**Wolfgang Puck’s venture into San Diego with JAI at the La Jolla Playhouse, may soon be short lived. It seems that they miss their after theater audience by closing at 10 pm, and there’s no lunch service that might catch people looking for a quiet place to meet. For many San Diegans, traveling to a university campus to see a play or eat dinner, is more than they can bear…
**Opening in February, across the street from Ivy, in the former site of EXY, Jared Van Camp, well-known Chicago chef will oversee the kitchen of Quality Social. From their press release: “no guest list, no cover, no dress code. The destination will carefully pay tribute to the most treasured elements of the iconic dive bar, with a devil-may-care attitude serving as a visceral component. “ Sounds like a no pretense place that will serve house made charcuterie and some fun dishes such as a BLT with a confit of pork belly and heirloom tomatoes, or a smoked in-house hot dog served in a Pabst Blue Ribbon carton. And no frilly drinks, either. More to come when it opens.
**Pizza seems to be the latest inexpensive comfort food to blanket San Diego. Coming in April, the second location of URBN opens in North Park at University and 31st. The coal fired pizza joint is Jon Magnin’s spin-off of BASIC Urban Kitchen + Bar. He opened his first URBN in Vista in 2008 and plans to open 10 to 15 more up and down the coast.
**Support your local restaurants and dine out during San Diego’s restaurant week that runs from January 17 to January 22. Check for the participating restaurants and their menus (three-courses for $20, $30 and $40, depending on the venue). This is a good time to try new places and support our local restaurant economy.
**The Counter Burger arrived in Carlsbad and if you’re in the area of Calle Barcelona and the shops in the Forum at Carlsbad, this franchise that began in Santa Monica in 2004 is making waves. It’s a build your own burger joint and should do well in North County. Buzz hasn’t tried it yet.