up early this year, the hip 6-year-old restaurant/bar will have new interior décor, outdoor patio, fire pits and kitchen, as well as a new chef, JoJo Ruiz, formerly of Ironside Fish & Oyster, plus a new 1,000-square-foot tiki bar next door. 675 W. Beech St.

Sally’s Seafood on the Water, Gaslamp Quarter: This bayside restaurant/lounge at the Manchester Grand Hyatt will reopen in March after a revamp that includes new floor-to-ceiling windows, expanded outdoor seating, more fire pits, an open kitchen and a freshened interior. 1 Market Place.

The Hake Kitchen & Bar, La Jolla: This basement-level seafood eatery will close this spring to undergo a 2,000-square-foot expansion that will add an ocean view and enhanced outdoor dining area. Reopening date is not set. 1250 Prospect St.

Source: DiscoverSD