Officially opening today at Viejas Casino & Resort is Willows Hotel & Spa, a newly-built luxury tower, or hotel within a hotel, stacked with 159 suites, additional gaming space and spa facilities ranging from a saltwater pool to a salon and fitness center. The grownups-only addition also includes three new dining options for guests and visitors.
Point Loma firm IGroup Design worked on the entire property, including the three fresh eateries. The 3,896-square-foot signature restaurant, called Locale Kitchen and Lounge, serves lunch and dinner and features an enclosed patio, lounge and bar. Its upscale farm-to-table menu of California cuisine will be lead by executive chef Antonio Votta, who was most recently the executive chef of The MINA Test Kitchen, award-winning chef Michael Mina’s research and development lab; before that, he was the chef de cuisine at Manhattan Beach’s acclaimed MB Post.
Votta is also overseeing Ginger Noodle Bar, a modern Asian eatery. Open all day, the 1,401-square-foot space has both indoor and outdoor seating and offers a menu that ranges from fried lumpia to pho, ramen, Chinese congee, rice and noodle dishes and entrees including lemongrass shrimp and chicken and pork adobo. Willows’ 24-7 cafe, called the Daily Roast, is a casual space for coffee and a grab-and-go bites.