Evolution of a San Diego Mainstay | 12 Years Stong - Indigo Grill Re-Opens with a Fresh Look

July 8, 2014

First opening doors more than a decade ago in the heart of Little Italy, Chef Deborah Scott's Indigo Grill has endured many neighborhood transitions. Now in 2014 as Little Italy quickly climbs the ranks to become the city's hottest mecca for progressive chef-driven dining, Chef Deborah and the Cohn Restaurant Group introduce a brand new look for the iconic dining destination, as well as an exciting and lively Latin-inspired menu by Indigo's newest addition, Executive Chef Jason Maitland (Arterra Restaurant, Flavor Del Mar, Red Light District). Officially re-opening doors to the public this past weekend on Saturday, July 5th, Indigo Grill has received a top-to-bottom re-model by renowned San Diego designer Philippe Beltran (BO-beau kitchen + bar, SEA 180 Coastal Tavern, 100 Wines Kitchen + Bar), and offers diners a lively bar setting, an expanded al fresco patio, as well as eclectic dinner and late night dining options. Maitland's new dishes include anticucho boards, bold crostinos and exotic meat-centric options such as Tamarind-Jalapeno glazed Pig Tails and “Flaming Hot Cheetos”— an imaginative interpretation of pig ears, lime zest, and cotija.

Photo by Mike Newton
The Indigo Grill redesign also features an expanded al fresco terrace complete with two fire features situated in the heart of the flourishing Little Italy district. While remaining true to the restaurant’s roots, Executive Chef Maitland presents progressive culinary creations with a global twist, as well as a Peruvian-style cebiche bar and Latin-inspired desserts such as rice pudding brûlée with tart cherries. The restaurant is also focused on being a late-night dining and social destination, with evening happy hours and creative cocktails incorporating house-infused liquor.

“After years of serving the neighborhood as one of the area’s most distinguished venues, we’re ready to freshen up the menu with an exciting twist on traditional Latin flavors. We’ve brought the gifted Executive Chef Maitland on board, and he has a natural talent for constructing inventive dishes,” said Chef Deborah Scott, Partner and Executive Chef of Indigo Grill.

Photo by Mike Newton
“We’ve always received tremendous support from the community, and Indigo Grill will continue to be a place to gather and make new memories with family and friends.”

Indigo Grill’s new menu draws heavily on Latin influences and places an emphasis on shareable items such as anticucho boards, small plates and bold crostinos. Executive Chef Jason Maitland and Chef Deborah Scott incorporate an eclectic flair into the menu, demonstrating their ability to adapt old world techniques to a modern culinary program. When it comes to carnivorous delights, Chef Maitland possesses a true knack for preparing exotic meat-centric dishes in a manner that’s both unique and approachable. Additionally, Maitland exhibits a marked emphasis on exploring under-utilized ingredients with menu items including the Tamarind-Jalapeno glazed Pig Tails with radish, peanut and house buttermilk dressing as well as the “Flaming Hot Cheetos”—an imaginative interpretation of pig ears, lime zest, and cotija.

Photo by Mike Newton
“Little Italy is increasingly becoming a progressive epicenter for San Diego’s culinary creativity, and we’re proud to introduce the new Indigo Grill in conjunction with this movement,” said Executive Chef Jason Maitland. “People are open to being more adventurous with their food choices, and our goal is to have guests try something new, expand their palate, and walk away impressed with their unique culinary experience.”

Other menu highlights include a made-to-order Peruvian-style cebiche bar with unique adaptations such as Mexican Bay scallops with sour orange juice, local bass with lime and aji limo, and Hawaiian ahi with sesame, nori and ponzu. Longtime Indigo Grill fans will still be able to order original favorites like Chef Deborah’s Pipian Crusted Brie with jalapeno jelly, honey roasted garlic, toasted artisan bread and the Alderwood Plank Salmon with cucumber-dill moleto, squid ink pasta and smoked aged white cheddar cheese. Desserts also take a Latin-inspired direction with options such as fresh churros served with Mexican Abuelita hot chocolate.

A number of global libations headline the cocktail program such as the Humo Antiguo with house infused hickory smoked rye, sugar cube, and chocolate mole bitters as well as Tupac Amaru’s Revenge made of kappa pisco, grapefruit, lime, simple syrup, and lavender bitters ice ball. The beverage program also includes 30 wine options and 24 draught beer selections with an emphasis on local breweries. Early evening and late-night social hours are available daily with $6 cocktails, $6 select wines, $5 local draught beer, $5 well drinks, and $6 bites.

Cohn Restaurant Group design collaborator Philippe Beltran infuses the space with his signature warm ambiance and lively textural details. Indigo Grill's fresh new aesthetic is a perfect complement to the modern Latin menu with a vivid color palette, clean lines and industrial elements. The revamped interior features handpicked furnishings and vintage accents procured from around the globe including oversized Argentinean doors, a colorful Mexican screen printer and an old blue theater canvas repurposed as a wall tapestry. The main entrance, which was moved slightly south on India Street, now showcases a custom stone wall reminiscent of the Peruvian architecture of Machu Picchu.

Upon entering, guests are greeted by intricately-crafted chandeliers and elaborate custom moldings, and the main dining area features blue stone tables, weathered copper ceilings, and rustic pops of orange. Beltran also created an intimate and airy “white room” that incorporates a whitewashed wall and white furniture for a soft, welcoming dining experience for parties up to seven. Indigo Grill’s bar area includes a 12-person bar with steel barstools along with two 10-foot communal tables. The “al fresco” patio overlooking the bustling Little Italy neighborhood has been expanded to seat 50 patrons and embodies a new industrial feel accentuated by custom metal workings and chicken feeder lights strung throughout at staggering heights. A concrete fire feature and fire pit flanks each end of the outdoor dining space, offering guests the perfect ambiance to take in the charm of sidewalk dining in Little Italy.

Indigo Grill is open 7 days a week, with dinner Sunday – Wednesday from 5 – 10pm and Thursday – Saturday from 5 – 11pm. Social Hours is Sunday – Wednesday from 4 – 6pm and 10pm – 12am, and Thursday – Saturday from 4 – 6pm & 10pm – 1am, offering $6 cocktails, $6 select wines, $5 local draught beer, $5 well drinks, and $6 bites. The restaurant is located at 1536 India Street in Little Italy. For more information, call (619) 234-6802 or visit indigogrill.com. Check out the menus below and plan your visit to the renewed Indigo Grill!

Indigo Grill on Urbanspoon