High five, Little Italy. You've scored a hot new project from chef Javier Plascencia which is headed to Ariel Suites, a new high-rise tower at the corner of Kettner and Beech (1490 Kettner Boulevard).
In his January Eater Interview, Plascencia revealed a desire to open more local restaurants, telling us that his next eatery would be "street food-oriented, nothing too formal". Though this project will have its own unique focus, we're hearing that it'll be influenced by some of the chef's existing, well-regarded restaurants, including Romesco in Bonita, Tijuana's Erizo Baja Fish House & Market and Finca Altozano in the Valle de Guadalupe.
The yet-unnamed concept will occupy a 4,800-square-foot corner space with two levels for dining; Location Matters also leased spots in the building to Hanson's Market, a natural foods store, and Pan Bon, a bi-level Italian bakery/café and fine dining restaurant.
Luis Pena, who runs Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro, will also be the co-proprietor here. He tells Eater that the layout will be similar to Romesco, which has both a more formal dining room and casual tapas bar. The bottom level of the Little Italy space will likely be for casual, daytime eating while the upstairs level will feature more upscale dinner service; an open kitchen component, a bar and outdoor seating are planned for both levels.
Pena shared that the menu will be modern Mexican, running the gamut from small plates to larger entrees and family-style shareable platters, with a beverage program that'll highlight Baja wine and Mexican spirits. Jaime Partners (Puesto, Comun Kitchen & Tavern) is overseeing the buildout and aiming for a February/March opening.
· Javier Plascencia Says He'll Open More Local Restaurants [~ESD~]
· All Expansionwire Coverage on Eater [~ESD~]