Moving on: Chef Wade Hageman, has left Blanca in Solana Beach to pursue a location of his own. He hopes to stay in San Diego. Buzz will keep you posted.
Open for business: Burger Lounge (a Buzz fav) in Little Italy, across the street from Indigo Grill. It is their fourth location (La Jolla, Coronado and Kensington round out the list).
Cucina Urbana: Newly named, with a new menu and concept at Fifth and Laurel. Food pals who recently dined there said atmosphere is fun; food working out the kinks. Haven’t been, but do wonder why food and service kinks are not worked out before opening to the public, especially with a well-known restaurateur like Tracy Borkum (and others who seem to have the same issue).
Corvette Diner & Gamers Garage finally opened in Liberty Station. On a recent Monday night, the wait for a table was an hour and a half…gotta love those burgers. Tiny bar area. Lots of noise and very loud music; lots of games in a separate area (kids and adults in that area) and an oddly darker dining area that seems a bit more civilized for eating. Oodles of parking and bring your patience while you wait for a table. We didn’t choose to wait.
Had a chance to lunch with out of town friends at Enoteca Style on India Street between Ash and Beech. Well-priced paninis, and flavorful and inventive salads. Loved the soba salad with ahi and a Caesar with fresh corn and grilled chicken cut into bite-size pieces. Interesting wines and happily sold in 3 ounce pours if you so desire.
Jack’s La Jolla redid their upscale dining room to an Italian venture called Viaggio. The menu features chef Tony DiSalvo’s homemade pastas and much more. Haven’t tried it, as it apparently just opened with little fanfare.
La Jolla based Burger Lounge comes to Coronado and will open their third location at the end of July in the old Island Wok space at 922 Orange Avenue. If you want an organic beef burger with hand-cut in house fries, this is your place. To top it off, they are now one of a handful of green certified restaurants in San Diego.
The Cohn Restaurant Group, that many say sets the bar in the city for middle-of-the-road food and service aimed at the mass market/convention customer, is expanding. They’ve partnered with Sunroad Harbor Island (a subsidiary of Sunroad Enterprises) who just got the go ahead from the Board of Port Commissioners for a $9 million overhaul of the former Reuben E. Lee floating restaurant, currently at the end of Harbor Island. Located conveniently next to the Cohn owned restaurant, Island Prime, the LEED certified restaurant will be designed by Graham Downes Architecture whose eclectic portfolio includes Nine-Ten, Chive, and the redo of its sister property Laurel. Along with Lesley and David Cohn, chef/partner Deborah Scott will operate the Lee. Expect construction to begin late 2009 and finish about 2011.
While we’re on the subject of the Cohn collection, as Buzz reported in May, David’s supposedly best-kept-secret-that-everyone-knew-about is finally out. Hard Work, Inc. (Cohn Restaurant Group) signed a 10-year lease for The Corvette Diner to relocate to the old Officers Club at the Barnett entrance end of Liberty Station. Renovation is underway on the space. And further up the coast, in the coming-on-oh-so-hip Oceanside, the Cohns will open a steak and seafood place called 333 Pacific in the Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort on Pier View Way and Pacific Street. Expect to see the restaurant open by the end of the year.
The Cohns join others who find Oceanside the newest area ripe for restaurant expansion. Old Town’s popular Harney Sushi just opened their second very contemporary spot on the corner of Mission and Cleveland close to the pier. They have a sake bar, lots of sushi rolls and more. The place was very hip and hopping at their opening just last night.