Fluxx Team Opening New Roof Top Restaurant in the Gaslamp


Rustic Root under construction

Rustic Root: Opening May 8th

Antonio Friscia, Chef/Partner at Don Chido opens Rustic Root – offering locally sourced ingredients farm to restaurant.

Type of food?

Rustic Root will showcase a dynamic menu of Rustic American Cuisine with a spotlight on locally sourced meats, produce, seafood, and house-made ingredients.

Located on 535 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 – Reservations call (619) 232-1747


Find the best things to do in San Diego this weekend.

rusticroot-rRustic Root
As one of the Gaslamp Quarter’s most highly anticipated restaurant openings, Rustic Root offers classic American dishes with modern twists, as well as an expansive craft cocktail menu. Menu highlights include carnitas “bao bao” sliders, firecracker shrimp, Furikake crusted hamachi, and lobster pappardelle. 535 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.232.1747.

Big new show ‘CabaRAE’ to open at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

A 10,000-square-foot space at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is undergoing renovation that will turn it into a 400-seat theater and nightclub that will play host to CabaRAE, a variety show directed by Alan Goldberg, a former Cirque du Soleil director.

The $5 million project will be nothing like Hawaii has seen before, Goldberg told PBN this week as he stood outside the space on the ground floor of the Tapa Tower. It will feature performers from around the world, including acrobats and other RAE’s, or “random acts of entertainment.”

The two-hour show, which is scheduled to make its debut in August, will feature music, comedy, magic and a Liza Minelli impersonation by performers from Las Vegas, Berlin, Australia, London and Paris.

Goldberg, his wife, Wanda Azzario-Goldberg, and Dave Renzella of RMD Group of San Diego are financing the project. They began negotiating with Jerry Gibson, area vice president for Hilton Hawaii, about a year ago to lease the space, which has sat empty for several years.


Mexican Cuisine at Don Chido

baja-inspired mexican cuisine

DonChido1-copyRMD Group, Ken Lovi, and Chef/Parter Antonio Friscia join forces to bring you Don Chido, an authentic, stylish Mexican eatery in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. The menu showcases regionally influenced, handcrafted Mexican cuisine that features locally sourced and quality fresh ingredients. An authentic Santa Maria grill is designed to cook mouth-watering, wood-fired meats and other dishes. To further tease the palette, they offer a rustic selection of local wines from Mexico and Spain along with a progressive variety of infused tequilas and regional mezcals. Don Chido combines a classic, home-style Mexican cuisine with a stylishly diverse and electric atmosphere that delivers a distinctive lunch, dinner, and late-night dining experience!

Don Chido will serve lunch and dinner daily from 11am to close in the restaurant and patio, and a late-night menu in the lounge. Reservations are currently available for opening night. Don Chido is located at 527 5th Avenue. Connect with Don Chido on Facebook at, and follow Don Chido on Twiter @DonChidoSD and Instagram @DonChidoSD.

Original Article

Food & Drink Blotter — April 2014

An authentic Santa Maria Argentine Grill will fuel the kitchen at Don Chido, a new Gaslamp restaurant specializing in home-style Mexican cuisine that’s expected to open by early May. Backing the venture is RMD Group, the operators of Fluxx and Sidebar nightclubs, along with Ken Lovi of the Knotty Barrel Gastropub and chef-partner Antonio Friscia. The team has begun fully renovating the 4,000-square-foot space that previously housed Fred’s Mexican Café. The bill of fare will include fire-grilled steaks, smoked shrimp and achiote-marinated pork tacos made with fresh corn tortillas, all served amid star chandeliers and an art wall made entirely of Mexican blankets. Inventive cocktails and wines from Mexico and Spain will also be available. 527 Fifth Ave.;


CHEF SWAP: Antonio Friscia to open Don Chido

Herringbone nabs Jordan Davis; Antonio Friscia to open Don Chido; Nicolas Bour to Loews

Fish Public’s executive chef Jordan Davis has been lured away to…Herringbone La Jolla. Davis is a talent who worked at L.A.’s famed tip-to-tail spot Animal as well as the James Beard winner Boulevard (San Francisco) before joining Tracy Borkum’s restaurant group. It’s a good hire for exec chef Brian Malarkey, who parted ways with his original chef Amanda Baumgarten last year (Baumgarten’s now cooking well at Waypoint Public).

In January, restaurant and nightclub giant Hakkasan Ltd. bought a controlling stake in Enlightened Hospitality Group, which includes restaurants Searsucker and Herringbone, plus Downtown nightclub Stingaree. Now, Stingaree chef Antonio Friscia has signed on with RMD Group (Fluxx, Side Bar) and Ken Lovi (Knotty Barrel) to be chef-partner of their new project up the street at the former Fred’s Mexican Café and Marble Room. The first phase of the project will be called Don Chido, a “sophisticated cantina-style Mexican food” joint slated for a tentative May open. “Chefs aren’t really known for Mexican food,” says Friscia, “but we cook it for our staffs and eat it all the time.” They’re going to have carne asada cooked on a Santa Maria-style grill over wood or charcoal. A taco bar will serve the late-night crowd with housemade tortillas. And Friscia says he’ll use local, sustainable ingredients as much as possible. The bar will also have a huge tequila list and craft cocktails. The designer on the project is Davis Ink Ltd., who handled Stingaree and Side Bar. Friscia’s regarded as one of the more talented chefs and quality human beings in San Diego, and “his day” always seems just around the corner. Let’s hope this is it. His own project, Gaijin Noodle + Sake House, shuttered last year, of which he says: “The issue there really was everyone came there to eat and they didn’t drink. I’d sell a ton of food and no alcohol. You’ve got to sell alcohol to survive as a restaurant. It was a heartbreaker. I put my heart and soul in that place.”

