North County San Diego's Dija Mara Balinese Restaurant Changing Hands

July 27, 2024

Michelin-recognized Dija Mara Balinese restaurant is changing hands in San Diego's North County.

Dija Mara was founded by Rob Jones and Simran Soin when the former couple first met in Singapore. In 2017, they opened their Indonesian-inspired restaurant in San Diego's North County city of Oceanside, offering a menu of Balinese-meets-California cuisine originally executed by then-executive chef Ryan Costanza. Dija Mara's kitchen is eventually fell into the hands of Chef Jason Ambacher, and in October 2021, under his lead, Michelin Guide named Dija Mara as one of 25 California restaurants deemed to be new "inspector discoveries".

In mid-2021, Soin took sole ownership of Dija Mara, and Rob Jones branched off on his own to open Hoxton Manor in the space now scheduled to become Drew Deckman's first U.S. restaurant in San Diego's North Park. Following the closure of Hoxton Manor late last year, troubling allegations came to light involving unpaid final wages to some employees and the mishandling of gratuity during the restaurant's operational period.

Dija Mara is now in the process of being taken over by Suzanne Nguyen, a Seattle native and longtime restaurateur that owns Cafe Zenon restaurant in Tahoe City, CA. Nguyen will keep Dija Mara mostly as-is, leaving menu execution in the hands of Chef Jason Ambacher. The dining room will receive some updates and some small touches will be done to make it more comfortable and enjoyable for guests. 

"My plan for Dija is to come in and be the general manager," explained the restaurant's incoming new owner Suzanne Nguyen. "I have previously owned two other restaurants where I am Owner/ Operator/ Chef. I am not interfering with Chef Jason. Why fix it if it’s not broke!!! He does an amazing job with the food and I want to continue and support what he does in the kitchen at Dija. I’m excited to start this new chapter in my life and in Dija Mara!"

Dija Mara is located at 232 South Coast Highway in San Diego's North County city of Oceanside. For more information, visit