Bart Mendoza 5 a.m., Dec. 8
The name Coulon is well known among long-time San Diego dining enthusiasts. The family has been delivering exceptional cuisine to locals for over a quarter century, starting decades ago at The Belgian Lion, an OB restaurant that shined exceptionally bright in an age when most of SD's largely lackluster and chain-stained dining scene left much to be desired. That venue was more than a mom-and-pop operation. It was a full-on family affair that built the chops of the entire clan.
Proof of that came several years ago when, after her parents retired and closed The Belgian Lion, Michele Coulon, opened her own businesses in La Jolla. Michele Coulon Dessertier has since earned a reputation as one the top spots for sweets in the county. Shortly after the debut of Michele's culinary contribution to the San Diego scene, her son Nathan Coulon struck out on his own as a chef-partner at Bankers Hill's since-closed Modus Supper Club before moving on to take the exec chef job at the then Ivy Hotel's Quarter Kitchen. A 2007 James Beard Foundation Rising Star nominee, he's since taken his talents north to Newport Beach's True Food Kitchen.
There's is a rich family history that's about to get another chapter added on thanks to Nathan's cousin, Anne-Marie Coulon. Young and inspired by the quality and availability of local ingredients, she's working on opening her own restaurant after cutting her teeth at Michele Coulon Dessertier and refining her skills by opening her own business, Heirloom Catering.
Her original plan was to stay close to her family's center by choosing an available spot in Ocean Beach. The only problem is there isn't a multitude of viable places for her to vie for and she's much smaller and less formidable in comparison to the larger businesses itching to get a foothold in SD's last bastion for non-brand-name neighborhood joints. Fortunately for Anne-Marie and Coulon fans, the pop-up dining trend will afford her the ability to preview the style of food she will be putting out in the future.
She's teamed up with friends at OB's Java Jungle, to put on a one-night pop-up affair on November 3 where she'll take over their outside seating area and serve up three courses of what she terms "farm to beach to table" cuisine made using ingredients procured from new local producers, Griffin Farm. The menu will include baked goat cheese with farm-fresh greens, beef tenderloin with chile mole pommes frites and a fall fruit gallette topped with caramel ice cream. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and the cost per person, inclusive of wine, is $45. Java Jungle is located at 5047 Newport Avenue.
Welcome to the Jungle...Java that is. The outdoor area at OB's Jungle Java will be transformed in the style above when the venue plays host to a pop-up restaurant put on by cher Anne-Marie Coulon on November 3.