Know fare: So many new restaurants, so hard to pick a fave

Lesley and David Cohn, founders of the Cohn Restaurant Group, are opening Libertad, a taco shop in Hillcrest in which 100 percent of the proceeds will go to charity. (K.C. Alfred/Union-Tribune)
Lesley and David Cohn, founders of the Cohn Restaurant Group, are opening Libertad, a taco shop in Hillcrest in which 100 percent of the proceeds will go to charity. (K.C. Alfred/Union-Tribune)
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

As summer continues to sizzle, so, too, does the local dining scene. Here’s a quick look at 50-plus new eateries that have opened in San Diego in the past couple months or are coming soon to a neighborhood nearby. Who knew there could be so much new?

Opened in May/June

10 Barrel Brewing Co., East Village

Anheuser-Busch InBev entered the local brewpub scene on May 28 with this massive, three-story, 9,500-square-foot brewery and beer hall in East Village. The company started in 2006 in Bend, Ore., and was later purchased by AB InBev.

1501 E St., East Village,

508 Tavern

Vista High School alumnus Shelly Kentner and Valley Center-raised Hector Estrada opened this 35-seat brewpub in downtown Vista on May 5. Besides a selection of local beers on tap, the restaurant serves simple but hearty pub fare, including buffalo chicken nachos, avocado toast, beef sliders, spicy Korean BBQ tacos, calamari, salads and more.

508 S. Santa Fe Ave., Vista, 760.295.0707,

Bibigo Fresh Korean Kitchen, University Towne Centre

Bibigo, which opened in late May, offers a modern twist on the classic Korean dish, bibimbap, traditionally served on rice, or “bap.” Dishes, which are customized to suit each customer’s taste, range from a variety of grill/meat options to vegetarian.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, 858.291.8311,

BO-beau kitchen + caché, Hillcrest

Cohn Restaurant Group opened this combination bistro and cocktail bar in May. The fourth location in the San Diego-based BO-beau chain offers bistro fare, including flatbreads, burgers and French-style specialties. The 50-seat caché bar features exotic cocktails by bartending veteran Cervantes Magaña.

1027 University Ave., Hillcrest, 619.481.5033,

Cosecha SD, Barrio Logan

Chef Steve Brown has opened this 32-seat restaurant in Barrio Logan with a unique concept - for special events, he serves a prix-fixe menu based entirely on the day’s fresh catch and fresh pickings from Wild Willow Farms, as well as a few other artisan ranches. Diners can choose meals that include from eight to 22 courses.

2163 Logan Ave., Barrio Logan, 858.822.8377,

Hive, Kearny Mesa

Part gourmet restaurant, part karaoke club and part nightclub, Hive is a massive one-stop entertainment spot for the Convoy crowd. The 20,000-square-foot complex has 13 private karaoke rooms and a high-end nightclub called Honeycomb, with bottle service and live entertainment. The restaurant, overseen by executive chef Q Yoo, offers a global menu with everything from Asian wings to Mexican and American dishes. Its grand opening was in May.

4428 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa, 858.576.0700,

Hundred Proof, University Heights

This elevated cocktail bar and restaurant, which opened June 28, comes from the creative minds behind the much-acclaimed Trust Restaurant in Hillcrest. Cocktails and boozy milkshakes are served along with high-end bar food (duck poutine, baked crab dip, wood-fired pizza) in this indoor/outdoor space.

4130 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.501.6404,

Libertad! Tacos a la Brasa, Hillcrest

Located next door to BO-beau, Libertad! is Cohn Restaurant Group’s new social experiment, a nonprofit street taco shop that will channel 100 percent of profits to a different local charity each month.

1023 University Ave., Hillcrest, 619.481.5035,

Oak & Elixir Wine Beer Eatery, Carlsbad

This family-owned wine bar/bistro opened June 2 in the former RELM wine bar location in Carlsbad Village. The restaurant serves beer and wines with a small menu of shareable plates, including charcuterie, baked brie, avocado toast, pulled pork sliders, flatbreads and salads.

