The second phase of Swagyu has been activated in Pacific Beach, where chef Steve Brown has launched dinner and brunch at his casual, counter-service burger bar. Fueled by the in-house butcher shop, the restaurant is now cooking up a range of wagyu beef cuts — from a 12-ounce American strip steak to a 20-ounce Japanese ribeye — that ring in at just 20 percent above the shop’s retail prices and come with house kimchi and either peppercorn sauce, soy glaze, or wasabi creme fraiche. In addition to his signature smashburger, the dinner menu includes hanger steak-stuffed steamed buns and grilled skewers of A5 Japanese wagyu. Swagyu’s Sunday brunch, which may soon extend to more days of the week, features A5 wagyu chicken fried steak and chilaquiles topped with wagyu birria.
Brown, who is running his 12-course wagyu tasting dinners in the space every other Saturday, is prepping to grow the Swagyu brand starting in Poway where he opened a Swagyu Chop Shop earlier this year. In six weeks, the butcher shop will be moving into a nearby space and expanding to offer Swagyu burgers while the original spot will shutter to the public and become the shipping center for a his new nationwide wagyu beef delivery business.
And the chef has signed a lease in Encinitas to turn the former Schooner Station Pizzeria (481 Santa Fe Drive) into another full-fledged Swagyu that will span a butcher shop, bar, and steakhouse. It’s currently scheduled to be completed in early 2022.