Polo, Villa One, Naegi and Zama lead list of new restaurant openings – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Restaurant News

Polo Steakhouse, a new fine-dining steak and seafood restaurant, has opened in the former West Steakhouse property in Carlsbad.

Polo, which opened Sept. 1, is owned by Carlsbad resident Mayur Pavagadhi, who also owns four other restaurant locations in Carlsbad Village, including Paon Restaurant & Wine Bar, Witch Creek Winery, Sleeping Tiger Coffees and Barrio Eat Mexican. Pavagadhi said he decided to lease the West property, which permanently closed during the pandemic, because he always loved the restaurant and thought it could be turned into something new.

His immediate plans are to expand the restaurant’s wine cellar to more than 1,000 bottles, to match the international wine list at his Paon restaurant, and he plans to build an 80-seat patio to allow for outdoor dining. The restaurant’s new executive chef is Judd Canepari, a longtime local presence in fine-dining kitchens, who said Polo will distinguish itself from other local steakhouses by offering stunning food presentations and innovative twists on traditional steakhouse fare.

Advertisement

Polo opens at 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, with happy hour from 4:30 to 6 p.m. weekdays, at 4980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad. Visit polocarlsbad.com.

Villa One opens in the Gaslamp

Villa One Tequila Gardens, a new tequila-centric rooftop cocktail bar and modern Mexican restaurant, opened Wednesday in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Villa One is a Stoli Group tequila brand founded by pop star Nick Jonas and designer John Varvatos, in collaboration with Stoli tequila master Arturo Fuentes . The Villa One restaurant/bars, which include a pop-up in Las Vegas and another restaurant soon to open in Los Angeles, serve 160 varieties of tequilas and mezcals. The menu includes tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salads and shareable seafood plates. Villa One is on the top floor of the Theatre Box building at 701 Fifth Ave. in downtown San Diego. Call (619) 814-2225 or visit villaonetequilagardens.com.

Advertisement

The chicken karaage sandwich at Naegi restaurant in Oceanside. The chicken karaage sandwich at Naegi restaurant in Oceanside.

The chicken karaage sandwich at Naegi restaurant in Oceanside.

(Courtesy of Leo Cabal)

Naegi finds permanent home in Oceanside

Naegi, a Japanese karaage sandwich brand founded in March 2021 by chef William Eick, now has its own brick-and-mortar space at 1902 S. Coast Highway in Oceanside.

In March of last year, Eick opened Naegi as a pop-up takeaway restaurant at his fine-dining Matsu restaurant on Tremont Street. Then in January of this year, he launched Naegi as a food truck business. Now in its own space, Naegi has an expanded menu of Japanese-inspired sandwiches, for which he makes the bread, as well. The sandwich options include the karaage (fried chicken), egg salad, tofu karaage, imitation crab and a fried shrimp sandwich he calls the Ebi-Filet-O. The menu also includes sides like potato salad and green beans. Prices range from $7 to $14. Call (760) 696-3069 or visit eatatnaegi.com.

Advertisement

Scallops at Zama restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter. Scallops at Zama restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Scallops with seared, coconut cream rice, guajillo mango sauce and tobiko caviar at Zama restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter.

(Courtesy of Arlene Ibarra)

Zama opens in the Gaslamp

Zama, a new tropical-themed restaurant that blends Latin American and Asian fusion cuisines, opened this month in the Gaslamp Quarter. Operated by the San Diego Dining Group, Zama takes over the space at 467 Fifth Ave. formerly occupied by Indochine and Sovereign Kitchen.

The menu was created by Takuya Umedac, formerly of Nobu and Lumi, with sushi by chef de cuisine Luis Alberto Vergara. Sample dishes include Peruvian and Mexican raw seafood appetizers, salmon with broiled passionfruit and mashed yuca, wagyu maki made with beef tartare, avocado, wagyu strips and shaved truffles, and a Rolls Royce maki, with shrimp tempura, asparagus, tuna strips and jalapeno garlic aioli. The bar menu features jungle-inspired cocktails. Zama is open for dinner from 4 p.m. daily. Visit zamasandiego.com.