2917 State St., Carlsbad, 760.453.7853,

San Diego Poke Co., Normal Heights

This family-run business started at the Scripps Ranch farmers market, and then opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Mission Valley. Its second location opened in June in Normal Heights. The restaurants serve poke bowls, tacos and salads.

3533 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, 619.501.5960,

Village North Chinese Cuisine, Kearny Mesa

Opened in mid-May, this creative eatery on Convoy has three chefs preparing authentic cuisine from Northern and Southern China plus Chinese barbecue. Every dish requires a minimum of 10 ingredients, and some dishes are so exotic that they’re rarely served in the U.S.

4428 Convoy St., Ste. 330, Kearny Mesa, 858.277.1888,

Opened in July

Burgerim, La Jolla and downtown

The Israeli-born gourmet mini-burger fast-food chain is in the midst of opening its first two San Diego County outlets. Burgerim, launched in 2011 and now international, makes slider-size 2.8-ounce mini-burgers that come in multipacks with house toppings and sauces. The first location is set to open in July in Horton Plaza Park. The second will open this fall in downtown La Jolla.

324 Horton Plaza, downtown, 1271 Prospect St., La Jolla,

Crackheads and Doughballs, Liberty Station

Two new dining concepts from culinary entrepreneur James Markham (Pieology, Project Pie) are set to open in late July in Liberty Public Market’s food hall. Crackheads, replacing the former Grape Smuggler bar, serves an all-day menu of breakfast sandwiches. The eatery’s namesake sandwich features an egg drizzled with “crack sauce,” Applewood smoked bacon and cheddar. Desserts include Pop Tart ice cream sandwiches and jarred foods. Like its sister eatery in P.B., Doughballs serves wood-fired, craft-your-own pizzas that cook in just 90 seconds.

2820 Historic Decatur Rd., Point Loma,

Fools and Kings, Mission Hills

Wet Stone Bar owner Christian Gomez opened this new art-filled, globally inspired restaurant and wine bar in July. The small plates menu at this 49-seat restaurant will be inspired by Gomez’s travels in Spain, Peru and Argentina, as well as the flavors of Asia and the Middle East. The bar will feature a global collection of beers and house-made sangria.

4015 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills, 619.578.2542,

Himitsu, La Jolla

From the owners of The Taco Stand and their partnership with restaurateur Edo Kobayashi, who owns several Japanese restaurants in Mexico City, Himitsu (set to open in July) at a revamped location in La Jolla. The Japanese eatery offers sushi, nigiri and chef-inspired small plates designed by chef Mitsu Aihara, who boasts 16 years of experience with Pacific Beach’s famed Sushi Ota.

1030 Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, 619.379.9611

Nautilus Tavern, La Jolla

Leigh Gibson and Mike Garcia, owners of Pillbox Tavern in Solana Beach, have introduced this new bar-and-grill eatery in La Jolla (opening set for July). Nautilus has two patios and a coastal-chic décor. The menu is billed as coastal American cuisine, and the bar serves 30 craft beers and cocktails.

6830 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla,

Park 101, Carlsbad

This two-story, multi-venue plaza-style establishment in Carlsbad Village offers four different dining venues and officially opened July 4. The second-story Tamarack View Deck serves barbecue by pitmaster Ryan Tuscan and offers 32 beers on tap. On the ground floor are three casual options selling fresh juices, sandwiches, coffee drinks, ice cream and fresh doughnuts.

3040 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad,

Salt & Whiskey, Gaslamp Quarter

This retro-inspired restaurant and cocktail lounge is set to open in July at the historic Horton Grand Hotel. The old Ida Bailey Restaurant and Palace Bar have been remodeled into a single space, offering an eclectic menu by Welsh-born chef Aaron Thomas (formerly of Avant in Rancho Bernardo). Specialties include pork three ways, pan-seared scallops with orange parsnip puree, and fish and chips. Nick Goers’ bar serves more than 600 whiskeys and 1,000 spirits.

