From the Owners of Cafe 21, Welcome Zymology 21 | A New Science-Themed Bar in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter

September 4, 2014

Husband and wife owners, Alex and Chef Leyla Javadov, had an open restaurant space when they moved their downtown Café 21 concept up a block to the former Croce's. That space at 750 5th Avenue is now Zymology 21, the third concept from the C21 Restaurant Group, known for its two award-winning Café 21 restaurants in University Heights and the Gaslamp Quarter. Serving all-day brunch, dinner and late night cocktails, Zymology 21 is already making waves with science-themed laboratory cocktails, house-fermented fruits and vegetables and creative menu offerings.

Chicken and waffle
Zymology 21 is elevating what has become the typical Gaslamp nightlife experience by taking guests on a taste experiment that ignites all of the senses. The experience mixes the old processes of “zymology,” a scientific field that studies fermentation, with modern cocktail and culinary preparations that include molecular mixology and gastronomy.

Zymology 21’s all-day brunch features sweet and savory cast iron pancakes, chicken and waffles and lighter fare like open face sandwiches and goat cheese yogurt. Drinks include siphoned coffee, a vapor-pressured process that vacuum brews coffee through a double-chambered pot; seasonal, fresh pressed and muddled juices; mimosas and Bloody Marys served in beakers or test tube flights. The restaurant has plans to roll out an eventual grab-n-go menu for even faster service. Zymology 21’s happy hour and dinner menus feature a variety of sweet and savory tapas like lobster corn dogs, chicken or lamb lollipops, and fig tempura
Bloody Mary

Highlights from the seasonally changing, farm-to-bar cocktail menu include molecularly infused liquors, Z-sicles (“boozy” popsicles made from house-crafted bar drinks) and test tube cocktail flights. All of Zymology 21’s cocktails are mixed with shrubs instead of cocktail mixers. Shrubs are a colonial-era mixer, crafted by fermenting fresh fruits in vinegar and sugar for at least two weeks.

Alex and Chef Leyla Javadov first brought their worldly menu to University Heights in 2007. They have since expanded with a second location of Cafe 21 in the Gaslamp to accommodate a growing base of loyal diners. Chef Leyla now brings her unique skills and culinary techniques, such as pickling and house-infusions, to her “laboratory” at Zymology 21. Through the processes of fermentation and creative recipes that stay true to her farm-to-table and farm-to-bar approaches, Chef Leyla has brought an extraordinary eating and drinking experience to
San Diego. 

Designed by POD, Zymology 21’s industrial, yet kitschy, design brings elements of fun and originality to its space. With a collection of beakers and test tubes that line the bar’s exposed brick walls, guests will feel like the have entered a glamorous laboratory. Zymology 21 offers bar, dining room and patio seating for up to 70 patrons.

Zymology 21 is currently open Wednesday-Friday from 11am to 2am, Saturday from 9am to 2am and Sunday from 9am to 4pm. For more information, call (619) 546-9321 and visit