Culichitown Founder Doubling Down In San Diego's Gaslamp With Opening Of Mamá Por Dios Mexican Restaurant

October 5, 2021

The Los Angeles-based restaurant group behind the Culichitown chain of Mexican-Japanese restaurants has taken over the enormous space in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter that last housed BiCE for the opening of Mamá Por Dios, an upscale Mexican restaurant and bar. 

Earlier this week, we reported that Chef Misael Guerrero's Los Angeles-based Emme Group, which founded the Culichitown chain of Mexican-Japanese hybrid restaurants, was opening an elegant, Latin-American fusion eatery in the former Donovan's space in downtown San Diego. We have since learned that Emme Group is also taking over the nearly 8,000 square-foot space long occupied by BiCE Ristorante in the Gaslamp for the opening of another of its restaurant concepts dubbed Mamá Por Dios.

Chef Misael Guerrero opened his first Mamá Por Dios in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, only last September 2020. This past June, a second outpost opened in Los Angeles' Beverly Grove neighborhood, with another in the works for Scottsdale, AZ. Mamá Por Dios offers a flare-filled, ritzy ambiance, which is reflected by its dress code & dining guidelines that includes a ban on flip flops, "excessively baggy clothing", athletic attire, and "no negative attitudes, behaviors or offensive language".

At Mamá Por Dios, expect an extensive menu of modernized Mexican dishes, including seafood appetizers, salads, prime steaks and wagyu beef, side dishes, and house specialties like camarones Costa Azul shrimp stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. There will also be a full bar with cocktails, beer and wine, as well as liquor lockers stocked with high-end bottles which come at a cost of over $1,500 to rent.

In San Diego, Emme Group of restaurants operates a location of Culichitown in the North County city of Vista and another in the works to open in the the 7,800 square-foot space that last housed Fuddruckers in downtown Chula Vista. The company also recently leased the Gaslamp Quarter unit that housed Donovans Steak & Chophouse, which was the first San Diego restaurant to shutter in March 2020 due to growing COVID-19 precautions, and will open a second location of La Conde Latin fusion restaurant.

Mamá Por Dios is anticipated to open at 425 Island Avenue in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter in mid-to-late 2022. For more information, visit