Debuting downtown this month is the first San Diego venture from a well-known Los Angeles-based boutique hotel brand that’ll add a French-inflected dining option to the Gaslamp. Founder Avi Brosh, who operates 10 Palisociety hotels — mostly in LA and the West Coast — and four Arrive by Palisociety properties, has turned the historic St. James Hotel on Sixth Avenue into Palihotel San Diego, whose 122 rooms will be stocked with trendy amenities like Diptyque bath products and Smeg mini-fridges.
The hotel is opening in mid-May while a May 25 arrival is set for Saint James French Diner, its 40-seat, all-day restaurant anchor created by Palisociety Dining Group and its executive chef Casey Lane, who developed the brand’s Italian trattoria at its hotel in Silver Lake as well as a Japanese pub inside its West Hollywood location. The new San Diego establishment is a spin-off of Simonette, which opened in 2018 at the Palihotel Culver City.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saint James offers a menu that melds American diner culture with French bistro classics with dishes ranging from French onion soup and steak tartare to cod en papillote and a Parisian-style burger topped with caramelized onions and sauce bordelaise. Its weekend brunch features snacks like oysters and radishes and butter along with heartier plates like moules frites and croque madames.
Lane is also doing the menu for the hotel’s rooftop deck, the site of a daily social hour with small bites and drinks that are only accessible to guests.