The freshly-opened Salt & Whiskey brings a welcome food and beverage reboot to the Gaslamp’s longstanding Horton Grand Hotel. Its Victorian-inspired whiskey temple, the gleaming mahogany Palace Bar, has a new menu that features whiskey-forward drinks and holds more than 500 varieties in its whiskey cabinets. A 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. happy hour, available Sunday though Thursday, offers $2 off drinks and bar bites.
The recent refresh now seamlessly connects the lobby bar to the restaurant’s dining room, which extends into an open air, tree-shaded courtyard that’s ripe for leisurely brunching. In the kitchen is chef Aaron Thomas, who recently cooked at The Rancho Bernardo Inn’s Avant restaurant. The Welsh-born chef is doing Welsh rarebit, as well as a riff on fish and chips and English breakfast, and says he plans to add more British comfort classics once the weather finally cools down. Thomas tells Eater that his menu is upscale but straightforward, aiming to be a dynamic and seasonal spot designed to attract neighborhood residents and create a new downtown dining destination. The draw is sweetened with live entertainment, hosted Thursday through Saturday evenings. .