Chef Amy DiBiase will join La Jolla Shores working with executive chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and the Shores.  Great views, wonderful property…Can hardly wait to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner there after she settles in after August 22.

Other chef news: In Mission Hills, Tom and Trish Watlington who own  The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar and The Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge have just promoted  Daniel Manrique from sous chef to executive chef for the two properties. Best known for his role as the executive chef at  Jayne’s Gastropub and sous chef at Parallel 33 (the prior incarnation of The Red Door), Daniel will oversee a menu that incorporates “earth to table” ingredients–many from the newly planted Red Door garden in Mt. Helix.

We’re hearing that Joseph Melluso, who brought life (and lots of drama) to the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant in Old Town, is out of that property and the kitchen he was running.  He still has an interest in the place but has sold most of his shares to Catherine Miller who has been involved with the property for quite some time. Buzz left a message for Melluso for more information,  but no word back, yet.  We hear too that Melluso has some new projects in the fire.


Oh what a mess has been wrought with the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant, owner Joseph Melluso, chef Amy DiBiase and the Union-Tribune’s, Keli Dailey.  This is a sordid story about editors and a reporter looking to sensationalize a story with writing that gives all parties, most notably the readers, a bad taste and does not help the San Diego restaurant community.

For those of you who missed it, Buzz reported on November 5 that DiBiase (whom Buzz knows) had left Cosmopolitan.  Next came Dailey’s one-sided story (relying only on owner Joseph Melluso) that appeared online on November 10, then the next day, in edited form, printed in the Business section of the paper. Melluso said (among other things) that there were financial and creative issues that caused the split.  Missing in the story is any acknowledgement that he, as the owner, had anything to do with the problems.

As a seeming consequence of the many negative online comments about the U-T story, either Dailey or her editors must have thought it wise to connect and interview DiBiase, as the original Dailey “story” noted, “DiBiase could not be reached Wednesday evening for comment”.  When Dailey did catch up to DiBiase the “rest of the story” – that is, her side of it — can be found online (and so far not in print).

Why run a half-reported story?  And more important, it seems that lately the U-T has resorted to old-fashioned tabloid journalism to report on such restaurant matters.  Restaurants open and close, chefs come and go, and any major newspaper notes such things in just a few paragraphs.  But the U-T has recently evolved into gotcha journalism, with the snarky story about Roseville closing, then this mess.

Buzz checked to see if the paper ever ran anything when Jeff Thurston left the Cohn’s Prado where he had been for many, many years. Nothing. Why? By contrast, the recent change of chefs at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego merits a mention in Dailey’s online column (which is at should be, a few sentences at best).

So what gives?  What purpose did Dailey’s story serve to the public, to the restaurant or to the chef or even to the owner?  No purpose at all except to harm the business and reputations of those involved.

Those of you who follow one of San Diego’s top talented women chefs, Amy DiBiase, won’t find her at Old Town’s Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant as she left the restaurant due to creative and money issues with the management.  Many of the original hires have also departed since the restaurant opened.

She was hired to do food that bore the hallmarks of the time (1870’s) when Bandini’s home became a stagecoach stop and hotel.  The hotel’s management now wants to stray from their original concept as noted on their website and the reason that DiBiase came on as executive chef.

Buzz spoke with the general manager and it is expected that the food will change from the moderately priced yet upscale dining destination that DiBiase provided to a middle-of-the-road, broad appeal, and possibly less uninspired menu.

Charlie’s Best Bread’s new location is the former Con Pane space in Point Loma.  Con Pane, for those of you who missed it, is now in a spacious new space at Dewey and Historic Decatur Streets (in the same  building complex as Ace Hardware, Tin Fish and Point Loma Sports Bar) with lots and lots and lots of free parking.  It’s a short walk to the park if you want a place to relax with a coffee, sandwich or just a slice of artisan bread.

The just renovated Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant in Old Town San Diego  State Park is destined to be a hit.  Most will know the spot as the former Casa Bandini restaurant.  But oh what a cool place it is now with a second floor of ten hotel rooms and some familiar faces to welcome you for drinks and food.  The proprietor is Joseph Melluso well-known for his Tin Fish restaurants in San Diego and around the country, the chef is Amy DiBiase formerly of Roseville and bar goers will find  Sheila Tracy mixing drinks.  The entire venue is set in the 1870’s, complete with period costumes for the staff and victuals that reflect a modern take on those from earlier times.