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Where to Eat in San Diego: Restaurant Openings & News (Dec. 18–22)

Your one-stop shop for food and drink happenings around town this week
Where to Eat in San Diego: SAGO in Encinitas
Courtesy of SAGO

New Restaurants in San Diego

High-End Supper Club and Late-Night Lounge Launches in Encinitas

Okay, so two-in-one hasn’t always gotten the best rap (looking at you, sad shampoo-conditioner combos). But when it’s good, it’s really good—think convertible standing desks, tinted sunscreen, and, now, SAGO, the latest addition to Encinitas’ dining and nightlife scene. The 5,600-square-foot space feeds guests dinner (and brunch on the weekends) Wednesday through Sunday before morphing into an evening lounge with big-deal DJs and music acts once the clock strikes 11 p.m. 

“We wanted to create a very chic, swanky, sexy space,” says Dale Polselli, owner of Starlight Hospitality Group, the minds behind SAGO. The interior is decked out with dozens of tropical trees, watered by a high-tech hydroponic system. Inspired by travels to Bali, Polselli was looking to create a modern space that transported visitors to the jungle while incorporating the beach culture of Encinitas and North County.  

And, while the nightlife element is a big part of the SAGO experience, Polselli says the restaurant is the main attraction. Executive chef Frank Fleisher, formerly of Juniper & Ivy, is running the kitchen with a focus on shareable dishes—but these aren’t your first grader’s finger foods. On the menu, you’ll find small plates like black truffle fries and Wagyu corn dogs to split with friends. Or try the tangerine hamachi crudo: cured yellowtail zested with organic satsuma tangerines from Reiger Family Farms and topped with micro-cilantro and sea salt–cured serranos. For a heartier bite, get the black truffle pizza with Nduja salumi imported from Calabria, Italy. 

SAGO divides its drink menu up by vibes: Those looking for a sessionable spritz or vodka- or gin-based mix should order from the “Refresh” section, while fans of spirit-forward sips made with rum and bourbon will dig the “Savor” category. If you’re seeking complex, creative cocktails with fruit and herb notes, go for the “Adventure” tier.

Where to Eat and Drink in San Diego: Bottlecraft is hosting a tasting with Mommenpop on Dec. 22.
Courtesy of Mommenpop

Restaurant News & Food Events

Bottlecraft in North Park is hosting a complimentary spritz tasting on Friday, Dec. 22 with Napa’s Mommenpop founder Samantha Sheehan. Mommenpop uses Seville oranges, grapefruit, blood orange and other citrus fruits to craft refreshing aperitifs. 

Longtime fans of the San Diego food scene knew the magic little bistro that was Cafe Chloe. The small-but-mighty East Village eatery had to shutter years back. But former owner Alison McGrath and chef Katie Grebow are reuniting for a one-off event that might lead to more. They’re hosting a cooking class on Jan. 28 that blends French culinary techniques with the principles of functional medicine. The hands-on course will teach students about healthy eating while emphasizing the importance of enjoying the pleasures of a good meal (hello, butter!). 

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 Elena Gomez

Elena Gomez is an Emmy-nominated reporter who has spent much of her journalism career working in broadcast news in San Diego and Los Angeles. She joined the San Diego Magazine team as a freelance writer in 2020.

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