San Diego's Busalacchi Restaurant Group To Bring Lala Italian Gastropub To Little Italy

September 10, 2023

A founding family behind San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood, the Busalacchi's are gearing up to open Lala, an upscale Italian gastropub debuting this fall next door to sister restaurant Barbusa.

A Sicilian immigrant who moved to San Diego as a young boy, Joe Busalacchi took a leap of faith on Little Italy's then-desolate India Street in 1994 when he opened Trattoria Fantastica. Now, nearly 30 years and several successful restaurants later, including Barbusa, Nonna and Zucchero in Little Italy, Joe Busalacchi along with his two sons, Joey and PJ, are nearly ready to open their fourth restaurant in San Diego's top dining neighborhood.

Earlier this year, the Busalacchis took over the 1,500 square-foot space that last housed a pet supply and grooming business sited directly next door to their Barbusa restaurant on India Street to open Lala. Expect a menu of shareable Italian dishes, a bar program by Antonio Gonzalez, and an "Italian mediumalist" design by local interior designer Taylor Shaffer. The space will have an 18-seat bar and covered outdoor patio. 

The Busalacchis have also recently released a bottled oat milk espressio martini named Busa. The 14% coffee-infused beverage can be found at local liquor stores, including all Keg N Bottle locations. 

Lala is anticipated to open this November at 1919 India Street in San Diego's Little Italy.