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La Jolla Business Roundup: Paradisaea and Flower Pot join local restaurant community

Paradisaea restaurant opened Sept. 25 at 5680 La Jolla Blvd.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Two much-anticipated businesses opened in recent weeks in La Jolla: the Flower Pot Cafe and Bakery in The Village and Paradisaea restaurant in Bird Rock. They join several other local enterprises that opened recently or are about to open.

Paradisaea

After facing some controversy in the months leading to its opening because of its plans to encroach into the public right of way for outdoor dining, Paradisaea quietly opened Sept. 25 at 5680 La Jolla Blvd. in the former “Piano Building.”

The intent of the restaurant, owned by husband-and-wife team Eric and Zoe Kleinbub, is to bring “excellent food to our immediate neighborhood” and build around that to include high standards of service and design, Eric said.

“This is a fine-dining experience but done in the 21st century,” Zoe added. “It’s eating great food in a comfortable environment. It’s not stuffy; we want people to feel like it is their dining room. It is all comfort food but executed at the highest level. There is a lot of effort and time that goes into … these dishes.”

Culinary director Mark Welker said he is “technique-driven” in his approach. For example, the process to make the roasted chicken includes sourcing the chickens from Temecula, deboning them in-house, brining them, drying them and then roasting them.

“Everything has a rhyme or reason,” Zoe said. “Everything was chosen by Eric and I, down to the flatware and glasses. We want it to be comfortable and beautiful.”

Menu offerings include oysters on the half shell, hamachi, jalapeño Caesar salad, wagyu nachos, tagliatelle with uni, and roasted chicken stuffed with lemon-Dijon butter and served alongside buttermilk-dressed local greens and salsa verde.

Learn more at paradisaea.com.

Flower Pot Cafe and Bakery

Gloria Serna and Amanda Morrow are owners of the new Flower Pot Cafe and Bakery on Fay Avenue.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Flower Pot Cafe and Bakery, run by the one-time owners of La Jolla’s former Pannikin coffee house, opened Sept. 20 with a familiar yet expanded menu at 7530 Fay Ave.

“We wanted to bring back all the classics we had as the Pannikin, and those are all available, but we added more fun things because we have a greater ability to roast and bake here,” said co-owner Amanda Morrow. “Our bakers get here 4:30 [a.m.] every day and we have French toast and pancakes and things we didn’t have before.”

A roastery in the cafe yields fresh coffee every day.

“When you roast in-house, you are guaranteed fresh coffee,” Morrow said. “I’m a roastmaster by trade and … I have a big coffee roaster onsite. It smells great and everyone gets fresh coffee.”

The hours and types of meals also are expanded from what Pannikin offered, with Flower Pot serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“It’s so great to be settled in, and we have had an incredible response. I feel like I’m in a dream,” Morrow said. “We’re just so excited for people to come by.”

Learn more at flowerpotcafe.org.

The Shop La Jolla

Nate Adams and Kalli Legakes (pictured with Silas) own The Shop La Jolla, which opened this summer on Prospect Street.
(Provided by Kalli Legakes)

The Shop La Jolla opened this summer as a mixed-use space that shows up-and-coming art with curated apparel that complements the artists and their stylings.

The Shop, run by business and romantic partners Kalli Legakes and Nate Adams, will have monthly events at 1264 Prospect St. Legakes previously worked as a grant writer for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and Adams grew up in retail and apparel with family members who owned stores.

Looking to blend their skills, they opened The Shop La Jolla to provide a place for what Legakes called “younger and edgier” artists to show their work for one to two months, along with clothing made by Adams inspired by the art or artist.

“As creatives, we wanted to help other creatives,” Legakes said. “It was originally going to be a skate clothing shop, but it has grown into this mixed-use space.”

In addition to one-off events such as comedy shows and opening receptions, the space is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Learn more at theshoplajolla.com.

Switchback Velo

Switchback Velo opened Sept. 1 at 5699 La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock to provide a place for biking enthusiasts to hang out and get assistance in finding a bike.

Co-owners Ian Campbell and Max Haggard have worked at bike shops in Normal Heights and other areas of San Diego. Campbell said Bird Rock needed a bike shop because “it is such a main route for cyclists to get up the coast and there is a lot of bicycle traffic in the area.”

