RMD Group (Side Bar, Rustic Root, Volcano Rabbit) is now revealing the first phase of its grand plans for the 15,000-square-foot, multilevel building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and J Street that it took over earlier this year. The ground floor of the former Grand Pacific Hotel, whose roots date back to the late 1880s, will undergo a seriously swanky transformation, reemerging in Spring 2019 as Huntress, a 7,000-square-foot luxury steakhouse and hub for Japanese whisky.
At the helm is executive chef James Montejano, a native San Diegan who cooked at Aqua in San Francisco and the Michelin-starred Michael Mina before returning to San Diego where his notable posts have included La Jolla’s La Valencia, and most recently, Seaside Market in Cardiff. Huntress will dry-aged its meats in house; its steak selections will include a 45-day dry-aged porterhouse and A5 Japanese wagyu. Other luxe menu items range from a caviar parfait to a lobster trio of lobster citrus avocado salad, lobster grilled cheese, and sunchoke cauliflower lobster soup, and a scallop and foie gras tasting featuring day boat scallop, foie gras torchon, duck prosciutto, and kumquat and port wine reduction. Huntress is also endeavoring to have the largest collection of Japanese whisky in Southern California, with more than 60 rare bottles featured. The venue plans to offer special tasting menus with whisky flights or wine pairings, as well as wine and whisky-themed events.
The main dining room will have a central marble bar, with interior design group Davis, Ink, who worked with RMD Group on FLUXX, Rustic Root, and Side Bar, crafting style elements that include a wall made up of framed butcher knives, a floor-to-ceiling wine display, and a custom-designed glass chandelier. Huntress will also have a mezzanine area with additional seating and its own bar that will showcase its whisky collection. A catwalk overlooking the dining area will add drama, as will a private table for wine tasting and dining that will be cantilevered above the restaurant entrance.
The building’s third floor will function as a private dining and event space called the Grand Pacific Room as a nod to its history. And an as yet unannounced concept will be dropping into the venue’s rooftop.