San Diego Chef DJ Tangalin's Gaya Gaya Ends Run After Less Than A Year In Business

January 2, 2020

After only 7 months in business, San Diego chef DJ Tangalin has closed his Gaya Gaya modern Filipino restaurant in Miramar.

Chef Danilo "DJ" Tangalin left the employ of North Park's Bivouac Ciderworks early last year to partner with Archie Soria for the May 2019 opening of Gaya Gaya in the Miramar space that previously housed Sarap Filipino Kitchen. At Gaya Gaya, Tangalin served an array of traditional and modernized Filipino dishes. Tangalin also teased the opening of what would be his flagship Filipino restaurant, Maya Eatery, which was previously set to install in the Hillcrest space that now houses Tin Room but that never came to fruition.

"To our Gaya Gaya family, thank you," said Chef Tangalin in a response to a request for comment. "With a heavy heart we are announcing we are no longer going to continue serving at the Miramar location. We are facing a rent increase for 2020 and with the upcoming minimum wage increase, we will have a difficult time operating such a huge restaurant. Fear not as the dream is not dead and we will soon be looking for a new home, something small and manageable. We will be on the lookout for venues to do occasional pop ups as well. 2020 is all about new beginnings so that is what we shall do. From our family to yours, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We will forever appreciate the love and support you all gave us."
Chef Danilo "DJ" Tangalin
Before being hired to develop the menu and lead the kitchen at Bivouac Ciderworks in June 2017, Chef Danilo Tangalin was the Executive Chef of Tidal at Paradise Point. Before that, Chef DJ was the Executive Chef at Eat.Drink.Sleep's JRDN restaurant at Tower23 Hotel in Pacific Beach from Spring 2015 until he was appointed to oversee the launch of the company's ambitious Decoy restaurant at the renovated Lakehouse Hotel & Resort in San Marcos, which opened in August 2016. Chef Tangalin has also spent time in some of the country's most esteemed kitchens including Le Bernardin with Eric Ripert, Volt with Bryan Voltaggio, Cyrus with Douglas Keane and Coi with Daniel Patterson. Settling in San Diego, DJ worked as chef de cuisine at Prepkitchen before joining the team at Eat.Drink.Sleep. as a sous chef at JRDN in 2014.