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San Diego CLOSED Restaurants - 2013 edition

It is a huge space with a difficult layout. I am curious to see who will move in and if they can make it work since zero $ is spent on promoting the shopping center. With the Flower Hills mall coming back strong, it is not going to get better for the tenants at the Plaza. I think that you might be right about the landlord.

Jan 30, 2013
jaysurf12 in San Diego

San Diego CLOSED Restaurants - 2013 edition

Astronomical rent associated by a landlord who does nothing to promote the Plaza and drive business are some of the reasons why half of the spaces at the Plaza are empty and most businesses have failed.

Jan 30, 2013
jaysurf12 in San Diego

Gabardine--Pt.Loma Open Yet

Malarkey gets press because there are no legit food critic in San Diego. Everything is paid for ( which is why you always hear about the Cohn Group, Malarkey etc and not some of the actual good restaurant in this town ).

Malarkey has never done anything for San Diego and does not deserve any credit in my opinion. His restaurants have no substance, no soul and it is all about the vibe and the trends. Searsucker and that place in La Mesa are the only two that stands a chance.

Aug 31, 2012
jaysurf12 in San Diego

Champions league at San Diego

I would imagine Costa Brava in Pacific Beach... Great food and they show the games at the bar. Go Barcelona !!

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Costa Brava
1653 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

Apr 12, 2011
jaysurf12 in San Diego

What SD restaurants will you try in 2011?

Not even close. Sorry but check your facts again.

Jan 11, 2011
jaysurf12 in San Diego

What SD restaurants will you try in 2011?

That's probably because they did not spend close to $3millions... SDG should check his facts.

Jan 11, 2011
jaysurf12 in San Diego

SD Malarkey leaves Oceanaire

I tried Searsucker. Sat at the bar , had to deal with arrogant attitude from the bartender that explained to us that the cocktail menu was " not for everyone ". My chicken wings were undercooked. The rest of the meal was very nice and I like the decor/ atmosphere...And yes the restaurant press in San Diego is biased, paid for and do not support of lot of the great restaurants we have in this town... when was the last time that you read anything about Oton or Okan?

Oct 07, 2010
jaysurf12 in San Diego

SD Malarkey leaves Oceanaire

He was not listed.. because he is not....
He was the Chef at Oceanaire... has not accomplished anything great there....
Went to Top Chef and did well. Kuddos to him for that.. it is great but as far as Chef in San Diego.. what has he done?
What bothers me with him is that he talks and acts like he's put San Diego on the map when in reality besides Top Chef, he has not done anything noticeable in this town. Is he a good Chef? I think so... But before he acts like he is a big deal in this town, he should run a successful restaurant and establish it for a while.
Top chefs in San Diego ( in no particular order )? Jason Knibbs, Trey Foshe, Carl Schroeder, Jean Michel Diot, Philipe Verpian, Paul mcCabe, Jeff Jackson, Ryan Johnson just to name a few that I will put on the list before Malarkey...

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Oceanaire
San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

Oct 07, 2010
jaysurf12 in San Diego

Blind Lady Ale House -- I don't get it

I love what they are doing, from the food to the beer but I always thought that they should have a couple of " cocktail" servers walking the room and taking food and drink orders from guests that are already eating...I understand the whole concept of ordering at the counter but once I seat down and eat, I do not necessary want to go back up in line. From a guest standpoint, it is annoying and not convenient. From a business standpoint, I am sure that they are losing sales... They could easily sell a few more pizzas and beers every night and it would pay for the extra labor... ( you are talking about what? 1 or 2 employees at $8/ hour? well maybe a little more since they are probably not going to get tipped so let's say $12-14... )