Advertisement

San Diego Restaurant Week returns

The California Restaurant Association’s San Diego Chapter hosts its semi-annual Restaurant Week celebration, with more than 100 area restaurants from Imperial Beach to Oceanside, and from Escondido to El Cajon, offering prix fixe meal specials from Sunday through Oct. 2. Among the participating restaurants are Coasterra, Cori Trattoria Pastificio, Del Frisco’s Steakhouse, Farmer’s Bottega, George’s at the Cove, Jake’s Del Mar and many more. Diners can choose from dozens of menus starting at just $20. Diners can fine-tune their dining choices online, searching by neighborhood, food type, price point or by choice of brunch, lunch, dinner or drinks as a course. Many of the special menus are also featured online. For the full lineup, visit sandiegorestaurantweek.com

The diver scallops dish at Kingfisher modern Vietnamese restaurant and cocktail bar in Golden Hill. The diver scallops dish at Kingfisher modern Vietnamese restaurant and cocktail bar in Golden Hill.

The diver scallops dish at newly opened Kingfisher, a modern Vietnamese restaurant and cocktail bar in Golden Hill.

(Kimberly Motos )

Kingfisher makes magazine’s ‘Top 50′ list

Kingfisher, the modern Vietnamese restaurant that opened last February in Golden Hill, was named this month to Bon Appétit’s list of the 50 best new restaurants in America list for 2022. It was the only San Diego County restaurant to make the list.

Advertisement

Bon Appétit critics praised the restaurant’s glitzy décor and chef Jon Bautista’s “genius sauces,” including a toasted coconut ranch dressing, nuoc mam chimichurri, and a dried scallop and preserved lemon cream sauce. Kingfisher is at 2469 Broadway in San Diego. Visit kingfishersd.com.

Callie restaurant in East Village Callie restaurant in East Village

Callie restaurant in East Village.

(Courtesy of Lucianna McIntosh )

Callie hosts ‘Flavors of the Sun’ dinners

Callie, chef Travis Swikard’s much-honored Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in San Diego’s East Village, will kick off its first guest chef dinner series next week. The Flavors of the Sun dining series will feature Swikard cooking and collaborating with many of his chef friends. First up is Seattle-based chef Perfecte Rocher, who grew up in Valencia, Spain, and honed his craft at El Bulli and Manresa before running his own restaurant, Tarsan i Jane, in Seattle.

Advertisement

On Sept. 29 and Sept. 30, Callie will be serving only the Flavors of the Sun prix fixe, five-course, family-style menu for $85 per person, with reservations available from 5 to 9 p.m. both nights. Parties of 2 or more can also order the prix fixe menu at the bar. For reservations, visit calliesd.com/upcoming-events.

Shrimp remoulade po-boy sandwich at Inland Tavern in San Marcos. Shrimp remoulade po-boy sandwich at Inland Tavern in San Marcos.

Shrimp remoulade po-boy sandwich at Inland Tavern in San Marcos.

(Pam Kragen/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Inland Tavern reinvents its menu

Chef/owner Pete Zacarias, who opened Inland Tavern in San Marcos in 2015, has completely made over his menu with dishes that highlight American, Asian and Mexican flavors. Zacarias says the new dishes, developed in consultation with Vista chef Keith Lord’s Stratejē Fourteen, reflect the community’s growing demand for bolder flavors and better ingredients, like locally sourced Oceanside’s Hokkaido Bread Co., Seaside Market’s Cardiff Crack tri-tip and Zamm’s Final Cut hot sauce from San Marcos.

Advertisement

New dishes include a shrimp remoulade po’boy on boleo roll with balsamic-marinated tomatoes, romaine lettuce and a remoulade with pickled cucumbers; Katsu Crack Sandwich with breaded and fried slabs of Cardiff Crack, Asian barbecue sauce and grilled milkbread; The I.T.B. Double flattop burger with shi-koji and mirin wine-reduced caramelized onions; the golden cream cheese-stuffed garlic milkbread buns topped with Parmesan, spices and hot honey; and a Caesar salad made with buttermilk and togarashi-marinated grilled chicken, rose-pickled red onions, Texas barbecue sauce and house buttermilk ranch dressing. 1001 W. San Marcos Blvd., Suite 195, San Marcos. inlandtavern.com

Chef Collaboration dinners

Provisional Kitchen executive sous chef Brandon Sloan and Rancho Valencia chef Chris Gentile are teaming up for a trio of five-course, $100 dinners featuring peak fall produce and wine pairings at Provisional Kitchen. Seatings available from 5 to 7:45 p.m. Oct. 6 through 8. Pendry Hotel, 425 Fifth Ave., San Diego. Reserve at pendry.com/san-diego/dining/provisional/.

