Italian restaurant Marisi opens in downtown La Jolla
With the arrival of Marisi, downtown La Jolla offers a new dining option that also seeks to stand out from the sea of other Italian restaurants in San Diego. Opened by a group of five cousins, all La Jolla natives, the restaurant now serves dinner Wednesday through Sunday.
Designed in-house, the 111-seat Marisi emerges from the former Wall Street home of Whisknladle, retaining the enormous front patio which is now decorated in sunny colors with flowering vines hanging above its tiled floor. There’s more intimate seating inside the space, which is dominated by a half-moon bar and an open kitchen anchored by a 10-foot fire pit where much of the menu is prepared. There is also a private dining room, nicknamed “The Lemon Room”, decorated with a print inspired by the citrus fruits typical of Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
Executive chef Chad Huff and vice president of bar and spirits Beau du Bois, formerly of Michelin-starred restaurants in Los Angeles and Napa Valley, serve as the restaurant’s culinary chefs. The menu’s robust selection of handmade pasta includes strascinati, oblong pasta paired with lamb stew, and will expand to include future shapes like twisted spirals of trofie and capunti, short pasta with small divots that catch the sauce. Other plates range from mackerel with chickpeas, olives and artichokes served with mint aioli to larger dishes with dry-aged fish and select cuts of dry-aged American wagyu. Cocktails build on classics made with a twist, from house-made limoncello, rested for six months with Sorrento lemons, to build-your-own martinis poured at the table and a bellini made with white peaches and Portuguese wine. dry, carbonated so that each component is universally bubbly.
marisi, 1044 Wall Street, La Jolla. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 5 p.m. until closing.