Good Time Design, the group behind a fleet of downtown food and drink spots, including 7th Avenue's Block No. 16 Union & Spirits, Lucky's Lunch Counter and Bub's at the Ballpark (their massive Moonshine Flats, a Southern Rock dance joint, is opening in 2013) is just about a week away from popping the lid off their newest venture, The Blind Burro, opening on the corner at 7th and J.
It's more of a full-fledged restaurant than any of their previous projects, so managing partner Frank Miller brought on Executive Chef Sara Polczynski, who's had the good fortune of joining Latin cuisine guru and Chef Rick Bayless on two culinary expeditions to Mexico, to design the menu,. Polczynski's most recent Bayless trip was to Baja, and many of the dishes she had on her travels have made it onto The Blind Burro's faithful Baja menu, including a tomato and shrimp broth-based seafood cocktail and the spicy chili and sesame seed salsa macha that tops grilled skirt steak. Seafood's featured prominently, from whole roasted fish to calamari tortas (made with bread from a local Mexican bakery), smoked tuna taquitos and a chili-tomato mariscos stew.
The Good Time guys are nightlife pros, so the drink list is well-curated too: flights of mezcal and top shelf tequila, wine from the Guadalupe Valley's L.A. Cetto and beer from Mexicali's Cucapa, along with a rotating roster of chili-infused brews from locals Stone Brewing Co. and Ballast Point, and a bunch of specialty drinks, including two on tap — a seasonal fruit sangria and a smoky tequila-spiked cocktail with grilled jalapeno, pineapple and lime.
Miller also gave Eater San Diego a peek at the in-progress Cat Eye Club, a 50-person speakeasy that'll adjoin The Blind Burro. Opening by New Year's Eve, the bar will focus on the classics — champagne cocktails, straight spirits — all set to a R&B and Motown soundtrack.