Rancho Bernardo Inn spared no cost renovating their signature dining room, turning the classic El Bizcocho into the modern Avant. They hired Charlie Trotter alum James Kozak as the chef de cuisine, working under executive chef Nicolas Bour. But Kozak ended up leaving a few months after the opening, and now Bour been hired away to become the executive chef of Loews Coronado. Looks like Loews will be doing a major revamp in the near future with Bour as the lead dog.

We’re also hearing that Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge chef JC Colón has left the building. For now, Tim Kolanko—exec chef for parent company Blue Bridge Hospitality—will step in and take over the line. Kolanko can cook, even if he’s got bigger concerns (including Blue Bridge’s forthcoming Coronado steakhouse, Stake).

Original Article



RMD Group to open Mexican restaurant

Don Chido will take over the old Fred’s Mexican Cafe space this May

DonChido1-copyWhat happens when you combine nightlife entertainment pros with a top chef and a dining/hospitality expert?

Something magical, and in San Diego, that magic comes in the form of Gaslamp Mexican eatery.

This May, get ready for Don Chido, a spirited Mexican restaurant taking over the old Fred’s Mexican Café space by RMD Group (FLUXX, Side Bar, F6ix), Ken Lovi (founder and CEO of The Knotty Barrel) and renowned Chef Antonio Friscia (Gaijin Noodle + Sake House, Campine, etc).

This first step into San Diego’s culinary scene for the RMD Group will take on handcrafted Mexican cuisine in an inviting, 4,000 square-foot space. Menu highlights include smoked shrimp cockteles (Mexican shrimp, cucumber, diced tomatillo, white onion, jugo de tomate, lime and cilantro); tacos al pastor (fire roasted pineapple and achiote marinated pork shoulder), enchiladas de mole (housemade corn tortillas, chicken mole, soffritto rice, garnished with cotija cheese, lime, shredded lettuce, radish and crema) and the Don Chido Especiale (wood fire grilled ribeye steak with ancho chili garlic butter, chipotle lime wild Mexican shrimp, charred housemade chorizo, frijoles refritos, avocado, chile rejeno, house-made corn tortillas, charred globe onions and garnished with red guajillo sauce.) Wines and cocktails reflective of Mexico and Spain will be on deck.

Don’t expect a FLUXX-lookalike here. Design details will feature an art wall made of Mexican blankets, star chandeliers and custom maraca wall sconces. Find housemade tortillas at the center Taqueria stand, which plans on staying open late for those on the nighttime taco prowl.

Lunch and dinner will be served daily, 11 a.m. to close in the restaurant and on the patio. A late-night menu will be offered in the lounge.

Don Chido will be located at 527 5th Ave., downtown.

Original Article

Spring Madness

Gaslamp and East Village eateries giving their all to Padres fans

Alex Owens | Downtown News

The San Diego Padres aren’t the only Downtown residents who use Spring Training to get ready for the baseball season.


Lindsay Lohan Parties at Two California Nightclubs Before Court-Ordered Rehab

1364215687_lindsay-lohan-lgLindsay Lohan can’t stay away from the California club scene. Less than a week after the Liz & Dick actress was sentenced to spend 90 days in a rehabilitation facility, the former child star was spotted partying at FLUXX in San Diego, Calif. on March 22.

Joined by a gal pal, Lohan was “drinking Ketel One vodka on the rocks and smoking Parliaments,” a source tells Us Weekly. The Freaky Friday star wore a New York Yankees baseball hat with a hoodie over it and chatted up “Fire Burning” singer Sean Kingston, who was partying at a nearby table.

The following night, Lohan continued her partying parade when she hit up the private member’s club 41 Ocean in Santa Monica, Calif., according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail. Wearing a tight black dress and an oversized sweater, the actress tried to shield her face from photographers when she left the venue.

Though it was reported that Lohan was partying the same night she accepted her plea bargain, the Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen star denied going out in a series of Twitter posts. “Guys relax, that was not me at A/V or in the Mr. Pink SUV. I’m taking this seriously and focused on the road ahead,” she wrote March 19. “I stayed in last night, after a pretty long day, and ordered sushi to my hotel. Don’t believe every little thing you hear unless you hear it from me. The support I have gotten has been great and means a lot.”

When Lohan’s legal team next appears in court May 2, they must provide a progress report on the actress’ counseling and proof of enrollment in a residential treatment program. After successfully competing rehab, the star is also required to perform 30 days of community labor.

Original Article