• Food Gossip alerts

No surprise that Jai is closing -- heard rumors a month ago. The woodsy, out-of-the-way campus location was enchanting to me, but apparently not to La Jollans. Its last night will be this Saturday. This was Wolfgang Puck's second attempt at a San Diego restaurant. The first try was a cafe in one of those brutal malls along Route 8, a location for the shop-weary peckish rather than the fine "becque-ish" who might seek something Puckish. (Hey, Wolfie, come back and try again, just get some local advisor to find the right neighborhood for you -- no, don't look at me, I don't know nothin' about birthin' babies or restaurants) As for the wonderfully artistic chef of Jai:-- Sayonara, and arigata for some excellent food.

La Jolla Rancherita has also gone under, best known for doing local lobster in season better than most of the joints in Puerto Nuevo.

But the astonishment of the week: Trattoria Acqua, long one of the area's most popular Italian restaurants (and with a great LJ Cove location) has also gone down the tubes. -- oh, don't ask why. Perhaps owner Mike McGreath is retiring -- far as I know, this is his last extant restaurant. McGreath also founded the late Fio's, one of the first Italian restaurants in the Gaslamp, and several others before that -- including one where he claims that his chef created the now-ubiquitous SoCal-Mex dish of grilled stuffed prawns wrapped in bacon. (Don't know that one's name, it was before I was born.) Then, too, the disastrous failure of little-sister restaurant Sophia (in the Aventine) four years ago surely left a huge pothole in the company wallet.

  • Food Gossip alerts

Comments

SDaniels March 10, 2010 @ 12:49 a.m.

Yay, "Food Gossip," with Naomi at the helm!

Late last year, we called Jai for reservations for dinner before a play at La Jolla Playhouse, and were told they were booked for a week and a half solid. We were told to try our luck later in the month, and to remember to reserve a couple of weeks in advance. So...it was a surprise to hear.

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PuckPR March 11, 2010 @ 10:49 p.m.

The notice of JAI closing is INCORRECT! The restaurant is open on performance dates, as well as for special events and catering. Reservations available for performance dates at www.OpenTable.com. (submitted by WPC management)

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alyssa March 13, 2010 @ 11:17 p.m.

The good news is that what PuckPR says is technically true: turns out they're not closing for good. But the restaurant itself will be closed for the next 3 mos, until the new season at the playhouse. Til then only catering and private events. Hopefully when they come back in summer business will pick up - apparently they were closed for 6 or 8 weeks in January too (I didn't notice). It would be too sad if they were gone permanently! (had an awesome meal there tonight which reminded me of why it's such a great restaurant).

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