San Diego and the greater food world at-large is waiting with curiosity and anticipation for Brian Malarkey to unveil his next local restaurant, a separate project from his "Fabric of Social Dining" expansion deal with the Hakkasan Group, with whom the celeb chef recently opened another Herringbone in Santa Monica.
With longtime business partner Chris Puffer, Malarkey is joining the already-hopping restaurant scene on Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy, anchored ably by Kettner Exchange, Javier Plascencia's Bracero and the neighboring Juniper & Ivy led by fellow Top Chef vet Richard Blais. Malarkey and Puffer are designing the 12,000-square-foot project with support from architect Mark Bausback.
The new market and restaurant, previously announced as Eatery Green and Sea Salt & The Herb Box, will now collectively be called The Herb Shop. The family-friendly, grab-n-go or dine-in Herb & Eatery cafe and market will occupy a third of the space with an entrance off Kettner. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, the cafe will serve breakfast tartines, salads, soups, paninis and other prepared foods in addition to cold-brewed coffee and kombucha on tap; the market portion will have an on-site butcher and sell produce, herbs, olive oils and wine plus charcuterie, cheese and packaged gourmet foods like housemade tapenade and jam.
The West Ivy side of the corner building will be the front entry for the full-service Herb & Wood, Malarkey's 11th restaurant. Open for dinner nightly and brunch on Saturday and Sunday, it will serve a wood-fired menu of roasted vegetables, meats and wild caught seafood in an open-air dining room designed in grey marble and polished wood that will include a living herb wall and an edible plant and flower-filled garden/outdoor patio. Though it was originally scheduled to debut in late September, The Herb Shop will open around December 1.