StreetCar Merchants’ swift transition into Parachute Brunch & Supper Room earlier this month was an equally whirlwind experience for new executive chef/partner Matthew Cranert. He was originally hired by StreetCar’s owners to help reposition their menu in La Jolla, but they ended up handing over the 200-seat space to Cranert to operate independently while they focus on the Southern-inspired eatery’s expansion into the Gaslamp.
The chef and his family recently moved to La Jolla after nine years in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he ran an Asian gastropub in the city’s rebounding Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and most recently cooked at the 2017 James Beard Awards-nominated Mita’s. An alum of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, the chef has been in the kitchen since his teens, growing up between Northern California and Hawaii.
Thought there are still fried chicken and doughnuts (now made-to-order) offered, Cranert would rather Parachute be known for its full range of flavorful and eclectic dishes, served at brunch and dinner daily, that include grilled peach salad, confit duck wings, ahi poke, foie gras and whole branzino. He says that he wants the restaurant to be first and foremost a local’s hangout and plans to feature San Diego-sourced ingredients on the seasonal menu; look for a craft cocktail program to be added soon.