Sep 08, 2010
jaysurf12 in San Diego

Blanca - Jason Neroni out

I think that it is a shame that Jason Neroni would say anything like that.
Part of being running a business is to adapt to your clientele and cook things that they want to eat. I cannot argue that San Diego might not have the dining culture that some other cities have but there are a few millions people living in San Diego county and I am sure that enough people appreciate good food so that a good restaurant could survive without having to serve fish tacos. Nine Ten, George's, Market, Cavaillon to name a few. I have personally dined in Los Angeles a few times over the past few months and have been underwhelmed by my dinners there ( Mozza, gjelina, XIV to name a few ). Same applies to Las Vegas...
Futhermore, I find it ironic that the San Diego Union Tribune would write an article a few weeks ago about Neroni being San Diego's savior... just to see the same Chef spitting in our face upon departure. That just shows, once again, how irrelevant our local press is when it comes to restaurants.
ttp://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/apr/...
I have no doubt that Neroni can cook...but for him to make such statements shows little class. I doubt that the great chefs in San Diego are secretly joking and mocking their clientele. I hope that he does well back East. I personally will not miss his cooking considering that he seems to think that he is too good for us San Dieguans...

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Cavaillon Restaurant
14701 Via Bettona, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92127

Nine Ten
910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

May 14, 2010
jaysurf12 in San Diego

3 nights in Vegas in mid November, head exploding b/c of decisions....

Skip Bouchon. For me it was a bid disapointment.
Lotus of Siam for sure. There is also a place called Raku, off the strip , that is excellent. It is Japanese...I would not pass on it if I were you.
Daniel Boulud at the Wynn is great.
Nove at the Palms is very good too.

Oct 28, 2009
jaysurf12 in Las Vegas

Marseille

La Ferme, in Aubagne, has some of the best food in Provence. Very authentic provencal cooking in a beautiful setting, near the Garlaban where Marcel Pagnol was from. Their tripes provencales are the best.

Sep 17, 2009
jaysurf12 in France

Marseille- Best Bouillabaisse???

I am from Marseille... :) The Rhul or Chez Fonfon.. expensive but that's the real deal.. Avoid anything around Le Vieux Port. Each time I go home, I make a point to go to the Rhul though...L'Epuisette is also very good.
If you have a car and you want authentic provencal cooking , go to La Ferme, in Aubagne. You WILL be amazed...No boullabaisse though.

Sep 17, 2009
jaysurf12 in France

San Diego Closed restaurants from the Down Economy

No disrespect to Chef Kennedy and his establishment but perhaps, now that he is the Chef and the owner, he should surround himself by people he can delegate to.. Why is he doing the wine list? It seems to be that his plate is full and that can be dangerous.. Just a thought... but I wish them well, San Diego needs to support these type of restaurants.

Mar 23, 2009
jaysurf12 in San Diego

San Diego Closed restaurants from the Down Economy

The Belgian Frie on Mission Blvd as well as the PB rotisserie are closed... Too bad, I really liked these two places...

Mar 12, 2009
jaysurf12 in San Diego

Viaggio @ Jack's La Jolla

I am not sure about their club policy. I went on a Wednesday night at 8:00 pm and it was quiet. Sure there was some noise from downstairs but nothing that really bothered me.
Your story is a perfect example of why clubs and fine dining restaurants do not match and your husband should have never had to deal with a bouncer....

Sep 08, 2008
jaysurf12 in San Diego

Viaggio @ Jack's La Jolla

I have been to Viaggio twice. The food was amazing. It is, in my book, the best italian food in San Diego. Now you will not see your typical fried calamari with marinara sauce and caprese salad on the menu like they have in many of the bad italian restaurants in town. The menu is well put together, well priced and the Chef only uses the best ingredients.
I suggest that you try it on a wednesday night, they do 50% of on any bottle of the list. The wine list as it is is already very reasonably priced. With 50% off, you can find some serious bargains ( I drank a bottle of Dr. Loosen Riesling for less than $30 and a bottle of Adrian Fog Pinot for les than 75$ !!! ).
It is sad to see the " Dining Room" gone but Viaggio has raised the bar when it comes to great italian food in this town.

Sep 08, 2008
jaysurf12 in San Diego

The Better Half (SD)

That is very exciting !! I cannot wait to try it. I have heard a lot of buzz about this place and it is definitely on my list now...
By the way, I just got back for Las Vegas and recommend a place called Lotus of Siam... If you like Thai food, you will love this restaurant. Great food and extremely cheap wine ( Donhof Riesling at $45 a bottle !!! $65 for Domaine du Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Pape... simply awesome !!

