San Diego is known for more than respectable hotel dining, and one of the city’s longest-standing hotel restaurants just emerged from a 20-month remodel. After operating a temporary restaurant out of a ballroom for the last six months, Arterra Restaurant and Lounge is back with an all new look and a fresh menu as part of a revamp of the San Diego Marriott Del Mar that included a redo of all its guest rooms.
Opened in 2002, the 17-year-old restaurant was founded by James Beard Award-winning chef Bradley Ogden and renowned local chef Carl Schroeder, who ran the kitchen at Arterra prior to launching Market Restaurant + Bar in Del Mar. For the past five year, the executive chef has been San Diego native Evan Cruz, an alum of San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy who has held positions with Roy’s La Jolla, Pacifica Del Mar, and the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Sushi master Andrew Hoh presides over the sushi bar, which is part of the restaurant’s circular cocktail bar.
A few holdover dishes remain, including the shishito peppers, emapanadas, ribs, and truffle-parmesan fries, which are favorites of neighborhood locals and area regulars who frequent Arterra’s happy hour to wait out out rush hour traffic, but the rest of the menu is brand new. Starters include fresh-based Parker House rolls, a beef tenderloin tartare with roasted bone marrow, and soft-shell crab with coconut curry sauce while entrees range from a 36-ounced aged tomahawk steak to scallops with sea beans, peach, carrot, and yuzu, and a bone-in short rib dish inspired by a summer barbecue that’s served with corn pudding and warm potato salad.