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FIRST LOOK: Rustic Root

Take a gander at The Gaslamp's first dedicated rooftop restaurant

By Troy Johnson | Photography by Paul Body

As a local, the Gaslamp doesn’t always tickle me. The high rent leads to high prices, which doesn’t always translate into high quality food and drink. Regardless, the city’s main tourist nightlife attraction has just about everything a person could want. Except a dedicated rooftop restaurant—until now.

How the hell is Rustic Root the first and only dedicated rooftop restaurant in the Gaslamp? With that expensive sun, the entire Gaslamp area should just be retractable shade tents. Less ceilings, more sun. Someone must have been very nice to the zoning officials.

Rustic Root is the newest opening from RMD Group (FLUXX), hospitality guy Ken Lovi and chef-partner Antonio Friscia (who also runs the adjacent restaurant, Don Chido). Friscia’s always been a multicultural chef. Whereas Don Chido is Mexican, Rustic Root is Americana-based, with Asian, Mexican, French influence. Elk chops with Mexican mole, Fried chicken with habañero honey mustard. Bison meatballs with whiskey sauce. BBQ fries. BBQ chicken liver pate. Furikake-crusted Hamachi with Israeli couscous.

You get the idea.

Handling the bar program will be a familiar and well-loved name to craft cocktail nerds. Garth Flood, formerly “the man” at Cowboy Star for years, is doing time-machine throwbacks like mules, daiquiris, sazeracs, Manhattans, Negronis, and even a “1980 Cosmopolitan.”

The ambiance? Well, if you know Fluxx, you know they’re not a shy wallflower with design. Davis Ink Ltd. designed both the 3,000 square-foot downstairs and the 2,500 square-foot rooftop. Gaslampy lamps. Life-size animal topiaries. Market lights.

Open for dinner (and brunch), it’s worth a look. Speaking of… below is the first photos of the Gaslamp’s first (how the hell did that happen again?) dedicated rooftop restaurant.

FIRST LOOK: Rustic Root

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