Now open in Rancho Santa Fe – in a recently-remodeled space within the Del Rayo Village Shopping Center – is César tapas bar, which expands to North County from Berkeley where its original restaurant has been in operation for almost two decades.
Owner Richard Mazzera founded the first César next to Berkeley's legendary Chez Panisse, where he was formerly the general manager; frequent trips to Rancho Santa Fe to visit friends inspired Mazzera and his wife/business partner Terumi Shibata-Mazzera to relocate and open an outpost here.
The new space has an outdoor patio, private dining room and a menu changes daily, as the chefs add and remove items depending on the market; the restaurant is just a short distance away from Chino Farm. A just-launched lunch special features three courses for $15; at dinner, paella is a signature dish along with a rotating lineup of seasonal and authentic small tapas plates.
The beverage program ranging from a variety of sherries to a cocktail list that sources produce from Chino Farm. César is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and closed on Tuesdays.