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Spain and California Converge at North Park’s Lively New Tapas and Wine Bar

Finca also houses a carefully curated bottle shop

A fresh point of view on a traditional tapas bar touches down in North Park on Thursday, February 8 with the arrival of Finca. Named after the Spanish word for a rural property or ranch, the 90-seat restaurant lands across from Tribute Pizza, anchoring a new building that sits on what was once a citrus farm.

Partners Dan Valerino and Joe Bower also operate Bottle Boon, a local hospitality management company that runs Green Acre and Casa Campus Point. The duo met while working at Juniper & Ivy, forming a fast friendship when Valerino served as its general manager and Bower as sous chef. Joining them to launch Finca is veteran restaurateur Ricardo Dondisch.

Spanning a 16-seat patio, 14-seat bar, and an open kitchen, the 3,000-square-foot restaurant’s airy dining room is decorated with art created by Bower’s brother Patrick and Dondisch’s wife Gabriela.

Finca has also brought a new bottle shop to the neighborhood, stocked exclusively with Spanish and California wines made from grapes that have been farmed organically. In addition to recommending bottles to guests, Valerino plans on sharing his zest for wine through a monthly wine club whose members will receive perks like free tastings and dedicated events.

From a shared climate to a similarly convivial style of dining, parallels between Spain and California are the through-line that informs Finca right down to Bower’s dishes, which are the chef’s answer to classic tapas using SoCal produce, a global pantry, and a bit of whimsy. His mostly small plates menu includes a take on patatas bravas, brightened with a spicy chile pepper crema, as well as grilled sunchokes with gochujang, duck confit croquettes, and roasted cauliflower in a cream infused with miso and popcorn. There are a few larger entrees, along with baller bites like fried chicken with caviar and a jamon iberico sandwich that will be offered as a decadent late-night snack.

To fuel the fun, Finca hopes that groups will start their meals with a round of housemade Spanish-style vermouth before moving on to wine or perhaps a porron filled with sangria. Bar pro Cory Alberto (U.S. Grant) has also created a selection of low ABV cocktails that includes sherry with house agave tonic and the Andalucia All Nighter, a lower octane version of an espresso martini made with Pedro Ximénez, espresso, and arbequina olive brine.

Serving dinner with weekend lunch coming soon, Finca will open its bottle shop at noon.

Patatas bravas.
New York strip tataki.
Smoked trout.
Crispy chicken skins.

Fried chicken and caviar.
Roasted cauliflower.
Grilled hanger steak.

Finca Menu


3805 Grim Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104

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