Horton Grand Hotel, 311 Island Ave., Gaslamp, 619.544.1886,

Opening in August

Bivouac Ciderworks, North Park

Founders Lara Worm and Matthew Austin used Kickstarter funds to launch this restaurant, tap room and cider brewery slated to open in North Park in August. Chef Danilo “DJ” Tangalin, recently the chef at Paradise Point Resort’s Tidal restaurant, will design the “new Californian” menu.

3986 30th St., North Park,

Bluewater Grill, Carlsbad

After an extensive remodel, the former Fish House Vera Cruz restaurant location will reopen as Bluewater Grill in early to mid-August. The Orange County restaurant company is known for serving more than 40 varieties of fresh seafood and shellfish, and a weekday small-plates menu with $4 to $6 drink and appetizer specials. The décor will include a refreshed dining room, two dining patios and a take-out market selling fresh seafood and local wines. Founders Jimmy Ulcickas and Richard Staunton own seven other Bluewater locations, including outlets in Coronado and Temecula.

417 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad,

Born & Raised, Little Italy

CH Projects is spending $6.5 million on this two-story, 10,000-square-foot steakhouse with a midcentury design by Basile Studio. The meat-centric restaurant will have an in-house dry-aging program, chef’s garden and retail butcher shop. The 225-seat restaurant will have a downstairs dining room and bar and upstairs rooftop dining room with gardens. They’re targeting an August opening (rather than winter, as previously reported).

1909 India St., Little Italy,

Breakfast Republic, Carmel Valley

Breakfast Republic is known for its quirky breakfast items like cinnamon roll pancakes. Swedish-born restaurateur Johan Engman, of San Diego-based Rise & Shine Restaurant Group, will open the sixth location of this fast-growing San Diego-based chain in August (slightly later than previously reported) in Carmel Valley’s Pacific Highlands Ranch shopping center.

6025 Village Way, Ste. F101, Carmel Valley,

Cross Street Chicken & Beer, Kearny Mesa

Korean-style twice-fried chicken is the main dish at this casual restaurant and bar opening in August in the former Your Story restaurant on Convoy Street. The restaurant will have beers on tap and in bottles, and Asian side dishes and drinks.

4403 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa,

Dog Haus, Vista

The Pasadena-based fast-casual hot dog chain will open a new location this summer in downtown Vista, on the vacant lot that was home to Tom Fleming’s shoe repair shop for nearly 60 years. Dog Haus specializes in gourmet dogs (served on grilled King’s Hawaiian rolls), burgers and more. The location, the second in San Diego County, will have a beer garden serving up to 20 brews on tap.

227 E. Broadway, Vista,

Eureka!, College Heights

The Hawthorne-based gourmet burger chain will open its second San Diego location in late August in the newly constructed South Campus Plaza, a mixed-use dormitory complex at San Diego State University. The 4,000-square-foot location will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The beer, burger and BBQ restaurant chain opened its first local eatery four years ago at Westfield UTC.

6050 Montezuma Rd., College Heights,

Mendocino Farms, Del Mar Heights

Owned by the L.A. husband-and-wife duo of Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen, this gourmet sandwich shop will open its second San Diego location in mid-August in the former Carnitas’ Snack Shack space at Del Mar Highlands Town Center (the first opened in La Jolla in December). The 4,000-square-foot restaurant will feature a fireplace, living-air-plant wall and child-friendly elements.

12873 El Camino Real, Del Mar Heights,

Queensborough Cocktail Lounge, Gaslamp Quarter

Brethren Collective has taken over the former Maloney’s Tavern space in the Gaslamp Quarter to open this two-story, upscale cocktail lounge and restaurant. Designed in the style of hip New York City clubs, Queensborough will have a 6,000-square-foot basement lounge and an 1,800-square-foot ground-floor cocktail bar and dining room. The look is vintage New York subway/street/signage and features a 22-foot marble-topped bar.

777 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp,

Spill the Beans, Gaslamp

Sharing an 8,600-square-foot space with The Smoking Gun (see previous entry), Spill the Beans offers an a.m. alternative, serving fresh-baked bagels, house-whipped cream cheeses and a coffee bar featuring locally roasted Dark Horse Coffee.

