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Indigo Grill Gets a Top-to-Bottom Renewal in Little Italy

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[Photos: Mike Newton]

It's a whole new world at Indigo Grill. After a dozen years in Little Italy, the Cohn Restaurant Group just completed a thorough retooling of the eatery, which soft opened this past weekend on India Street.

The changes in the landmark restaurant's look first appear in the new entryway that was inspired by the sights and colors of South America, a country that's intimately familiar to the world traveling Philippe Beltran, who designed the Ocean Beach and La Mesa BO-beau restaurants for the group and is behind the fresh visuals here.

In the modernized blue-tinted bar with communal tables, there's a new beverage program with 24 beer taps, wine and a cocktail program that features cachaça, pisco, and rum; daily "social hours" that hit both in the late afternoon and from 10 p.m. until close includes $6 cocktails, $6 select wines, $5 local draft beer, $5 well drinks and $6 bites.

There are new seating nooks, including a sleek "white room" and a sunken cove, that connect the bar to the main dining area, which faces the open kitchen and is supposed to recall a Mexican hacienda. Outside, an expanded patio features an open corner with a fire pit that leads into an industrial, glass-fronted eating space along Cedar.

At the helm is chef Jason Maitland (Arterra, Flavor Del Mar), whose "Modern Latin" menu reflects his dedication for whole animal cookery - from fried pig ears to tamarind-jalapeno pig tails - and the "social dining" trend. Plates, from Peruvian-style cebiche to skewered meats, are designed for sharing. Maitland collaborated on the overhauled menu with the CRG's exec chef/partner Deborah Scott, whose classics from the Indigo Grill menu, including her nut-crusted brie and "skirts on fire" steak dish, survived the change.

Indigo Grill Menu

Indigo Grill [Official Site]