La Jolla Business Roundup: From dining to gaming, new enterprises run a wide range

Marisi restaurant is scheduled to open Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 1044 Wall St. in La Jolla.
(Jim Sullivan)

Several businesses across La Jolla are getting ready to welcome patrons or began recently, while some are saying goodbye to their local locations.


After years in development, Marisi restaurant is set to open Wednesday, Aug. 31, in the former Whisknladle space at 1044 Wall St., with a grand-opening event in early September.

“Marisi seeks to break the rules on what guests would expect the best to be, celebrating the rich diversity of cuisine from across Italy, fashioned in a time-honored tradition of handmade all day, every day,” according to a news release.

Opening menu highlights include agnolotti with corn, California crab, aleppo and chives; pappardelle with duck ragu genovese, tehachapi rye and preserved lemon; chicory salad with salami, tomatoes, red onion, almonds, oregano and piave-vecchio; and carpaccio with American wagyu, pine nuts, scallions and horseradish, in addition to an Italian-inspired cocktail program.

The restaurant is owned by the team behind Puesto Mexican restaurant.

Media on the Rise

Marketing agency Media on the Rise has set a grand-opening party for 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at the La Jolla Bridge Club.

The party will be open to the public for the first two hours, followed by a ticketed event with refreshments and a “silent disco” with guests listening and dancing to music on individual headsets.

“Media on the Rise ... collaborates to create marketing strategies that get to know someone’s ideal client and take the time to understand the brand,” said La Jolla resident Maddie Mackey, who runs the agency and created the La Jolla Social map of places to go and things to do.

To learn more or to buy tickets for the launch party, visit

La Bella Figura

Bed and bath items are among the offerings at La Bella Figura in Bird Rock.
(Courtesy of Bettina Rudat)

La Bella Figura, which opened in Bird Rock as Bard’s Decorators, plans a grand reopening under the new name sometime in November at 5643 La Jolla Blvd.

Owner Bettina Rudat took over for her uncle — part of the family that operated Bard’s for decades — and “reinvented the whole business,” she said. Though the company still does custom upholstery and furniture, a European-inspired retail store has since opened to offer sleepwear, slippers, gifts, home decor, bedding and bath items imported from Italy and France.

“The aesthetic in the store is very luxurious and ornate and maximalist,” Rudat said. “I want to bring luxury and detail into people’s homes.

“I try to help the client with the design stuff to bring out their personality and have them represent themselves. I want them to find fabrics, wallpapers, finishes for the home … or reupholster existing furniture, bedding, anything with a fabric on it.”

The shop includes a “full textile library” with samples Rudat curated.

Learn more at


Razer, touted as “the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers,” opened at the Westfield UTC shopping center in August.

Founded in 2005 with dual headquarters in Southern California and Singapore, Razer was built for gamers by gamers, according to a news release. The Westfield UTC location features five zones dedicated to pro gaming setups, streamers, console gamers, digital creators and apparel, as well as a demo station where guests can unbox and share videos of their latest purchase.

Learn more at

Pandemic openings

Though the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on many businesses, some managed to open during the thick of it. Here are a couple of them.

The Metta Space

After 10 years in North Park, The Metta Space opened at 5668 La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, providing “holistic health work and spiritual services,” according to owner Victor Nguyen.

“We do massage and body work, acupuncture, sound healing and energy work,” he said. “The shop specializes in house plants and very clean organic skin products and specialty food items like teas and hot sauces.”

Nguyen, a holistic health practitioner who specializes in massage and neuromuscular therapy, said The Metta Space is “all about good energy. People who are open to energy work usually come to me to get through pain and de-stress.”

Learn more at

La Jolla Labs

La Jolla Labs is located in Sorrento Valley and El Cajon but is founded by La Jolla resident Jeff Milton, and its scientific advisory board is made up largely of La Jolla residents and UC San Diego professors. The lab was launched in October to offer RNA-based treatments for rare genomic diseases.

“We do mRNA therapeutics and RNA targeting, and because these drugs are very specific to genomes and individuals, the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] has recognized this as a path for personalized care for ultra-rare disease,” Milton said. “So for the people that have mutations in their genome that can’t be targeted by traditional therapeutics, we can create a drug for that.”

Milton said the lab is working with 60 patients who are “patient one of one” with their specific genomic disease. In addition to drug creation, the lab is working to develop attachments to the drugs to help them reach the areas of the body where they’re needed.

Learn more at


• The Starbucks coffee shop at 1055 Torrey Pines Road closed in late August, with employees reassigned to other locations.

Representatives of Starbucks did not respond to the La Jolla Light’s request for comment about the reason for the closure.

• Hi Sweetheart’s last day at 7920 Ivanhoe Ave. after eight years in operation will be Saturday, Sept. 3, owner Molly Rossettie said.

“I was ready for a change,” she told the Light. “Life is short and I have family close by and thought it was time to focus on that. I have been here from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week. In the last few years it has been hard to find consistent employees, which I understand. I wanted to take a step back.”

Rossettie said the gift boutique will move to an online format instead of a physical location. “Once the website is spiced up and improved, I hope to grow the business online,” she said.

“I didn’t grow up here, but people accepted me as a local, so the biggest thank you goes out to those that have welcomed me into their lives. It’s been wonderful.”

Learn more at

Restaurant Week

San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sept. 25 to Oct. 2 with more than 100 restaurants participating from across more than 30 neighborhoods.

The restaurants will feature special prix-fixe pricing, with two-course lunches for $10, $15, $20 and $25 and three-course dinners for $20, $30, $40 and $50.

In the La Jolla area, Olive and Basil, Piazza 1909, Herringbone, Nine-Ten, Duke’s, Beaumont’s, George’s at the Cove, Eureka, Gold Finch and Great Maple are participating.

A full list is at, with new restaurants being added frequently. ◆