Four Bucks for Ice?! A friend of mine went out this weekend. That’s news. Also news was what he posted to Facebook: A bar receipt with a four-dollar charge for “rocks.” He assumed he was being charged for ice, so he slandered the establishment with all his QWERTY might. I mean, look at the receipt (left)—sure looks like a charge for ice. And it really wouldn’t be that far-fetched these days when “mixologists” are hand-carving perfect ice orbs out of Nancy Grace’s heart. Ice machines can cost up to $50K, so maybe the owner of the establishment was just trying to recoup a little cost. I contacted the owner. “No, we’re not charging for ice,” he said. “It’s a charge for on-the-rocks. When you order a drink on the rocks, we give you more booze. So there’s a charge for that.” I contacted other bartenders in town, who said it’s pretty standard practice. I told my friend. “I call bull****,” he replied. We then discussed who might be entering his house at night and trying on his sweaters.
Jimmy Love’s Redux: Jimmy Love’s was mercifully laid to rest this week. Ownership is planning a total reinvention with a new, chef-driven menu. I’ve been politely stalking their people for details, and they gave me the silent treatment—which made me mad enough to do my job and dig around. After doing so, I’m speculating that the guys behind Bootlegger will take it over and name Rich Sweeney (R Gang, Southpaw) as their chef. I’ll post tomorrow to let you know how close I am to the truth.
Weekend with Bernie: Starting today, Marine Room’s Bernard Guillas—one of only two Master French Chefs in San Diego—is at the Ritz-Carlton in the Cayman Islands. He’s not tanning his infinite Frenchness by the pool. He’s cooking at the “Cayman Cookout” alongside Eric Ripert, Jose Andres, Daniel Boulud, Rick Bayless, Anthony Bourdain, Lidia Bastianich and a bunch of other people who turn raw food materials into mouth unicorns. Guillas is handling brunch for 800 people and manning a seafood station with cherry stone clam ceviche, sesame-smoked sea salt cured ono, Baja-spiced wild shrimp, etc. Let’s not lust too long over The Most Exclusive Seafood In the World This Weekend. Point is, Bernie’s the only SD chef involved, an honor. It’s also a reminder to check in at Marine Room every now and then.
Bacon Burgers for San Marcos: The San Diego State alums behind the bacon-and-weird burger chain Slater’s 50/50 just got the go-ahead today for a new location in San Marcos. They’ll be going into the former Cool Hand Luke’s Wild West Saloon (110 Knoll Rd.). I’m pleased for them, and saddened to have missed my chance to hang out and ponder period role-playing in a place called Cool Hand Luke’s Wild West Saloon.
Opening This Weekend: On Saturday, Jan. 18, Marketplace Grille—the well-loved healthy lunch joint that started in La Jolla back in the late ’80s—is having its grand opening for their new location in Carmel Valley (in the Plaza Carmel Shopping Center, 3870 Valley Center Drive).