Eater is hotly anticipating the debut of the new The Hake Kitchen & Bar, scheduled to officially open its Prospect Street doors to the public early next week.
Managing partner Ricardo Dondisch gave us a in-process tour of his below street level space on La Jolla's main drag. A seasoned restaurateur, Dondisch owns several Mexico City restaurants (Puntarena, Marentino, Primos and Sobrinos) in partnership with chefs/cookbook authors Federico Rigoletti and Roberto Craig, who collaborated on the menu here.
The owners hope that The Hake Kitchen & Bar will hit all the right notes in terms of food, atmosphere and service that'll be equally appealing to local discerning diners and pleasure-seeking tourists.
The 3,400-square-foot subterranean restaurant has been throughly transformed into a contemporary brasserie that feels both modern and timeless, an uncluttered space of white marble, wood, metal and mirrors. It'll seat approximately 150 diners, both inside and out, at a mix of bistro four-tops, communal tables and bar perches.
Similar to their Mexico City eateries, The Hake will focus on fresh seafood with Mediterranean, Latin American and Asian influences. Dondisch said that about 65% of the menu will be sourced from the sea.
The intended-to-be-shared list includes snacks (cured ham croquettes, tuna tostada with ponzu scallion marinade) and variety of tiraditos, lightly-dressed raw seafood preparations that range from octopus with yuzu, chili paste and house cured pickles and to sea scallop simply seasoned with sea salt and olive oil. From the selection of larger plates, there's Portuguese soup of poached seafood in a white wine broth with cilantro garlic pesto and broiled shrimp with smoked Spanish paprika and lime. If you prefer your proteins land-based, there's a Berkshire pork chop with apples, potatoes and endive and the brasserie staple, steak frites.
Though founding chefs Federico Rigoletti and Roberto Craig will be overseeing the menu, chef Lionel de Leon will be holding down the San Diego kitchen.
The Hake also promises to have the largest, and best, assortment of mezcal in town, in addition to a well-curated wine list, local beer and craft and classic cocktails.
· The Hake Kitchen & Bar [Official Site]
· All Plywood Reports on Eater [~ESD~]