The new Ivy Hotel snapped up some terrific talent for their gorgeous Quarter Kitchen restaurant.  Christian Jones, formerly of Tower 23, oversees the room as General Manager.  From 1500 Ocean comes Jared Seitzer, who brings his corkscrew and wine knowledge as Sommelier and Beverage Director while John Rielly, one of the best when it comes to good service, joins them as Director of Private Dining.  

Look for Gavin Kaysen to be front and center on the cover of the July Food & Wine magazine as one of the top ten best new chefs in the country.  He is the first working chef from San Diego to be so named.  This is a terrific honor for the chef de cuisine of El Bizcocho restaurant at the Rancho Bernardo Inn.

Chefs are on the move, including Amiko Gubbins of Parallel 33, who will take time off to surf and and perhaps cook for Lenny Kravitz when he goes on tour.   Kensington will see the Green Tomato restaurant morph into Blue Boheme with Philippe Beltran (most recently of Vagabond) at the stove.  Rumors are swirling about a well-known chef who may soon depart for colder climes.  And since it is just talk on the street, or so it seems, Buzz won’t divulge the name until it can be confirmed…so stay tuned.  

Look for Ed Moore’s newest restaurant, Nick’s at the Pier at the corner of Santa Monica and Abbott to open in the next week or two.  Fashioned after Nick’s at the Beach in Pacific Beach, with a bit less sports bar but lots of good seafood and ocean views, Buzz figures it will be a hit with locals who already love Moore’s The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro located down the street. And, like 3rd Corner, you’ll be able to grab a bite most nights, til 1am. 

Around the corner, on Newport Avenue, a new bar, Gallagher’s is open near another OB institution, Tony’s.  Further up towards Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, two doors down from the well-known OB institution, Pacific Shores bar look for O’Bee’s on Newport to open soon.

In the 1800 block of  Sunset Cliffs Boulevard a mini United Nations exists with Rancho’s Cocina,  Pepe’s Italian Restaurant, Newbreak Coffee Co. & Cafe, OB Donuts,  and the block’s newest addition Thai Time Bistro. Not to be confused with any of the other Thai Time restaurants in town–different owners–the menu features everything from  soups and mussels with garlic and basil to green papaya salad and noodles every which way.  I tried pad thai on the lunch special–a good fresh version with bean sprouts, pork and tofu but missing those dry shrimp that give some versions more oomph.  The pork larb spicy salad is also quite good. Prices range from $4.25 for small soups to $12.95 for various house specialities and seafood. Thai Time Bistro, 1830 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., Closed Sunday, 619-223-5000.

Soon, at the corner of Scott and Canon in the village of Point Loma, chocoholics will find their fix.  The Elegant Truffle takes the space immediately next to (and facing the parking lot of) La Scala Italian Restaurant.  From the Stockton newspaper article posted in the window, the owner is relocating to San Diego from that central valley town.  Buzz will update as soon as an opening date is available.

On Tuesday June 12, should you be in New York City, you can dine at the James Beard House with Brian Pekarcik, executive chef at Arterra Restaurant and Bar in the Del Mar Marriott.  His menu will be California Tasting: Three Ways to highlight his creative use of local California ingredients paired with California wines chosen by Wine Director Ted Glennon. 

If getting to NYC isn’t possible, visit Arterra and experience some of the dishes he will present.  From May 16 to June 9, Arterra will feature the seasonal variations of his Beard House menu. The cost is $72 including the wine pairing or $49 without wine, plus tax and tip.

You can also enter a drawing for an Arterra weekend in New York that includes the Beard House dinner.  For more information on how to enter the contest visit the restaurant, their website: or call 858-369-6032. 

Buzz wonders why the media that covers San Diego’s restaurant scene is so rude.   Apparently, as Buzz noted at a recent Monday evening media event, the majority RSVP’d they would attend and then didn’t show–with nary a last minute phone call to bow out.  Suppose you planned a party with great food and wine and all your invitees said they would attend.  And then at party time they are no-shows.  How would you feel? 

This lack of basic good manners frequently happens in San Diego with the food media. So it’s no wonder that the restaurant scene flounders–especially when it comes to national attention–and could be a reason we usually only hear about the same people and places. I’d bet Miss Manners would call such behavior inconsiderate and arrogant at best. 

Acclaimed Executive Chef Melissa Mayer of The Guild Restaurant in San Diego’s Bario Logan, will compete in the Food Network’s Food Challenge show, to the select the best and most original “Mac & Cheese” recipe. 

Mayer is one of five chefs in the Denver competition on Thursday, April 26 and is the first from San Diego.  She recently previewed one of her recipes that features four cheeses and elbow macaroni, all topped with a smattering of basil pesto. 

The show broadcasts Sunday’s at 10 pm PST and for the exact air date of Mayer’s show, call 619-564-7584 or check, 1805 Newton Ave., San Diego.

Riko Bartolome, the award winning chef-owner of Asia-Vous in Escondido presents a four-course tasting dinner to complement artisanal infused vodkas from Modern Spirits in Los Angeles.  Among the innovative dishes from Bartolome, you’ll indulge in sea urchin panna cotta paired with black truffle vodka.  The evening begins at 6pm on Wednesday, May 23 and is $75 plus tax and tip.  For information and reservations:  760-747-5000,, 417 W. Grand, Escondido. 

Savoir-fare in the Union Tribune’s Food Section seems to love certain chefs (Bradley Ogden and Patrick Ponsanty) complete with their picture in the copy.  Interesting that Bradley Ogden gets top billing to Gavin Kaysen, who was just named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs for 2007–the first chef cooking in San Diego to have the prestigious honor.  Somehow the paper couldn’t even find a picture of Kaysen.

Foodbuzzsd is in a beta state, evolving in content and design. Part of the blog is about constructive dialogue on the issues that face San Diego’s culinary scene, particularly as we compare San Diego to other cities. And compare we must because as the city grows with fancy restaurants and New York chefs, it will come under greater scrutiny from patrons beyond San Diego.  

Some questions we will explore:  San Diego may want to be a culinary destination, but can it garner consistent national media attention? How does our restaurant criticism stack up to other cities and what constitutes good a restaurant critic? What ever happened to good service, be it with a bartender or a server? 

The point is to question, debate and talk about San Diego’s food scene including the questions above, among many others.  Buzz wants an occasional outside opinion or commentary that might best be titled (for the moment):  Guest Rant or Rave, depending on the subject. Feel free to submit no more than 250 words about our food scene to