Feb 15, 2008
jaysurf12 in California

Dinner for 20 execs in San Diego

I would seriously consider Nine Ten. They do have different private rooms, the food is very good and I never had bad service, although it can be a little green sometimes. I do not know if they charge a room fee or not. The Marine Room, Georges and a lot of other restaurants that were mentioned will certainly exceed your budget.
As far as the bad attitude at Market, I really do not understand where this is coming from. I dine there quite a bit and never had a problem. There is always 2 sides of the story. Working in the restaurant industry myself, I can tell you that I have seen guests posting bad reviews for things that were ridiculous such as waiting a long time for a table, only they forget to mention that they showed up with more guests than expected.... I don't know... one thing that need to be kept in perspective is that Market is a busy restaurant and while it is a beautiful thing, it can make their ability to accommodate any reservation at any time a little harder. While I am not saying that they are doing everything right, reading some of the complains about this restaurant just leaves me a little perplex...

Feb 15, 2008
jaysurf12 in California

1 S.D. Chef Nominated for James Beard Award

Awesome ! He absolutely deserves it too... I hope that he gets nominated....

Feb 14, 2008
jaysurf12 in Food Media & News

Market doesn't like groups?

I actually agree with you 100% about Sbicca's and other restaurants in the area....

Feb 07, 2008
jaysurf12 in California

Market doesn't like groups?

There are many reasons why a nine tops is different that say 2 tables of 4. By the way, I called many restaurants comparable to Market in other cities and the most they will accomodate is 8 to 10 people so there is nothing crazy about this policy.

Every restaurant has its limit as far as how many people it can succesfully server per say half hour. That is a function of kitchen space, staff and equipment. Most fine dining restaurant with a modest size kitchen cannot serve more than 15 guests per 15 mn and usually 22 to 25 guests per half hour.
Of course , if I am a restaurant that serves steak and potatoes , I can serve a lot more but as soon as presentation becomes part of the equation, it becomes a problem.
Now here is a comon scenario. A guest books a party of 8. They call at 4:00 pm on the day of the reservation and want to bring 2 more guests. They expect the same reservation time, not realizing that all other tables might be booked. You have to re-think the whole floorplan and somehow find a way to accomodate them. They show up with 11 guests, instead of 10 and they are 30 late ( say it is a friday night and traffic was awful, so it is not necessary their fault ). Now you have 11 guests to serve on top of whoever has already sat at the restaurant. Not only that but in order to pay high rents and labor cost, you planned on turning that large table for an other party 3 hours later and it is not going to happen anymore....
Even worse, that table never shows up for their reservation and since there is no contract, you cannot really charge their credit card ( who knows if the credit card # is right anyways and who wants to charge a $20 no show fee?? ) .

The bottom line is that larger tables are usually not good for restaurants for many different reasons, some financial, some technical. Some restaurants are just better venues for it and some are not. Personally, when I go out with a lot of people, I tend to prefer more casual venues with smaller plates and keep places such as Market, Addison, Blanca and such for other occasions ( a date or a dinner with 3 or 4 friends ).
Personally, I do respect a business that says no because they know that they cannot perform as well under certain circumstances. I used to work downtown back in the days, as a server and we took groups of 20-30 people and it was discusting how bad everything was , from the food to the service but the owners did not care....

Feb 07, 2008
jaysurf12 in California

Market doesn't like groups?

I actually talked to a friend of mine today that works there and the long table is gone.
I never had bad service there either but again, I am friend with some of the staff....Oh well, sometimes you just cannot please everyone ;)

Feb 06, 2008
jaysurf12 in California

Market doesn't like groups?

