Saffron Thai, which expanded to La Jolla in 2018 and shuttered last October, is set to become a Mexican restaurant and bar called Karina’s Cantina. The long-running Thai eatery, which was founded on India Street by chef and cookbook author Su-Mei Yu in 1985, has been operated since 2016 by the Karina’s Group, which runs the Karina’s locations in Bonita, National City, and Otay Ranch as well as Savoie Italian Eatery.
Karina’s Cantina in La Jolla will be similar to Saffon’s India Street neighbor Karina’s Ceviches & More, which offers a mostly seafood-based menu that includes tacos, burritos, and a large selection of ceviche. The 2,000-square-foot Torrey Pines Road restaurant, which includes a large patio, will have extended food offerings and feature a full cocktail bar. The group tells Eater that it should debut by the end of July, and says that they still hope to open more Saffron locations in the future.