555 Market St., downtown,

The Smoking Gun, Gaslamp Quarter

This large-scale neighborhood cocktail bar and smoked-meats eatery features a small-plates menu by chef Kevin Templeton (barleymash) and a cocktail program by Eric Johnson. The vibe is casual, and the menu includes smoked brisket, pork shoulder and fried catfish. It shares space with Spill the Beans coffeehouse.

555 Market St., downtown,

The Taco Stand, North Park

With locations now open in Encinitas, La Jolla and downtown, The Taco Stand will open a fourth restaurant in North Park in August. Like its sister eateries, the new spot will serve Mexican street fare with Tijuana-inspired décor.

3000 Upas St., North Park,

Wildwood Restaurant, Vista

Owners Martin Anding and Danni DiCarlo have revamped the decades-old La Paloma Mexican restaurant into a barbecue fusion eatery that will offer live (mostly jazz) music. They’ve also added a 1,000-square-foot banquet hall for weddings, concerts and comedy shows. The restaurant’s iconic covered patio overlooking Wildwood Park remains. It’s slated for an August opening.

116 Civic Center Dr., Stes. 104-105, Vista,

Opening in September

Curbside Eatery & Drinkery, La Mesa

Another new addition to downtown La Mesa’s fast-growing culinary district, this restaurant/bar will serve cocktails and elevated bar food in a restaurant with an open-air wraparound patio for prime people-watching.

8353 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa,

STK San Diego, Gaslamp Quarter

The One Group’s upscale chain combines a steakhouse and chic lounge with an in-house DJ, featuring a menu that ranges from bite-size wagyu beef burgers and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese to high-end steaks. The opening has been long delayed, but officials now say to expect a debut before the end of fall.

600 F St., Gaslamp (at Andaz San Diego Hotel),

Opening in October at Westfield UTC

Arbor, UTC

Another New Zealand-inspired restaurant from the founders of Dunedin North Park, Raglan Public House and Queenstown Public House, Arbor will offer casual fare like burgers, gourmet sandwiches and small plates.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla

Bazille, UTC

When Nordstrom reopens at Westfield UTC in October, it will feature a new contemporary restaurant named Bazille, with a full bar and patio overlooking the mall. The menu includes sandwiches, salads, pizzas and more.

4321 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla, 858.457.4575,

Din Tai Fung, UTC

This wildly popular Taiwan-based mega-chain offers a variety of dumplings and noodles at locations in China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as Dubai, Sydney, Seattle, Los Angeles and Orange County. It opens at Westfield UTC in October.
*Editor’s note: After PACIFIC went to print for its August magazine, it was announced that Din Tai Fung at UTC will not open until 2018.
4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla,

Great Maple, UTC

Offering high-quality modern American fare in a midcentury modern atmosphere, Great Maple has been packing in the hipster crowds at its Hillcrest location since it opened in 2013. Brunch is as popular as the maple bacon donuts that are served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The company’s fourth location at Westfield UTC will feature a large patio for people-watching.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla,

Javier’s, UTC

Founded in Laguna Beach in 1995, Javier’s serves elevated Mexican cuisine and a vast selection of tequilas in luxurious surroundings. Traditional and contemporary Mexican dishes are prepared with prime Nebraskan Angus beef, Mexican prawns, Maine lobster, Dungeness crab and natural chicken.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla,

Larsen’s Steakhouse, UTC

What will make Larsen’s unique from the city’s many steakhouses is its wet- and dry-aging process for prime cuts of beef. The weeks-long process tenderizes the meat, which is then slow-seared at 500 degrees. The new restaurant will have a piano lounge, private dining rooms and a 2,500-square-foot patio. There’s also a 500-label wine list.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla,

Napizza, UTC

In October, married Italian couple Giulia Colmignoli and Christopher Antinucci of Solana Beach will open their fifth location of this Roman-style pizzeria, serving crispy rectangles of airy pizza made with dough that’s risen for 72 hours. The company was launched five years ago in Little Italy, and its pizza consistently ranks on “top 10" lists countywide.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla,

