Perched above Prospect Street is a new 170-seat restaurant with a large outdoor patio that gazes upon downtown La Jolla's main artery; now soft open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch is Leña Craft Mexican. Andre Lomeli runs the restaurant with his parents, Christina and Rosendo; Rosendo oversees the kitchen while Christina helps run the front of house and sources ingredients for the menu.
The Lomeli's and their extended family are all restaurant veterans, and Lena's dishes are based on family recipes from regions ranging from the Yucatan to Oaxaca and Mexico City. Dedicated to transparent and thoughtful sourcing of ingredients, from sustainable meats to local seafood and seasonal produce, the kitchen brings in Mexican cheese from an artisan producer in Oregon and fresh masa ground from heirloom, non-GMO corn for its tortillas and a Oaxacan flatbread called tlayuda. Their "eco-gastronomy" philosophy even extends to the cocktail list, with ingredients that include organic small-batch vodka, liqueur from the Yucatan and housemade tepache, a fermented beverage made from pineapples.