Softly open in place of the short-lived Char House in Kearny Mesa is Trade Winds Tavern, a new gastropub with an Asian-inspired bar food menu. Owners Huynh and Sylvia Le co-founded SipZ Vegetarian Restaurant more than 15 years ago, which now has locations in Clairemont Mesa and North Park; the couple is operating Trade Winds with Rachel Botting, an industry vet and military spouse who is a former GM of SipZ.
A grad of the Culinary Institute of America, executive chef Le once worked at the legendary, now-shuttered Ubuntu Restaurant, a vegetarian temple in Napa Valley. For Trade Winds’ food offerings, he collaborated with chef-consultant Krizpin Oades, a fellow CIA alum who worked alongside chef/icon Roy Yamaguchi for over 15 years.
Currently open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, the restaurant is serving a soft opening menu that will be expanded to include specials and separate lunch items as it settles in. For now, there’s everything from chicken wings and pork belly buns to Japanese mushroom gyoza, Vietnamese pho and Hawaiian loco moco. On the drinks side, the bar is pouring from a hefty number of craft beer taps, plus wine and soju cocktails.
Trade Winds Tavern is planning to host a grand opening celebration on Saturday March 4, with a raffle and a giveaway; the first 200 patrons that day who purchase a beer and a small plate will receive a “Golden Ticket” that allows the holder to purchase unlimited beers for $3 each for the next three months.