Nick’s, the Orange County transplant that’s become one of the busiest dining destinations at restaurant and retail complex One Paseo, is expanding next door with the first San Diego area location of South of Nick’s, its Mexican restaurant brand.
It’s replacing International Smoke, the global barbecue spot backed by celebrity chef Michael Mina and cookbook author/TV host Ayesha Curry, which closed in February 2022 after less than three years in operation.
Founded in 2008 in Laguna Beach, Nick’s has seven branches south of Pasadena, including a recently opened outpost at State Street Commons in Carlsbad. While Nick’s puts a California spin on comfort food, South of Nick’s features a SoCal Mexican menu at its existing locations in San Clemente and Laguna Beach.
There’s shared starters like queso fundido and filet mignon taquitos as well as Mexican soups, salads, seafood dishes such as shrimp diablo and fish tacos, and plates of carnitas, enchiladas, and more to pair with a lengthy list of cocktails centered around agave spirits and flights of sipping tequilas.
South of Nick’s is currently scheduled to open at One Paseo by late fall.