Graze adds new sandwiches, shareables

Little Italy’s Graze By Sam (the Cooking Guy) restaurant has introduced new dishes. The new lunch sandwiches, served with chips or side salad, are the Italian Night Club, with prosciutto, gabagool (capricola), salami and provolone picante with veggies on ciabatta, and a grilled chicken panini with basil pesto, mozzarella and red pepper relish on sourdough. New shareables include a creamy burrata dish with eggplant caponata, basil, chili oil, pine nuts and sourdough, and saffron arancini made with fresh mozzarella and house marinara. 555 W. Date St., San Diego. grazebysam.com

Advertisement

Cusp reopens with new menu

Following a two-year closure and a gradual reopening, Cusp Dining & Drinks at the 50-year-old Hotel La Jolla is now serving dinner seven nights a week with a new happy hour and dinner menu. The throwback happy hour, from 4 to 6 p.m. daily, offers $10 ‘70s-era classic cocktails from the hotel’s early days given a modern spin, like the Sparkling Tequila Sunset with sparkling wine and sloe gin, or the Golden Anniversary Caddy with bourbon, Galliano and chocolate liqueurs.

Chef Ingrid Funes Shelton’s new menu includes updated throwbacks like a fresh twist on beef Stroganoff, as well as new dishes like an heirloom tomato and feta salad with almond pesto, a daily ceviche special, a 14-ounce pan-roasted rib eye steak dinner, house-baked apple fritter and 50th anniversary strawberry ice cream sundae. 7955 La Jolla Shores Dr, La Jolla. cusprestaurant.com

Urban Plates launches Nyjah Bowl

San Diego-based Urban Plates has collaborated with 13-time X Games gold medalist skateboarder Nyjah Huston, a regular customer of the chain, to create a new healthy bowl dish. The Nyjah Bowl, priced at $13, combines grilled chicken with Gochujang sauce, roasted sweet potatoes with grilled red pepper and onions, charred broccoli and wakame, served over cauliflower fried rice, and topped with microgreens. It has 590 calories and 28 grams of protein. Upgrade options include grilled sustainable salmon and avocado. For local locations, visit urbanplates.com.

Advertisement

Pumpkin spice time at Snooze

Fall kicked off on Thursday, so Snooze A.M. Eatery hasn’t wasted a moment in kicking off its fall pumpkin menu. All locations, including in La Jolla, Del Mar Heights and downtown San Diego, are now serving pumpkin spice pancakes, pumpkin spice bacon, pumpkin latte drinks and pumpkin martinis. For locations, visit snoozeeatery.com.

Vino Carta hosting Sunday suppers

Vino Carta, a two-store wine shop and bar concept owned by husband-wife chef team Elliott and Kelly Townsend, is now offering family-style dinners on select Sundays through the fall and winter at its Solana Beach location. Upcoming events are a mariscos night on Sunday, bistro night on Oct. 9 and Spanish night on Oct. 16. 437 S. Coast Highway 101, Solana Beach. vinocartasd.com

Bivouac hosts Septemberfest

Bivouac Ciderworks in North Park has released a new fall brew, the limited-edition Cat’s Paw pumpkin-spiced cider, and it’s planning an Oktoberfest-style part on Saturday. The event will feature a Bavarian-style food menu, apple strudel cider, games, activities and prizes. 3986 30th St., San Diego. (619) 725-0844, bivouaccider.com

Advertisement

Kragen writes about restaurants for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at [email protected]

Source: Thanks https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/entertainment/dining-and-drinking/story/2022-09-22/polo-villa-one-naegi-and-zama-lead-list-of-new-restaurant-openings?_amp=true