Enthusiastically embraced by the South Bay since its 2019 arrival in Imperial Beach, El Pez Kitchen is preparing to open a second location in Barrio Logan where it will be one of the anchors at Los Patios, a new mixed-use development of loft-style apartments and communal outdoor spaces that will also house a third branch of Café Madeleine.
El Pez co-owner Alex Aguayo tells Eater that the National Avenue restaurant, which is currently scheduled to open in September, will offer indoor and outdoor dining and feature a more refined design than the original outpost in Palm Plaza.
Aguayo says that he and co-founder Armando Mondragon, El Pez’s chef, have built their menu on incorporating Japanese and Asian elements into familiar Mexican dishes that they’ve grown up eating, such as an octopus tostada with ancho chile ponzu or a tuna aguachile with togarashi and pickled cucumber.
Other popular dishes that meld Mexican and Japanese cuisine include specialty sushi rolls like the Palm roll, which features imitation crab, shrimp tempura, tuna, avocado, cilantro, and salsa negra, and bowls of ramen enriched with carnitas and chorizo.
Additions to Barrio Logan’s offerings will include fresh oysters dressed with Mexican and Asian flavors, scallops marinated in Maggi sauce, sushi hand rolls, and more sashimi and crudo options. Its bar will serve beer, wine, mocktails, and sochu-based cocktails.