I do not really see what the problem is... At least they are being honest. You tried to make a reservation that they feel they cannot accommodate well so they did not accept it...I know a lot of restaurants that accept large groups only to mess everything up. I am sure that they are not turning business down just for fun. They probably realize that large groups are not working out for them. What's is the difference between 8 and 9 people? Maybe they do not have a table large enough to accommodate 9. Just like what is the difference when you book a party of 2 and show up with 3 people ( Oh so very common in San Diego !! ). Maybe , from past experience, they realize that large groups most always sit down much later than their reservation time, in the middle of the rush. Whatever the reason is, maybe this is just not the venue for a large group and at least, they are candid about it. Oh and let me guess, was that reservation suposed to be at 7:00 pm on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night?
As far as the service being bad and arrogant, they are packed every night so they must be doing something right. I am sure that they have their off nights but overall, to say that Market has bad service......

Feb 05, 2008
jaysurf12 in California

Wine Cabana - Old Town San Diego

I have checked that place out... totally uninspired wine selection.. kind of shameful for a wine bar. Cool interior though but really no wine of interest....

Jan 14, 2008
jaysurf12 in California

Burger Lounge in Kensington (SD)

I agree. I tried their La Jolla location on 3 different occasions and I will not go back. The fries are a rip off. There is NO WAY it is hand cut. The burgers are ok at best.
At these prices, with Rocky's and the Bareback grill in PB, I have NO reason to go back to the burger lounge. For a few bucks more, I'd rather even go to Nine Ten and get their burger.... Even Kono's in PB has a better burger and fries for a $6.50 combo for lunch.

Jan 13, 2008
jaysurf12 in San Diego

Restaurant Service in San Diego

It is hard to say... Tonight for instance, our restaurant was full from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm... people were calling for 7:45 pm reservations and were angry that we could not accomodate them right at that time... we were offering 8:15 and they would not take it. Some people took the 8:15, showed up at 7:45 and then complained that they had to wait 30 mn....
I think that it has to do with culture, being used to higher standars and education. I am sure that SF, LA and other " bigger " cities deal with their own problems though.
An other thing that kills me here is how demanding some people are... when I lived in NY , guests would show up with no reservation, would want a particular table and be rude about it BUT at least, they would always give a nice tip to the Maitre D or the Hostess. Here it never happens. They want and demand in a very rude way but do not seem to think that a tip is expected for this special requests.... So from our perspective, why going above and beyond and change a whole floor plan in order to accomodate a cheap rude customer that usually brings his own $8 bottle of wine from SAVON drugs?
I hate to generalize though. We have some fantastic guests and it has nothing to do with how much money they have. Rude people are rude everywhere. Our good guests seem to be well traveled though.. Perhaps that is one of the reason why SD customers are " uneducated"... unlike SF, NY , Boston ... San Diego is not much of a cosmopolitan city either...

Jan 06, 2008
jaysurf12 in San Diego

Restaurant Service in San Diego

Absolutely. While minimum wage in SF is higher, they are busy on Monday, Tuesday.... and people still dine at 8:30 pm... revenues are higher and more consistent...and you are right about food cost too.. net profits are shrinking year after year...

Jan 05, 2008
jaysurf12 in San Diego

Restaurant Service in San Diego

As the General Manager of an high profile restaurant in San Diego, I would like to add my point of view to the conversation...
First and foremost, I do agree that service in our beautiful city, is in general disappointing and inconsistent. I know that I have a zero tolerance policy for rude staff. We train our staff on wine service 2 hours every week. We do a pre shift meeting for 20 mn every day, going over specials and issues that we need to discuss. Every new hire is trained for a whole week before they can even talk to a table. I would like to think that we do have good service at our restaurant and some of us restaurateurs really care. Unfortunately, as a former manager, waiter and sommelier, it is not always the case. Restaurant owners are to be blamed for this. In our restaurant I have full support from the owners to train the staff and it does make a big difference....But here is the key.. .we are a busy restaurant and we can afford it....or at least care enough to do a good job that we do it anyways...

For a small operation, considering the high rents, the high labor cost ( minimum wage here is $8... in NY , Chicago and so on, servers make $2.50 so over staffing is not an issue ), having intensive training is just not an option.

