Known for kickstarting the current Korean fried chicken craze in San Diego when it debuted on Convoy Street back in 2017, Cross Street Chicken and Beer just opened its biggest location yet, a 2,600-square-foot indoor/outdoor restaurant on the Cinepolis end of Del Mar Highlands Town Center. This is the third location for its owners, who also operate a small outpost inside Carlsbad’s Windmill Food Hall, but co-founder Tommy Nguyen tells Eater that the new Carmel Valley restaurant represents their original vision for Cross Street. Though the menu will launch with their popular chicken wings and tenders, seasoned with flavorings and sauces ranging from Seoul spicy to soy-garlic and honey butter, they’ll eventually offer a number of traditional Korean dishes including bibimbap and sundubu-jjigae, a tofu soup.
Its extensive beer selection has carried over, but a brand new component is a cocktail list created by Jesse Ross (Sycamore Den, Fernside) that’s built on the classics but brings in distinctly Asian spirits and ingredients, including Oak & Sesame, a spin on an Old Fashioned that employs Japanese whisky and toasted black sesame syrup, and an espresso martini riff on Vietnamese coffee that’s garnished with boba pearls.
Nguyen says that he and his partners are exploring more expansion, including another project in Kearny Mesa and a second story addition to their existing Convoy restaurant.
Cross Street Chicken, 12955 El Camino Real Suite G2, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.