Point Loma Eater readers asked us to look into Seaside Pho + Grill, which has taken over the corner spot that once housed Gabardine, one of the shuttered "Fabric of Social Dining" concepts from the Brian Malarkey empire. Gabardine's signs are finally coming down to make way for Seaside's soft opening this Sunday, September 13. The restaurant will initially just be open for lunch, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with half-off appetizers; normal operating hours, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., will begin after their grand opening, scheduled for Friday, September 18.
Owner Thuy Nguyen and her family once owned and operated a popular Vietnamese bakery in San Diego; coming off a successful career as an engineer, Nguyen decided to re-enter the food industry when she noticed a lack of slightly more upscale yet still affordable Vietnamese restaurants. Though she first searched in the North County coastal area for a location, she ultimately settled on this spot in the La Playa neighborhood where she could contribute to Point Loma's growing dining scene.
A few cosmetic changes have been made to the interior of the 3,000-square-foot space but the main addition has been a new, dog-friendly sidewalk patio. Seaside Pho + Grill will be a full-service Asian bistro with a focus on modern and authentic Vietnamese cuisine; Nguyen has staffed her kitchen with Vietnamese chefs who each have over 20 years of culinary experience. There will be different varieties of pho in a housemade beef and chicken bone broth, banh mi made with baguettes delivered from a local bakery and protein-topped noodle salads that include organic greens. Signature entrees will range from classic bo kho, a beef stew with star anise, to a lemongrass rubbed pork porterhouse and bo luc lac, wok-seared Vietnamese "shaking beef" made with filet mignon. Appetizers run from chicken satay skewers to garlic noodles with shrimp and her father's recipe for fried wings tossed in lime and garlic butter; snack-sized versions of some starters will be $2 during the 3 to 6 p.m. daily happy hour, when select craft beers from their 16 taps will be $5. With her bakery background, Nguyen is overseeing all the desserts, which include a not-too-sweet coconut flan.
Vanguard Resource Group's Jose-Carlos Bravo said, "Seaside Pho will be an excellent addition to the Point Loma restaurant community, which has been underrepresented in this type of food; it'll combine the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine with craft beer, which is win/win combination for San Diego."