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Chef Richard Blais’ Ember & Rye Set to Reopen on June 22

Following a full $60M hotel renovation, the new restaurant inside Park Hyatt Aviara will be helmed by executive chef Jonathan Bautista
Chef Richard Blais and Jonathan Bautista from San Diego restaurant Ember & Rye at Park Hyatt Aviara reopening in June of 2024 in Carlsbad
Courtesy of Park Hyatt Aviara

For 2.5 years, Ember & Rye quietly, comfortably hummed inside Park Hyatt Aviara, even in a struggling post-pandemic hospitality landscape. Nestled in the hills of Carlsbad, celebrity chef Richard Blais (The French Laundry, El Bulli, Juniper & Ivy) created a sanctuary to steak and seafood with all the opulence and decadence one could desire—until the fire in September 2023. 

After the damage, Ember & Rye had to close for repairs while the hotel unveiled a $60 million renovation. Despite what had to feel like epically irritating timing, the restaurant will be back on Saturday, June 22. From the ashes comes a new restaurant, now with executive chef Jonathan Bautista (Kingfisher, The Fishery) and general manager Julien Lardon on board.

“Ember & Rye’s re-opening marks an incredibly unique opportunity to re-introduce one of North County San Diego’s most celebrated culinary establishments to the market,” says chef Richard Blais. “I couldn’t be prouder to do so alongside our talented new executive chef, Jonathan Bautista.” 

Blais says return guests can expect some old favorites from the menu but with a few new Bautista-led touches. The menu will focus on “fresh ingredients and innovative menu concepts” and emphasize local produce. (Don’t worry—the sprawling views are as unspoiled as ever.) 

Signature items include a beef rib chop “Storm Breaker cut” (40 ounces of Brandt beef!); diver scallop crudo with embered Fresno chile, pineapple, radish, tomato, ginger, and anise hyssop; and summer squash with squash blossom cream, corn, cotija cheese, and Espelette pepper. One particularly Instagrammable (and delicious) cocktail is the Smoking Ember cocktail, with mezcal, grapefruit, agave, lemon, and lime all encased in a citrus smoke bubble. 

Reservations are now available starting on June 22. If you can’t wait, there’s always the other signature restaurant Ponto Logo, putts and pints at the onsite Topgolf, or more mentally centered nourishment from the Miraval Life in Balance Spa Aviara. Blais says they’re ready for you, promising, “we couldn’t be more excited to introduce the new iteration of Ember & Rye and welcome in guests and locals for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience.”

Interior of The Whiskey House in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter featuring one of the world's largest collections of Whiskeys offering a Father's Day special
Courtesy of The Whiskey House

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

Whiskey Specials For Father’s Day

On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, if you haven’t already marked your calendars—The Whiskey House at 420 Third Avenue is offering 10 percent off all private barrel bottles, including some rare finds like Eagle Rare and others from the largest whiskey collection per the Guinness World Records. (That should make both whiskey and deal-loving dads happy.) Whiskey flights will also be available for curious connoisseurs, including one called the “Insane Pappy,” featuring 15-, 20-, and 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle. (Maybe gift Dad a rideshare home as well.) 

Interior of new San Diego mexican restaurant Hasta Mañana in the Gaslamp Quarter downtown featuring colorful murals
Courtesy of Hasta Mañana

Beth’s Bites

  • We said goodbye to You & Yours Distilling Company last month, but ‌turns out it was just, “See you later.” The woman-owned distilling company launched a summer event series at The Loma Club in Liberty Station called Clubhouse Suppers, where every dinner will feature a spirit or winemaker. Tickets are available here.
  • Hasta Mañana, a coastal Baja-inspired eatery, is now open at 310 Fifth Avenue in Gaslamp Quarter. Sign me up for their “holy trinity” of tacos, tequila, and creating unforgettable moments. (Although I have questions on achieving #3 if #2 gets a little out of hand…)
  • We talked about Korean fried chicken, but here comes Chinese fried chicken. Zhengxin Chicken Steak has over 20,000 locations worldwide, but only one in California. The chain’s second location in the Golden State will open on 4609 Convoy Street, sometime this year. They earnestly have something called the “huge sandwich” on their menu—the stuff of dreams!!

Have breaking news, exciting scoops, or great stories about new San Diego restaurants or the city’s food scene? Send your pitches to [email protected].

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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