It’s finally Friday, which means it’s almost time to clock-off and get those weekend vibes started. No plans yet? No problem! Eater's here with a handy set of recommendations to assist in your dining destination decision-making. In this new regular feature, we'll help you discover recently-opened restaurants and uncover new-to-you bars and eateries (plus occasional new chef and menu debuts) specializing in everything from Friday happy hour cocktails through to Sunday brunch, so you can make the most of that well-earned downtime.
Supper Club Sophistication: Blue Point Coastal Cuisine
While a decision on a proposed second location on North Harbor Drive is still pending, the recent addition of Samuel Geffroy as executive chef - and the launch of his brand new elevated seafood-focused menu- at this Gaslamp staple has just been announced. A former instructor at the San Diego Culinary Institute, Geffroy promises to bring classic French techniques, plus a wealth of fine dining experience from restaurants across Europe, to the fore at his new tenure with the Cohn Restaurant Group. Must-try new dishes include wild Chilean sea bass with cilantro jasmine rice piquillo and Provençal vegetable chutney in a curry kaffir lime sauce; and Spanish Octopus ‘Duo’ with Swiss chard fondant with tomato confit caper crostini and sauce vierge. 565 5th Ave. (619) 233-6623
[photo: Cohn Restaurant Group]
Upscale Eclectic: Counterpoint
This neighborhood favorite is also adding a notable new name to its kitchen in the form of executive chef Fred Keller. A New Orleans native, Keller brings experience from Michelin-starred Napa restaurant Martini House and Chicago’s Roka Akor to Golden Hill, where his seasonally inspired new menu emphasizes freshly sourced seafood, vegetables and housemade pasta. New standouts include short rib pasta with braised short rib and lemon poppyseed béchamel ($13), and pan seared yellowtail with green onion hush puppy fritters and sautéed bok choy, topped with watermelon radish, fennel and micro green salad in lemongrass broth ($18). 830 25th St. (619) 564-6722
Award Winning Tacos: ¡Salud!
From popular catering company to brick-and-mortar transplant, ¡SALUD! has continued to win friends and influence tastebuds since opening in Barrio Logan earlier this year. Made with hand-pressed tortillas, Ernie Becerra’s delicious "new traditional" tacos ($2.50 each) come stuffed with fillings like al pastor, fried fish, carne asada and sautéed vegetables. Weekend menu specials include ceviche and four jumbo rolled tacos (both $6) on Fridays, and traditional Mexican menudo ($6) on Saturdays. Filled with egg, chorizo, bacon, avocado and queso, why not save the best ‘til last with a well-earned (or much-needed) breakfast taco ($4) on Sunday. 2196 Logan Ave. (619) 255-3856
Beats & Bites: Music Box
Not only does San Diego’s newest live music venue host a weekly roster of rock, pop, Latin, bluegrass and R&B acts, it also serves up a casual food component too. Courtesy of Best Beverage Catering diners can enjoy an eclectic mix of snacks and shareable plates before, during, and after each show. Expect cocktails on tap, plus bar food staples like garlic French fries, tacos, burgers, and more. Night owls can stay for post encore "In the Midnight Hour", which offers a late night menu and drink specials. This Friday (for a $5 cover) catch Creature In The Woods, Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact, The Midnight Pine, and Birdy Bardot from 8 p.m. onwards. 1337 India St. (619) 795-1337
[photo: Bradley Schweit]
Perfect Pan Dulce: Panchita’s Bakery
,Golden Hill, Barrio Logan and City Heights the long-awaited North Park outpost finally opened earlier this spring. Although extensive, the panaderia selection is really just the tip of the iceberg – fish specials like locally caught bluefin tuna and sea bass adorn the menu, along with all the usual suspects like tacos, burritos, quesadillas and empanadas. 3803 32nd St. (619) 255-5498