A globe-trotting chef has settled in San Diego for his first solo project, which is headed to a new 3,500-square-foot space in Carmel Valley's The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch complex this April. Belgian-born Pascal Lorange, who has worked in Michelin-starred kitchens in Europe and as a private chef for celebrities and political dignitaries, is best known for helping to develop the national Fig & Olive Restaurant brand, overseeing the menu as its executive chef and launching locations across the country.
After 10 years with the company, Lorange is striking out on his own with Crudo Restaurant, a Mediterranean-inspired concept that combines his European training and experience with flavors picked up from his world travels. As its name suggests, Crudo will center around raw dishes, including carpaccio and sashimi. The menu will source local ingredients and be almost entirely gluten-free, with lots of vegan and vegetarian options, but will also include housemade pasta, meat and seafood, including the chef's sushi-inspired fusion rice rolls with fillings that range from foie gras and smoked duck breast to spicy sesame and white balsamic-seasoned tuna. Rice is also the based of "pressed sushi" and "crostini" topped with everything from short ribs and gorgonzola to salmon, avocado and herb tapenade. If Crudo's a hit, look for Lorange to potentially open more locations and other concepts in San Diego.