Haggard said the model of the business is unlike other bike shops in that Switchback Velo is not inventory-heavy but rather helps customers find whatever is needed.

“We want to have something for everyone along the way, and part of the service we offer is we have this huge knowledge base … so if someone walks in and says, ‘I want X,’ we can find exactly that,” he said. “Other bike shops will sell you the closest thing to X that they already have. Our idea is you tell us what you need and we find exactly that.”

The shop also has two in-house mechanics. Learn more at switchbackvelo.com.

Tahini

Middle Eastern street food restaurant Tahini opened a second San Diego location Oct. 3 on the UC San Diego campus in La Jolla at 9625 Scholars Drive North. The 1,784-square-foot establishment is a standalone restaurant in the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood.

Tahini offers a customizable Middle Eastern meal for which guests choose among three options: pita sandwich, rice bowl or salad. From there, they choose from chicken steak shawarma or falafel, plus toppings and sauces.

“We’re commonly feeding students from UCSD at our original location [at 9119 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.] and recognize the need for fresh, healthy food for students who are transitioning back to campus,” co-owner Osama Shabaik said. “The location is also ideal for people working in the nearby business parks and biotech offices.”

Learn more at tahinistreetfood.com.

Upcoming openings

Orli La Jolla

Ahead of its opening this month at the former site of Bed & Breakfast Inn at La Jolla, the debut location for Orli hotels is taking reservations.

Orli La Jolla at 7753 Draper Ave. is home to 13 bespoke guest rooms and suites across two buildings.

Bookings are being accepted for the upcoming opening of the new Orli hotel in La Jolla.
(Wicked+ PR)

“While no two rooms are alike, each blends clean, high-contrast interiors with warm design elements that embrace La Jolla’s rich history and coastal landscape,” according to a news release. “All rooms feature Nespresso coffee machines, smart TVs, Marshall Bluetooth speakers and more.”

Management told the La Jolla Light in July that Orli will offer a customizable experience that can range from a short-term rental involving minimal contact with management to a full integration into the community with offerings from local businesses and an app associated with the hotel that helps with restaurant reservations and tour bookings.

Orli La Jolla rates start at $250 per night and go up to $1,375 per night for The Penthouse. Learn more at stayorli.com.

Sip Fresh

Sip Fresh, a handcrafted juice and beverage franchise concept, announced that its first franchisee-operated store in San Diego County is slated to open this month at the Westfield UTC shopping center. The store will be run by LK Group UTC LP, led by entrepreneur Lawrence Kourie, who, shortly after announcing his intention to franchise the brand, signed a multi-unit commitment to develop in the Southern California region.

Sip Fresh will offer custom-made fruit juices and smoothies, including Mixed Berry Lemonade, Watermelon and Cucumber Mint Lime Sips, the Mango Tango and the Cha Cha Chamoy.

Learn more at sipfreshjuice.com.

Milano Five

Milano Five, the San Diego restaurant group that launched its first Ambrogio15 pizzeria in Pacific Beach six years ago, is teaming with a Michelin-starred Italian chef on a new restaurant concept in La Jolla.

Ambrogio by Acquerello will open Nov. 4 in Milano Five’s current Semola restaurant space on Fay Avenue. It will serve a $149, seven-course chef’s signature Italian tasting menu conceived by the culinary team at Michelin-starred Ristorante Acquerello, a modern Italian restaurant just outside Milan, Italy.

A seven-course vegetarian-vegan tasting menu will be offered for $99. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Closed

All About Animals

After 22 years on La Jolla Boulevard, the All About Animals pet store and groomer closed Sept. 30. Owner Lenise Delavar said she sold the building and the business to help fund a down payment on a ranch out of state.

Though she has not been in communication with the new owners, she said the understanding is the facility will be remodeled and reopened as a new pet store with a new name.

Delavar sold All About Animals’ inventory, and anything left over was donated to local animal rescue organizations.

“The community has been amazingly supportive,” she said. “Customers have become like family, so while saying goodbye to the business was hard, saying goodbye to the customers was even harder. It was a hard decision, but this is the next step for me. I’m so grateful for all the years of support.” ◆