Mendocino Farms’s sixteenth location launches today in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center; the new 4,000-square-foot fast-casual eatery spans two spaces in the complex which formerly housed Carnitas’ Snack Shack and Nekter Juice Bar. Last year, founders Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen entered the local market with an outpost in The Shops at La Jolla Village and plan to eventually operate five stores in the San Diego area.
Their fresh and fashionable dining concept should be a swell fit for the North County community. Created in collaboration with Bluemotif Architecture and VANROOY Creative Group, the breezy bohemian-styled dining room with 25-foot living wall and sits adjacent to a spacious patio that features family-friendly elements ranging from a cornhole court and foosball table to a chalkboard wall and garden playground.
Mendocino Farms’ menu is full of healthy eats; its new summer offerings include a BLT made with organic local heirloom tomatoes, a Cuban sandwich that features house smoked meat, and the fan favorite Pork Belly Banh Mi. Besides gourmet sandwiches, the counter-service eatery also serves up soupr and salads made with seasonal ingredients. Chef Andrew Bachelier from Carlsbad’s Campfire contributed a Smoked Carrot Salad recipe, made with Scarborough Farms arugula, hickory house smoked heirloom carrots, sugar snap peas, pickled red onion, everything bagel crunch spice, sheep’s milk carrot yogurt and carrot top pesto vinaigrette, with sales from the salad going towards the Encinitas Unified School District Farm Lab.
This location will also have small batch soft-serve ice cream from Chef Shiho Yoshikawa of Sweet Rose Creamery (Rustic Canyon Family of Restaurants), offered in vanilla bean gelato, chocolate custard or swirled, and also featured in decadent sundaes. And there are eight local craft beers on draft, plus more in bottles, along with four wines on tap. Mendocino Farms Del Mar is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.