Following a month-long lightning-fast makeover, the Enlightened Hospitality Group debuted their fourth Searsucker (the second in San Diego) just in time for opening day at the racetrack.
The interior of what was once Burlap has been thoroughly re-envisioned by the group's designer, Thomas Schoos. Burlap's bold colors have been swapped for a softer, warmer palette and concrete replaced with hardwood flooring; even a few remnants from the recently-shuttered Gingham have been repurposed here. The whole effect is lighter, brighter and more accessible.
Chef/partner Brian Malarkey gave Eater a tour of the new space and acknowledged that Burlap's club-like atmosphere and bar-forward business may have intimidated North County diners. Though chef Anthony Sinsay's food had great merit, Marlarkey conceded that the concept for Burlap was a "poor sophomore effort" on their part. The co-owner of a thoroughbred racehorse, Sir Searsucker, who will run in the eighth race at Del Mar on Friday, Malarkey likened Burlap's debut to a horse that "came out the gate too fast" and says that the group has since learned to be more deliberate with their openings.
Sinsay has since moved on, and stepping into his shoes is new chef de cuisine, Andrew 'Dizzle' Phillips, who's been with the EHGRP since 2010. Though all Searsucker menus have core dishes in common, this outpost will distinguish itself by continuing with their raw bar element and offering stand-alone specials unique to Del Mar. Dining is the focus here; they start brunch service this Sunday and lunch on July 29.
The party scene, which once dominated the dining space, is being encouraged to relocate outdoors, where a redesigned lounge, fire pit area and high-capacity bar await.
· Searsucker [Official Site]
· All Eater Inside Coverage [~ESD~]