Shake Shack, UTC and Mission Valley

New York’s beloved quick-service burger chain opens its first two San Diego locations in the coming months. The first will open with the big expansion of the Westfield UTC mall in October. The second will open in December or so near the Trader Joe’s shopping center in Mission Valley. Shake Shack is known for its melt-in-your-mouth burgers (served on butter-crisped potato buns), crinkle-cut fries and hand-spun milkshakes.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla; 675 Camino de la Reina, Mission Valley,

Smokeyard BBQ and Chop Shop, UTC

A South African-inspired steakhouse offering casual touches - such as BBQ Potato Chips and pulled pork sandwiches - Smokeyard BBQ also has a location in Mammoth Lakes.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla,

True Food Kitchen, UTC

With a menu guided by holistic health guru Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, True Food offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. The restaurant, the second in San Diego County, will have an indoor/outdoor bar and two patios.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla,

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, UTC

This Orange County-based wine-country-themed restaurant will open its third Southern California location at Westfield UTC mall in October. The venue will include an 8,000-square-foot restaurant and quick-service 1,000-square-foot wine bar. The company’s wine list has 650 labels and growing.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla,

Undated Fall Openings

Buona Forchetta, Encinitas

The popular South Park-born Italian eatery will open its third location in Encinitas this fall. The rustic restaurants are known for their authentic Italian pizzas, which are cooked in wood-fired ovens imported from Italy. This new location will take over the vacant space once occupied by the former Bird House restaurant.

250 N. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas,

The Cheesecake Factory, Carlsbad

The Shoppes at Carlsbad mall has announced plans to build a location of this popular chain on the east end of its lower level sometime in 2017. It will be the chain’s fifth outpost in San Diego County (including Fashion Valley and Westfield North County malls). The Cheesecake Factory is known for its large portions, extensive menu and signature desserts.

2525 El Camino Real, Carlsbad,

Draft Republic

Cohn Restaurant Group will open a second location of its craft beer-centric social restaurant/bar this fall in the old Claim Jumper restaurant space in Carlsbad. Like the original venue in La Jolla, the new Draft Republic will have a casual, warehouse-style look with 38 beers on tap and a meat-focused menu, plus entertainment options ranging from pool and foosball to table tennis and retro arcade games.

5958 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad,

Fourpenny House, La Mesa

Partners Peter Soutowood and Khalid Kyler plan to open this La Mesa brewpub in the fall. The specialty will be house-made breads, local beer and spirits. Fourpenny House will feature a rotating seasonal menu and beer brewed in-house, as well as local and national beers and a collection of rare and craft whiskeys and bourbons.

8323 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, 619.606.2028,

North Park Breakfast Company, North Park

Originally slated for a March opening, this new concept from Rise & Shine Restaurant Group (Fig Tree Café, Breakfast Republic) will focus on honing healthier breakfast items to meet the needs of health-conscious brunchers. North Park Breakfast Company’s menu options will include quinoa blueberry pancakes, guava-infused pancakes and stuffed potato breakfast bakes.

3131 University Ave, North Park,

Pizza Republic, North Park

Rise & Shine Restaurant Group does more than just breakfast. Restaurateur Johan Engman is branching out, reaching into the dinner hour with an Italian-style, artisan-wood-fired-pizza concept this fall.

2726 University Ave., North Park,

Swami’s Cafe, Vista

The healthy-foods café chain will open its 10th San Diego County location in Vista in late fall. Expect a healthy, fresh menu of açai bowls, pastries, smoothies and sandwiches in the new Vista Village spot (formerly occupied by El Callejon Mexican restaurant).

Vista Village Center, 1 Main St., Vista,

Waterbar, Pacific Beach

The much-anticipated oceanfront project is looking to open in the August-to-October range. Built on the site of the long-shuttered Joe’s Crab Shack on the Pacific Beach boardwalk near Crystal Pier, the restaurant will offer a social seafood menu with Baja influences. The entire west wall of the restaurant will be glass, providing an unobstructed ocean view.

4325 Ocean Blvd., Pacific Beach,