Chef Robert Hohmann leaves his culinary mark at 1500 Ocean as he moves to Los Angeles to work with The Next Idea and Sogno Toscano.  Together the companies intend to consult, impact and contribute globally to the areas  of food, beverage and hospitality concepts.

Chef Matt Gordon expands his Solace Restaurant collection with Sea & Smoke in Del Mar’s redone Flower Hill Mall.  Some of my favorites:  the West Coast open-face omelette with house cured salmon and dill creme fraiche ($11.5), sides ($6 each) of skillet cornbread, house-cut Kennebec fries and sweet and sour heirloom carrots, small and served whole, perfect finger food.  If I lived closer I’d be there daily just to relax on the quiet large back patio, or at the lively bar.   The front of the restaurant decor gives credence to the  American brasserie style menu that Gordon created.  It’s a comfortable restaurant with food you can relate to no matter what the time of day.  If you’re in the area, know that happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6pm. 2690 Via de la Valle, Open daily from 7:30 am,  858-925-8212.  Note that I know Chef, and for the record, he does not comp even his friends. Thankfully.

Recently sighted, ex San Diego chef Jason Shaeffer (original Laurel Restaurant & Bar, and 1500 Ocean)  who moved to Windsor, CO and opened Chimney Park Restaurant & Bar.  Should you find yourself in Fort Collins, Windsor is a few miles away and worth the short drive for an evening of  Shaeffer’s award-winning food.

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