As we went to press, I received a communiqué from Chef Johnson informing me about his latest venture, a concept heretofore unseen in San Diego (or just about anywhere), called A Simple Supper. He'll be offering invitation-only communal dining experiences featuring one-time-only menus at locations that change every time. To keep informed and jockey for seats at Johnson’s dinner table, check out asimplesupper.com and keep abreast of developments via twitter.com/asimplesupper.
Where To Now? Here are the best in San Diego at doing what Red Velvet did best.
Tasting Menu: Mercy of the chef at NINE-TEN in La Jolla. Chef Jason Knibb has one of those à la carte menus on which just about everything sounds appealing and choosing is difficult. Take the weight off your shoulders and let him hit you with his best shot. 910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, 858-964-5400, nine-ten.com
Rare Ingredients: Paul McCabe, the exec chef at L’Auberge Del Mar’s Kitchen 1540 has spent the last six months working up a catalog of over 200 dishes, many built around lesser-seen proteins (fish livers, abalone, offal), produce and herbs. 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858-793-6460, laubergedelmar.com/kitchen1540
Esoteric Wine List: The vibe at Wet Stone Wine Bar in Bankers Hill is a lot more laid-back, and the prices are lower than Red Velvet’s ever were, but there’s just as much variety. Exploration of rare grapes from around the world is a joy at this zen urban hideaway. 1927 Fourth Avenue, Downtown, 619-255-2856, wetstonewinebar.com ■