First Impressions of the New Rare Society Steakhouse

••• The Funk Zone outpost of San Diego steakhouse chain Rare Society has glitz and buzz: the room is barely recognizable as the former site of the Project and Captain Fatty’s, and perhaps because it was Saturday night, there were many boisterous groups of all women or all men. We arrived a bit early, so we were told to wait at the glamorous horseshoe bar along the State Street side, where we ordered after a quick glance at the cocktail menu. The signature old fashioned, it turns out, includes “dry-aged fat-washed bourbon” and is garnished with a cube of bacon fat wrapped in lardo. (The drink tasted like a meaty glazed doughnut.) It was a harbinger: even for a steakhouse, this is extremely rich food. Almost everything is gilded in butter, cream, cheese, egg yolk, oil, or beef fat. The rolls were so gooped up with butter that they required knife and fork; the lettuce in the Caesar salad was barely visible under a mountain of shredded cheese, and it came with breaded, deep-fried anchovies. The four of us shared the Executive Board ($192), a sampler of filet mignon, New York strip, and ribeye, and the beef was excellent and perfectly cooked. Perhaps there’s a way to navigate the menu without feeling like you’re on a binge, but just in case, make sure you’re stocked up on statins.

••• TAP Thai‘s outpost on upper State Street has closed, but the Goleta remains open. And friends of TAP owner Preaw Chamchoi “will be opening their own Thai restaurant, Thai Bistro, in the same San Roque space.” —Edhat

••• A rooftop bar at the Hotel Californian is on the consent agenda for Wednesday’s Historic Landmarks Commission meeting: “Proposal to construct a new 335-square-foot bar with trellis at the 5th-level hotel roof deck exclusively for use by, and only accessible to, hotel guests.” Currently, you order from the Goat Tree restaurant.

••• A sign in the window says L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, in the former Embermill space on state between Figueroa and Carrillo, will be opening soon. Inside sure looks ready.

••• Beans BBQ, which arrived on State Street in March, posted a plea.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Beans BBQ (@beansbbqsb)

••• The market half of Montesano Market & Deli on Coast Village Road has debuted. There’s a fun array of pastas, cheese, oils, snacks, and more—even U-Bet chocolate syrup!—and merchandise is still coming in. The beer-and-wine license is for on and off premises.


Sign up for the Siteline email newsletter for the freshest food news in town.


One Comment

Kristin St. John

I saw l construction going on at the old SB and Lafond winery location in the funk zone
Do you have an update ?