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Major Italian Player Lavo Lands in the Gaslamp Quarter

The restaurant replaces Searsucker on Fifth Avenue

Restaurant dining room with plants and large circular booths. Ryan Forbes

Lavo San Diego officially debuts on Tuesday, June 14 but reservations have just gone live for this latest restaurant to hit the Gaslamp. The 235-seat space with soaring 15-foot ceilings has been remodeled since its last resident, Fifth Avenue stalwart Searsucker, and is now under the umbrella of Tao Group Hospitality, which also operates Herringbone in La Jolla and a staggering number of restaurants and nightlife venues across the U.S. and abroad.

With locations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, and Singapore, Lavo is the group’s Italian entry. The San Diego outpost has an open kitchen, a dining room filled with generously-sized banquettes and decorated with custom designs by artist Peter Tunney, and a three-side bar set up for sports-watching along with a sidewalk patio decked out in live plants from North Park Nursery.

Restaurant awning over sidewalk patio. Ryan Forbes
A large square cocktail bar with bottles on hanging shelves. Ryan Forbes
Colorful mirrors on a wall behind large restaurant booths. Ryan Forbes

Lavo’s known for some over-the-top dishes, from a one-pound wagyu meatball to a 20-layer chocolate cake with peanut butter mascarpone filling, and a fancy vodka martini that comes with a “bump” of golden Osetra caviar, but the menu from chief culinary officer Ralph Scamardella is is also grounded in classic Italian and Italian-American dishes, from brick oven pizzas to pasta dishes like truffle-topped ricotta cavatelli and seafood capellini, as well as chicken marsala, eggplant parmesan and bone-in veal chops.

A knife prepares to cut into a large meatball.
Wagyu meatball.
A plate of pasta covered in shaved truffles.
Truffle ricotta cavatelli.
Pasta with clams and shrimp.
Capellini Di Mare.

Lavo San Diego

611 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101