The general public think that restaurants make so much money. It is not necessary true. Sure, if you serve fried calamaries and frozen food and clos du bois chardonnay, your profit might be high... but if you use Chino Farm, fresh ingredients and serve superior wines, on top of a $10,000+ a month rent, high labor and taxes you might sell $2 millions a year and be barely profitable. Remember, we are not in a city that supports its restaurants in the sense that San Dieguans do not dine out on Sunday/ Monday/ Tuesday....I guess that what I am trying to say is that good staff training has a cost that some of the smaller, less busy restaurants might not necessary be able to afford. A city has the restaurant it deserves and this is true. I wish I did not have to drive to LA for a fantastic dinner... but I do... why? Put a restaurant like Sona, AOC or Providence in San Diego and it would not do well. If a real italian restaurant like Babbo, serving true italian food would open in San Diego, it would get a lot of heat for not serving your typical fried calamaris and marinara sauce or tomatoe mozarella salad in the middle of the winter..... I know it is true because I worked in several restaurants that " dared" to be dynamic and different and we got complains all the time for not being like the rest of the mediocre restaurants in town. Of course, a lot of you, foodies, appreciate good food, wine and service but foodies are NOT the majority of our guests.

There are a lot of things happening backstage that you do not see and that sometimes , prevent us from operating as smoothly as we wish we did. I will give you an example....
As a fine restaurant, we decided that in order to properly serve our guests, we cannot accomodate more that 10 covers for each 15 mn... So we book our restaurant accordingly. Our hostesses are trained to do that. Do I wish we could do 300 covers a night? Sure, but it is impossible ! So we limit the amount of covers we do to properly serve our guests... So you might call to ask for a 6:15 pm reservation and we might offer you 6:30 instead in order to not to over book the restaurant. We are getting a LOT of heat from our guests because of it... And some guests will take the 6:30 pm reservation but show up at 6:15 and DEMAND to be seated and are nasty to a 20 years old hostess who is just doing what she is asked to do by management. This is very common....
We also assume that our guests will enjoy their dinner for about 3 hours... Due to high rents and costs, we do HAVE to turn our tables. 3 Hours is a reasonable time... Only in San Diego people are usually late and do not even call to let us know. If a table on the first turn is late, it will push the second turn... We will try to find an alternative table but sometimes, it just is impossible... Let's not talk about the guests who pretend just do not show. New Year's Eve. 4 no shows, 38 cancelations during the last 2 days before NYE...What I am trying to say is that while there is NEVER any good excuse for bad service, it is hard to find professional and career oriented servers in a city that overall has very amateurish dinners.... and in a city where restaurants are only busy 3 days a week and where the costs are similar to LA or San Fran, how is a restaurant supposed to pay competitive salaries for a GM, Sommelier or Chef when most of the money that should be allocated to pay higher management goes to tipped employees? I am lucky to work where I am now but I know that most restaurants in this town will not pay a sommelier or a GM more that 40k a year without benefits for a 6 days, 12 hours/ day work week...Good luck finding a talent at these rates...

Jan 04, 2008
jaysurf12 in San Diego

San Diego restaurants are bad

I do not think that overall San Diego restaurants are bad... there are some very good places to eat in this town... but sometimes they lack the support...an other way to look at it is why opening a fine dining establishment in San Diego ?

From a restaurateur point of view, here is what we constantly have to experience...

1/Guests in San Diego are usually very late for their reservation, pushing back the second turn and upsetting other guests... being 20-30 mn , not calling and expectin to be seating right upon arrival is very common here..
2/ People here only want to eat at 7 or 7:30 pm....When paying high rents, doing 2 turn is very important...but most people in San Diego do not dine after 8:00 pm, even on weekends.
3/No shows. 15% no show is average in this city..people do not even call !!!
4/Lack of interest for interesting food...if you dare not having a chicken on your menu, you are dead ! Game does not sell here.. forget about liver, tripes and other less common dishes... we even have an hard time selling Veal !
5/ High rent that usually increases as soon as you become somehow popular
6/ High labor ( I do not mind paying employees well but combine to high taxes, high rent and a city that only dines out on weekend, what's the incentive?? )

Dec 14, 2007
jaysurf12 in San Diego